Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Got Games?

Our garage is stuffed to the rafters with bins full of games: old games, new games, parts of games.  We do like a good game.  Our friends refer to Gerard, my husband of 31 years, as "The GameMaster." We meet with them monthly for Game Night.  Sometimes we play games that one of our friends have found or we play dominoes or a card game.  Always Gerard reads the rules or informs the group how the game is played. None of us really have any interest in reading instead of visiting, so this arrangement works out quite well. He knows games and we trust him. Right?

Growing up I didn't play many games but, Gerard and I began playing games before we were married in 1981. I remember the time my best friend, J.Patt and her partner were visiting. We played a game called Hand & Foot (similar to Canasta). It took me a while but I figured out that Gerard and J.Patt were cheating! I found out that he has a history of stacking the deck so other people would win.  This particular incident was not for my benefit.

Gerard loves to tell the story of when he and his brothers were playing Pinochle in Tacoma. Gerard had dealt all the cards out when one of his card loving, elderly relatives, Auntie Grace came out to the carport to see what they were up to.  When she saw he had dealt a fresh set she said "let me take this hand." So David stepped out.

Gerard offered to reshuffle but she insisted everything was fine as it was.  After the exchange, she discovered she had a 1500 Pinochle in her hand she nearly hit the roof! She stopped the game (well it was really over anyway) and called all the relatives out to see this often heard of but never witnessed event.  Auntie Grace told everyone she met about that hand.  For years.  The first time we were introduced, she mentioned this miracle to me.

She never knew Gerard had rigged the deck to see the reactions of his brothers, not his aunt.  Gerard confessed to his dad what he had done.  His father wisely told him, "You can never tell her the truth, she will die believing she earned that 1500 Pinochle." (Auntie Grace has since passed away, so it's okay to go public with the story.)

Gerard also loves to teach a new game.  He taught me how to play cribbage, which is a counting game... I do not like counting, but I couldn't lose at this game.  I asked if he was letting me win? He was adamant (not Adam Ant) and said he had tried to win. Most games he plays, he can win at some point, but he doesn't have to and it is nice to play with some one who doesn't have to win. (I prefer to win.)

My GameMaster also loves to create games.  We have worked together on many game projects over the years.  He works out the strategy and details, I help with the graphics and design. This is a perfect blend of our talents. Even our kids get involved in playing the games and offering suggestions, helping us work out the kinks. Together we can create some pretty fun boards.

To help with the chores, Gerard even invented a Clue-like game using our house but added in cleaning tasks that were to be completed. Each player would go from room to room and at a certain point in the game, everyone had to stop and clean in the area their playing piece had landed. It certainly added a different twist to cleaning and chores.

One evening, while watching Late Night with David Letterman, one of our favorite programs, he decided to make a game from the show.  Of course if you know David Letterman, it had to be called "Know Your Cuts of Meat." (Yes the game features a "Big Ass Ham.")

Gerard spent hours researching different types of meats and their cuts and came up with hundreds of question cards.  We included trivia about the band and funny incidents from certain episodes we had seen over the years, including Letterman's encounters with Richard Simmons and his "NOprah Oprah" campaign about not being invited on the Oprah Show.

I enjoyed the making of this game.  We worked on it together. It was time intensive and I loved working out all the details with Gerard.  I had total freedom with the design and we put together an excellent board game. Those were fun times.

We don't have much time these days with me back in school and starting a new job. Gerard is still working weekends to help pay for my schooling.  Times are tough, but we still have our monthly game night dangling in front of us like a carrot keeping us moving forward to the prize. Our friends are good sports.

We do love playing games. Everything I know about games, I learned from the GameMaster.

Every now and then you gotta ask yourself, "Do I feel lucky?"  I do.  I got games... but I also have the GameMaster... so if we don't "got games," we can make 'em!

The Know Your Cuts of Meat Game by Gerard and Darcy Cline
In our house, Gerard is also "The CakeMaster"


  1. Oh Darcy! You are a lucky girl.
    I'm jealous. Growing up, I always wanted to play board games and card games and guessin games and word games. But I must have been adopted because I was the only one in my family.

    I am very accomplished at Solataire.

    1. I decided its never to late to start. Games bring people together... IN PERSON! Invite friends, serve food, play games. Its a win win. (Even if you lose.) Thanks for your comment.

  2. Wow! Love the game board! What a sweet post.

  3. What a terrific blog, Darcy! You are so incredibly talented in so many areas. ~Ann

    1. Thanks Ann. Its fun and also nice to see people reading.

  4. Love the game board Darcy! What a fun thing for you to do together. Looks like you have two Ann followers now. Looking forward to the X blog ;)
    ~Ann from school