Big Billy – That old charade

Minnie says, we should get Cyril and Joan and Brad and Betty over and have one of them old-fashioned games nights.

A whuh? I says, wonderin’ what she’s talkin’ about.

You know, like an old-fashioned games night – we get everybody over and play Big BIllyboard games, like Scrabble or Monopoly or somethin’.

I wasn’t too crazy about the idea, but everybody knows Brad and Betty have been on the rocks lately, and this games night thing is somethin’ Minnie and Joan cooked up to try to help them get out and have some fun together.

So I kind of forgot about it and then Friday night while I’m tryin’ to watch the Blue Jays game everybody shows up for games night.

This is gonna be fun! Joan says while everybody’s standin’ in the kitchen, takin’ their shoes off and puttin’ their beer in the fridge.

I can’t remember the last time I played board games! Minnie says, gettin’ a bowl of chips ready.

What games have yis got? Betty says, and a small look of terror comes over Minnie’s face.

Holy cripes, she says, with her hand over her mouth. I never thought of the games.

So me and Minnie go up to the kids’ rooms, lookin’ for something – anything – we can play. And since I wasn’t warm to the idea in the first place, and this was interruptin’ my ball game, I wasn’t too pleased about games night so far.

We managed to find an old Trivial Pursuit board (just the board), and about five of them little green houses from Monopoly.

Well, I says. Gonna be hard to play board games with no board game, don’t ya think?

But Minnie comes back down and announces we’re gonna play charades. And maybe that wouldn’t have been so bad, but then Brad and Betty come up with the idea that they wanna be on the same team.

Me and Minnie looked at each other – probably because we’ve been married for so long – and Cyril and Joan looked at each other the same way, because we all knew that was a terrible idea.

But we also all knew Brad and Betty weren’t havin’ the easiest time lately, and since they seemed to be gettin’ along so good, nobody was gonna say otherwise. So there we go, playin’ charades. Minnie got some slips of paper and we all wrote down stuff to act out and Cyril took off his hat so we had somethin’ to pick them from.

Betty says she’ll go first, so she jumps up and draws a slip of paper and Cyril starts timin’ 30 seconds on his watch. She laughs to herself, says OK, and then starts actin’ it out.

Now, to me, it looked like she would swivel her head around on her long giraffe neck real slow, then faster and faster, and then throw her guts up.

Swivel, swivel, puke. Over and over.

Barf! Brad shouts. Dizzy! Sick! The flu! He keeps yellin’ stuff out, and she keeps shakin’ her head no and doin’ the same thing over and over again. Spinnin’ her head around a few times and throwin’ up. And every time he guesses wrong, she gets madder and madder at him.

Finally, Cyril counts down the last five seconds out loud, and Brad is yellin’ out everything he can think of for somebody gettin’ sick. Tossin’ your cookies! he says, Losin’ your lunch! Blowin’ chunks!

… Two… One, Cyril says. Time’s up.

Ohhh for cripes sake! Betty says, stormin’ over to the couch and ploppin’ down with her arms crossed. It was “merry-go-round”! Are you blind or what, couldn’t you see I was gettin’ sick? How could you not get that?

What does throwin’ up have to do with “merry-go-round”? Brad says.

Betty rolls her eyes and says, Because I told you about the time I was at the Bill Lynch shows when I was seven and I threw my guts up after I got off the merry-go-round!

Brad had a dumb look on his face like he was tryin’ to do algebra.

You don’t even remember! she yelled. You never listen to me!

Why didn’t you pretend to be ridin’ a horse or somethin’? Brad said, kinda yellin’ back. I mighta got it then!

You could see that just drove her crazy. Oh yeah?! She yelled (she was really yellin’ now). See if you can guess this one!

And she storms out the front door in her sock feet. Before anybody can get up to take a look, she opens the door, sticks her head back in and yells, Can you guess this one, Brad?! I’ll give ya a hint – it’s “Divorce”! and she slammed the door again.

Brad took off out the door after her and me and Minnie and Cyril and Joan were just sittin’ there lookin’ at each other, not knowin’ what to make of it all.

Do you think Brad’s gonna come back for his beer? I said, and Minnie swatted me.

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