Depression, Nostalgia

Games People Play

PerfectionThe toys I played with as a child should have been reserved for those living in padded cells. I liken the stress of playing these games to what it might feel like if someone strapped a bomb to my head and said don’t move.

Don’t Spill the Beans was a nifty game that involved placing fake beans in a cauldron presumably filled with boiling water. The players try to avoid being the bean placer who causes the cauldron to tip over. This game could quite possibly be why I can’t be around any vessel holding any hot liquid.

At least in Don’t Spill the Beans the player can only suffer fake third-degree burns unlike the game of Don’t Break the Ice where the consequence of losing is fake involuntary manslaughter. This fun-filled game has opponents using plastic mallets to break away ice blocks where a little man just happens to be sitting. When his block breaks he’s presumed dead since he will plunge through the frigid ice. I always felt if the man were dumb enough to sit on a chair in the middle of an ice pond, maybe our gene pool would have been better off without him. Everyone knows you should always lower your center of gravity in a situation like that, not pull up a loveseat.

The only game more fun than playing with fire and ice is performing surgery. The game of Operation requires its players to perform surgery on a pasty man who is composed mostly of fat and thirteen fake body parts. Anytime a player’s scalpel hits the metal that surrounds his organs, an alarm sounds and his nose lights up. Has anyone noticed that this guy is obese? Even if a player could avoid sounding the alarm while removing his organs, he is well on his way to a coronary.

The game responsible for most of my post-traumatic stress is Perfection. This is a nasty game, likely invented by a horrid person who probably hated kids. I can’t imagine a better way to risk a child’s confidence than timing him or her on any task. Children fit plastic pieces in corresponding holes within a prescribed time and when the player fails not only will the alarm sound, it does so in concert with a physical explosion that chucks every correctly laid piece into the air.

All this childhood torture was for naught since none of these games taught me a damn thing that I could take with me into adulthood. I can’t recall the last time someone asked me to place a small vegetable on an even smaller pot of scalding water. Thank God I’ve never shared a frozen lake with a person hell-bent on drowning me. Maybe games where there is no winner would have been more appropriate. I did enjoy Lite Brite, but because I was the world’s youngest masochist, I preferred the self-loathing that came with a game like Perfection.

Any games that might have contributed to post-traumatic stress for you?  Hang Man done on paper, Charades and that stupid game where you put your hands on top of someones palms and wait for them to smack you all count!