It’s almost Christmas and it’s all about toys, toys, toys. Except nowadays, toys mean smartphones, video games and electronic gadgets and gizmos.
You just don’t see kids playing outside that much anymore. When I was a kid, I’d play games like dodgeball, hopscotch, tag, marbles, Tiddlywinks and hide-and-seek. And if it was raining, and we were “forced” to stay inside, we had card games and board games to keep us occupied. Board games were a huge part of my life growing up.
To me, it seems that technology has created a generation of lazy kids. I really miss the old board games. I guess you could say that electronics have a Monopoly on our kids nowadays, but that’s a really bad pun, and as I’m sure you know by now, one bad pun always leads to another.
When I was a kid, I lived down the street from the Parker Brothers. They were a pair of twins named Milton and Bradley, and they lived with their Uncle Wiggily. Sure, they were Trouble, but they had a clubhouse in a tree in their backyard and I knew the Password. I’d maneuver through the Mousetrap of all the Chutes & Ladders, knock on the door and say “Cootie” and they’d let me in.
My mom didn’t like them because their past was full of Checkers. She’d say, “Use your Cranium, C.W. Don’t Break the Ice with those boys. They have no Scruples. Have a Clue!” I know she thought that hanging out with those Blockheads might put my future Careers in Jeopardy, but being with them was a Trivial Pursuit that I just had to Mastermind.
See what I mean? I told you that one bad pun would lead to another and now it’s become a complete Avalanche. A Landslide, if you will.
One day in the clubhouse, Milton was barefoot and a tick was on his big toe, so Bradley stuck a tack right through it. I wouldn’t dare say that he had a tic-tac-toe because that pun would be much too horrendous, so we’ll Chess move right along. Sorry.
Another time while we were throwing a ball around the fort, it bounced out the window and landed next door in the neighbor’s pool. The twins told me that the woman who owned the house was named Miss Hasbro. Not exactly an Ideal neighbor. Milton described her as a heavyset Old Maid. Bradley said she was a Hungry, Hungry Hippo. A real Battleship!
Those seemed like really harsh words to me, but the fact remained that we had to figure out how to get our ball out of the pool.
At first we tried to Scrabble together a few poles with a net at the end. We tried to Connect Four and lean it over the fence, but no matter how we tried to Twister together and Criss Cross it, it didn’t work. We had to Brainstorm.
We put our heads together and devised a Stratego to Go For Broke. This Operation was going to be a Masterpiece. Our Strat-O-Matic involved quite a bit of Concentration, as we would all climb out on the limb of the tree that hung over her pool. We would each hang on each other, holding on tightly, until the person at the bottom was able to reach the ball. It was definitely a Risk, but could ultimately result in a Pay Day.
Well, I was the lowest one near the water and I felt like a Fortune Hunter as my outstretched hand reached for the ball. Oh, the Aggravation! Unfortunately, I slipped and fell in the water. Ker-Plunk!
As they scrambled to the top of the tree, Miss Hasbro came storming out the back door. I felt like I was in a Trap. She was a big woman but she didn’t look like Trouble. In a weird way, I felt like a Mystery Date. I was skating on Thin Ice. This would take some Diplomacy.
“Ouija do me a favor and pull me out?” I asked. I grabbed the ball and she extended the Backgammon of her hand and got me out of the water.
As she escorted me through her house, she offered me all sorts of sweets and confections. It was a virtual Candyland. I had made a friend.
Once again, sorry about all the lousy puns. But Yahtzee, it’s all about The Game of Life . . . Uno?
Send your complaints to the gamey C.W. Plunkett at firstname.lastname@example.org.