Board games have changed since I was a kid. We played Monopoly or Stratego. I usually had to beg one of my brothers to play with me. The worst that could happen if I lost: I would go bankrupt and owe my brothers a bunch of fake money or I’d lose my Colonel or General to a bomb in Stratego.
Boy, have times changed.
Russian roulette for kids
We invited my brother-in-law and two nieces, visiting from California, to Game Night and we played Hasbro’s Pie Face. The game is simple. You load whipped cream onto a plastic hand, spin the wheel, place your head on the chin rest, and turn the handle, hoping that you don’t trigger the pie throwing hand.
You get the idea, there’s no way around it, eventually you’re going to get splattered. Now to me, whipped cream in the face doesn’t sound all that fun. To an eight-year-old and five-year-old, whipped cream sprayed across your face sounds like the makings of a rip-roaring good time.
It gets worse. We’ve played this game twice now, once a few years ago at a family reunion and again this holiday. Of course, both times I’ve been cursed. I might not like it, but I can handle bad luck. In both instances, I’ve had no luck at all! I swear every time I put my head on the chin rest, I got hit. Every stinkin’ time!
Walking the other way
As soon as I saw my wife pull the game out of the box, I slyly moved to the living room. I knew what was coming, best to get out of the way. I’m an adult, I can’t look silly with whipped cream all over my face. Of course, I forgot about the negotiating power of an eight-year-old. How silly of me? My niece turned around with a big smile and asked in the nicest way possible: “Uncle Brian, please, please, won’t you come and play with us?”
Ugh, how do you get out of that one. What could I say? “Oh, sorry honey, I have to go upstairs and clean my room.” Or, “I have to go wrap some Christmas presents.” Finally, how about, “I have an allergy to whipped cream and making a fool of myself.” No, none of those excuses were going to work. The other adults were certainly not going to let those excuses fly. The game apparently has been around since we were kids, but I can’t say that I ever saw it until a few years ago. As far as I’m concerned, though, it can disappear altogether.
Several days later and four pies to the face later I’m still wiping whipped cream out of my nose and the crevices of my ears. I suggested several times during the game that it might be time for a new one. C’mon, isn’t time to switch games? Who’s up for Monopoly? Park Place and Boardwalk look interesting. Anyone, anyone? Please?
When an eight-year-old asks to play a game with you . . . you play!