Saturday, February 25, 2012

the game

the children are crying and the adults think we're unhappy because we're doing it wrong. meanwhile, i haven't seen any of them smiling and laughing, the way they say they did in earlier rounds.

it's the strangest game! the rules were lost ages ago, you can't play it properly by anyone else's rules, and if you don't adhere to the ever-changing house rules you'll be in for a rough ride. then again, the house rules are so impossibly convoluted and contradictory that you're almost guaranteed not to have any fun with them anyway.

the rules i remember are awkward, unstable and unbalanced. the only way to win at the game is to cheat, or not to play at all. or to play by one's own rules while convincing everyone else at the table otherwise, which is a different game altogether, and very anti-social. and nobody likes a cheater.

it's not okay to stop playing, either. even though we're all out of pieces - the cards are all worn and discarded, and our bank is left keeping score with pretend cash because we're all out of the fakes - we're still frowned upon for not enthusiastically bringing new friends to the table.

a game for the whole family? it says two to five players on the box. well, we're hovering around six or seven now, and it hasn't been fun in the longest time. the dice are loaded, or broken, we're low on food and booze...

... but the holidays aren't over, and nobody wants to open any of the other boxes until we finish with this one.

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