Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hi Ho(-ly Hell This Dull) Cherry-O

Yesterday I played approximately one hundred and forty games of Hi Ho! Cherry-O with my daughter. So. Many. Cherries.

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And listen: I say this as an enthusiastic lover of board games. I absolutely love board games: Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Scattergories, chess, checkers, mancala, Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue, you name it. I am competitive and enthusiastic and GAME, especially if the game involves extensive knowledge of presidential trivia or extremely obscure D-list actresses or being able to name sandwich toppings that start with "V" (Vlokken, by the way. Just FYI.). When it comes to games, I AM YOUR GIRL. People, I will even patiently play Candyland with small children, and I think we can all agree that CandyLand is no barn-burner.

But, holy sweet pigs in a blanket, this is one excruciatingly boring board game.

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Though it's hard to be cranky about it when certain other people are so clearly enthralled. And, coming from a family that frequently rebuffs my own board game advances, I want to be supportive. If you're not familiar with the nonstop-thrill-ride that is Hi Ho! Cherry-O it goes like this:

Spin the dial...

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...which determines how many cherries you remove from your tree...

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...and then remove the cherries from your tree and put them in your bucket.

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Lather, rinse, repeat until numb and listless. First one to empty their tree wins, but understand I am using "wins" in the absolute loosest sense. There are certainly no winners in Hi Ho! Cherry-O. There are, sadly, not even cheaters in Hi Ho! Cherry-O, which is a shame because certain sneaky adults can't hustle the game along.

But Ellie loves it, can't get enough of it, and is probably wondering right now when the next game of Hi Ho! Cherry-O will happen. She knows this for sure: it can' t possibly be soon enough.

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Also, I think it makes her hungry.

But after our one hundred and thirty-ninth round, something awful dawned on me. This feeling I was having? That odd cocktail of restlessness and boredom and very slight desperation and ohjustputthecherriesinthebucket?

I'm afraid it is the precise feeling that Byron and Croptop Dickie have every time I beg, cajole, and force them through another Trivial Pursuit death march. ("C'mon! It's so FUN and you're so GOOD at it. Don't you remember? How much FUN we had last time? Look: little pieces of pie!") I am their preschooler, desperately clutching her box of Hi Ho! Cherry-O, wild-eyed and hopeful, begging for a little bit of their time and attention. This, my friends, is a sobering realization.

Sadly, the realization doesn't make Hi Ho! Cherry-O any more stimulating so, in an effort to keep up, I'm exploring alternative energy sources.

artificial intelligence

playing with roomba
It's for the best. Unlike some people, he never cheats.

36 comments:

Beth said...

I agree 100%. My boys endlessly drag me into this game. I love board games as well, but this one really is a snoozefest!!

Lisa Milton said...

I am ever so thankful this game never made it to my porch.

My mothering skills would be taxed.

Ug.

Roomba looks like much more fun...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Maybe your indulgence in this Hi Ho Cherry-O fetish will earn you a Scrabble partner a few years down the road. It worked for me!

Stu said...

Oh man, I remember playing that game for what seemed like days on end. I usually set a 15 min time limit so I did not go insane and jump off the nearest building.

I know, "Dad of the Year" is slipping through my fingers again...

-Stu

Angie said...

Ugh. I'm the worst game player in the world.

For me? Candyland was the absolute worst. It never failed, I would get almost to the top of that damn mountain and draw the frickin' Mr. Plumpy card and have to sliiiiide all the way back down to the bottom.

Little did I know, my sneaky little shit kids would 'plant' the Queen Frostine card so they knew where it was and get booted to the top of the mountain in record time.

Turds.

Luckily, Hi-Ho Cherry-O never entered our house.

Chris said...

You're a good mother. Nice your daughter embraces games like you do. You both would fit in beautifully here in Utah...

I too beg/coerce people into games, food, drink, exercise, purchases. I would play Trivial Pursuit with you...

www.csquaredplus3.typepad.com
(Sorry - I STILL don't know how to get my blog link attached to my name. Duh. Help.)

(Wait. I think I may have done it...)

princessofsomething said...

I hate playing board games with my children. Every birthday, every Christmas, every time I go garage saling, I find board games I adored as a child and I think "my sons should learn how to play this wonderful game." And then I get it home and the children want to play it seventy-five times in a row, and I start hating myself for buying it.

I would love to come play board games with you. I'll leave the kids at home with my husband so he can play Memory twelve hundred times with them. Deal?

Rima said...

I've never played the Cherry-O game, but lately I've been strong armed into Hungry Hungry Hippos and I must say that, as childrens' games go, it's not half bad. I can play it for about fifteen minutes.

P.S. "vegemite." (sp?)

Kristen M. said...

Now you've made me feel bad. As a kid I put my mom and my brothers through many, many hours of Hi Ho Cherry-O (isn't it just the best game name ever?!? it at least SOUNDS exciting!). I never thought I was torturing them. Maybe I deserve to go buy the game for my son and have to play it now as an adult. :)

bluemountainsmary said...

Looks like the apple (or cherry) has not fallen far from the tree!

We used to love board games. Standard dinner parties for us always included a game of articulate or trivial pursuit.

I need to find my board game mojo again!

Mrs. G. said...

I smell a tragedy. Roomba is going to get all revved up, suck up all those cherries and then Ellie is going to smother him with throw pillows until he gives up the ghost. Don't say I didn't see it coming.

justjuli said...

Fortunately, I have never had to suffer through a single game of Hi Ho Cherry-O. (Although I think I like your name for it better!).

My friends sit through Cranium, Hoopla, Apples to Apples, and - yes - Trivial Pursuit with me occasionally as well.

I think a group of game-minded gals should plan a winter time weekend escape where all we do is play brainy board games, do puzzles and consume adult beverages. Also - maybe eating as well. :)

In the meantime - just think that soon your youngest one can join in on the Hi Ho Cherry-O action - leaving you and hubby some free time to concentrate on those letters hanging out under the fridge. (wink, wink!)

MamaBird said...

snort. personally I am suffering through "team" puzzle marathons (in which my child chooses puzzles WAY TOO HARD for her 5yo self) - but I will cross Cherry-No off the noncompetitive games list.

standing still said...

I was the child raised by the food nazi. We had "candy iz verboden" in our house. Where were the Ho Hos? Razzies? Ding Dongs? Throw me a Kiss, Mom. A chocolate chip. Something!

So, I loved Candyland. I got to stare into the endless lanes of candy and gumdrops and I didn't care if I had to go back ... I just wanted to go around some more. It was the answer to my poor, sugar starved fantasy world.

Same with cherries. No cherries in our home. Too expensive. Have an orange, or some more CARROT STICKS. So, I loved that game too.

Now that I write it all out, it's just a little bit sick and twisted.

Nancy said...

I just got asked if my daughter wanted this for her birthday. I unknowningly said "yes"...I am in for a world of hurt.

WHERE WERE YOU TWO DAYS AGO?!?!?! Oh right, playing that mind numbing game...pray for me!

planetnomad said...

I hate board games. I'm with your husband and brother on that. But I've got a kid who loves them. LOVES them. Maybe he could come live with you?

and also, I remember playing Hi-Ho-Cherry-O as a child myself, and loving it! I think it teaches math or something...

Jennifer H said...

No, I have no idea what happened to all the cherries to our game. (If my kids ask, you don't know either.)

I lovvvved that game when I was a kid and now? Just kill me.

Your title is hilarious!

the (new) cheap chick said...

It's those cherries - they look tasty, and if she can't eat them, she at least gets to play with them.

Maybe if you switch it out to Hi Ho Green Beans, she'll lose interest?

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Dear Secret Girlfriend #1:

Board games or bored games? I can't decide either. But I still love playing them with my little girl too.

Love, Cheri

Ok, Where Was I? said...

I've never played this one, and now I'm glad to hear I haven't missed out. Funny post. And that photo with the lip stuck on the side is great.

wehave9 said...

Too funny! My son always makes me play this Thomas the Tank game that is even more tedious than chutes and ladders! I finally hid it and thankfully he hasn't asked for it! Does that make me a bad mom...or a smart mom?!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I always try to move the pointer when they aren't looking.

Stephanie said...

I love the IDEA of playing games with the kids, but the actual game playing -- ughh. We finally have found one we all like. Fluxx and the easier version for the non-readers, Family Fluxx.

Amy the Mom said...

When my husband was courting me, we played Scrabble endlessly. No longer. When we bought Scene It for the Xbox, I "pwned" everyone in the house, and now no one will play with me. I have a closet full of board games and no playuhs.

Sweet Pepita said...

Oh my. I've never even heard of this game. Although I have to agree with Ellie. It does look delicious.

Nora Bee said...

Melanie, trust me, we should play Scrabble. I will out-needy you AND your cherry tree-lovin daughter.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, I feel so convicted. I'm wondering if this is how my husband feels when I, too, force him to play yet another game of Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble.

Saucy said...

Easily, the best picture I saw on the web today: eating the cherry board game. So, so good.

Louise said...

Hilarious! And love that the realization hit after 139 games. But really, who cares? When YOU'RE the one begging, what does it matter?

All Adither said...

Oh, I was about to buy that. I'm so glad you warned me!

Irene said...

I very easily get bored playing any board game and this one sounds like it would turn me into a blathering idiot very quickly. Good for you for hanging in there so well. You must have much patience and love. Oh, the things we do for our kids and hope we are rewarded for them down the line somewhere. Maybe she will play Go Fish with you when you are really old.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

You should have seen/heard the dismay when I finally decided the game had to go - when my children were 8 & 6, no kidding.

Gah.

But I am with you on Trivial Pursuit, Scattergories, and Pictionary. Bring it.

Jennifer said...

I loved playing this game at Grandmas. I was thinking of getting it for my kids the other day. Now I'll have to think alittle more about.

I've got time thou the kids are still too young to play.

Sharon said...

I had COMPLETElY blocked the memory of playing that game with my daughter when she was a toddler until I read your post. I may need to send you the therapy bill soon.

ophelia rising said...

Oh my God, I used to LOVE this game! Just seeing it brought back all the cherry memories. Wow! Extreme boring-ness duly noted, I might actually see if I can pick it up somewhere.

Amy said...

We have games like this at my house too! I think one of them is Go Diego Go! Talk about boring!!

Thankfully for me though my two oldest can play together now and I get a break!