Games that will vex and jade your friends!
With winter shaking its frosty fist in our collective faces, many a frazzled parent will dig deep into the cupboard to find a board game to keep the younger natives from getting restless over the next several months.
When I was a kid, we managed to keep the pieces for each game intact, but I had friends who had weird amalgamations of games using the moving parts from different types of toys and games to create an uber contest that no one knew the rules to and even fewer won.
Candychutesandcluemousetrapoly was one such contest, where you would club a mouse on Baltic Avenue with a candlestick, sending Colonel Mustard down a slide where he would win a beauty contest, only to end up in a plastic red cage, where he’d be forced to cannibalize King Kandy. Games took days to play, even weeks. Sticking your tongue to a frozen flagpole never felt so good.
Since that is far too mind-numbing, I went through my own private basket of deplorables to find some of the great games that I’ve collected over the years. Play at your own risk. And no, I don’t have the game Risk.
“Vanilla Ice Electronic Rap” (1991): OK, collaborate and listen, Ice is back with a stupid invention. Will it ever stop? Yo, I don’t know. Vanilla Ice, the Rip Taylor of rappers, had his own board game where bum rushing a speaker that booms is just the tip of the ice, ice baby. Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it – into a brain freezing free for all for kids everywhere who dream of growing up to be a crappy rapper with a bad haircut. It takes batteries, so I would hide every one of them in the house. Hate the game – and the playa.
Intern (1979): Monopoly for the blue scrubs contingent. Set in a hospital, players admit patients and the try not to kill them. There’s no money involved (sort of like being an actual intern) but sleep is rewarded for the weary. Diagnosis: Moronic.
Tic Tac Tongue (2018): No it’s not crisscross for French lovers, nor a game by Gene Simmons of Kiss. Here, young players strap on a green plastic lizard face and try to knock down targets with paper tongues that look like party favors. I tried acting like a good Karma-chameleon, pretending to enjoy this insipid tongue-twisting tool of a game. I got licked.
15 Love (1974): Billed as, “The tennis game where you determine whether you win or lose.” I’m no McEnroe, but isn’t that how actually playing a real game of tennis works? Here, there are two dice for each player, so it’s “super-fast moving.” Trust me, it doesn’t move fast enough. Eating a chalk line sounds like more fun.
Pimple Pete (2018): Less a board game and more of a disgusting toy, (not to mention a dream gift for that dermatologist in your family), Pimple Pete players take turns squeezing blemishes. Buuuuuttttt, if you pop the Mega Zit you lose. Hence, I always go for the Mega Zit first. Before playing, you fill Pete’s puss-filled face with water so that when squeezing a pimple, play-acne actually squirts back at you. Comes with 18 pimples. Gross. From the makers of “How to Break Your Friend’s Bone and Set It,” and “Pull that Ice Pick from my Neck, Please.”
Mall Madness (1989): An ode to the dying breed of malls across America, this is a game for those little shoppers in your family who like to buy ’til they cry. Players must race around some cheap plastic fortress and take money out of the ATM (as in “already truly mortified”), buy crap and race back to the car before thieves shatter your car windows and steal your below dash off-market installed cassette deck. I made up the last part but the game sounded better with a little smash and grab. Oh, and this game talks, but unfortunately doesn’t say, “Buyer beware.”
Plumbers Pants (2019): Kids love water! Except when taking baths or washing dad’s car. In this blunder-dunce of a game, kids get sprayed with water after the plumber’s pants fall down. Is that from a leak? Or a leaky bladder? I’m not entirely sure. The only player not to make the plumber’s pants fall down wins. In every conceivable, my-kid’s-in-therapy-now way. Charming plumber’s crack included.
Don’t Wake Daddy (1992): Creepy. Be the first dolt to tiptoe past daddy, who for some reason, is sleeping in a spring-loaded plastic bed. (Plastic? Maybe he’s a bed wetter.) Also, daddy sleeps right next to the fridge, where he keeps his happy, hoppy canned fuzzy juice. If this sounds like an ABC After-school Special, you wish.
Chug-A-Lug (1969): Test your drinking capacity, little one! The winner of this game is the first to get drunk. So, if you’re having game night at your house, start with this one. Maybe the other games I mentioned will suddenly become interesting and entertaining.
If all else fails, I say skip the board games and play a nice game of “Go Fish.” Just remember, no matter what card your opponent asks if you have in your hand, just say, “No, go fish.” Sure, it’s cheating. But it beats popping zits on a Saturday night.
George Pelletier is bored silly and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org