Saturday, December 9, 2017

Board Games in Iowa.

After the Thanksgiving Turkey Dinnr, the Schwartz family plays board games for the rest of the day into the night This game called "Quelf" was rather strange. The board has characters that move around a rainbow brick road using a die to set the number of moves. Different spots would have players pick up cards much like in a game of Monopoly. Some cards in the deck insist that a player perform an action throughout the length of the game, "Roolz Cards." For instance, Pam Schwartz had to say "Wacka Wacka" any time another player laughed. Of course when she said "Wacka Wacka" we would all laugh again. Another card had Pam shout out commands like a drill Sargent, which she did with some gusto.

I pulled a card that said I must pinch the flesh around my belly button to manipulate it like a mouth to say something like, "Well this is awkward." I thought long and hard before performing that task, but ended up doing so to avoid paying a penalty. Another card insisted that I must stand in slow motion and point at the player to my left and say, "You have sabotaged my plans for the last time, en guard!" The simple goal of the game was to get to the end of the rainbow paved rainbow first. I didn't win.

Another board game called "Baker Street," based on the Sherlock Holmes books, had four players trying to solve a murder on the streets of London. Once again, a die set the pace of game play. I thought I was being clever by bypassing many possible clues to get to the scene of the crime first. The clue at the scene was no better than any other spot on the board so I had to backtrack to learn what the other players already knew. I knew that the crime had to do with the value of a bible. So I had my suspicions about the murderer and his motive, but I wasn't able to find the weapon used in time. Each player was on their own private quest and didn't have any reason to interact. After the  boisterous insanity of Quelf, this seemed far too tame a prospect.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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