This evening my brother came to visit me and brought my nieces Karen and Joanne with him. The point- to cheer me up, the actuality- to traumatise me for life.
My brother and I get on very well but like many brothers we rarely see each other. He works and has a family. Me, well I just skive. My nieces I see quite often but until tonight I didn’t realise just how little I know them. This experience has shaken the bedrock of my Universe and made me see my family in a whole new light.
Dil, ( my brother) had suggested last week that maybe we could enjoy an evening of cards and company. Why I didn’t listen I have no idea but foolishly I suggested a game of Balderdash of which I used tio be very fond. Maybe one of the reasons for that fondness was getting used to the way the other players used to couch their answers so you knew who’d written what. For instance it was well known that if the answer contained animals it was likely written by Ju, I was always accused of writing medical or historical ones and various friends might do mechanical or ones that involved Viking Township names. Tonight I played blind and it was scary.
For those of you who have not heard of Balderdash let me explain. It’s very similar to the TV panel game of Call my Bluff. One person reads out a word and everyone else writes an explanation ridiculous enough to be believable to try and fool the other players. That done, the reader then reads out all the answers including the real one and asks the players to choose the one they think is true. Points are scored for getting the right answer and also if your answer is chosen by someone else. In other words it’s a game for poker faced liars.
Tonight I found out just what liars my family are. We had words where the explanations given by each player were more convincing than the real answer and everyone kept a completely straight face while there’s was read out making it very difficult, nay impossible, to guess which they’d written until the time for scoring came. What an eye opener when my niece Karen can give as a definition of the word Jejunator- a Spanish Politician or Jo for the word Craquelure- a Precipitation of hailstones or my brother for Titubation- To make a mockery of. I was horrified to see just how easily they lied.
We had time for three games before they left. Three games in which I was shocked to think they may go back home now and lie just as easily and convincingly there. I confess the only saving feature of the night was that I won two of the games so saved them from themselves. A noble sacrifice but one I was willing to make.
Jejunator. A person who goes on a fast.
Craquelure. The crazed marks in the glaze of a painting.
Titubation. Staggering or reeling.