By: Peggy Willms

(2 min read) 

How long has it been since your family played charades? Maybe last Friday night, your Grandma got a bit tipsy from one too many gin and tonics and decided it was a great idea to team up and pantomime in the living room. Or perhaps the last gesture you acted out was by flashing a not-so-nice hand digit to a driver who just stole your parking spot.

I might be the only one, but until this morning, I had no idea that the “acting” version of the game evolved from enigmatic riddles popularized in France in the 18th Century.

This was one of Theodore Roosevelt’s favorites.

I talk, but I do not speak my mind
I hear words, but I do not listen to thoughts
When I wake, all see me
When I sleep, all hear me
Many heads are on my shoulders
Many hands are at my feet
The strongest steel cannot break my visage
But the softest whisper can destroy me
The quietest whimper can be heard.

The answer is “an actor.”

The English aristocracy has apparently always loved games (new to me). When they got wind of this silly riddleness, they decided it was time to play along. However, the rules shifted by adding physical actions of pantomime. The theatrical stages were soon filled to the brim. I am quite confident that the Queen, however, never participated in such tomfoolery. Imagine her flailing about in the parlor with her grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, after High Tea.

To name just a few examples, hold up a number of fingers to indicate how many syllables there are in the answer or use a variety of body parts to act out the words. You can point then tug on an earlobe to imply “sounds like.” Or pull your open palms towards you to imply, “keep going, you are getting close.” Since many humans are competitive and will likely argue after a few Jack and Cokes, I recommend establishing the rules ahead of time.

In my infinite wisdom, and after a few cups of coffee, I have come up with another holiday because, heaven forbid, we do not have enough. Charades Day. A day when everyone zips their mouth shut and acts out their wants and needs. We would need to listen and communicate, which would slow down any hectic day. A day without screaming or yelling? Brilliant. I would love to see you in a McDonald’s drive-thru ordering a #1 or your daily venti mocha latte at Starbucks. Imagine your CEO using nothing but hand gestures to describe the latest product or how to improve the balance sheet by awkwardly miming. Oh, what fun we would all have.

In my blog last week (, I chatted about the simplicity of life through the eyes of a child. So, I might be on a kick—slow down, stop and smell the roses, and be nice to each other. Maybe my inner child just wants to deep belly laugh for a day.

Six words, a song, one of the words is a gender, and the last word rhymes with sun. You guessed it, “Girl Just Wants to have Fun!

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC
The information provided is the opinion of the author. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice: diagnosis or treatment. The author, the business, All Things Wellness, LLC, and its owner Peggy Willms, are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this article or website. We assume no responsibility for tangible and intangible damages such as physical harm caused by using a product, loss of profits or loss of data, and defamatory comments. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.