Duels or “classy show-downs” as they are often called by no one, have been solving hot debates for ages. They’re useful for delivering crowds a champion, through often unpredictable means (just ask Alexander Hamilton). Television loves a surprise, so what better way to measure and battle elements of TV than with a duel? Here, we will battle two characters in an imaginary contest of wills. Sometimes a winner will be crowned because of pertinent facts, and sometimes in spite of them.
This week’s duel? Leslie Knope and Michael Gary Scott in charades.
These two physical and mental behemoths clash in the ultimate battle, parlor games. If this were an Iron Chef America competition, then imagine that the secret ingredient is “bacon.” Parlor games are the bacon of dueling. Ironically enough there was one Iron Chef America episode where Bobby Flay lost to Morimoto by using too much bacon when the secret ingredient was, in fact, parlor games. Digressions aside, let’s see what would happen when one proud Hoosier goes head-to-head with a man who is part English, Irish, German, and Scottish, sort of a virtual United Nations.
Leslie Knope: “War s’more! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” Though I do have s’more rations in my car if anybody’s hungry. Wait, let me start over: “D-Day, more like B-Day! America to Allies: ‘You weren’t registered, so we got you freedom, hope it fits.’” No, wait, don’t count that one, this is the real one: ‘Tank schmank: finding Matt Damon was no day at the beach.” No wait, I got it! “History’s Mystery: another band of brothers goes undercover to recover son for mother!”
Michael G. Scott: (Points at his crotch and then erupts in a giggle fit too severe to complete the round.)
Answer: Saving Private Ryan
Michael G. Scott: [He smiles coquettishly, lifts up his shirt and rubs his stomach. Then, he opens an imaginary door. Then he runs through the imaginary door flapping his arms like wings. He removes an invisible gun from his ankle holster. Then, he flaps his arms like wings again. Then he flaps his arms like wings, and fires his invisible gun at Angela’s head. Creed dives under a table. Michael continues running around the room flapping and pretend-shooting people, spraying invisible bullets everywhere.] “C’mon! Nobody? I can’t believe you aren’t getting this one. It is so easy! You all just got shot by Cupid’s sparrow!”
Leslie Knope: I know this one! It’s the day after Galentine’s! Ann, you’re so beautiful; why are you frowning? You’re supposed to be texting me every thirty seconds to remind me that I’m not allowed to, oh no…
Answer: Valentine’s Day
Despite his years of improv, no one guessed Michael’s intricately mimed malapropism. Yet, at least he managed to mostly stop talking this round. No talking in charades is an important rule that Leslie continues to forget. This is surprising, considering that she has 8-12 binders of important rules stacked into the shape of a coffee table sitting in front of her sofa at home.
Unfortunately, because Michael had forgotten to ever actually let anyone know they were playing charades, so confusion ensues. People guess for a while, unaware that they are officially playing anything, any sort of game. Then, things devolve pretty quickly. It looks a lot like this:
While Michael plays too hard, Leslie does the opposite. She forfeits her turn when it is revealed that the answer to this round is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While she has the competitive spirit of a woman who once looked into the eyes of Greg Pikitis, this is different. Sometimes there is no prize worth sacrificing your values, and in this instance that couldn’t be more true, because there literally is no prize.
Though a big fan of activities that involve people caring loudly at her, Leslie is simply no match for Michael in charades. Her management style is more of an inspiration for oil paintings than it is an inspiration to shout movie titles. Also these days she may be spreading herself too thin and could have been distracted by her city counsel campaign or waffles. Leslie is still an amazing competitor, but Michael is a man who once finished a 5k, that’s 5,000 miles. While it was the hardest thing that he has ever had to do, it was a triumph of the human body. He ate more fettuccine Alfredo and drank less water, than in his entire life. He did it using his guts and his heart, and while he eventually puked his guts out, he never puked his heart out. Winner: Michael Scott