|Hours of fun. Or aggravation . . .|
Mom always appreciated a good joke.
Usually, she stood back and . . . appreciated.
Occasionally, she was the instigator.
Let me explain.
Our family had just been introduced to a new game.
Actually, an old game, originally played with paper and pencil, now in a new format.
Plastic peg boards of Mediterranean sea blue.
With cute little plastic ships.
We spent many hours playing this game, trying to outwit each other with our clever placements.
Very occasionally, we were able to convince one or the other of our parents to play.
Dad was deadly. He systematically shot at your ships.
Every third hole.
You could see his juggernaut (good word) sweeping down on your hapless little fleet and were powerless to stop him.
The game always left you feeling like a butterfly on a pin.
But Mom was a little more. . . gentle.
She would destroy your ships using woman's intuition.
You were just as dead, but you felt better about it.
One day, she was playing with one of my younger siblings, Blair.
The game had been going on for some time.
And so it went.
Until Mom had cornered Blair's final ship and was closing in for the kill.
Finally, Blair got tired of the constant discouragement.
"Where are those darn ships anyways?!" he demanded.
Mom gazed down at her board. "Ships?" she said.
Then she grinned.
She hadn't put them on the board.
Game. Set. Match.