The warm smell of cardboard and the boxy feel of cheap plastic dice bring back those good ol’ childhood memories. Every so often, I’ll find a Hungry Hungry Hippos ball under the couch and reminisce on those glorious days of yore. Those games created and (more often) destroyed friendships, leaving a mark on nearly all of us. However, every great moment in Life comes with a price. Here’s a list of the 5 worst moments in board games that we have all endured at some point.
“Income Tax” in Monopoly:
First off, let me tell you that I had plenty of Monopoly pains to write about. The space “Go To Jail,” landing on “Boardwalk” with a hotel, rolling doubles 3 times in a row, and the length of the game itself are all mere child’s play compared to my ever growing hatred of the notorious income tax. So many time I have struggled to make a round trip across the board, spending absurd amounts of money on my water bill and extravagant nights on Pennsylvania Avenue. Taking hit after hit of financial ruin, I finally come to that last corner of the board in anticipation of $200 for my troubles. I know it’s not much, but at least I’ll be able to pay for some low income housing down on Baltic. SON OF A… I LANDED ON INCOME TAX AGAIN! On a side note, there was always that one kid who exercised the “pay 10%” option of the clause and took an hour to do the math.
Contraption failure in Mouse Trap:
Pieces in position? Check. Mice in place? Check. Video camera rolling? Check. A turn of the crank sends a six-sided stop sign into the foot that kicks the bucket, causing the metal ball to roll down the steps and down the slide with complete precision. The ball then collides with the plastic stick that drops the bigger ball from above through the bathtub and onto the up end of the seesaw. The old man jumps and… misses the bucket. Every. Single. Time.
When someone makes a final guess in Clue…
…and what they say doesn’t match the three cards in the “Confidential” envelope. Now that the true identity of the killer, weapon, and room of murder have all been revealed, the game is ruined and it’s all because some putz passed the wrong card to the guy on your left. All of those markings on your checklist are now useless, all of your great hunches are now moot, and it’s time to start all over. In an unrelated matter, have you ever found yourself accusing your own game piece?
Space 87 in Chutes and Ladders:
This is the one where that redhead kid literally gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, sliding you all the way back down to the third row. There really isn’t much more to be said about this one other than the fact that my heart still sinks every time I go to grab a Samoa.
When you’re stuck with 7 vowels in Scrabble:
One of the worst feelings in the world is looking at your letter rack and seeing “UUUOOOA.” It’s never a good idea to exchange letters since any points at all are worth more than none, and every word in the English language has a vowel so you will at least be getting some use. I often found myself trying to Italianize words when this happened, hoping to convince my opponent that “rabbito” is a kind of Tuscan latte.