A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Candy Land

Family Game Night is back!

It's nice to play a game not on a touch screen.

It’s nice to play a game not on a touch screen.

Lynnette and I bought Candy Land for Madison during our Gray Thursday trip to Walmart and we played it for the first time tonight. It’s a great game to play with Madison for two reasons; the rules are simple and it is a game that relies solely on random chance. There is no skill needed to play Candy Land, and that’s good, because historically, I suck at board games which don’t involve plastic men, horses, and cannons. Even then, some of my fellow generals would say that I am a merely average master and commander of my Yellow Army. To them I say Nay.

I won the inaugural game of Candy Land with the yellow man in honor of the Yellow Army. It was not a fortuitous omen.

I won the inaugural game of Candy Land with the yellow man in honor of the Yellow Army. It was not a fortuitous omen.

Our first game only took a few minutes. I hit the cinnabon-looking thing on my second or third turn and that sent me to a tile about 15 more tiles away from the Candy Castle or something equally clever and/or alliterative. I did not choke. I won the game. A few minutes ago I was saddened to learn that Abby the Plastic Destructor had somehow gotten a hold of yellow man and gnawed him into a the children’s board game version of Mason Verger from Hannibal. This prompted the following conversation between my mom and my daughter:

Karen: It [Candy Land] is not a game for dogs… who eat plastic gingerbread men.

Madison: I only eat real gingerbread mans made out of real bread.

I'd like to think that there are some things Madison offers that are firsts for my dad, too.

I’d like to think that there are some things Madison offers that are firsts for my dad, too.

So yeah, my parents are over for dinner because that’s how the weekend worked this time. Also, I wanted to be home for the entirety of the Cowboys game tomorrow because I need to do everything I can to contribute to them winning the game. No, I don’t love the Cowboys nearly as much as I love the Mets, but this whole cheering-for-a-team-close-to-the-playoffs is so new and exciting. I’ll admit it, I’m caught up in the game.

Anyway, my dad and mom might be the worst Candy Land players on Earth. Since it is a game that relies exclusively on luck, it’s impossible for my parents to throw the game so that Madison might win, but man, it sure felt like it. The game between Mad, Lynnette, and my parents went on so long that we almost had to reshuffle the deck. That’s Risk territory. My mom and dad couldn’t go ten tiles without falling into misfortune and moving fourteen tiles back. It sounds impossible, but it’s not.

How come Mad is the only one not laughing?

How come Mad is the only one not laughing?

Madison learned (I hope) a critical lesson tonight. In the words of the immortal Lenny Kravitz: It ain’t over ’til it’s over. In the aforementioned Epic Game That Would Not End, Madison raced out to a commanding lead because she pulled a popsicle card, which allowed her to advance over half the board. She started getting cocky. I don’t know if a 4-year old can talk shit, but it sure sounded like that’s what she was doing. “It looks like I’m going to win!” she said, excitedly. “I’m almost going to get to the castle!” she shouted as my parents moved two tiles per turn. She even figuratively slapped them in face by saying “It’s okay if you don’t win.” I know she doesn’t have a sense of irony yet, so I think she was sincerely trying to mitigate my parents’ disappointment.

Madison was about 12 tiles away from winning the game when she pulled the cupcake. This tile is located about 15 tiles after the start of the game. As they say in sports, she went from the penthouse to the outhouse (which is only slightly worse than the doghouse). The four adults in the room erupted into laughter. Madison went World War II-era German Dictator on us. “DON’T DO THAT!” “STOP LAUGHING!” This only made us laugh harder. “I SAID DON’T DO THAT!” Her face was so pathetic as she slowly moved her piece back down into last place. It was awesome. We were only a one-armed man’s prosthesis falling off away from me looking at Madison and sternly saying “And that’s why you never assume the W.”

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