The retired General still enjoyed the spirit of competition, so I wheeled him into the game hall as I’ve done every Wednesday for several years. A myriad of faces turned with familiar smiles and a chorus of hellos. It was quite a set-up they had here at the hall and its popularity had done nothing but rise over time. Scattered throughout were games of every type and for every age group…joyous uproars of laughter erupted from the “kiddie” areas while in the more adult sections one could here the scratch of a pencil across a paper or the tentative move of a game piece. They only played the classic versions of each game, and they played them by the rules.
Each area was designated by a letter (or letters for some of the larger areas) hanging from the ceiling and only one game was played in that section. I helped park the General’s wheelchair with the intense war simulator games and all of the participants started positioning their battalions, cannons, tanks, and other war pieces. These games were always passionate, but complicated, so I left the General with his other cohorts. Meanwhile, not in the mood to play anything, I wandered from section to section and just caught little snippets from each of the games. I remember some of them.…
Section A – “Dad…you hit my battleship for the last time…it’s sunk!”
Section B - “OK…you were right when you said that South America was broken down into 4 territories and Africa had 6 territories, but how many territories is Antarctica broken down into?” (I remember a devious look on this guy’s face as he quizzed his competitor about the game they were about to play).
Sections CD – I happened upon someone introducing another to the game. “…that is the number of points that are found on each side of the board. The board is divided by something called the “bar”. Checkers are then moved around the board according to the dice roll…” I walked away before hearing the rest.
Section E – Again, I happened upon an introduction to the game. “…each of the tiles can have pips on a side that can range from 6 to …”.
Section FG – Childish laughter was erupting from these tables. “You deserve to be on that square…that is what you get for drawing on the wall with crayons…”
Section HI – This area had much more of an intellectual mood. “Great score…JUKEBOX…unfortunately there were no colored squares beneath, but you do get the bonus for using all of your pieces.”
Section J – Another rule explanation…”Now this piece can move two spaces the first time it moves and can move %^*# (couldn’t hear what he said because of the background noise) afterwards.
Section K – Looked like a family oriented game. “You got five boys and the rest are girls filling each of the spots in your car…good thing you have a Doctor’s salary, you are going to need it!”.
Section L –I overheard someone whisper this to another onlooker about what they thought at the moment “…it has to be one of the women who committed the murder, and you know how many there are…”.
Section MN – Probably the most popular area of the hall…” I know I won money from the beauty pageant, but I still only have one blue one, one yellow one, two pink ones, and one white one. I probably won’t last another turn…”.
I wandered back and checked upon the General, but he was immersed within his world of squadrons and infantries. Although I enjoyed this world of board games, I was suddenly in the mood for treasure hunting…
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