On the scale of Favorite Years, I'm pretty sure this one is not going to rank very high. [Yes, that is a thing, the Favorite Year scale; it's not my fault if you've never heard of it before.] As I was talking about here, this year all of my kids are moving up to the "next thing" and I'm not enjoying that at all. bah! on aging! No my aging; I don't mind that, but, man, I just want my kids to quit growing up. Where's the reverse?
My middle kid, the younger boy, just turned 13. [We're working on his high school applications, right now. HIGH SCHOOL APPLICATIONS! Why is that a thing?] His birthday party, which involved a bunch of middle school boys sleeping over, was this past weekend. On the plus side, it's easy to entertain middle school boys, so a boy sleep over requires much less work than a girl sleep over. I say that from experience. Still, it was a lot of noise. [Seriously, it was a lot of noise. One of the boys (who had never been over before) has a rather booming voice (which I knew), and he's one of those people (like my son) who has to loudly exclaim at everything happening during a video game.]
The definite highlight of the evening was the game of Munchkin. None of the boys had ever heard of it and were a little apathetic about the idea of sitting down and playing a card game. I suppose board games, or anything that resembles a board game, are completely out of fashion these days. But my son really wanted to play, so I insisted. Ironically, that included having to force him to quit playing Minecraft on his friend's laptop (which shouldn't have been here to begin with because we had a no electronic devices rule in effect (because, last year, the boys did bring their devices and spent the whole evening isolating themselves on electronic crack). Apparently, my son conveniently "forgot" to tell this one particular boy not to bring his electronics, this boy being his main Minecraft buddy. [The underlying issue here is that my son's computer is ailing, especially the video card, and will no longer run Minecraft without crashing. The computer is nearly a decade old, so I can hardly blame it. At any rate, my son hasn't been able to play Minecraft (except for rare occasions when he gets to at someone else's house) for at least six months, now, so I'm mostly okay with this bringing his laptop and letting my son play Minecraft on it. Still, I had to kick my son off of it so that we could do what he wanted to do in the first place.]
Can I just say, right now, how difficult it is to set up a game like this with a bunch of middle school boys all asking questions at the same time, some of which are relevant but most of which are... less so. And all of them repeating, "Can we look at our cards?" while already doing it, so it was a good thing they could look at the cards or I would have had to re-deal about seven times. I say seven times (even though there were only four boys) because they would have compulsively looked at their cards anyway, even after being told not to, if that had been the case. I know this because three of them kept picking up cards they'd already played and putting them back in their hands and two of them kept trying to discard cards they didn't want to be holding no matter how many times I told them that they couldn't just discard cards and one of them kept trying to trade "door" cards even though you can't trade "door" cards. So, yeah, getting through the setup took much longer than expected.
But once we started playing, it was a magnificent event! They were the most back-stabby players I've ever seen. One moment, one of them would be helping another of them; the next, he would be tossing a curse on him. It was both awesome and hilarious and made for an exciting game. They had no compunction and would do their best to make sure everyone lost every fight. Until... until they ran out of cards to make each other lose. It was a lot of fun, and they immediately wanted to start another game, but it was nearly midnight, and I had to just say no.
They also wanted to play immediately the next morning, but I had to cook breakfast for them and stuff and, by the time they were finishing up with their food, a couple of them had to leave, so we never got in another game. It was a big hit, though.
In other news, I am now on twitter. I'm still trying to figure the whole thing out, but feel free to follow my twitterings. I'll probably even follow you back.