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The Games We Play. Real Ones, I Mean…

Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

Want to see how in love you are?  Play Pictionary with your spouse or fiancé or intended or whatever.  First of all, it’s got the wrong name, I’m thinking it ought to be called, “Why Didn’t You Just Draw A…?” because that’s what everybody says after every round whether they’re on your team or not.  And the stuff they tell you to draw…  “Why didn’t you just draw a guy BASE jumping off the Eiffel Tower for the ‘Fall of Modern Man?’”

Well, maybe, I am somewhat limited using a quasi-sharp golf pencil on a notepad removed from the lobby of the Blue Heron Motor lodge to replace the old Pictionary pad that was used up six years ago during the first time you played this horrible game with your in-laws and got in a fist fight with your wife’s brother over whether or not your square looked like a towel because he couldn’t guess “terry cloth.”  Ah, game night.

Think your kids love you unconditionally?  Try playing Sorry with them.  The fruit of your loins, the carrier of the banner of your house, the future of our great nation will smile and send you back to “START” with a laugh worthy of a Joss Whedon villain.  Little do they know you’ve got a call in to your lawyer about changing your will in the morning.

Want to end a relationship without having the “break up” talk?  Okay, start a game of Monopoly and demand that you play by the rules.  Five to eight hours later, that relationship is not only over, but people are saying things like, “then lose my number!” while they seriously consider filing restraining orders. Break up complete.

Want to do an honesty check?  Bust out a game of Battleship and a nanny cam.  After a few rounds, excuse yourself to the bathroom and, when you get back, roll the tape. I don’t care if you’re playing a nun, you’ll see them peeking.  The punishment?  Make them watch the movie Battleship (the extended director’s cut).

Go ahead and play Yahtzee (assuming you can still find it).  By the end of the third round, some guy (he’s usually the one nobody’s really sure who invited) will be misquoting Goodfellas or The Godfather and trying to compare the game-night-dice-rolling-game to craps. After an hour of bad Brando impressions, you’re ready for some charades instead.

Twister only leads to lawsuits or injury for players older than twelve.  Mousetrap was a great game, but technology seems to have rendered it a relic only found in dusty attic corners (where, ironically, mice nest in it). Operation is great, but sends a rather odd message about how easy doctoring can be. And Trivial Pursuit serves to insure that our level of self confidence only gets so high because we, in fact, know little (though “Bumpass” right here in Virginia is the answer to a question – seriously).

I guess it’s clear that no game comes free of risk (another interesting game, Risk, Vladimir Putin is currently playing the 1:1 scale version in Europe).  There can be no light without dark, no yin without a yang, no Obi Wan Kenobi without a Darth Vader (there’s a Star Wars version of almost every game I’ve mentioned, including Risk, actually).

We’re rolling the dice or spinning the thing, or drawing a card and rolling on in the wagon, folks.  Unlike the little plastic “car” in LIFE, it actually looks like a car.  Thanks for riding shotgun!

Submitted by Chuck Moss