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Subject: Explaining the rules..A Men's Club Special rss

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Simon Robinson
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It's another meeting of the Men's Club; that hallowed place to which women can only come if they are carrying
a) Alcohol
b) Food
c) A foody/alcohol mix
The reason women can't actually come to a Men's Club meeting is're not men. Oh yeh, and because they break the rules of the Men's Club. Such as...
1) They read rules,
2) they go into shops to buy things and actually think in advance about what they intend to buy,
3) They only buy power tools when they need them,
4) They know what colour underwear they are wearing without having to look,
5) They ask questions about the food you cook them (e.g. (her) "Did you put any Basil in this?" (me) "Er...maybe" (her) "Did you take it out of the tub first?" (me) "Er..Was I supposed to?" etc.)

The lads are all here...
There's Elk; a man so proficient in remembering what other players are doing that he can go to the toilet and remember not only where he was sitting but what colour he was playing.

There's John; a games aficionado. He know's games. mind you, he did think that Acquire was something that sang ahymn, so he's not that smart..

There's Brett; Strategy-Meister. His only problem is that his strategy usually seems to be to lose. Man, is he good.

There's Elf; role playing expert. Elf will take a move that is moronic and suicidal so long as it- in his words- would "Look good for the movies". Elf's game playing appears to be one long flat version of "Falling Down" with Michael Douglas.

Then there’s me; the military tactician. Capable of snatching even the most guaranteed defeat from the jaws of victory.

Tonight, the Lad’s have asked me to teach them Tigris & Euphrates.

Now the smarter ones amongst you are thinking; “Wait a minute..there are 5 of them. I thought Tigris was a 4 player game?” If that was going through your mind; Well done you! And even though it clearly says that it is only for 4 players on the box; the Lad’s either can’t or won’t read.
So we’re playing the 5 player version. Supplementing the Urn, the Archer, the Lion and the Bull is the Blu-Tac; the different roles being represented by a Blue Golf tee stuck into one bit, a yellow corn-on-the-cob holder thingy stuck into another, the middle of a black biro sticking out of another and a small bunch of pretend peas stolen from Elk’s daughters play kitchen. Sorry Hollie.

So what do we do?” asks Elf impatiently.
Put your screen up first” I tell them, my natural authority clearly evident in my James-Earl Jones tones.
There is a long pause whilst 5 men realise that there are only 4 screens.
Instantly, the table is blotted out by the blur of 10 arms windmilling wildly and fighting over the 4 screens in the box.
Once the dust has settled, there are only 3 screens left; Elk, John and Brett have one each, and are all hiding it behind their backs, whilst Elf and myself are holding half a screen each.
I sigh. It’s going the same way that Puerto Rico went when they all wanted the Governor at the same time. That game ended up being used as Hamster bedding.
We’ books or something” I tell Elf, and wander off to fetch a couple of hard back books.
When I return, Elf has taken some of the Blu-Tac and has attempted to fix his screen. It looks crap and keeps falling down. It doesn’t help that the others are testing its durability by throwing discs and cubes at it. Elf is covered in a small cubic snowstorm. If he wasn’t a Christian he’d be swearing at them.
I decide that it’s best to just move on.
Put Red tiles on top of those tiger things on the board” I say, James Earl Jones beginning to sound a little more like Catherine Zeta Jones now.
4 heads bend forwards and then go into a huddle.
A ten minute argument then ensues, revolving around the statement; “That’s not a tiger, you arse” (Put forward by Elk, seconded by John, thirded and fourthed by Brett and Elf.)
Possible identities for the non-tiger range from a lion (“You’re thinking of RAAA!” says Brett. Funny Guy. Ha. Ha.) through Chimera (We knows it from mythology and is made up of different things, but since we decided that Chimeras are made up of varied bits of a lion, a snake, a chinchilla and a daddy-long legs, it was clear that that thing on the board wasn’t one of them) to a Sphinx.
Wasn’t he a bald boxer?” asks John. We think about it.
They’re all bald aren’t they?” asks Elk.
We try to think of a Boxer with hair and can only think of Dolph Lungren.
I’m not sure cos I don’t follow boxing” says elf, “but I don’t think Mr. Spinks had wings, did he?
Eventually I lose patience. “Just put the red tiles on the winged-tiger things that have blokes heads on” I shout.
Why’s he got a pot on his head?” asks Brett, peering at the board. We all take a look.
He’s right. He has got a pot on his head.
Just in case William Burroughs turns up” I say, smiling.
They stare at me. They don’t know who William Burroughs is, or what he tried to do. I’m not going to try and tell them.
Eventually we get the tiles on the board.
OK” I say, rubbing my hands together in a let’s-go-to-work kind of a way, “this is how it works…you’re aiming to score the most least points
8 eyes stare at me. Elk’s clock ticks. I didn’t put that very well. I start to stammer. really good in your baddest colour” I try.
I said the word Baddest. I’m doomed.
The room descends into a really pants series of impressions of Eminem. Hands are waved, “My Bad!” is shouted and Brett calls me his beatch.
It’s not going very well. I decide to move on.
Each turn you get to do 2 things” I say with gusto, trying to put the past behind me.
Is one of them smacking my Ho up?” asks John. I decide to be a bit clever..
It would have been, except they didn’t have Ho’s in ancient Mesopotamia!
Elf taps me on the arm. “What did they plough the fields with then?
For the second time tonight, I have an almost overwhelming urge to punch a Christian.
You can place a Leader, or place a tile” They nod. Things are looking up.
Or do those things twice”. They stop nodding. The 8 eyes are back.
Let me get this right,” asks Brett in a manner most unbecoming, “I can either place a Leader, place a tile OR place 2 Leaders and 2 tiles?” The eyes are still staring.
I think I’m sweating. Have I gone mad or has he? I keep repeating my mantra “gamesarefungamesarefungamesarefun” but it isn’t working.
You can do 2 things, but you can do either twice” I just want the eyes to go away, but now I have the brows as well. “Don’t forget you can change your tiles as well” I add helpfully.
Change them for what?” asks Elf. He can be really menacing for one of God’s Squaddies.
More tiles. Better tiles” I reply. It isn’t making sense to me anymore and I know how to play.’ll make sense when we play a round” I add, smiling nervously. They don’t look convinced.
I’m dark feeling is growing, but I ‘m not sure what it is.
Blue tiles can only go in water, no other tile can go in water” I say, feeling a little happier.
What’s this?” asks John, holding up a Monument.
It’s a monument, you get one when you have 4 square tiles on the board” A bead of sweat dribbles down by cheek.
Aren’t they all square?” asks Brett.
I mean 2 by 2” I add quickly, before moving on, “These brown cubes are wild!
Crazy man! Wo! Dig those groovy cubes Daddio!” Brett again. I’m going to slash his tyres later. All of them.
Your Green bloke can take one when 2 or more are linked together” I’m convinced I can actually hear strained synapses actually snapping apart, but they go with it.
The dark feeling is growing.
If you have a bloke linked to a temple, he gets some of those cubes at the end of your turn” It’s the most coherent thing I’ve said all night.
But you can’t have 2 Leaders of the same colour linked together by tiles
What happens if you do?” asks Elk.
Now I remember where that black feeling was coming from. I’ve got to explain conflicts to them. ever have 2 Leaders of the same colour linked, then…er…you have a conflict
How does that work?” asks John. They all perked up at the mention of the word conflict.
There is a huge pause whilst I think about it.
Elk makes a drink. John goes to the toilet. Brett and Elf have a game of Rumis.
There is no chance on Earth that they’ll get the 2 different types of conflict. My brain races. There’s a Lebanese proverb that runs “Better a neat lie than a sloppy truth
I take a deep breath…“The moment 2 Leaders of the same colour are joined, then we take it in turns to Frisbee tiles from behind out screens at the opposing Leader. As soon as one is removed, the other is the winner
There’s a pause. Then they nod approvingly.
Alright” says John, “That’s enough of that; let’s do this thing!

Well, we kind of played, but it was more Crokinole that T&E. Tiles got bent, Leaders got rolled / thrown / chewed and there were cubes EVERYWHERE. The Blu-Tac Leaders got used to weld cubes together into bizarre shapes and then got thrown, although they also survived conflicts a lot better, mostly by being stuck to the board. By the time we had finished, there was only 1 remaining screen, the bag was ripped and we were still picking tiles from behind bookcases a week later.
Having said that, they loved it!
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Rick Mathews
United States
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Well, I think it goes without saying that this will make the Session Report Hall of Fame. It'll be a setback to the further progress of western civilization, but is probably inevitable. shake
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Tom Hancock
United States
West Virginia
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Absolutely friggin hilarious. I look forward to more of the same.thumbsup
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Simon Robinson
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Tom, you are a wonderful human being who clearly has an excellent sense of humour. Glad to be of service!
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