What about a fellow…

For the past 4 years, my friends and I have played a wonderful game, known as Whataboutafellow. It is as wonderful as Helmet Tag, but takes no physical prowess whatsoever. And requires no gear! All it needs is your IMAGINATION and some understanding of the friend you are targeting.

The aim of the game is to challenge your target into determining what they would and would not tolerate in an otherwise perfect mate. Each round comes with the unspoken weight of past questions. In theory, the first question went “Would you date a fellow who was almost perfect except…” But nowadays, all Whataboutafellows have the same set-up:

You: What about a fellow!

Friend: What about a fellow?

You: Almost perfect!

Friend: Almost perfect?


Friend: Except??


And then you deliver the quality at stake. It could be a physical quality (he has a mole…on his tongue!) or a personality thing (he never shares food! “Two small popcorns, please!”) or something in between (he has a tattoo that says “SPANK ME!”). It could also be a circumstantial thing (He has no furniture in his apartment whatsoever and sleeps on bedding on the floor!) or just an absurd thing (All dogs bark at him crazily—like, INSANELY—whenever they encounter him, even from a distance!)

At this point, there are different directions that the game can go! The target could just say “Yeah, that’s fine,” or “Ew! No!” These responses are NOT IDEAL. Clearly you are doing something wrong and have misjudged your target.  Ask yourself these questions:

-Was your question too mild and lame? “Except he has one of those clocks that looks like a cat!”

-Was your question too extreme? “Except he THROWS UP EVERY TIME HE TALKS!”

-Have you been playing Whataboutafellow for like 2 hours straight? Take a break, Anna, jeez!

-Does your target understand the game?

Even bypassing these rookie mistakes, the game works best if you know your target well. Try to toe the line with what you know they hate or what they find disquieting. Appeal to their sense of humor, or their poor taste! Make it difficult! The best Whataboutafellows result in prolonged question-and-answer sessions where you explore this hypothetical person. If you have an intriguing enough fellow, your target will keep asking questions about him even though they would NOT date him. The more you play this game, the more you learn about your friends! They might surprise you with their shallowness or their low standards!

I could list literally hundreds of examples.

Note: Don’t be mislead by the use of the word “fellow!” It does not mean “man,” but refers to the dating preference of your target, whatever that may be. I just haven’t found a term that rolls off the tongue in the same way. Take it to mean that this almost perfect fellow would embody all perfect qualities, even if one of the qualities is being a woman.


10 responses to “What about a fellow…

  1. My favorite game! Some of my past favorites:

    The fellow who insists on post-coitally singing me to sleep with an off-key Irish lullaby.

    The fellow who works the expression “ivory tower” into at least one conversation a day.

    The fellow who secretly owns a Real Doll…of ME.

    The fellow who owns the raven, and is missing an eye.

    The fellow who disappears on the same date each year all day and refuses to say where he is going.

  2. Yaaaaaaaay! I love this game! Some of MY favorites:

    The fellow who treats arachnophobia like a social justice cause.

    The fellow whose life’s ambition is to build a tower.

    The fellow who can’t tell dogs and cats apart.

    The fellow who becomes more and more like you over time. (One of the longest question-and-answer sessions ever!)

    The fellow who leaves a fine film of soot wherever his skin rests for too long.

    • The fellow who treats arachnophobia like a social justice cause.

      Does this mean he frequently complains about the fact that parks and old houses don’t carry trigger warnings, and things like that? Because my guess is that somewhere, this fellow already exists. He probably attended Smith College.

      • Not only that, but television programs which contain spiders! Or say the word “spider”!

      • Yes! And he hates Spiderman and Charlotte’s Web, because they mislead children into thinking spiders are helpful! He ~identifies~ as arachnophobic. He goes to support group meetings. He carries around a binder of pictures of brown recluse bites for when I try to say spiders are harmless.

        He is one of my least favorite fellows.

  3. This game sounds great! Does it make me too undiscerning that I think all of these fellows sound fine, perhaps a little intriguing?

    Except maybe the spider guy.

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  5. What about a fellow who is almost perfect except that every compliment he gives (apparently in earnest) could also be taken as a backhanded insult.
    “I love how you are still attractive while not conforming to traditional standards of beauty.”
    “I love how you’re not concerned with your weight all the time.”
    “Your hair is so cool! It reminds me of Fall Out Boy.”
    “I wish my feet were that big.”

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  7. This fellow is too plausible, given the popularity of that whole “Put women down and they will sleep with you” thing. Unless I guess he is REALLY earnest and you think there is like a 90% chance he has no idea he’s doing it, perhaps.

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