Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Playing games with votes and letters

As a family, we're a little different to many. Yes, there is a television, we have a computer and even an Xbox (an original one, second-hand. We're not made of money, you know). However, when we get together, our favourite pastime centres around a couple of board games. Followers of this site will already know that these games are Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. There are a couple of others, but we always return to these tried and trusted friends.
In the case of me and Julie specifically, Trivial Pursuit is always a good choice on several levels. First and foremost is the fact it's not Scrabble. I'm not doing down Scrabble in the slightest, but it does have to be said that it's not exactly fully interactive; one person has a think, plays a word and a score is jotted down before the next player takes their turn. Only one person is involved at any one point in the game. Sure, it stretches our vocabularies nicely, but for getting everyone involved and interested, there's nothing like a good old question-and-answers session for stimulating discussion - all the more so when you have questions that sound vaguely risqué. Here's an example;
"What sport are you playing if your balls are black and blue?"
The answer, of course(!), is Croquet(OK, gents, you can uncross your legs now.)
Naturally, when alcohol is introduced, the daft questions magically become utterly hilarious, as do the answers given. Especially when people get so caught up in the game they forget just whose turn it is. Don't they, Julie?

That was a good night; I only managed to get the one Gem out of the two games. Partly because I couldn't keep up with the free-associating banter between my wife and my father. Mind you, the three large glasses of red wine may have had something to do with it to. Oh gods... never again (please bear in mind my alcohol intake is generally limited to a pint a month. If that).

Well, I say 'never again', but it was totally worth it. Especially since Dad won the second game - it made up for him not winning a single game of Scrabble in the days he stayed with us. He's no slouch when it comes to words, not by any stretch of the imagination. However, when the opposition is my mother, he's fairly used to 'winning silver' as he puts it. It's now a family in-joke that he begins each game with "Bagsy coming last!"
Mind you, it doesn't help that he has a rather desperate approach to making words up. At least the rest of us tend to apply a certain logic when we consider alternatives. Another regular feature of family games is Dad playing a word which is met with the chorus of, "What? What the hell's that?" Another problem is that a certain leaning toward jazz-inspired music and comedy may be all well and good when it comes to listening to Stan Getz or The Goons, or meeting Julie on her own ground, but it's not hugely useful when it comes to using the alphabet. That said, it is useful when it comes to describing his inability to make a word out of the (admittedly awful set of) letters on his rack.

See? Witty, knowing and superbly pithy. Shame he came last again though...