One of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling miserable is watch the Woodyettes. Or, more precisely, listen to the Woodyettes, each of whom has become a literal blur of activity. They zip into my field of vision for about a microsecond, then zip away to their next adventure. On days like this, if I don't hold my head completely still, the Woodyettes will make Daddy even sicker.
As I listened to their adventures this morning, it occurred to me that their daily antics would make a terrific board game. The simple kind of game where you move so many spaces based on a roll of dice, or a spinner. Every once in awhile you might land on a "penalty square" that hands you some totally unfair consequence.
For instance, the incident that prompted this train of thought was one where the girls, who had been playing very cutely together just moments before, suddenly were snarling at each other (whining, actually) because the younger one had bumped into the older one while she was twirling in the middle of traffic. It was literally the only way the small one could reach her destination, and I'm sure she tried her best to skirt around the dervish as delicately as possible, but contact was made and her sister exploded in indignation.
"Bump twirling sister in hall. Lose one turn."
Other penalties might include:
"Yell about not wanting to have a sister. Move back three spaces."
"Insist that other sister did it. Stand in corner for two turns."
"Room is a disaster. Again. After just having cleaned it two days ago. Forfeit right to play, ever."
Ok, that last one might be a little extreme, but their room never stays clean for very long. On the other hand, any good game would also have "reward squares" that propel the player forward. For example:
"Help Daddy with dishes. Move ahead three spaces."
"Give sister a hug for no reason. Move ahead 15 spaces."
"Tell Mommy she's the best. Game. Set. Match."
Of course, with this board game, there really isn't a way to actually finish playing. The game continues, day after day, year after year, until the participants leave this life. I'm sure the game continues in the hereafter, but the rules are probably modified to some degree. For one thing, it's probably harder to get penalized once you've, you know, been judged and everything.
Actually, Mom once made up a board game one year while were travelling on a family vacation. We had borrowed the grandparents' Winnebago and were wending our way through Arizona and north through the Glen Canyon Dam and southern Utah. After about a week, that many people in a relatively confined space can start to get on each other's nerves. Mostly for her own sanity, Mom created a board game based on our adventures. I don't remember much about the game itself except that one memorable penalty was "Left pajamas in Kanab. Lose one turn." We had stopped in Kanab one night, and I believe the campground had showers. One of my sisters had gone to shower and change clothes. She must have left her pajamas there because we never saw them again. Another piece of family history! I think Mom even drew a picture of an outhouse to illustrate the event.
For whatever reasons, I really hope I never tire of this game. It really can be fun. Except, of course, for those times when Daddy lands on a penalty.
"Forget anniversary. Sleep on couch for six months."