playing games

A group of us went out for Alicia’s (drunken) birthday dinner Saturday night. Afterwards, we played a game at her brother’s house. Catchphrase, I think it’s called. The game, not the house. I was wary of the whole game-playing experience because I don’t always do well in that situation. My killer instinct kicks in and can turn an otherwise lovely evening into a bloodbath.

Case in point – I was reminded of one of the last times I played a game. It was probably six or seven years ago. A game of Trivial Pursuit on the floor of my garage apartment. The players were Alicia, a quiet guy friend of hers, and me. The quiet guy friend was very, well, quiet and slow moving, which is fine, but not if you’re playing a game with me. He kept getting these sports questions he didn’t know the answer to, but instead of just saying “I don’t know” so we could move on, he had to mull over every fucking question. For minutes at a time. I didn’t have a timer, so there was little to stop him except for my heavy sighs of irritation.

Finally, after a game that seemed to last for at least two hours, I lost my shit. The quiet guy was pondering another sports-related question that I knew he wasn’t going to be able to answer. Rather than be patient and bide my time, I yelled something to the effect of, “YOU DON’T KNOW THE FUCKING ANSWER TO THIS FUCKING QUESTION SO JUST SAY YOU DON’T KNOW SO WE CAN MOVE THE FUCK ON FOR FUCK’S SAKE.” Or something like that. Then utter silence. Maybe a cricket or two in the background, but that was it. I think I could probably hear my heart pounding in my ears. I don’t think we finished the game, and I do think everyone went home after that.

So, you can imagine my trepidation Saturday night about playing this game. Though the killer instinct did kick in (and we won, natch), I managed to not make anyone cry. At least, not until after I left.

It’s the small victories in life…

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