"Don’t Growl"

I just read this post about the Pope and a board game.

I actually HAVE this board game! It’s called “Mensch aergere Dich Nicht” and when I first learned to play the game, the title was translated as “Don’t Growl.”

When I was growing up, our neighbors were an elderly couple of German ancestry. The Wagners were like “bonus grandparents” for us. We’d visit them, looking for homemade cookies, and enjoy much more: the company of two retired people who patiently let us peek in the pigeonholes of their fascinating desk, who watched and fed birds and identified them for us, who showed us their old wringer-washing mashine, who made toys for us and kept them at their home for us to play with, who let us watch them play pinochle with their friends, and who had this wonderful board game.

Basically, it’s “Trouble” with a reversible board (one side for 3 or 6 players, one side for 2 or 4) and without the Pop-O-Matic. You rolled dice instead. But the rules were the same.

When the Wagners passed away, I was fortunate enough to receive the game that had so many happy memories attached to it. I’d love to figure out a way to somehow display the antique game board (I think the box is beyond saving) because it was such a special piece of my childhood.

And right about now, I think I need to keep the title of that game in mind. It’s one of the few German phrases I know–and a good reminder for someone like me, with a tendency to fly off the handle too quickly.

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