After feeding ourselves like ravenous bears, there was only one thing left to do. A game had to be played. I reached for the chess set.
‘That’s no good, there are 3 of us,’ Zavile shot the idea down. (They’re Lithuanians, in case you didn’t read the previous bit).
‘Yeah, makes it more interesting with 3,’ I tried. ‘We’ve got some extra pieces from the other chess set, so we could set it up as all-against-all…’
The chess set was placed back on the shelf.
‘You’re Russian, you should be good at chess,’ I followed up.
As an aside, I’m paraphrasing these conversations. I’m no longer allowed to take notes as they’re speaking, as this was getting on their nerves.
‘Hey, what about this?’ Sister had found something lurking in the darkest corner of the games cupboard. The bottom dropped out of the tattered old box, showering wooden bricks on the floor like a grain silo sabotaged by a hungry bear.
I hadn’t seen the Jenga for a while. Forgot it existed.
You build the wooden blocks into a tower, and the players take turns to gingerly remove blocks from the structure, and place them on the top, until it becomes a kind of Babylonian tower waiting for God to withdraw planning permission.
The player who demolishes the tower must do what the Jenga instructions call a ‘dare’, which is written on the last brick they tried to remove.
I looked at a couple of the ‘dares’.
‘Mime 3 things you do before going to bed.’
‘Have you ever left the house without underwear? Details!’
I stroked my chin thoughtfully. ‘We can do all these anyway, they’re so tame.’
‘Pretend to be a chicken.’ (My memory’s failing me, now).
‘Tie your shoelace with your foot on the ground, while putting your other foot on a chair, so you look silly.’
And so on.
‘But it sounds like fun!’ Zavile protested.
‘I’m sure it is fun, but why do we need to mess around with building towers and waiting until it falls over, we can just do all these dares anyway. What’s the point?’
I've learnt not to expect a point to most things. But in the meantime, I find it interesting to come across articles like this. The gentleman from the University of Minnesota posits a 'Jenga hypothesis' , supporting conspiracy theories to explain the collapse of the World Trade Center. Certainly an idea to mention if you are trying to distract someone who wants to play a board game.