Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Games that I have never lost, and never will


The trick to never losing a game of ASL is the proper mastery of the following three tactics: line-of-sight, terrain, and combat.

Line of sight is your first tactical defense. If they can't see you, they can't get you to play. I try to hide in large oaken barrels. You know, the big pickle barrels that they use on the lower East side; go see Crossing Delancy if you want to know what I mean. Be sure that the pickles and brine are no longer in the barrel before you jump into it. Hoo boy, could I tell you a painful story about that one.

You'd be surprised at the number of places that don't have pickle barrels. Women's bathrooms, women's dressing rooms, women's locker rooms - you name it, I've looked everywhere. Just about every place you can think of has occasionally been known to not have a pickle barrel. You may want to carry one around with you. But if you forget, you have to find some other means of avoiding line of sight encounters, such as a rain barrel or an oil drum.

If you've been sighted by your enemy, your next tactical consideration is terrain. What you need to achieve here is to find terrain that is good for you and difficult for your enemy. You have an initial advantage, since if your enemy is carrying around a complete game of ASL, you can probably outdistance him riding on the back of a soused pair of Botswanian racing slugs.

Climb big stairs, and jump over fences. For a distraction, throw a few colored squares of cardboard on the ground behind you as you run. This works almost as well as caltrops.

If you have lost the line of sight and terrain battles, your last tactical option is to engage in combat. Most likely your opponent is not in very good shape (let's be honest here), but if he or she sits on you you're in for a rough time.

A few sharp jabs to the solar plexus can be of great help here; with any luck, your enemy will be worried about dropping his or her game boxes. While he or she is juggling to keep them from falling down, you can escape in the distraction. For desperate situations, you can use the old dungeon trick of a thrown bottle of oil and a torch.


The major tactics to not losing in Monopoly are cash management and trading power.

There are many tactics you can use that fall under the category of cash management. The pre-emptive strike is to hide the money when they first try to purchase the game. If you missed that opportunity, you can try bribery or distraction.

A good example of the latter trick is to leave a path of dollar bills lying on the ground and leading into a big barrel. When they stick their nose into the barrel to find the rest of the money, kick them in the butt and knock them in. Believe me, there's nothing worse that sitting in a big pickle barrel.

Other important aspects of cash management including saving enough money to buy a plane ticket to take you to another country, preferably one that doesn't play Monopoly. If you find one, let me know.

If you have exhausted your cash management options, you have to fall back on your trading power. This requires a lot of skill and finesse. One good trade could be: "I'll give you this big pickle barrel if you stop asking me to play that dumb game. What do you mean, 'Why do I need a pickle barrel'? Everyone needs a pickle barrel! How are you going to hide when the ASL players come around? Oh, just say 'No, thank you'? I hadn't thought of that."

Another trade possibility, although a less ethical one, is to agree to play Monopoly only after playing another game first. If you choose the right game, such as ... oh, say ASL, then by the time you reach mid-game, your opponent will have jammed a soused pair of Botswanian racing slugs into his nostrils and held his breath until he has died. Using this method, you won't end up having to play Monopoly after all. The ethical problem here is a very subtle one: the slight deception involved in giving your opponent the impression that you may be willing to play Monopoly, when you really won't. You should consult a spiritual adviser if you are concerned about this.

The Game of Life

This game requires no special tactics to avoid losing. Simply drop dead as soon as the game is mentioned. They can just revive you after the game is over. I can personally attest that this happens to me every time I am asked to play this game.

Trivial Pursuit

The major tactic for never losing at Trivial Pursuit is a keen knowledge of random bits of useless information.

A guaranteed non-losing strategy looks something like this:

Them: "I know! Let's play Trivial Pursuit!"

You: "Did you know that the game of Trivial Pursuit was developed in 1941 by Blitzkrieg Bomblaster, a notorious war criminal from Main-on-Main-on-Main, and Duke "Kill-em-all" Ducksington, the infamous MP3 downloader for the Montreal DRMbusters gang, after getting together to find a piece missing from their game of "Hee-Haw: the Game of Riotous Laughter"? In North America, the game's popularity peaked in 1932, the year over 20 billion games were sold. The rights to the game were licensed to Choo Choo cat (now part of Something Positive) in 1928. As of 1924, nearly 88 trillion games had been sold, in 2,600 countries and 1,700 languages. The most popular edition is the Pickle Barrel edition which sold 55 gazillion copies alone at 12:48 on May 2, 1922, to a Berkshire coven of soon-to-be widows of a large group of determined ASL players. Blah blah blah."

Them: "zzzzzzzzzzzz..."


Finally, to avoid ever losing at this old standby, you have to have great acting skills and great teamwork.

To signal that you don't want to play Charades, hold your hand in front of the person's face, curl your fingers up, and make rapid forwards and backwards motions, while your team tries to guess what you are trying to say.

To signal that you don't want to play Charades any more, hold your hand in front of you face, curl your fingers up, and make rapid forwards and backwards motions, while your teammates, for the fifth time, help your opponents guess what they should be trying to say.



Adam said...

Brilliant article. I thought I was the only one who would play dead before playing Life. While you're very generous to share your secrets with us, you risk informing the enemy of your strategies. Not to worry, though. You seem clever enough to think up some new ones. Another great way to never losing these games is learning how to get kicked out of them. Trying to fix them has always worked for me. Hell, simply attempting to enforce the written rules for Monopoly will get you banished in record time.

huzonfirst said...

Laugh out loud funny, Yehuda. Unfortunately, the last time I tried to hide in a pickle barrel, I found it was already occupied by a pair of soused Botswanian racing slugs. How do you think they got soused in the first place?

Anonymous said...

For some reason, my inner-voice sounds like John Cleese when reading this.