Friday, July 17, 2009

"Got Game" Friday Five

This week's RevGalBlogPals Friday Five invites us to get our game on, so to speak:

1. Childhood games?
Being an only child, with parents not terribly interested in playing games (in large part because they were too busy farming), I was often on my own when it came to pastimes. My grandmother, bless her heart, would give each grandchild -- age irrelevant, siblings or no -- a board game for Christmas, so I amassed a decent stack of them by the time I was old enough to be interested. And I'd play them mostly by myself, taking turns as one player or the other.

When I'd spend a week each summer with my child-friendly Aunt Marian and Uncle Leonard, they would play Monopoly or War (the card game) with me on rainy days when they weren't outside farming and gardening. They also introduced me to Consequences, the Victorian ancestor to today's Mad Libs. (See an explanation of the rules here .) When I got a little older we got a set of Jarts at my house -- ah, those were the days, before they heyday of litigation-as-income or child safety rules! -- a game that my father could occasionally be persuaded to join.

It's really only been as an adult, thanks to my "got game" partner, that I've been able to learn and enjoy a lot of games that I never really played as a child.

2. Favorite and/or most hated board games?
Scrabble is my favorite board game, because I like words. By contrast I hate Yahtzee, which I really don't understand no matter how often people try to explain the rules to me. I think it would be quite interesting to take scans of my brain while playing each game to see what's going on (or not going on) in each case.

3. Card games?
Please, dear God, no. Well, I shouldn't say that; I do actively enjoy SkipBo. But other than that particular game, evidently sometime during the human developmental process my mother failed to ingest whatever nutrient it is that gives one the interest in or the ability to play cards. I have tried -- oh, how I have tried, especially in a euchre-intensive Lutheran social milieu -- to learn how to play. I can't. Not only can't I remember the rules from time to time, I can't seem to make myself care enough to fully understand them. It's nothing personal against card players; I admire and envy all of you. But think about how interested you would be in, say, a symposium on particle physics or a several-hour session of plastic-canvas needlepoint down at the senior center, and try to understand that this is exactly how I feel about the games that you love so much. I will be happy to make canapes for your card game, or run down to the party store for more beer and chips, or sit at the table and banter wittily if that's allowed...but please don't make me actually play your card game. Is that so wrong, to ask that? Thank you.

4. Travel/car games?
We traveled so seldom when I was a child that I was usually completely entranced just rubbernecking out the window at the passing scenery; I didn't need games. That's true today as well; the trip is the thing.

5. Adult pastimes that are not video games?
At our house we like Scrabble and dominoes. Darts are fun, but other than the video kind we don't have a good place to play. As far as things like lawn games, I myself enjoy horseshoes, and think I'd love bocce if I were able to play it more. The problem is, Gertie the part-retriever tends to think that anything involving thrown or rolled objects is a game of catch for her -- most annoying in bocce, and potentially lethal in horseshoes. I'm too chicken at this point to attempt real golf (minus Miss G), but I do likes me some putt-putt golf once in awhile.


Choralgirl said...

I miss Jarts! Loved that game!

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I never got much into card games, except cribbage. But I have memories of hearing, through the floor, card games in Grandma's kitchen after we were supposed to be sleeping.

My kids loved it that my mom loved to play various games. In fact, she would usually buy a game each Christmas when we were little and buy games for my kids when they were little.

As adults, we have loved a geography game from Natl Geographic.

Shawna R. B. Atteberry said...

Great play! I'm a Scrabble lover too.

Beth said...

Next time you want to play bocce, invite some kids and their parents over and lay in a good stock of bubble solution and blowing devices. Send the kids into a corner of the yard to blow bubbles, which make excellent dog bait. That should give the grownups enough time for one game.