zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word
lizardek

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BEATEN, BUT UNBOWED

I know I've lamented before about the fact that my family does not play games together the way my first family did when I was growing up. I miss playing games and remember very fondly the evenings of marathon Monopoly games where we played with several versions set together (you had to exchange money at the current exchange rate when you went from the American to the German version or vice versa) and Risk challenges where my sister and I attempted world domination over each other.

My parents taught us to play just about every card game under the sun, even attempting to teach us canasta on one tension-filled evening until my dad finally gave it up as a bad job and we went back to 99 and I Doubt It (which I played later as Bullshit) and Hearts. I played Speed Euchre with my friends in college, for favors and to while away the time during breaks while working summers cleaning and painting dorm rooms.

Our whole family was addicted to Trivial Pursuit for a long time as well, and we still play when we get together. Anders calls the Slaughter family version Trivial Abuse. My brother always makes me answer 3 brown questions if I land on brown (Arts & Literature) because I always know the answers. My mom invariably wins the games regardless, because she remembers more history and entertainment than the rest of us.

We learned Gin Rummy with my grandfather who was a cutthroat player and we kids played Crazy Eights and Go Fish and Slapjack and endless rounds of War, and chortled every time we found a new victim to play 52-Pickup with or Water & Fire. In college I also learned a hilarious game called Colorado Crazy Eights which is action-packed and loads of fun, and we've pulled that out a few times with friends to great success.

My kids haven't been much interested in board or card games though occasionally we can get them to play, like with A Moose In the House and Scattergories at my brother's this summer. I think it's partly the Swedish culture, funny as it may sound, that doesn't encourage this kind of competition, and games like Sorry! and Aggravation were declared "not fun" by both my children because of the way you treat your fellow players.

Traditionally, we have myskväll (family cosy evenings) on Fridays and Saturdays whenever we don't have other plans, a ritual that typically involves TV or a movie and bowls of popcorn and candy. But tonight, there wasn't anything on TV and we've seen all our movies, so I suggested we play a game instead and was (secretly) surprised when Anders and the kids agreed. It took some time to agree on which game to play, and our first choice, Clue, was missing too many pieces, so we ended up, rather strangely, with Spartanopoly, which is the Michigan State University (where I went to college) version of Monopoly. The rules are all basically the same but the properties are all businesses from 80s-era East Lansing and the railroads have changed to the main streets of the campus and town, while houses and hotels have transformed to credits and diplomas, etc.

The kids have never played Monopoly, at least not that I remember, but the rules are pretty straightforward, so we teamed up: Martin & Anders against Karin and I, and started playing. At one point, the boys got a Campus Mail card (Chance) that required them to sing the MSU Fight Song or lose a turn and they howled about the unfairness of it since I was the only one that knew the song. Hee! (though I actually couldn't remember anything but the 2nd verse myself)

We played for about an hour and a half, and Anders & Martin had all the luck. They managed to land on Student Parking and collect all the money in the center of the board TWICE and avoided the worst of the fines and properties around the board. Karin & I got sent "Home" (jail) several times and kept having to give back our $200 for increased tuition and parking fines. By bedtime, when we gave up and counted all our cash and property values, the boys had beaten the girls by nearly twice as much.

When I went in to say goodnight to Karin, we commiserated with each other on our loss and vowed that next time we'd pick a game we had a better chance of winning. She's voting for Scattergories, but I say we make 'em Sorry!
Tags: goodthings, thewaywewere
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