Thursday, December 29, 2005

Fielder’s Choice
By Barry Burleson

Good fun, family time

It’s hard to beat the board games.

Some of the best family times I remember growing up involved them.

I recall staying up late at night, after my mother was asleep, playing Yahtzee.

Rolling those five dice and going for three of a kind, a straight or even better, Yahtzee (five of a kind), created lots of enjoyment and noise.

We always wanted to use the cup provided for shaking up the dice well, not our hands. I’m not sure how Mother slept through it.

Plus, there was the usual competitiveness, and sometimes shouting and celebration, among siblings.

We went through a lot of those Yahtzee score cards and always had to buy some extras.

Trouble was another one of those noisy board games. You had to mash the bubble with the dice inside to get them to roll.

We played a lot of Clue in my younger years. It’s much quieter and involves strategy. It was my favorite, maybe because I always liked mysteries, and particularly liked solving them - Colonel Mustard, with the knife, in the billiard room.

We played others, too, like Monolopy and Sorry.

Monopoly was not one of my favorites. I was never good at it. I played along, but can’t remember winning too many big games.

Another fun and challenging game, which boosted my knowledge of words, was Scrabble.

I think I probably held the family win record for Scrabble while growing up. My sisters might disagree.

I remember the common response from the opposition - “That’s not a word.”

Then we’d dig out the dictionary.

I admit it - sometimes I got caught.

Pam and I have tried to carry that love for games on to our children.

The old ones aren’t as common.

But there’s Trivial Pursuit. I’ve never been good at that one either. I just let Pam answer all the questions when we play as a team.

Our family likes Catch Phrase. Then with the soon-to-be 4 year old we play things like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders.

Erin got a new version of Candy Land for Christmas - this one the DVD kind. It’s on the big screen, and participants don’t use the typical board, but instead walk through the game via the “board of the floor.”

Emma got a new game for Christmas, too. It’s TV trivia and called “Scene It?” It’s a DVD game, too.

There are questions about advertising slogans, TV shows (past and present) and characters and such.

One option (via the roll of dice) is watching clips of shows and having to answer a question. Those bring back lots of memories - from shows like M.A.S.H., Three’s Company and Andy Griffith.

A question Sunday night, when we played with Pam’s family, was what Monday Night Football announcer coined, “Turn out the lights; the party’s over.”

I was the only one who knew the answer - Don Meredith.

It was a fitting questions the night before the final Monday Night Football game on ABC. It’s changing to ESPN next season.

I grew up watching Howard Cosell, “Dandy Don” Meredith and Frank Gifford. Those were the good old days.

Technology is amazing, but it has changed everything, including games.

But I’ve never gotten into the computer versions or Play Station and such.

I’ll take the traditional board games. They’re the best for old-fashioned fun and quality family time.

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