Tag Archives: random musings

We Got Game

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a curmudgeon in that I get rather annoyed with all the technology  today. Yes, I have a cell phone, but only to make calls and occasionally text—not split the atom and  then post pictures of it on my Facebook page from the bathroom of a restaurant I read good things about while browsing the Internet on my phone as I was forced to wait a whole two minutes in the check-out line of a grocery store.

cartoontwit

And yes, of course I love the Internet and being able to find anything at any time (for better or for worse.) But it seems people today need either batteries of some sort or a charger to keep occupied (no, not in that way.) And when I read that most teens send and receive around 2,200 texts a month, I almost shit a brick.

Really?

Call me old fashioned, but that sounds a bit excessive even to me—the queen of OCD. What happened to genuine creativity and creating fun things to do with our time? Way back when I was little, we didn’t have “apps” for everything. We trudged uphill to school every day with wild mountain lions and rabid pigeons chasing us. But when we came home, we didn’t park it in front of a screen.

We went outside, played some demented form of “school” in which everyone got yelled at or tortured our Barbie’s and G.I. Joe’s with seemingly innocent household appliances and supplies.

And when all else failed, we played board games. I was an only child, so any time I could rope someone with my  into playing a game with me—this might or might not have involved seemingly innocent household appliances and supplies—I did.

Now that the holidays are upon us—fa la la—all the toys and games are plastering the shelves once again. While electronic stuff is big, I was delighted to see that many of the classic games I grew up with are still prominent on the shelves.

This list is far from all-inclusive, but here were a few of my favorites in no particular order.

Sorry

sorry

The point was not just to get all four pieces to your “Home;”  the point was to obliterate your competitor’s game piece with each “Sorry” dealt. You didn’t gently nudge their game piece off their spot and take their place, but rather launch their game piece across the room.

Side note: This created a separate game of “where the hell did my piece go?”

And as anyone who has played this game can attest, the best thing in the world was drawing a “2” followed by the backwards “4.”

Life

the-game-of-life

“This game has paydays, marriages, babies, revenge and chance. Spin the wheel to decide where you go next.” Well, anyone who has ever played this game more than once knows that the biggest challenge wasn’t getting a good job and retiring a millionaire, but rather not losing all the little peg people and cars.

And why is there was no square for spending thousands of dollars on therapy, landing a role in a reality show (go back to “start”) or finding a rich sugar daddy with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel?

Perhaps they should update this “Life” thing.

Connect Four

connect

Just look at the expression on that boy’s face and he realizes he has four-in-a-row with a knock-off Checkers piece! Who could not love this basic game? I’ll tell you who, anyone who had to play more than four “tie” games in a row with someone who refused to change their game plan. But all in all, good times.

Operation

oper

The point of this game was not to only to remove various body parts and disturbing objects from this morbidly obese patient with bad hair, but also to annoy the crap out of anyone not participating in the game itself.

Each time those tweezers hit the sides of the game, lighting up that nose and launching that irritating buzzer, parents everywhere searched for dull objects of their own to poke into their eyes. Smart parents never replaced the batteries.

Twister

twister

“Operation” was a game you could play by yourself, but “Twister” was most certainly a multi-player endeavor. We didn’t play this that often, but I found it much more fun when I got older and “left hand red” was possible only if there wasn’t a beer in it already.

Trouble

trouble

Most of the appeal of this game involved the sound of the Pop-O-Matic and not really the journey around the board. Still, you could send your opponents’ pieces back to the start by landing on them and you could never lose the die.

Clue

clue-game

This detective game involved a bit of thinking, except when it came to the origins of the colored piece’s names—Col. Mustard,  Miss Scarlet, Prof. Plum, etc. It was just good ol’ fun involving various weapons and accusations about which of your competitor’s committed a crime, with what and where.

A great game for those who enjoy reasoning and thinking things out, which is possibly why I could never get people to play with me.

Monopoly

monopoly

Speaking of never getting people to play a game with me…Monopoly. Longest. Game. Ever. This game could seriously take hours and hours, although I don’t really know first-hand that there is an end, as I grew impatient and usually quit before the conclusion.

All I knew was that I loved the Railroads, the banker probably cheated, picking your game piece was of the utmost importance, no one could ever agree on what “Free Parking” entailed and it was ridiculously funny when a boy drew the “You won $10 for second place in a beauty contest” card.

At any rate, my mom did give in and buy me a Game Boy for our trips up north. One of my favorite games? Monopoly, of course.

End Game

So even though I appreciate all the innovations and technologies available to me today, I’m glad I grew up when I did. A lot of creativity and fun can come out of a lack of resources when you’re forced to use your imagination and not your iPod.

In an age of constant electronic headlines, messages and updates, it’s good to see these board games are still around. After all, you need something to do when the power goes out, right?

What was your favorite board game when you were younger?

If you had to pick a board game to represent your personality or life, what would it be and why? Risk? Uno? Candy Land?

 

Bird Brain

I’m tired of trip talk, so I figured I would compose some deep philosophical collection of insights or talk about birds. I flipped a coin…

I have had two birds in my life. Skeeter was a manic Lovebird that died an early death due to falling from the top of his cage. It was very traumatic for both of us.

Gonzo was a cockatiel and lived to be 15 years old, choosing to pass away while I was on my first business trip ever (New York) around three years ago. My mom had to keep him in the freezer until I could come home and we could have a proper burial. It was very traumatic for all three of us (especially Gonzo.)

Pretty bird, indeed.

Gonzo could say one thing, “Pretty bird,” but chose to whistle quite an array of notes. Most popular on his play list was a wolf-whistle and the “da-da-da-DA-da-da!” thing that comes before “charge!” (He never said “charge,” but we just went with it.) At night we would cover his cage with a Peanuts bedsheet and he would cuddle with his pacifier/girlfriend toy hanging from his cage, closing his little bird eyes and rubbing the top of his head on the strings.

Minus the occasional feathered freak-out, he was a gem.

The guy I dated for entirely too long had a Quaker parrot that was like this little sharp-beaked person. He could say a lot of things that actually made sense: “Bad birds go to jail” when he was being put back in his cage for biting someone (usually me. He was a jealous bastard); “Trigger want a bath” when they put him in the sink; “Bless you,” “I love you” and “Good night, sleep tight” at appropriate times. This was more than 10 years ago, so his go-to conversation starter was singing “Mr. Big Stuff” from the Burger King commercials.

He loved mashed potatoes and my flesh.

It was cute the first 1,000 times. After that, “Loud birds shut their mouths” was introduced into the vocabulary, but never quite caught on. But the funniest thing about this bird was that he had an array of seemingly innocent plastic toy rings hanging from the top of his cage.

These are kind of what I'm talking about.

One day we were in the other room and heard the strangest sound, almost like a panting with a couple little squeaks thrown in. We walked into the bird’s room and it stopped, so we went back out. A couple minutes later it started back up again, so we quietly crept back around the corner to see what he was doing.

The little feathered freak had one bird leg straddled over the rings and was humping away like a parrot porn star.

From that point on, any time we heard the rings rattling and the panting coming from that area of the house, we just gave him his space and let him do his thing.

But there was the time when the boyfriend and me were on vacation and his mom — who was bird sitting— called us frantic one night because something was “tragically wrong with Trigger.” She said he was having seizures on his rings and was taking shallow breaths and moaning.

It was at that point that the little dude won my heart over once again, as anything that could be done to rattle that old bat’s cage and distract her from commenting on my “wild” hair colors or choice of clothing was a much welcomed break.

Anyway, I don’t have a bird now, and quite honestly, I probably never will again. But it was fun while it lasted and as long as someone else owns it, I still think they’re pretty neat—especially when they go grocery shopping.


Don’t ask me why, but I love this. A bird after my own food-loving heart–and not my flesh.