10 ways to entertain you and your crew when you’re under house arrest
Words: Dylan Muhlenberg | Illustrations: Amber Pretorius
Despite having been through a lot more than most nations, as soon as the weather turns to anything less than stunning, South Africans like to batten down the hatches and spend time indoors complaining. Inspired by Inge Beckmann’s argument for being a winter hermit, we’ve come up with a list of ten ways to beat the winter weather and have fun without the sun, even if you’re not a creative genius like she is.
Host a Bad Movie Night
Get hold of a movie projector and invite your guests to bring along their favourite bad movie (Showgirls, Freddy Got Fingered, The Room…) and then self-medicate while playing these back-to-back. What we especially like is that because these bad movies are so bad, nobody will shush you when you speak over the dialogue, and because the plots are so pointless you won’t have to explain to your friend Karen why that one guy is always holding a football. A Christmas bed goes without saying, and then you’ll need more than just a few bags of popcorn. All that’s left is to round up your posse and you’ll be having IRL LOLs quicker than you can say: “Oh, Hi Mark!”
Do Something Stupid
When we went around the office asking our team what they like to do when the weather turns inclement we got the usual “read a book” and “colour code my closet” snore fest. Not Nichole (with an H) who likes to use her time indoors to come up with really terrible hairdos. “I plaited two thin plaits in the front of my head and then tied them up under my chin.” Once she looks ridiculous enough, Nichole makes a little promise to Mother Earth that if the weather clears she’ll leave the house like this and then, doodledoodledoop, a ray of light cracks through the clouds and she’s at the Spar looking a fool. “Otherwise my housemate and I dress up as trendy as possible and then go to Trengen. You know, that Engen in Oranjezicht, that’s really trendy?”
Swap Your Clothes
Each person needs to show up at the host’s house with ten items that they no longer want. The host, who is referred to as Anna Wintour throughout the clothes swap, then hangs and displays everything in the viewing room, after which she brings out a deck of cards, pulls out one suit and asks everyone to pick one. As host, and Anna Wintour, she is made the default queen and gets to choose from the rail second. Otherwise it’s King, Jack, 9, 8 etcetera where King selects an item of clothing first and the lowest number picks last. You repeat the order until everyone has ten new items. Note: Only invite your stylish friends.
Throw A Snuggle Party
Pop up your small dome tent in the lounge, throw a pile of pillows and blankets in there and make everything as comfy as possible. Don’t have a tent? You don’t have a problem if you own some chairs and a sheet. Now dim the lights, light some candles, put on Massive Attack and invite all those friends you like more than just a friend. Note: This is really creepy and it may not work out for you if you’re not at least as charming as Colin Firth.
The Board Game Olympics
What’s that event where the Olympiads have to do all ten events, the decathlon? Well we like that one because it’s more representative of greatness than someone who specialises in just running fast or jumping high or throwing far. Which is why every now and again we get a bunch of friends together who have stamina, and play ten board games in a row. Because the brainiac who wins Trivial Pursuit every time won’t necessarily have an aptitude for Monopoly, and a Pictionary boss might be clueless at Cluedo, everything is recorded and over the course of ten games you’ll find your ultimate games master, who everyone must refer to as Ultimate Games Master for the rest of their days. Or until you enter into another board games Olympics. Something you won’t necessarily want to do more than every four years.
Music Appreciation Night
You know how music is becoming less a thing you choose to listen to and more an ubiquitous background noise you can’t really escape? That’s not the case when you invite over a bunch of people who have good taste and then ask them to bring their favourite records so that you guys can take turns spinning tunes. Bonus points to whoever owns that Taschen book 1001 Albums You Must Listen To Before You Die and can rattle off trivia while a particular genre-defining album plays.
Themed Food Nights
Do you perhaps know how to make pasta from scratch? Invite some friends over and host a skill share evening where instead of getting a certificate they all get a bowl of pasta that they made all by themselves. Each guest should bring a different, homemade pasta sauce so that you don’t all eat at midnight. If you’re rubbish in the kitchen you can simply buy a few boxes of Salticrax and see who can make the most extravagant beginning of the month canapé. Otherwise put a hunk of meat in a pot and slow-roast it… host a Mexican themed night complete with tequila… get silly with a fondues and fondants evening... Whatever, everyone loves food.
Brew Your Own Beer
Kegged, canned or in the goodness of glass, beer is the stuff that gives your dog competition in the best friend stakes. However, it’s not until you brew and drink your own that you’ll understand just how good your favourite drink can taste. Sure it takes slightly longer than simply popping down to the bottle store and grabbing a slab of man-size tins, however, when you and your crew have turned your kitchen into a makeshift brewery and are sterilising all equipment and stirring mash and adding hops, well, it’s the closest you’ll ever come to feeling like a scientist, unless you're a scientist.
Can you do a convincing accent? No? Well then it’s even funnier for you and your friends when you phone up your nan and make out as if you’re the Queen Mum inviting her over for tea. Otherwise make the most of those about to expire minutes, put your phone on speaker and start flipping through the Yellow Pages. Get creative and see who in your crew can make a successful cold call telesale. Act your shoe size and ask the person on the other side if their fridge is running. Scare the bejesus out of someone and make out as if you’re an arresting officer clamping down on unpaid traffic violations. Fun for days.
Do a DIY Do
Paint parties are cool. That’s where you invite a bunch of friends over to paint a room in your home because you’re too cheap to hire a professional and/or too lazy to do it yourself. Simply supply paint and brushes and overalls and all your friends need to do is show up. Even better is when you invite your mates over to drink at your new bar and when they arrive there’s just a pile of wood. Tell them that the beers are in the fridge and the hammer is over there and that they should get cracking before they even think of cracking open a cold one.