Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Battleskip

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.
Battleship.
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.
Mom: "B-8."
Blair: "Hit." .
Blair: "G-3."
Mom: "Miss."
Mom: "B-7."
Blair: "Hit."
Blair: "G-1."
Mom: "Miss."
And so it went.
Finally, Mom had cornered Blair's last ship and was closing in for the kill.
And that's when Blair got tired of the constant discouragement. "Where are your 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.

10 comments:

  1. Pure evil wrapped in a gingham apron and scented with cookies. How could you stay mad at someone like that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A clever move. Expend the enemy's ammunition of phantom ships. I wonder if the navy had considered this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm . . . I'm going to write a letter . . .

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Id' like to say she taught me everything I know. But then I think about stories like this and I realize it just isn't so!

      Delete
  4. Haha What a great game that must have been. :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Diane, I have a confession--as a child, I hated Battleship! I have never been a good strategis, you know. To my greatest horror, the Son developed the passion for the game when he was ten. As any dedicated mother, I rolled up my sleeves and took to the game. Sadly, it never grew on me and the Son soon abandoned his desire that I play. ha! Reading your post, I can imagine what fun it must have been to go up agains your mom! Hugs! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just proves that the very simplest strategy is the one that works! :)

      Delete

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