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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 20, 2007 / 6 Elul, 5767

Bored games

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | OK, here's a nostalgia question: What childhood game does this remind you of?


"Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick."


If you answered, "Spin the Bottle," then I frankly do not want to know any more about your childhood. What I'm referring to is, of course, the classic board game "Clue," in which you try to solve a murder by using a logical process of deduction to narrow down the various possibilities until your sister has to go to the bathroom, at which point you cheat by looking at the answer cards. At least that was always my strategy.


In Monopoly, my strategy was to be the car. The car was one of the little metal game-board pieces; the other ones, as I recall, were the hat, the dog, the shoe, the guy on the horse and the iron. I never wanted to be the shoe, and I definitely did not want to be the iron. I wanted to be the car because I could make car noises by vibrating my lips — brrrrmmmmm! — and drive the car around on the floor to amuse myself while waiting my turn, which is mainly what you do in Monopoly, which I always considered to be one of the most boring activities on the planet.


But I had friends who loved it; when we played, they became insane, money-grasping capitalist pigs. They'd crouch next to the game board, looking over the tops of their hotels with greed-crazed eyes, watching me throw the dice, waiting for the little car to come around the corner, motoring innocently along — brrrrmmmmm! — until it stopped on — Hah! — Boardwalk, and they'd triumphantly announce that I owed them some huge amount of pretend money that they knew to the exact pretend cost of landing on Boardwalk without looking at the cards.


I'm not saying that all of these friends went on to become attorneys, but it was a healthy percentage.


I will say this about Monopoly: I was better at it than at chess. My problem with chess was that all my pieces wanted to end the game as soon as possible. "Let's get this over with!" was their battle cry. If the rules had allowed it, my pieces would all have charged out onto the board simultaneously the instant the game started. Unfortunately, this was not legal, so they had to content themselves with charging out one at a time, pretty much at random, and immediately getting captured. Here's what it they sounded like:


PAWNS: Oh, no! They got the Knight!

KING: Darn it!

BISHOP: I'll go next!

KING: Good luck!

PAWNS: Oh, no! They got the Bishop!

KING: Darn it!

QUEEN: I'll go next!

KING: Good luck!

PAWNS: Oh, no! They got the Queen!

KING: Good! I mean, Darn it!


Because of the level of my chess game, I was able — even against a weak opponent, such as my younger brothers or the dog — to get myself checkmated in under three minutes. I challenge any computer to do it faster.


The one board game that I still play is Scrabble. I like it because, unlike most other board games, which basically are pointless time-consumers, in Scrabble you can do something mentally stimulating and worthwhile: make naughty words. There is nothing quite like the sense of intellectual accomplishment that comes from spelling out, say, "b-o-s-o-m," knowing that it will be sitting there on the board for hours, staring up at your opponents.


The problem with Scrabble is that it leads to arguments like this:


FIRST PLAYER: . . . e, e, t. There!

SECOND PLAYER: "gleet?" What the hell is "gleet"?

FIRST PLAYER: I have no idea, but if you can use "pood," I can use "gleet."


The thing is, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, both "gleet" and "pood" really are words, as are "kloof," "fremitus" and "woomera." It turns out that, if you have a big enough dictionary, just about everything is a word, which means you can put down any old letters you want and claim it's a legal move.


Of course, you have to be careful whom you're playing with. The number of violent Scrabble-related incidents is on the rise. I have here a news item from the Nov. 29, 1996, Hagerstown, Md., Morning Herald, sent to me by alert readers Bill and Louisa Sonnik. Here are the first two sentences of this item, which I am not making up:


"SMITHSBURG — A Hagerstown woman was charged with second-degree assault on Wednesday night after her husband was struck in the forehead with a Scrabble game board, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department. The incident happened when the man tried to restrain the woman after she threw the Thanksgiving turkey into the yard."


The item does not state why the woman threw the turkey, but I would not be surprised to learn that a word like "gleet" had something to do with it. I would also not be surprised if, next Thanksgiving, this couple leaves the Scrabble board in the closet and just throws the turkey, which sounds like more fun.

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Previously:

Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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