Let's talk about a game I invented a while ago...

This game is called Derailment.  It has a very simple premise:

You're listening to someone talk at you.  Someone who has no idea how a normal conversation is supposed to go (everyone's supposed participating.)  They:

  1. Talk, and talk, and talk, and never leave an opening for you to speak
  2. Allow you to speak, but you can tell they aren't paying the least bit of attention to your words, because they pick up their monologue exactly where they left off
  3. Might not be picking up on the fact that what they are talking about is either inappropriate, offensive, or just plain boring
  4. Might be talking extremely loudly, like, trying to carry on a very personal conversation on a bus or train when other people are present
  5. Might be talking to you, but then they start talking on the phone (or doing something else distracting)
  6. Could possibly just be talking because they like the sound of their voice
  7. Are telling you a story you've heard more than five times
  8. Are talking about a past or present relationship
  9. Are talking about politics
  10. Are a politician (always fair game, because they literally have one goal: hit the talking points!)
  11. Are talking about religion (especially Scientology)
  12. Are well-known for being narcissistic or egotistical
  13. Might be talking about a subject that they clearly should not pretend to be an expert on
  14. Might be talking about a subject that they clearly know WAY too much about
  15. Might possibly be a lecturing instructor who is unaware that immediately following their class is an extended break period (only if they have a sense of humor, and only if you normally work really hard in class)


The key is that you only play this game with people who are violating what might be considered the normal rules of conversation, or are completely disrespecting you by not listening to what you're saying, allowing you to participate in the conversations, or being oblivious, etc.  The normal goal should always be to participate in a healthy conversation...

This should NOT be used in a "I just like being a jerk" manner.  This should also not be used on people of unstable mental health, or those prone to violence.


The goal of Derailment is to get the other person to completely lose track of what they are talking about (i.e., Derailing their train of thought.)  Some ways to accomplish this are:

  1. Ask questions, but slowly steer the conversation toward a completely different subject
  2. Act like you really understand what they are talking about, but ask questions or make comments that suggest otherwise, forcing them to get bogged down into explaining minutia (and losing sight of the conclusion)
  3. Ask completely off the wall questions that have nothing to do with the current topic of conversation
  4. Physically do something that causes Derailment (either with actions, bodily functions or focus)
  5. Speak in a foreign or made up language
  6. Pretend you are a fictional character, and approach the game from their perspective (how would Inspector Gadget deal with this conversation?)
  7. Repeat the exact same phrase more than ten times in a row
  8. Insert an odd word or phrase into your responses (meow?)



Points are awarded if:

  1. The subject completely loses track of how their story ended
  2. The subject abandons their topic and adopts yours
  3. The subject says the words, "Let me just finish my story" - admitting that they they don't care about anyone but themselves
  4. The subject fails to complete their story within an allotted time frame (end of break/class/car ride)
  5. The subject is completely unaware that you are playing Derailment

Points are subtracted if:

  1. The subject catches on to what you're doing
  2. The subject succeeds in telling their complete story
  3. The player gives up on Derailing the subjects' story
  4. The subject becomes angry or begins to dislike you


I will not reveal the intimate details of when I invented this game (to protect those I've played it with) but I will say that, properly played, it can make life much, much easier at times...