Dicey Romance on the Go
Ahhhh springtime. Daylight Savings Time is upon us, the birds are chirping
and April showers are washing away the dregs of winter. It’s that time
of year when a man’s thoughts flirt with car fever, his fancy turns to
that old standby, romance… and perhaps a little romantic motoring adventure
to celebrate this season of rebirth.
Back in January of 2004, I concocted a plan for such an adventure, a romantic
tryst that would blow the doldrums off winter. The mobile romp with my wife,
Lisa, was based on a game in which a set of dice would decree where we went
and what would happen during a 24-hour drive around Nova Scotia. A loving relationship
would glue the madcap date together.
Ingredients for the Dicey Romance Getaway were basic: dice, a set
of wheels, a map and two large envelopes, each containing 36 smaller envelopes.
Roll a 1 and a 4 on the dice. Open Envelope #1-4 and read the romance
task (this could be anything from ‘blow bubbles for ten minutes’ to ‘stop
somewhere and play a game of hide-and-seek with your mate’). Then roll
a 2 and a 5 on the dice, open envelope #2-5, discover the destination and hit
the road! Simple enough, but somewhere along the line, we had to forget the
dice and go for romance in our choice of dinner and overnight accommodation.
On the big morning, I woke Lisa and rambled on about the merits of the plan
— exotic travel, mystery and adventure, culminating in an evening of love.
Even though we weren’t going far, the fact that the roll of two die would
decide our destination and our en route activities revved me up.
The key was to do as many dicey directives as possible and get back home within
24 hours. Each success would garner ten points. The game would rely on honesty.
Once committed, we had to complete the task before rolling again.
To keep us from driving around all night, I threw two more rules into the
fray. The Getaway had to include a dinner and an overnight accommodation which
would be scored on quality of ‘romance’ from minus to plus twenty-five
points, throwing a wrench into the temptation to roll through the night. An
evening watching snow waft from the heavens while inside a cozy woodland cottage
would rack up more points than driving around like a couple of losers at the
whim of the dice.
The concept played out even better than expected. Love flourished with plenty
of giggles, a feeling of accomplishment and a week-long ‘love hangover’ to
boot. Lisa and I were mushy, attentive, and even more in love than usual.
We knew we had to share the Dicey Romance Getaway. We finetuned the
plan, recruited five couples and did it again the week before Valentine’s
Day. Couples gathered at our house for breakfast and were given spicy names:
Teams Too Sexy, Rooster, Bliss, Mini and Ecstasy. ‘Love Kits’ and
log books were handed out to each team. The kits contained paraphernalia that
would assist in playing the road game and filling the log books with memorabilia
from the adventure.
After breakfast the fun began as everyone rolled their dice and scattered
to various parts of the province. They followed their rolls until sometime
in the evening when, hopefully, dice were abandoned for romance.
We had a lunch party at the finish line. Shiny eyes and contented grins were
the order of the day. We scored the ‘love books’ and tallied the
number of dicey destinations visited. Then, one by one, each team presented
their amorous activities of the previous evening. It was a 4-hour lunch I will
never forget — laughter, tears, and more laughter as everyone scored the RQ,
the Romance Quotient, of each team.
Shenanigans surfaced. One couple was interrogated by a security guard when
they were discovered playing hide-and-seek in a car dealership parking lot
(“The dice made us do it, sir!”). We were regaled with stories
of steamed-up windows, haunted graveyards, a red feather boa and frantic searches
for river names that start with the letters L, O, V or E. And between courses,
it became clear that love triumphed during our second trial run of the Dicey
We invited the teams to our house a few nights later for dinner to see if
the weekend had had a lingering effect on the couples. No question, love hangovers
This year Lisa and I have decided to do the Dicey Romance Getaway again
and have been harvesting a virtual global audience through our website. Over
the past six weeks, factoids related to the game have been sent by e-mail to
hundreds of people around the world. You can check out the factoids and sign
up to be on the receiving list by going to adventuredrive.ca and
clicking on the ‘News’ button.
This Fall, seven couples will roll their dice in Halifax and
head out on their own Dicey Romance Getaway. We’ll all get together
the following night for an awards banquet at a resort within a couple of hours’ drive
of Halifax. A few teams have signed up already, but there is still room for
Romance is guaranteed. At the awards banquet, when those glassy-eyed couples
are presenting their Romance Quotient to their peers for judgement, I’m
sure Lisa will nudge me, as she did last year, and whisper: “Looks like
everyone got lucky. After all, it’s almost your duty on the Dicey
Romance Getaway, isn’t it?”