Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dinosaur Documentary Drinking Game

Last night, D. and I watched a Nova episode about Arctic dinosaurs. (You can view the whole episode online!)

D. is a remarkable and patient man, for I know few people other than him who could tolerate watching a TV show about dinosaurs with me. I am incredibly annoying. I have a tendency to argue with the television, pause the show to make a comment about what I feel is wrong with the most recent shot, and so on. I do this a lot with science shows in general, but dinosaur shows for whatever reason have a greater likelihood of skewing towards hyperbole. (That, and I don't know enough about astrophysics or material science to keep up my end of the argument.)

I guess I must have paused the action one too many times (is three times in the first ten minutes a lot?), because D. turned to me and said, "You know, we should create a dinosaur show drinking game."

Voilá. We took notes during the show and added a few other things based on previous things we've watched. (Walking with Dinosaurs, etc.)
  • Drink for tired clichés -- "gentle giant", "vicious carnivore" etc. -- that make assertions about an animal's temperament based solely on what it eats. (Cape buffalo and hippos are herbivores, but no one would call them gentle!)
  • Drink for scientific inaccuracy, like showing T. rex urinating on its territory. (Feel free to call me if you aren't sure. Here are a few to start you off.)
  • Drink for Jack Horner. (Jack Horner is awesome!)
  • Drink every time they show a digital animation of an asteroid hitting the earth at the end of the Cretaceous. Drink twice if the ensuing explosion is reflected in the eye of a dinosaur.
  • Drink for Montana.
  • If anyone says "Brontosaurus," (including the narrator!) finish your drink.
  • Drink each time a prehistoric critter breaks the fourth wall (bumps the camera, etc.) -- prevalent in the "Walking with..." series.
  • Drink for paleontologists in cowboy hats. (One drink per hat.)
  • Drink for dinosaur-on-dinosaur violence or dinosaur mating.
  • When a female paleontologist or other scientist appears, finish your drink. (Don't worry, guaranteed not to happen more than once per show. The Wikipedia page for Sue is longer than the page for the woman who discovered her. These are very male-dominated shows.)
Grab a couple of beers and your TV Guide -- there's always something about dinosaurs to watch, whether on Discovery Channel, PBS, National Geographic or Animal Planet.

In the end, though, as critical as I am of these shows, I have a deep affection for them. Perhaps its the part of me that hasn't stopped hoping to see a real, living dinosaur someday, or maybe I'm just a nature nerd. I couldn't tell you which. But check out the Arctic dinosaur show, it was actually quite interesting. Bring a beer over to your computer while you're at it. Keep an eye out for cowboy hats.

PS: Forgot to mention -- if you have anything to add to this list, please leave a comment!


Anonymous said...

Add one for mentioning that modern birds ARE dinosaurs. What about showing happy small mammals and/or cocaroaches that were present them, and still today? A double for showing humanoids (who weren't around) around?


The Morrigan said...

Brilliant!! Can we watch one of these shows together??

Faye said...

Well, responding to the first comment, I haven't seen any documentaries worth watching that are foolish enough to depict hominids and dinosaurs living together. If one did, I think that would be a "finish your drink" moment on par with saying Brontosaurus, but the chances are very slim. Unless, of course, you're watching a "Young Earth" channel, but I'm talking about *documentaries*, not *fantasy* programming. :D

Faye said...

Oh, and responding to the second comment... of course, darling. Next time you're in town, we'll have a dinosaurs-n-beer night.

The Morrigan said...

Hee hee, excellent!!! How easy is it to get to wherever you're living right now? I might be able to make a detour on my way up to Providence. And then I could give you your engagement gifts!!