The Summer before I entered high school I was one of the few kids that enrolled in Summer School. But unlike most of my peers, I wasn’t getting ahead; I was catching up. I was taking Algebra again because I didn’t do so hot while I was in middle school. I didn’t fail, it just wasn’t an acceptable grade to my parents. I remember I was the only incoming freshman in that class, which seemed weird to me. Rather, the room was filled with to-be sophomores and even one to-be junior. Any way, I actually aced that class because Algebra suddenly made sense to me. It helped that the teacher, Ms. Witzeman, was really cool. In that class there were also a handful of characters. One of whom taught us all what a weenus was (among other silly things).
Weenus – the extra skin on your elbow when you stretch your arm out.
Now, up to that point, the only version of ‘weenus’ I knew of came from the TV show Friends
Weenus is one of those things where no one really knows the origin of it, but it slowly spread around the world by word of mouth and before the introduction of Urban Dictionary mind you. I like to think that I helped spread it. I told all my friends about it and we all had a blast teaching people about it and referencing it. Clan WumboQ and I especially used this term to death.
Hence, when we gave Nick Tong the title, “The Weenus Noob”
He would slowly be promoted to Weenus Looker, and then Weenus Toucher.
So, it was a warm Summer evening and we were celebrating my 14th birthday with a sleepover. A Clan WumboQ affair, we had set ourselves up in the living room; we were ready for a night of fun. As Caleb and I played games of Speed and Frustration, Stu played Pokemon Sapphire. Marty was playing Stu’s copy of Pokemon Ruby, but he didn’t want to save over it, so he started a new game and tried to see how far he could go in one sitting. Matt was on a relentless quest to capture Latias, one of the last Pokemon he needed to complete his Pokedex. For the record, after 3 grueling hours in front of his Gameboy screen, he finally caught it.
To be specific, the deck of cards we were using were Ninja Turtle themed. They were a party favor from Stu’s birthday party earlier in the year.
After playing a round of Speed, Caleb looked up and said “wouldn’t it be cool if we made up a game based on the pictures?” And just like if I were to follow Matt into the dark, I said “Yeah! That’s such a good idea.” We began brainstorming right away. Not all the cards have graphics on them, so we put aside the boring ones.
We took note of the pictures… ideas began flooding in … and as we talked about it more, slowly everyone else put down their Gameboys and joined in on our discussion. Thus our card game, “Ultimate Weenus”, was born.
Look at these cards and what do you see?
Regular playing cards? No, I see a sandbox of fun and limitless potential. To play this game, you must think like a junior high-er. The concept is simple, like Big 2, the player that empties their hand first, wins the game. But how you empty your hand is up to your imagination. It’s more than just pairs and 5 card hands. Take a gander.
During our first drafts of this game we set a simple standard. Cards such as these were certain actions: army, attack, block, dodge, dash, kick…
But just like 5 is often times greater than 3, we had to set some sort of scaling. What beat what and why? Could you dodge or dash at nothing? If someone played an attack on you, did you have to block it? Or could you just play another attack. We started having some sort of baseline going. Pictures of The Shredder and Splinter were stronger, but still the game was a little too vanilla. And then our immaturity kicked in.
Take a look at these foot clan ninja cards. What do you see?
Weenus? That’s right! The more weenus, the stronger the card was. This applied to simple attacks and blocks too.
Now take a look at these cards, what do you see?
See the position of the hands? Those are dragons! In case you don’t catch our reference:
With all that, we derived what was to be our most powerful card, the ultimate weenus dragon. Our big 2, so to speak. And that’s where we derived our name for the game.
In and of itself, this game is a lot like Calvin Ball. I mean in the sense that the rules are never really stable. A lot of preset values were arbitrary at best and all it took was a little imagination to change up the game a bit. We had a few run throughs and after every one, the game just kept getting better and better. Everyone played their part in coming up with card ideas and it’s hard to remember who came up with what, but here are some of them. And these actually remained as staples to the game
Passive thinker – playing this card basically reset the board to zero. Too much weenus to deal with? Passive thinker. All that for nothing.
Fake Out – see how he is pointing up? This doubled as a board reset and skipped the next player’s turn. To add to the fun of this card, when it’s played, everyone must look up.
Stop – similar to Fake Out, but everyone has to stop moving for a second. Fake Out and Stop didn’t skip the next person if they played a Fake Out or Stop too.
The next few cards were just cards a step above your normal attack or block:
Leenus – an offshoot of weenus that we invented. The excess skin of your knee.
And then came the combos. There are tons of possibilities, so I’ll name some of my favorites:
Right Hand Left Hand
God Changed Me
Master and Apprentice
Don’t Show Me That
They weren’t always limited to these exact cards either. As long as the actions on the cards were similar, we would deem it acceptable. BUT they had to declare it as a variant, because we all know what the real Right Hand Left Hand looks like. And then we began playing with the ability to stack. In Big 2, that would be like if someone played a pair of aces, instead of beating it, you played three 5’s, which meant the next player has to beat a full house. Someone played Angry Dragon? Play the right Shredder and the next person has to deal with God Changed Me. We would use this to our advantage too. We would ask the person going next if they had a piece to complete a combo to mess with the following person. Order was important too. You couldn’t combo together Right Hand Left Hand if the left hand was played first.
You can see how out of hand this game got. Because of the way this game was created, there was very little passing. As long as your imagination could think of something plausible or viable, you could beat the card placed in front of you.
Only two people ever took the time to learn this game, The Weenus Noob and Rosa. Granted, they didn’t learn it well; we still appreciated the effort though.
Unfortunately, our imaginations died with our age. This game just isn’t the same anymore. For the record, we got robbed. Someone invented some sort of similar game.
Yeah, all of this sounds stupid and silly. Just be jealous of our young imaginations. I certainly am.