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One Degree Of Clive Thomas

From Issue 46, Spring 2000

Think you can hold your own in a football argument? Think you can get the better of an Evertonian? You do? Care for a little wager? Don't boast until you've played the new bored game. More agonising than Ker-plunk, more difficult than a Rubik's Cube, it's

One Degree Of Clive Thomas

The game was invented by Dave Prentice, world-renowned expert on bent referees and the creator of the ever-popular 'Moanopoly'. You can play this game by yourself or with your friends. All you need is an Evertonian - and, like them, the rules just couldn't be simpler!

It is based on the American cinema-buff quiz Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. This is when you mention an actor or actress, young old or dead, and try to connect them by films or other thesbians to the aforementioned Mr Bacon. The rules for 'One Degree of Clive Thomas' are the same, only expanded. You see, it simply isn't enough to mention other footballers or referees - that's too easy. Imagine the average blue and how easy they can steer the conversation back to 21st April 1977. If you are still in any doubt over the difficulty of this game, just go up to any Evertonian and tell them your name actually is Clive. No, he's not having a fit; it's just the allergic reaction brought about by 23 years of constantly whinging on and on and ON about one decision in one game of football.

How to play: 1) gather your friends around a table. 2) find a bluenose. 3) explain to him what a chair is for and sit him down. 4) simply start up a conversation amongst your friends. Each contestant takes a turn to begin speaking about a particular topic, and as soon as the bluenose manages to shoehorn the name of 'Clive Thomas' into the conversation that round is over. The person who comes up with a topic that stupefies the bluenose into silence over his 'special subject' wins the game - in the event of nobody managing this (and the chances are you won't), then keep a stopwatch handy at all times. Whoever brought up the subject that baffles the bluenose the longest (the world record is about 15 seconds) wins the game.

Tips: obviously, some topics will be too easy for the bluenose. The words 'Clive' 'Thomas' 'referee' 'Liverpool FC' 'Wembley' 'semi final' 'Welsh' 'Hamilton' 'FA Cup' and 'main road' will be out of your mouth for a mere nanosecond before the cells of his brain have short-circuited his fat gob straight to the words "that bastard Clive Thomas cost us the FA Cup in 1977". You have to be far more cunning than that. One contestant may think he's cracked it by raising the subject of, say, Michael Caine's new film. You are underestimating your opponent; "What was that film he was in? That's it, The Italian Job. The one with all the minis in. Duncan McKenzie could jump over a mini in a single leap, y'know. Yeah, did I ever tell you he played in the semi final when that bastard Clive Thomas cost us the FA Cup in 1977?". You have delayed the inevitable by a few seconds. A nice try, but nowhere near the record.

The beauty of the game is that you can have hours of fun at an Evertonian's expense, and he will not even begin to cotton on to what you're doing. The box comes with stopwatch, scorecards, and rulebook. Remember, you have to try and find a certain kind of blue before you start the game. If you end up with one of those Winslow retards who simply shouts "that bastard Clive Thomas cost us the FA Cup in 1977", even when he's being asked if he'd like a drink, or (even worse) if you end up with the Everton correspondent of the local paper, then you're not going to have a very long or stimulating game.

'One Degree of Clive Thomas' is brought to you by the same people who made One Degree Of Heysel andOne Degree Of That Redshite Bastard Johnson.