Once upon a time, kids used to get bored. Before cell phones, video games, and 4,000 cable channels with nothing to watch, there wasn’t much to do. And kids got bored.
I was one of them.
It was bad enough to have a deep, endless chasm of time swallowing you (think Christmas holidays or summers before you were old enough to work at a job), but it was even worse when you were with cousins and other family or friends, and all of you were held captive by time.
Whether my family traveled over the river and through the woods, or kinfolk came to see us, inevitably the kids would become bored.
We always had two choices: Go outside, or find something to do inside. Either choice was designed so that we would quiet down. This would allow the men to watch football, and the women to talk about the bored kids and the men watching football.
Around the holidays in Ashdown, Arkansas, it was typically pretty cold. So, unless we could get enough guys to go out and play a friendly game of crushing tackle football in the yard, we stayed in the house.
If you were outside and not moving around, eventually you’d become numb and uncomfortable. The same feeling you experienced inside after hours with relatives.
But games were at least somewhat of a competitive relief from the boredom. And we played them. Lots of them.
Hindsight, the games we had don’t make a lot of sense, at least not for kids. Take Monopoly. Please, take Monopoly.
Here’s a game that teaches you how to be ruthless. The goal is to buy up all of the property and then take everyone else’s money if they land on it. If they run out of money, they go to jail.
Pretty wholesome stuff.
On top of sending your family to the poor house, the game never ends. It goes on forever. So, you spend an entire day of your holiday season in jail, broke, and waiting for a roll of the dice that might get you out.
By John Moore
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