In pursuit of a troupe of friends who wish to socialize and perhaps even dine with us, The Man and I decided to buy a very nifty ten-in-one game set. The set includes the classics of chess, checkers, backgammon, even chinese checkers. It then goes on to support the African classic mancala and then drifts into the land of games-we-never-knew-existed. We are hoping it will act as the adult-equivalent of a snow cone machine. (instant friend maker I tell you)
The Man is a recovering Chess Club member and thus suggested a jolly round of embarrassing me with logic, strategy, and plain ole’ check-mates. Worry not – I fired back with my skill at both backgammon and chinese checkers. And then we made a tragic decision.
As checkers is among the first board games you teach a child, we figured that even with decades of inexperience we would be smart enough to pick it up like riding a small-black-spaces-only bicycle.
We were psyched. We knew this was going to be great. While The Man was plotting our international fame and fortune due to a checkers talent, I had entered into a realm of hypothetical brain confetti of happy and joy made entirely out of checkers pieces!
It started out very well. Too well.
I soon decided that perhaps we had misstepped by beginning to jump our own pieces and concluded that we had already combined chinese checkers with the game we had sat down to play. Then all ridiculousness took center stage.
Not only did we have to look up the rules about movement, but we both disagreed about the rules, and then launched head-first into a very nerdy debate about the validity of each other’s selected sources of board game rules. I had selected the board games section of about.com, whilst The Man decided wikipedia a more suitable choice. He argued that a peer-reviewed article remained more reliable than a simple explanation on about.com.
We finally agreed to disagree (a wonderful discovery in relationship-maintenance) and began to move the pieces. Then we discovered that we disagreed yet again about whether or not you are required to take a jump if the opportunity arises. It soon devolved into a philosophical discussion of life choices and free will.
… I’ve realized that perhaps the reason why we teach checkers to young children is because checkers absolutely cannot coincide with higher-order-brain-power. Once decision making, strategy, and debate skills are added… it is no longer fun.
We quickly ended the game. I forfeited my winning streak, and I moved on.
We probably will just go back to chess. I could stand to learn to get better anyway.