This Game Sucks

Welcome to a post where I lose all hope of corporate sponsorship by the makers of Uno.

I must start by telling you that Uno was and is one of may favorite games.  It is a huge part of family memories from my childhood.  (Along with Mr. Mouth.  I miss him.  He doesn’t write.  He doesn’t call. I don’t see him anywhere!) Our family games of Uno were fun and, to be honest, competitive as hell.  It’s the game I first learned that it’s as much fun to screw over a fellow player as it is to win it all.

So, when I saw this game:

I knew we had to have it.  It practically jumped itself into my cart.  Also, angels sang.  And the fairy dust rained down upon me it seems.

I was excited because I had been eagerly awaiting the age where I could play games with my twins.  I love playing games!  I knew it would be rough though.  The art of game play is not perfected overnight–not for stubborn, highly-distractable preschoolers..  Plus, in order to teach your kids to play board and card games as blood sports, you have to kind of teach them to be assholes.  (I am going to have to do that part without their daddy noticing.)

The object of Uno Moo! is to be the first one to get rid of all your cute little farm animals and of course to yell “Uno!” when you are down to one animal.  Each animal has a color and a face that tells you what animal it is.  So, just like real Uno, you can match the color or, in this case, the face.  There is a skunk that is a draw 2 ‘card’ and a farmer piece that acts as a wild ‘card’.

Hello Mr. Skunk. I will knock you back into that barn now.

Here’s where the suck part comes in.  First, everyone starts with 5 animals.  Great.  But, to pick your five animals you just reach into the open barn.  Like this:

Um, can't I just pick whatever animals I want?

As you can see, there is not much randomness built in.  My boys like to grab one of every color.  (Clearly they have not learned how to cheat yet.) I can get them to close their eyes and pick, but I can’t really keep them from seeing what everyone else picks unless I make each kid pick in a room by themselves.

So, let’s just say I was super committed to the integrity of picking blindly and did in fact make my kids exit the room so that one person picks at a time?  Well, then you run into the next item of suck:

Peek-a-boo fellow player's animals. I see you!

You ‘hide’ your animals behind these adorable little hay stacks.  Hay stacks that are just about 2 centimeters taller than the animals.  My kids are only 3 and a half, but even they can see over them.  This goes back to effectively screwing over the other players.  Let’s just say I have a wild, and I want it to benefit only me and possibly send a fellow player to the bottom of the heap in a heartbeat?  Well, how much easier can it be?  I just pick a color they don’t have because I can see them all.

Needless to say, this game is not fun.  It really isn’t a game.  It’s more like take your turn popping animals into the barn.  We play basic rules.  (The skunk is not draw 2, and you do not have to say Uno, because, duh, we can see when you only have one animal left.)  Jack has finally learned that you have to match the animal sitting on the barn door instead of just pushing in the animal of your choosing.  I do make them draw if they don’t have the right animal to play.  Which calls back into play the drawing from an open container issue.  Again, closing their eyes is the best we can do.  But THEN we get another sucky thing:

A little crowded in there.

The animal that was just pushed into the barn?  Yeah, it’s on top now.  So, it almost always gets picked.  Then we have a vicious cycle of drawing and not ending the damn game.

This game is okay for now, but I am super disappointed.  It is not at all a vehicle for learning cutthroat gaming.  And that, my friends, is what it’s all about.

I’m Sorry, But Not Really

“Happiness means never having to apologize for being me!”

–Gretchen Rossi, RHOC

This Woman Does Not Care About Your Feelings

Yes, I’m quoting reality TV right off the bat.  But trust me, you’re about to learn something from these crazy beyotches.

One of my latest annoyances is the fake apology.  Now, I’m not talking about the ones my kids give their dad because they know he is a softie and will immediately retract all punishments if they cry and say sorry.  I’m talking about the apology that makes it seem like the speaker is making amends, but, really, it’s just lip service.

I got to thinking about this while watching Real Housewives–both Orange County and New York.  These women love to toss around the fake apology.  As in, “I’m sorry.  I’m just being real.”  Or, “I’m sorry.  I’m just blunt and call it like I see it.”

What do those fake apologies mean?  “I’m sorry that you are so sensitive that you can’t take my cutting remarks.”  Or, “I’m sorry you pointed out my rudeness.”

Some of my readers know that I’m not shy with the sarcasm or inappropriateness.  The difference is I really am sorry if I hurt someone’s feelings.  I do try to change my behavior to match the setting and audience.  I try very hard only to mock those who know I’m kidding and know I’m fair game for mocking too.

Being yourself does not mean being an asshat whenever you feel like it.  If you must spew venom, get a blog and rail on nameless innocents.  That’s what all the cool kids do these days.  As for me, I’ll take any sincere criticism to heart and work to be funny AND nice.