Sometimes, when you have had a busy, busy day the day before, plus a full-on morning tying up the loose ends, followed by a delicious Sunday roast, there is just one thing you need to round things off perfectly.
A game of Cluedo.
My grandson Jack and I share a love of almost all board games. All we needed was someone to join us. Unfortunately, nobody else looked exactly ecstatic at the idea of playing
table top detectives with us. Mr B decided he needed to have a doze before he was called upon to drive us home. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters (who can usually be prevailed upon to play any game except Trivial Pursuit) started
frenziedly loading up the dish-washer - though how anyone could prefer dish-washer duty to Cluedo was beyond Jack and me. Hazel Bagel hadn't yet returned from her pantomime rehearsal. Finally we prevailed upon Jack's Dad to make up a threesome.
It was, we both agreed, Better Than Nothing.
It did mean we had to sit through him reading out loud the entire background story leading to the death of the perpetual victim, Mr Black.
This took some time. Jack lifted his eyes heavenward, in classic teenage "Is Anyone Else's Dad As Annoying As Mine" fashion. Eventually we began.
Apparently Cluedo (originally simply called
"Murder!") was invented by one Anthony Pratt as a game to be played in underground bunkers during wartime air raids. In the earliest version produced by Mr Pratt (shall we call him Tony?) there were ten characters instead of the six we know and love today
- plus some much more interesting weapons like a bomb, a syringe, an axe, poison, a fireplace poker and - wait for it - a shillelagh. Fascinating stuff, Tony, well done, my boy. Top marks for imagination and love of the Irish.
At one time, too, the lead pipe was made of real lead - meaning you could, theoretically, actually get killed playing Cluedo. You should have thought of that, young Tone. No sense in killing off your players, especially
when they were down there in the air raid shelters, hoping and praying that they were safe from enemy bombs and never realising that they were at just as much risk from a board game.
is, to be fair and as far as I know, no record of anyone getting killed through lead poisoning as a result of playing Cluedo but - and I am sure Tony would agree with me - better safe than sorry. Better living than dead. Unless you're Mr Black, without
whose unfortunate death there would be no game.
Tony himself may be dead by now, I suppose. I hope not because I've grown quite fond of him over the course of writing today's blog.
If he is, then I do hope he died of "natural causes". Something which never, but never, happens in Cluedo.
Sorry, what were you asking? Who won? It's only a game, you know, does it really matter that
In other words, it wasn't me...