I like board games. Monopoly, Risk, Pictionary, Cranium, and, of course, Trivial Pursuit. I like most of 'em. When I was a kid, it was a fun way to spend an evening or rainy afternoon. This was obviously before playstation.
These days, there's the occasional games night with friends but the family trivial pursuit throw down is a very rare event. This Christmas I thought it would be fun to revive the family games night.
A couple months ago some friends of mine bought the Team Edition of Trivial Pursuit and it was a great change-up to the tried and true TP gameplay. I picked up a copy, wrapped it up, and under the tree it went.
Boxing Day turned out to be a good day to give it a whirl. My aunt and uncle were up from the states and my sister and brother-in-law were over for dinner too. First step was to read the rules. And that's when the trouble started. The rules are different from the traditional TP. Not extraordinarily different. Not difficult to grasp. Just different. This posed a problem for a few of the older, male, participants in the game. I gave it a couple attempts but I eventually had to suggest that we just start the game and try and explain as we went along.
I shouldn't have suggested that. I should have suggested that we just put the game back in the box and go back to watching tv. But I didn't suggest that. I forged ahead, thinking that I could overcome the stubbornness and seemingly willful usurping of the god damned rules by patiently explaining and demonstrating again and again and again.
Eventually the gameplay progressed to an almost bearable pace but then I was reminded of all the reasons we don't play board games as a family any more. Taking forever to answer a question then complaining about how long the other team is taking, the creative interpretations of the rules, the debating of points awarded, the heated arguments of whether "Rosebud" is the same answer as "Citizen Cane", distracting side conversations about unknown relatives and their current health issues, and the inability of some people to put a card back in a pile without somehow fucking it up. GAH!
Every button was pushed and I was bubbling over with a tense rage that I usually reserve for John Deere corporate officers. I made it through the game though. And then someone suggested we play again. I got up. Went to the fridge. Got a beer. And then left for the living room to play blocks with my niece. I could hear the second game of Trivial Pursuit continuing without me but equal parts of alcohol and my niece's winning personality got me to put the whole thing behind me.
I know my sister reads these things so I want to be clear that she did nothing to contribute to any of these rage triggers. But it will be a long time before I suggest a board game at a family get together again.