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The Oneupmanship Blog


It's all about "playing the game" — with guts and heart... but Oneupmanship is also about living life like you have a pair, and a brain, and how.

April 16, 2014

5 bullet points and you're ready to shoot.

Do you drink? Heavily? Are you louche and fatuous? Unhappy? Skint? Then go grab a cheap case or a bottle right away and push it down. Empty your head, if it isn't already empty. Shovel off your desk and get your calendar on the right year at least. How's your mother, by the way?

Read on >

April 3, 2014


We are happy to introduce One Up! — The Wicked/Smart Word Game as a free PDF download, which includes the rules and complete construction instructions. Many vocabularians the world over have written to tell us that they just can't afford One Up!, so we decided to give everyone everywhere the means and the method to make their own. Let's call it Operation Brainstorm, and make it our mission in life to word the world up!

Here's how we did it: first we pasted the tile sheet onto a piece of black construction paper before cutting out the letters, carefully. We then spray painted an Altoids tin silver, slapped on the logo, and Bob's your uncle. Total time was less than an hour and the cost was under a buck — but the reward'll be a million hours of terrific frustration.

February 20, 2014

There are no cowboys in our movie.

"Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me..." I decided to film a documentary about the original American motorcycle. Indian Summer is a seat-of-the-pants feature-length love letter to the pioneering days of two-wheeling — check out this classic clip (and quip) of Irenee duPont riding his 1953 Chief in the house.

January 21, 2014

Let's do launch. Again.

We're proud to announce another debut of sorts here at Oneupmanship, a soft one this time — our smart-alecky guide to living comme il faut:

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Darwinian. Expensive. Smart. Classic.

ONEUPMANSHIP is a beautifully-designed grown-up board game that's not only wicked, cutthroat fun, it's also a witty and irreverent lifestyle accessory/wry political statement.

WARNING: It's the perfect game for the right players, but is definitely not for pinkos, pikers, posers or pantywaists. There are other people who probably won't take a shine to it either, like do-gooders, geektards and vegans, but we wanted to stick with the alliterative for now.

Hey, Players, join the party.

Don't you want to learn every trick in the book, hang around with the cool crowd, get the latest updates and treasures from our Miltonic mind, have the most fun/best time? Of course you do. Alpha Males and Females only.

An Old's Cool Handbook.

We also think there are lots of life lessons to be learned from oneupmanship (the attitude), and THE OFFICIAL MAN UP MANUAL is our stab at a smart-alecky guide to the really important stuff, like "How to be the world's worse dad without even trying" and "Three must-read books if you're on death row." Just kidding.

Our guide is filled with practical, old-school know-how, lost arts, recalcitrance and humor, too: we guarantee you'll laugh out loud at our smirky debut monograph — Brain surgery... it's not rocket science.

Are you also a word nerd?

One Up! is the ultimate mind game — it's not only faster and easier than Scrabble, it's also way harder too. Seriously, do you think you have enough intellectual soup in the kitchen, so-to-speak, to whip out the biggest words and win?

Check out the quick, canny, fun you'll have playing The Wicked/Smart Word Game.

Sidebar tidbit.

In our humble opinion, the five most important books ever written on how to live (or not live) a rich life. Read them to your kids at night —

1. Adam Smith - The Wealth of Nations

2. Adam Smith - The Money Game

3. Robert Heinlein - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

4. Friedrich Hayek - The Road to Serfdom

5. F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

6. Michael Lewis - Liar's Poker

Our all-time favorite New Yorker cartoon.

By Mischa Richter. © 1987 The New Yorker.


We learned all about oneupmanship as a teenager in the early '70s from a very old friend named Dr. Victor Popeo. He was, and is, a wry, self-deprecating and fine man, and knew every cool trick in the book. Our hat's off to you, Dr. Popeo.

Eric Berne's bestselling Games People Play was a huge best-seller when we read it in college, and it made a lasting impression on us. (The book, not college.) Even though Berne readily credits Stephen Potter's Gamesmanship as a precursor, we weren't familiar with his work until recently.

*Pluralis maiestatis throughout.