board game hell


I hated board games when I was growing up. If I could toy with the gadgety stuff alone (Mousetrap or Operation, even the nifty dice popper on Trouble), that was fine, but when played with others board games seemed designed to ratchet up my stress level and proclaim to the world I was a loser and stupid to boot. Anything with a timer or a buzzer was the worst.

I had a handful of games, listed here in order of the magnitude of the misery they could evoke for me: Perfection (timer, buzzer, and explosion: horrors!), Don’t Spill the Beans, Operation, Mastermind, Twixt, Boggle, Scrabble, Monopoly, and Yahtzee. My parents’ favorites were the ones they thought would help me be even more brainy than I already was (Boggle and Scrabble were and still are most highly revered). I’ve never understood that: for me games should be fun, not work; I’ve encountered few that were actually entertaining or relaxing. Of course on the opposite extreme, the brainless banality of Chutes and Ladders was demonic. Before people inquired about my babysitting rate I wanted to ask: “Do your kids own Chutes and Ladders? Because if they do, it’s double my normal fee.”

In order to repair the perceived imbalance in my upbringing, I have, of course, purchased only the most fun stuff for my own kids. Most recently it was this absurdly humongous box filled with plastic tracks and modular posts called Skyrail Roller Coaster. The boys engineered living-room-sized track layouts with loop-de-loops, crossovers and twists, and put their marbles through the paces. They also used the flexible track segments to whack each other in the happy tradition Hot Wheels established long ago.

But last week, the Husband brought home Monopoly, and now that’s all they want to play. I’m thinking about getting me a Hot Wheels set.

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One Response to board game hell

  1. Sine Botchen (mx4789) November 4, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    “They also used the flexible track segments to whack each other in the happy tradition Hot Wheels established long ago.”

    Great.. now everyone at work is staring at me (after I got back in my chair and wiped the tears from my eyes.) LMAO! Thanks for the flashback.

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