Well, only around the holidays.
When the family comes to town, there's only so many things you can do before you get sick of looking at their face. With my siblings, we're on a constant roller coaster of bar hopping, excess in food and an onslaught of board games that could tear apart even the strongest bond between a brother and a sister. This year, things certainly did not stray from our yearly agenda.
We only play a certain few games, if only because we get stuck on them and don't bother to find anything else to play. As soon as someone introduces a new tournament of kings, we might keep it cycling in the mix, but it's been the same, endless loop of entertainment for at least four or five years now.
Bloated, drunk, covered in cookie crumbs and stinking of coconut flavored, Malibu rum.
LET'S PLAY SOME GAMES.
No Monopoly, though. Nothing of the sort. I hate Monopoly. It's the worst game to bust out when you're already buzzed and wanting to just throw around some dice or act out a farm animal. Essentially, the Family Rules of Board Gaming rely on a strict regiment of values and procedure deters against this. We've counter-struck and have weeded out any bologna that would suck out any fin to be had. There are as follows:
1. Any and all board games must be quickly and easily played. There is no time to dawdle over instructions, and no one has the patience to play a whimsical round of Risk, unless Risk were magically transformed into just throwing away all the pieces and using the board as a drinking game prop. Where there's a will, there's a way.
No Life, no Axis and Allies, no Scrabble. Hell, I actually like Scrabble. But these are the rules. Sorry.
Oh, yeah. No Sorry, either.
2. No game shall be played that won't get so out of whack when someone decides to leave. At any given time, not everyone will have the tolerance, willpower or energy to give a shit. Through the course of the night, someone might forget that they signed up as a soldier 'til the bitter end and decide to vacate the gaming premises in pursuit of a really cool movie on TV. And that's fine, that's expected. As long as the game doesn't fall to pieces because of it.
3. When the opposing team wins, thou shall not get butthurt when thou decides to brag like an asshole. When we play, it's rough. It's oftentimes just scattered and wildly cruel. It can even get emotional. That's where the fun is, my friends. Deep down, through all the madness and friendly socialization of friends and family through Milton Bradley, you really want to kick your brother-in-law's ass at Clue.
With that said, these are the select few games we are addicted to:
Not photographed (it's hidden in there somewhere) is Catchprase. It's hot potato mixed with Password, where the idea is to get your partner/team to guess the word you're given. Without ever saying the word, you pass along the game in a counterclockwise fashion (clockwise, if you prefer) acting out the word, phrase, celebrity, movie title, etc. until your game-gang answers it correctly. Of course, there's a timer, elevating the stress and general inclination to throw the damn thing against the wall. As soon as the buzzer goes off and you're left holding the game in your hands, it's chaos. You feel like such a loser. You've let your teammates down. It's awesome.
A great fusion of every-game-ever, you try your hand at charades, Pictionary, brain teasers, interpretive dance, etc. It can be unbelievably fun if you're winning, and of course, terribly frustrating if you're on the losing side. Just like Catchphrase, this is totally partner based, so do not pick your younger, dumber cousin and stay away from the uncle who's been chugging Miller products like it's going out of style.
I like the mini-game where you get to mold clay in an attempt to get your team to guess what you're molding. Of course, the clay is always dry and unusable, so I retract my statement with a new statement: I hate the mini-game where you get to mold clay.
There is nothing better than trivia. There's just something about it that thrills and exhilarates. Well, it does for me, anyway. There's always the one person who hates it, and will be sure to mention it at every chance available. I understand, most of what you're trying to remember is pointless and trivial (hey, duh!) but c'mon, be a sport. Just play the friggin' game and shut up.
There is at least one thing everyone hates about Trivial Pursuit, though: any category that isn't general pop culture, from any era in which you weren't alive in. Fuck the rest. That's why we have the "greatest hits" version, with nothing but trivia from the 80's and 90's. We've really just made the whole game our bitch.
Times to Remember
Not personally photographed as well (stolen off of a Google search) this one came at us as a surprise. Not sure who brought it into the mix, but it's been a welcome addition. Straight from the dusty corner's of my parent's closet comes "Times to Remember," a journey into picking exactly what date any given event in the past has happened. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is, but there's a catch. The game is from 1991, and all these glorious "times to remember" are so fucking old it'll make your head spin. Split into two teams, your objective is to figure this shit out from the last 50 years, pre-1990.
Even better, you're given these specific brackets to choose your answer, which range from a seven year span to a one year span, which, essentially, makes you guess exactly and perfectly right in one try. As soon as your brackets are gone, you win the game, fourteen months later. For me, I'm kinda screwed on politics and rare and unheard of television shows from the 40's and 50's. I just don't know, ya know? So this is where strategy comes in...
Pick mom. Get dad on your team. Assuming they're older, wiser and have a sophisticated amount of grey hair, they're the wild card. They know this junk.
Well, that's about it. My only parting words are to just remember to win. I understand this is family, but be sure to win. For the love of God, you must win.
THIS IS NOT A GAME.