Game night means serious business

Karen Wils photo Game night at our house.

ESCANABA — The stakes are high!

The competition is fierce.

It’s a mixture of the serious silence of concentration and the sound of silly laughter.

It’s board game night at the Wils’ house. Wear your “thinking cap” and your “lucky shirt.” Pull up a chair and join in the fun of a game of Trivial Pursuit, Apples to Apples, Balderdash or Pictionary.

Winter evenings are perfect for playing old fashioned board games. So, put down those computerized devices and gadgets and be ready to look your opponent in the eye!

Karen Wils photo Big decisions, Lori and Mark concentrate on the big game.

Prepare some finger food snacks a head of time.

It’s a “come as you are” party. No need to change out of your ice fishing insulates or your camp woolies.

With faces still ruddy from being outdoors, it is time to warm up with a good game and some hot competition.

Grab Grandpa, the teenagers, the cousins and a few neighbors to make up well rounded teams. The more diverse the group is, the more areas of expertise.

Put the coffee on.

At our house we often make up several small groups for playing Trivia and other quiz games. Let me introduce you to some of our “star” players.

First and foremost is my sister Lori A.K.A (also known as) “Miss Hydraulics.” Her strength is phenomenal especially in the categories of geography, spelling and old time rock ‘n’ roll.

Don’t let her sweet, little voice fool you… she’s out to win!

Lori is a three time community spelling bee winner and a member of a team that was past champions of church sponsored trivia.

So, if Lori is on your team, lucky you!

Sometimes we host traveling teams and players. Some come from as far away as Washington Island, Wis. My brother Jim and his wife Ann love game night when they come to Escanaba to visit.

They are truly a dynamic duo! Jim is a retired school teacher and Ann is Martha Stewart of Washington Island. There is not a math formula or a cooking term that they do not know. They are also avid Jeopardy fans who answer most of the questions before the TV players do.

Jim, the former math and science teacher, once drew a picture describing the word “numb” to win a Pictionary game that is still talked about today!

And then there is Dave and Deb my younger brother and his wife. They are so loving and intelligent… such a cute couple but they cheat like heck!

Dave and Deb after over twenty years of marriage can read each other’s minds! One time during a Pictionary game, Deb drew a squiggly line on the paper and Dave shouts out “Bob Hope.” He read her mind. She could have left the paper blank!

On the far end of the table we have Bazooka Bob. He pretends to be chowing down on the pickled fish and crackers but don’t trust him! He is a former High School Quiz Bowl player (along with his cousin Todd) and he’s ready to answer any “Science and Nature” question to win the game. Let’s hope he gets stuck with an “Arts and Literature” question instead.

My daughter Ellen such a bright honor roll student, has a creative flare for writing false meanings for words in the game of Balderdash.

I never win at these games. So I just keep passing out snacks and drinks.

Some lucky person or team might win a chocolate bar or maybe some venison sausage.

There’s nothing like a good game on a winter’s night. Whether its cribbage, Monopoly, Risk, Michigan Rummy or any of the Trivia games, good luck and laugh lots!

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Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong north Escanaba resident. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.