I’m usually a proponent of the “They’re called ‘bored games’ for a reason” camp. I find the idea entertaining for a fleeting moment but then drag my feet to pick my game piece. It’s possible that I’m scarred from childhood games ending with flung pieces and sibling temper tantrums.
Or the marathon monopoly afternoons with my father more similar to business mergers than mere rolls of the dice: “I’ll give you park place for Atlantic Railroad for $800 with 10% interest, 2 hotels and a signed lease to not build hotels on Pennsylvania Avenue”. I was the one who would donate my colorful bills to charity and obediently hand over my assets to my dad (Always my dad lest my younger rival garner a win...I wasn’t so sweet) in a desperate escape effort to retreat with a book. But after decades of therapy, I’m going to assume I’m pretty scar-less in that vein.
So I was a reluctant participant on our rainy Sunday, even though I was initially eager at the suggestion, there were definitely casual diversions tossed into the clouds right up to the first push of the buzzer.
I have found a new love, and I dare anyone not to wind up with at least a chuckle on his or her score scar while playing Cranium. The more players the better and it doesn’t hurt to have players who allow laughing At rather than laughing With. But between the charades, Pictionary, data facts, word puzzles, and star performances, I laugher harder than I have in the past 6 months. The gold medal went to my brother’s ‘humdinger’ where he had to hum “Walk Like an Egyptian” until we rolled on the floor at the sound of the buzzer. Cranium sucks you in and taps into your puddle jumping kid normally trapped beneath briefcases and chores.
Along with 2 friends who slip into our fold as if they share our genes, we debated, sculpted, sketched and had food fights for points. So Cranium definitely takes the gold, but more crucial than the glossy cards and colorful board are the players. The fun hinged on the willingness to unleash stifled silliness and stiff parts that play, to giggle, link arms and while away the gray.
With a leap of companionship and belly laughs sipped through cards of challenge, I woke up to the fun and was blessed with an evening of laughter that makes the list of memories to live for.