A Buggy Game

Yesterday when we were at the store, Stick wanted to play X Bugs, which was described to me as goofy tiddlywinks. We set up play, which consists of picking sides (I’m the Russian bug army), and throwing stickered tiddlywinks down on the felt covered table.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t actually tell the difference between a Harvester and a Worker. In the world of Meg, items are distinguished mostly by their color. It’s usually neat, I can identify almost every plant in our overgrown “garden” by variating shade of green. Sadly, I unable to articulate these and am confused in a household where people identify based on shape.

Meg: The weeds are palish inside-watermelon-rind green.

Rational housemate: Are they pointed or round leaves?

Meg: Um, let me check.

The object of the game is to flip my pieces — green with dark green bugs — on to Stick’s, which were black with red bugs, and eliminate them. Simple enough. But certain indistinguishable pieces have special abilities or drawbacks. It was a lot like when I used to download arcade games in Japanese. Is this good or bad? I died, I guess three reds in a row was bad… unless that was good and it was the yellows that were bad?

Suddenly these words started to come out of my mouth. Big problem. I am almost always thinking incredibly mean, sarcastic thoughts. My nature is not sweet and light, but unkind and cutting. I hover at a ratio of three or four nasty mental comments for each decent thing I say. When I do say something pleasant, I require hours of mental back-patting, and I can pull these events up later, as if the time I didn’t tell someone to shove it is a shining example of my great moral fortitiude. But I’ve hidden my unstoppably bitchy side from Stick for six months or so now, so I’m not about to slip up over a game of insect tiddlywinks.

I really shouldn’t bash X Bugs to the boy who played Blokus with me. Blokus, if you’re not lucky enough to have played it, is four-player horizontal Tetris/Scrabble. (Is it just me, or does “four person horizontal sound dirty? It is just me? Oops.) If the chance to take over the board and screw over your friends isn’t enough, Blokus also has the final element of a perfect boardgame: brightly colored, easily identifable pieces.

And Stick, who really is the Best Boyfriend Ever, played quite a few rounds with me this weekend at our friends Bill and Andrea’s place.

So in my calm, considered, non-bitchy opinion, I rank X Bugs as more fun than parallel parking but not as much fun as waiting for water to boil.

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