What’s Going On? The Game!

Question: How are 2 people supposed to spend 1-2 hours in London when they are exhausted?

Answer: Find a place to sit and play a game.

To kill time before our show that evening (after our epic walk), Kristen and I walked from Piccadilly Circus to Trafalgar Square and visited the National Gallery.  We went into the Gallery, found a bench and sat.  It was lovely.  We even had a discussion about whether a baby in one of the paintings was John the Baptist or Jesus (it was Jesus, in case you’re wondering).

We moved on to another room after we’d sat in that room for long enough, and that’s when we began to play “What’s Going On?” (patent pending).

How do you play?

Pick a picture.  Taking turns, both of you explain what you think is happening.  Feel free to be as elaborate as you want.  Then one of you (you can fight about which one) gets up and reads the description of the picture, finding out what the painting is really about.

But how about an example?

(by David Teniers the Younger)
(by David Teniers the Younger)

What’s going on? Well, that kid running away was stealing buns from the village, but he got caught by some of the villagers.  In his haste to run away, he’s dropped some of the buns.  The old man on the right is hoping to stop him, but the old man probably won’t succeed so the man in white on the left is readying himself for a chase.

What’s really going on?  Peasants playing Bowls outside a Village Inn (the name of the piece).

The trick is not to get caught up in what’s really happening, but to come up with fantastical, crazy explanations.  It’s certainly a fun way to pass time.


[And the next time I go back to the National Gallery I’ll be looking for the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck, which I did not realize was there.]

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