Monday, 4 June 2012

But Col Mustard deserved it

I simply had loads of exciting diary options to choose from on this particular bank holiday Monday.

Oh, I don't know. Let's say Ant hunting to Zebra taunting.

But reader, we did none of them.

I don't know what the weather was like round your way, but here the skies poured down grease-piss rain all day long. All outdoors adventures were off. But still, I wanted to spend the holiday together. La famille Grit, doing something we all would enjoy. Indoors.

I can't understand the television, so it's no use suggesting watching the Queen sailing up the Thames. And no-one wanted to listen to me read Physical Geography in Diagrams, so I suggested we play a board game.

This is something of a novelty: board games and la famille Grit.

We have had some close shaves with A&E after a turn at Hop&Pop. And Monopoly usually comes to a premature end with someone (Squirrel) screaming in a filthy temper over the injustices committed upon her at Liverpool Street Station by some smug-faced opponent who's asking for it (Shark), so much indeed that the board is upended, the top hat furiously hurled at an innocent bystander's head (Tiger's) and then I conclude the day's banking business by having a big yell and slamming the kitchen door in a huff.

But not today!

I have some success to report. We managed to sit on the floor and batter Prof Plum to death with the dumb-bells and, this time, probably for the very first time ever, Cluedo did not end in actual bloodied violence.

In fact, everyone behaved impressively well.

Things were going so well at one point that I suggested we give the next game a celebratory turn. Say, renaming the murderers and victims as ER, Charles, Camilla, Andrew, and so on. Then we could set about them with candlesticks and ropes in a macabre jubilee twist. (Plus I rather liked the idea that Camilla had done it in the observatory with an axe.) But the children wanted to stick with the formula, so I let them.

And I was having fun. The children are quite good at Cluedo. They get to the solution well before me. They are also, mysteriously, much more inventive with murder weapons: Shark went into some detail about how you could kill someone with a rosemary bush and a door.

So, while the rain beat down outside, the day passed pleasantly indoors at Grit's with a little light bludgeoning, a small hanging, a few more cupcakes, and some minor dressing up as Miss Scarlet in a hat.

And I deduce that we are growing up. No-one takes a board game too seriously. There are fewer arguments, less wounding, more compromises, and vague amusement on a wet bank holiday Monday. There was even a faint promise of accord to come, with the departing words, I enjoyed that. Even when I lost.


Irene said...

I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the board game. It means that maybe there is hope for me. I am notoriously bad at them and don't see the sense in them at all. To me they are a totally stressful happening where everybody ends up unhappy except the smug winner who usually was my mother.

Big mamma frog said...

Ok. I'm trying very hard not to be envious that you managed to play a board game without WW3 breaking. Are we the only family left on the planet who seem incapable of such a 'benign' activity?

There are reasons why our board games are on a shelfout of reach of anyone (including me).

They are there so that people coming to our house think we are normal (or within the normal range of normality).

They are there to remind me that people who say they aren't competitive take on board game-playing like it is an olympic sport and this is their last chance for a medal.

They are there to remind me that they should stay there.

Grit said...

your mother too, irene! my mother would thrash me at scrabble. she was supposed to let a 6-year old win, wasn't she? it was a hard way for me to learn words like hurlies.

Grit said...

bmf, we were once given an excellent role model at polite board-game playing by one family who managed to declare a winner *and then shake hands*.

the event, although it happened several years ago, i think impressed the griblets deeply (it certainly did me). it gave us all a model to realise that cluedo does not have to end in violence or a screaming temper tantrum.

but! this is the first time we have managed it.