Wednesday, January 03, 2007

King Me!

This Christmas, my mother gave Daughter #1 a game of checkers, and they played many matches over our holiday visit. When my mother visited us over the summer, she wanted to play checkers. We went to the store, and believe it or not, they didn't sell checkers. They had dozens of Ants in the Pants and Cootie, but no checkers. Both my mother and daughter were disappointed.

So, now we have checkers. Over the weekend my daughter and I sat down for a match. She's a smart kid, so I was prepared for a good beating. We played three games straight, and I kicked ass. I yelled King Me! every time I got my man to the back and insisted the top checker be crown side up. It was a fluke, as are most of my successes. Beginner's luck.

I am not technically a beginner, having been raised by a checkers champion. My mother is sly at the game, as she is with most games. She sits in her chair, hunched over the board, rattling her opponent's losses in her hands--click, click, clickety--throwing the opposition off with mumblings about being stumped and not knowing what to do next. If you aren't careful, you'll believe her, and you'll have a false sense of confidence in your next move. You slide your man over a square, and zap--she has jumped three men in one swoop and landed in your back row--hah, king me! It's a brutal game, checkers with my mother. She got it from her father, my Granddaddy Maner who could clear a board in three moves before you even get a man out of the gate.

Daughter #1 and I played another couple of games on New Year's Day (we know how to have a party), and I lost miserably, stuck in the corner with no place to move. I may never win another game, like I will never win at Pente or any other game that involves forethought. But I don't mind--it's the playing that makes it fun (spoken like a consistent loser).

17 comments:

dive said...

Ooo … I love checkers (it's "draughts" over here).
My grandad was an ace chess and draughts player and taught me chess up to decent club level and draughts up to "win drinks all night in the pub, bastard" level.

We have shops over here that sell nothing but chess and draughts boards and pieces (and I don't mean those tacky sci-fi "figurines"). There's an ace one in Paddington where I got my last set.

Oh well. There goes the afternoon. Now you've brought the subject up I've got to thrash my Mac (not a euphemism) before I'll be able to do anything else …

Utsav said...

It is a little late, but have a great new year. It looks like you did have an interesting time with your family to kick it off. Looking forward to much more blogging this year.

Sassy Sundry said...

Your next sound recording should be "KING ME!" That would be fun.

Sounds like a good day. You beat your child. Nice mommy.

Robyn said...

Dive, I am clueless when it comes to chess, I just like the pretty horse. So you don't have a set made up of Harry Potter characters?

Utsav, happy new year to you too. The idea of an entire year of stories and ideas seems daunting, but one day at a time...

RICH said...

I like checkers.. I HATE Chess, my son tried to teach me how to play but it bores the living hell out of me. My favorite game is Parcheesi (the royal game of India)

oh and i love Monopoly.

Robyn said...

Rich, Monopoly is always fun, if you have the attention span for a very long game. We used to play Pit a lot too, which would be a great game to make an audio clip of. It gets very loud and confusing. Corn! Corn! Corn! Barley!

lynn said...

Sounds great fun, though i don't really get it. I do know chess and love playing that. Christmas isn't Easter without board games, is it?

lynn said...

Ah, so it's draughts! Ooh yes i'm up for that, Robyn; set the board up, i'll be round in a jiffy. Chess is best though. I play email chess with my dad (www.shockwave.com) i recommend it. We both love it and challenge each other with verbal tactics on the phone, rushing over to our pcs to check the latest move; it's so... hmm better shut up now, i'm sounding more of an anorak than i want to. Or am, of course. Really i swear. On the pretty horse.

peahen said...

Hi Robyn. I have to confess that my partner and I played chess on Christmas day which shows how sad we are. I'm afraid that I reluctantly side with you on the 'nice mommy' debate! Let them know what the real world is like early, I say. ;-)

I think my all time fave board game is Othello.
Yonks ago I wrote a web version. try it here. It seems to run a bit quickly and therefore it might be difficult to follow what's going on, (and Java is now a bit out of fashion for web applets, so you might need a plugin) but if it works and f you know the rules and if you can follow what's going on, then it's pretty easy to beat. As with all board games, it's probably more sociable and more fun to find someone with the board game and play against a human friend!

Robyn said...

Lynn, that sounds like a lot of fun. I caught my daugher playing online checkers the other day (horrors), so maybe we can strike up a game.

Peahen, I don't remember the rules for Othello, but I tried your game on my pc laptop. It seems to work, although I lost because I have no idea what I'm doing. I'll read up on it and give it another try.

Gina said...

What kind of store does not carry checkers?

I suck at most games that rely on anything but dumb luck.

lynn said...

It IS a lot of fun, Robyn. Maybe you and i should set up a game of chess. Winner plays Dive. Um no, that's not a euphemism either (blush).

Robyn said...

Gina, you would think with all of the junky toys on the shelves, you would be able to find the basics, but for some reason it's hard to come by, unless you stumble into a Cracker Barrell.

Lynn, I laughed so hard at your comment, mainly because we all seem to be teasing Dive, and he doesn't appear to be around to defend himself.

I can't play chess, but I'd love a game of checkers! Be prepared to win.

peahen said...

Lynne, Dive will absolutely love the idea of 'playing Dive' being a euphamism!! If your mind works like that, you really need to find Edward Gorey's book "The Curious Sofa", (published under the name Ogdred Weary) a work of pronoraphy - or is it? It's all beautifully left to the imagination! find a copy to see what I mean.

dive said...

A euphemism writes:
There's a copy in my bathroom, but then you knew that already.

Sassy Sundry said...

A copy of what euphemism, Dive?

Old Knudsen said...

Well done to all you Brits that said draughts but you missed that its "crown me" not "king me" ah yanks, at break times at school we used to go play draughts or chess if it was too cold to kick a ball about.