Friday, October 2, 2009

Board Games

Do you know how board games were invented? There was an ancient tribe of people who as a pastime would shout out random scores and total them up on cave walls. Someone ended up creating board games to make this activity make a little more sense. Hence the following games were born:


There are many strategies associated with Scrabble. The most successful by far is cheating. I not only put extra tiles under my seat cushion, but I also insist on looking up my own words in the dictionary when challenged. Also, it helps to play with people who don't know English.


Checkers is a boring alternative to chess. Don't worry about getting roped into playing; it's impossible to keep a set around without half the pieces missing. This is because checkers have little magnets built right into them, and when everyone's asleep they get sucked out of their boxes by refrigerators, under which they remain until stolen by rodents looking for something to hurl onto armed mousetraps.


People like to change the real rules of Monopoly and come up with new ones. Such creativity leads to endless games because a player, instead of going bankrupt and dropping out, can barter and stay in the game – at all costs. Some people miss work and important social events, such as their own weddings, because they're consumed by a round of Monopoly. The game becomes even more addictive as people turn crazy enough to believe that a five hundred dollar Monopoly bill is actually worth five hundred dollars, when in fact it's only worth half as much.


This game's questions represent too vast a spectrum of difficulty. I'll get a question like, "What are the first six words of the Gettysburg Address, in Swahili?" Then on the very next roll, the annoying couple whose glowing tail lights I'm dying to see gets the question, "What color is an orange?" Usually, annoying couples can't even answer questions this easy, which helps to make them so annoying.


The tiring part of this game is not so much trying to guess secret words from amateurish drawings. It's trying to draw with the included teeny-weeny pencils, just like the kind at miniature golf courses. People's hands get very, very tired from cramping their fingers in the necessary fashion. Toward the end of the game, players have lost all manual dexterity and cannot draw even simple things like circles or nuclear power plant components. Since drawing such components is frequently required, the game typically induces boredom, followed by hysteria, followed by permanent bone deformation. This is why it's my favorite game.

OK, I can't lie. I really prefer drinking games that involve throwing board games into the fireplace.