Family Games

RDP Sunday: Game

” Easy Come, Easy Go “
Jan Steen

Like most kids who grew up in the 1960’s-70’s board games were the thing and I played them all-

Monopoly, Mousetrap, Sorry!, Headache, Battleship and my hands down favorite: Barrel of Monkeys.

I was bad at almost all of them- oh why mince words. I was bad at every single one except for A Barrel of Monkeys. The reason wasn’t exactly a mystery.I was bad at strategy games because I was so little.

I could read like a champ by the time I was 6 years old so I could actually play the games but I didn’t understand how to plot my moves. Which made sense.

Anyway by the time I understood strategy, I was off board games because I had spent two solid years of always and I mean ALWAYS losing at them.

Except for Barrel Of Monkeys.

In the end though, I hated that game to and it had nothing to do with wining or losing.

Some of the less enlightened members of my Dad’s side of the family had taken to comparing me to ” a screeching monkey. ”

Back in the 60’s and 7O’s calling someone who was not white a monkey  were fighting words and you bet it had racist over tones. Even little kids were hip to that fact. You couldn’t have caught calling anyone a ‘monkey’.

Still, I got called a screeching monkey so often that I ended up hating my favorite game, I refused to visit the Primate house at the zoo ( which probably wasn’t a bad thing because at that time the Woodlawn Park Zoo was not a happy place for the animals that were kept there.)It’s not like that now, now it’s pretty fantastic but I digress.

I had a hard time looking at any primates- living ones or toys because when I did all I heard was- ” Oh Anita, you smile like a screeching Monkey, Oh Anita, you look like a screeching monkey” etc etc etc.

None of that was true, but what was true was that I didn’t look like my blond blue eyed cousin, who FYI were never referred to as screeching monkey- or even monkeys in general even though she  was always running around full bore and if you didn’t watch her she would stick her hands in the food and even ruined a Wedding Cake because she ‘wanted a taste ‘.

The rest of my cousins on  were ‘ high spirited’. But even though I was quiet and my manners passed my Nan’s behavior tests ( which was not easy ) I was the ” Monkey. ”

Sometimes I am tempted to play board games- which I was surprised to find are popular again. But I just can’t.

And that does make me sad- because Barrel of Monkeys IS the best game ever.

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