Laugh

Laugh
Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Take a Risk

With the exception of a spirited round of Monopoly in which at least one family member gave in to displays of aggression (which eventually led to excommunication of the indicated party from Monopoly eligibility), our family has always enjoyed board games.

However, now that the boys are grown, I’m less likely to find Candy Land or Battleship in my house than I am to find the kitchen table sporting a board with a colorful world map, and everyone at Risk. Or, on random weekend nights it’s not unusual to come across a fighter, a thief, a rock troll, and a Feegle balanced on chairs and stools around the table entranced in a role playing adventure based on Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld novels.

It no longer shocks me to hear such statements as, “If you’re a dwarf, you get to use bread as a weapon.”

Or to hear a tiny blue man screech “Waily, waily, waily,” when he gets caught guzzling kerosene by the Head Lady In Charge.

Or to come across a rock troll muttering, “They have sledgehammers, so I’m wielding a man in armor. (Granted, trolls don’t have the command of the language that, say, a personification of Death might display, but I think I’m fairly close with the translation.) All in all I find that Rock Trolls are inclined to engage in fisticuffs. If you call planting warriors in the ground like rows of corn, fisticuffs.

What I do have trouble with is the care and feeding of the players. Ever since we found out The Captain of our little clan has higher numbers than Stephen Hawking can imagine when it comes to triglycerides, we’ve cut back on nonessential food items.

Unfortunately “nonessential” is an abstract term whose meaning has come under intense discussion at our house. The latest example came Friday night when the alternate species filed into the kitchen for game night.

Apparently, “Man Snacks” do not include diet ginger ale and sugar free pudding.

Nor is angel food cake with raspberry fruit spread acceptable as an alternative.

You just can’t please some rock trolls. I explained the dietary restrictions in my calm, peacekeeping voice.

“Don’t worry about her,” the thief whispered to the Dungeon Master as I left the room. “This is nothing. You should hear her when we play Monopoly.”