The Surreal Oracle

Players: 4 or more.

Materials: paper, pen, and sense of humor for each player.


Each player writes down five random questions and numbers them 1 through 5 (the only requirement for the questions is that they can have an answer). Each player also writes down five answers numbered 1 through 5. (The only requirement for the answers is that they may be preceeded by a question, though not necessarily one of the player’s own.)


The game is played in five rounds. In the first round, a random player is selected to start the game, and he or she reads his/her question 1 to the player to his right. That player answers with his answer 1. Then the second player poses his question 1 to the player to his right, etc.

When the round completes, the second round commences, which is identical to the first, but with questions and answers numbered 2, and a different order of players if desired.

The game ends when all questions and answers have been used, or all players have been incapacitated by uncontrollable laughter, whichever comes first.

Past Oraculations

These quotes are taken from actual Surreal Oracle sessions in previous Villa Diodati workshops:

Ruth: “How can you tell an ass from a donkey?”
Jeff: “How should I know? The sun was in my eyes and I was finding it difficult to grasp the shot glass.”

Sylvia: “What do you think is my most attractive feature?”
Christian: “That’s the worst pick-up line ever.”

Jeremy: “What advice would you give to your daughter?”
Ruth: “I think it should be Floris.”

Floris: “What is the best aspect of good foreplay?”
Grayson: “Slow torture will pretty much work every time.”

Sylvia: “How do you motivate yourself to write?”
Jeff: “All I remember is the cult leader, white smoke, and the speakers blasting ABBA.”

Deanna: “How do you feel about porn?”
Floris: “Early-period Rembrandt has better lighting effect.”

Ruth: “What’s your favorite orifice?”
Sylvia: “You really shouldn’t ask such a thing on a first date, ok?”

Grayson: “What would happen if GRRM found a small band of pygmies, all named Danyjon Targartron, camped in his back yard?”
Jeff: “The answer, as it is to most things, is hot chicks wearing styrofoam.”

Steve: “What’s the secret to a successful writing career?”
Grayson: “A bonfire will call the spirits, but you have to wear three pairs of underwear and shout ‘waha waha ooh’ to get the bartenders to notice.”