Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You can be a winner in the game of Life

"Spin the wheel, I'm on my way, make your choice, collect my pay...."

I spent countless hours of my childhood playing the game of Life: figuring out the subtle art of spinning the wheel hard enough to get a high number, but not too hard that it spins off the board; the agonizing choice of zooming past college and avoiding all that debt, with the looming regret each pay-day; and the quest to add those little stick passengers to your car whom you love, but who inevitably end up costing you money straight to the end. As it turned out, life does very often imitate Life, although I've never figured out where else to utilize those rainbow spinner skills.

Nice and easy
These days I am looking for an updated version of the game. I need a scoring system that fits my real life, one that rewards me for the stupid things I just can't help but do. In my game of life, there are the primary points: the great successes and failures that we all experience and deal with, and there are also the secondary points: the mundane minutiae that we also all experience and deal with.

The primary points are fairly easy to understand. If you're curing diseases, you win points. If you kill people, or help others kill people, you lose them. All the things that people think of as good will get you points, all those times when you know you're doing something bad but do it anyway will result in a loss of points. Simple, right?

But just as there is more than one way to skin a cat, there is more than one way to win life. Oh, and for the record, in my game, if you are skinning cats for kicks, you lose points. In my husband's game on the other hand....

Now, onto those secondary points. These are awarded on a sliding scale, directly proportionate to our level of embarrassment at any given moment. They are what I call "schmuck points," and they help me through my moments of extreme ridiculousness. The embarrassing moments we all experience might somehow seem worthwhile if we knew we were adding to the grand tally of life. It also gives a fighting chance to those of us who probably won't kill or cure anyone, but who would like a chance to "win" all the same. 

The best way for me to explain the secondary scoring system is to provide some examples.

Example 1: Have you ever been walking somewhere, or standing somewhere... really whether or not you were moving makes very little difference... but have you ever been somewhere and thought someone was saying hi to you, only to realize (a second too late, unfortunately) that they weren't? Well depending on your reaction, you may have just earned yourself some points.
*Head nod - 1 point
*Smile - 2 points
*Big smile - 3 points
*Saying hello back (or would that be forward? Since they actually never said hi to you in the first place,  you're not responding with a hi, but rather just randomly greeting them) - 4 points
*Waving - 5 points
*Miscellaneous greeting which exceeds any normal response to hi, but which you were lulled into thinking was appropriate because this person greeted you to begin with (miscellaneous greetings can include, but are not limited to: chest bumps, high fives, long, drawn out, musical "heeeeeeeeey!"s, excitedly jumping straight into a conversation or into their arms, etc.) - 10 points

Example 2: Have you ever had "that feeling?" You know the one, walking down the street suspicious that people are checking you out and you're thinking: "Well well well, I must look pretty darn good right now." Well, guess what? You've probably got some points coming your way.
*You look good, but people aren't checking you out, you just think they should be - 1 point
*You actually look "head turning" good - 2 points
*You look OK, but the person walking right behind you (the one everyone is actually looking at) looks really good - 3 points
*You would look good if the wind hadn't caused your hair to be doing this very strange thing that you can't feel and probably won't notice until after you get home - 4 points
*You've got a bogey, that's what they're all looking at - 5 points

Example 3:
*You just tripped up the stairs - 3 points
*You were carrying drinks at the time - 4 points
*You somehow landed on your back and now can't get up - 5 points

Example 4: You have toilet paper trailing off your shoe:
*Indoors - 2 points
*Outdoors - 4 points

Example 5: Farting in an elevator
*You smelt it - 2 points
*You dealt it - 4 points

Example 6: Someone just caught someone else with their finger up their nose:
*You were the picker - 3 points
*You busted someone else - 3 points.
Yes, I know that the more embarrassing of these situations is surely being caught mid-pick, but while busting someone else can boost our confidence it also serves as a reminder that ultimately, we can all be pretty disgusting, and it won't be long before someone has the chance to catch us knuckle-deep. It's a game leveler so the same points will be awarded.

Example 7: You just congratulated someone who isn't pregnant - 
*Negative 5 points.
Never, I repeat, NEVER congratulate someone you don't know for absolute sure is pregnant. No matter whose rules you play by.

Example 8: You know Nancy? Of course, Nancy. You've known her for a few years and have always called her Nancy. Well guess what? She's actually called Susan... but here's 3 points for your troubles.

Example 9: You have fallen asleep on or around the toilet in a bar or party after being sick and have locked the door, eliminating the use of the facilities for everyone else (jeez, who does that?):
*In a bar with other stalls - 1 point
*In a bar with big enough gaps between the doors that everyone can see you asleep across the radiator shelf in the handicapped stall - 2 points (heh, heh... that sounds awfully specific, doesn't it? Well, you'll just have to chalk that up to my very vivid imagination... or my very colored past, but why don't we just stick with the imagination thing, thanks)
*At a house party with your crush - 3 points
*At a house party with only one bathroom forcing people to have to leave the party in order to pee just because you were drinking Georgi vodka, in the days before you knew that you really have no tolerance for vodka. Then when your dear friend finally managed to get you out of there and home via a long (for her) train ride where you were sick again and everyone left you alone on that side of the train as the vomitus trail shimmied from side to side along with the shaking train, you ran up the stairs from the train station, stumbled onto the sidewalk, got honked at by a passing taxi and proceeded to run into the street and chase after said taxi with both birds a blazing (middle fingers, if you will) - 4 points
*You were the friend that had to "handle" the person above - 5 points, and my eternal gratitude... I mean, if it were me, which it's obviously not, I just have an amazing imagination... remember?

Hopefully you understand why some of us might need the secondary scoring system. I'm just trying to make the game interesting. At the very least, it should make for an entertaining commercial.

Please play responsibly.

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