Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Playing Risk with my 2 brothers whenever I go home to visit my family is a tradition that goes back to 2001. That Christmas, I was living in Austin and my oldest brother still lived in Little Rock (about 3 hours from my parents), and we both got snowed in at my parent's for an extra 3 days because of a giant, unexpected blizzard. So to pass the time, my brothers and I started playing Risk. We must have played 6 games in those 2 or 3 days, and somehow it stuck. Now my oldest brother lives about a half mile from parents, so whenever I go visit, the three of us, at some point, bust out the board.

I actually despise playing Risk. I think it's boring and stupid, and even worse, it makes me feel stupid. My oldest brother, on the other hand, loves it. He's the total left-brain, total logic, math and science, computer guy. I guess he just has fun playing with my other brother and myself, because it never fails, every game, he just wipes the floor with both of us. This past Christmas, somehow, someway, I actually managed to win. It was a total accident, and if you'd asked me how I did it, I wouldn't be able to explain it. I just did. It was a fluke.

Nevertheless, I think it gave me an artificial confidence. Because tonight, we played again, and I do believe it might hold a record for the shortest game ever. In just over an hour, my oldest brother managed not only to win, but to win so swiftly and quickly that even I didn't have a chance to get bored before it was over.

So I play Risk. It's a fun thing to do with my brothers, and mostly we just sit around and laugh a lot and drink a whole lot. Not that I'm drinking, really, while I'm at home this trip, because my Sunday night binge in Dallas ended up all over the bathroom of the airplane the next morning on my flight to Arkansas. I knew I shouldn't have had those last two champagne/vodka drinks. Oy.

Today, however, I had a lovely afternoon picking wild blackberries in my parent's fields with my 6-year-old nephew, then baking a cobbler with them from scratch with my mom, then playing in the pool with my nephew for about 2 hours after that. (I was alternately the sea monster and the "rescuer.")

Tomorrow I'm going out on a long bike trail with my dad, then taking my nephew to see wall-e. I'm very excited.

Then possibly another Risk game. Which I might actually at least attempt to win, after tonight's humiliating crush.

No comments: