The Royal Family

In my family, it’s not a board game. It’s war.

It’s been that way ever since TheDad and I met, and I beat him in a game of Trivial Pursuit–on our first date.

Actually, some of the board games are wars, since the guys around here play Risk, Axis & Allies, and Stratego.

And Little Brother is just as competitive as the rest of us. He doesn’t want to let the age gap between him and his siblings stand in the way of his winning a game. When he plays Trouble, it’s cutthroat. He will take every opportunity to send someone else’s guy back to Start. And he’ll whine and cry if someone sends him back there.

Sometimes I’m nice when I play against him, and I cut him a break. But nice guys finish last in Trouble, and I wasn’t in the mood to be nice after he cleaned my clock in the first game, so in the second game I took his guy out whenever I could. I told him that if it was OK for him to play that way, I could do it too. I beat him by a lot. In the third game, I cut him a break and told him I was being nice. Then I counted up how many times I was being nice. “Look at this, I’ve been nice to you 5 times already in this game. How many times are YOU going to be nice?”

He thought about that. “3.”

Gee, what a guy.

Now when he wins a game, he claims his title. “I am King of Trouble,” he announced when he won. “I’m royaler than you.”

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