Yesterday I told you about our plans for ensuring that we will be well-fed on our up-and-coming Family Holiday. Today I have turned my attention to something every bit as important
I have been messaging the four older grandchildren to enlist their help. I need either the Swift Girls or Team Baldwin somehow to smuggle The Game of Life into their family car.
I say "smuggle" advisedly because we are all afraid that if A Parent happens to spots the so-distinctive box being secreted in the car boot, it may not make it down to Deepest Devon at all. This would be a Great Shame. For some reason, adults
do not enjoy The Game of Life half as much as we children.
If you haven't ever played The Game of Life, I would highly recommend it. It lasts - well, ages. But what can you expect from
a game which takes you all through your life from choosing a career, getting married, buying a house and raising children right through to ending up in either a retirement home or Millionaire's Mansion depending on how successful your life has been.
We always make sure to choose names for our husband / wife / children - the wackier the better. We sing "Here Comes the Bride" whenever anyone gets married and yodel "Ni Na, Ni Na" every time the police officer nabs a speeding motorist. This is
called Playing A Game Properly.
I am a strong believer in Playing Games Properly. On more than one occasion this has led me into trouble. One evening some years ago, Mr B and I were invited
out to dinner by one of my work colleagues. My immediate boss and his wife were among the other illustrious guests. After a delicious meal, our hostess suggested we should play some games. Well, you know me, I was immediately up for this,
especially when it was agreed that we should start the jolly proceedings with another of my favourite games, "Wink Murder."
What happens in "Wink Murder" is that one person, who is to be the
detective, goes out of the room while the remaining players draw lots for who shall be the murderer. When the detective returns to the room, the murderer has to "murder" as many players as he / she can by winking at them, without anyone else in
the room (especially the detective) spotting them. The game is up when either the detective guesses who the murderer is or everyone is dead. Like I said, it's a good game.
I do have a bit of a problem if I draw the joker and have to play the murderer because I can't wink. Yes, I know, it's tragic but, to be honest, except when playing Wink Murder I have not allowed it to affect my
life too seriously. And when playing Wink Murder, I always ask for special dispensation to "murder" my victims by sticking my tongue out instead of winking. For some reason I will never understand, the game usually descends into silliness at this
Anyway, to go back to the evening in question. It was deeply unfortunate (as you will soon come to understand) that the first person the murderer winked at was me. Well, I Played
the Game Properly, which is only what you would expect of me. I jumped to my feet, clutched my throat, made several loud, gurgling noises, turned round three times and fell, spectacularly, to the ground. I know how to play Wink Murder. Unfortunately,
when the murderer winked at the other guests, each one stayed firmly in their seats and simply (and boringly) let their heads droop onto their chests to denote the fact that they were no more. What a swizz. And to cap it all, there was Mr
B, kicking me not-very-gently where I was lying prone on the carpet, hissing: "Get up, get up, for goodness sake, you are making a complete and utter idiot of yourself!" Though he used another, rather more descriptive, word instead
of idiot. I am unashamed. If people play a game like Wink Murder, then the least they should do is to play it properly.
The Middle of the Darling Daughters says she sometimes tells
this story to her pupils. I am clearly an Object Lesson though I am not sure what message she is trying to convey to the classroom. I hope it is telling them (i) not to be ashamed of occasionally making a spectacular fool of yourself
and (ii) to always, always Play Games Properly.