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Every loser wins
on 24 June 2013
I bought this for a recent family get-together. Now, this was a collection of adults and they were expecting an afternoon of lazing in the sunshine while polishing off a couple of boxes of wine. However, the opportunity to watch my father, notoriously pompous and an extraordinarily bad loser, tackling an egg and spoon race like there was an Olympic gold waiting for him at the end of it was just too delicious for me to resist.
This set comes with everything you see in the picture plus appropriate instructions in three languages. These do seem to suggest that this is a child's game but I see no reason why grown-ups can't get a piece of that action. The assembled crowd that afternoon certainly saw it that way - after some initial grumbling and groaning anyway. The various bits and pieces are very helpfully provided in four colours which, with eight adults, was clearly going to mean two in each team. That's where things started going just a tiny bit wrong. Nobody wanted my father on their team, given that he was bound to take the whole thing too seriously. And nobody wanted me on their team either, given that I 'throw, run and catch like a girl'. Now, I can't deny that accusation (it's these moobs I think), but I must question why any of that might be a negative thing. Rather tragically, that put us both on the same team. The only good thing about it was that I made sure we were the Pink Team. You should have seen his face.
We set up the start and finish lines and got cracking with the first event - the bean bag race. I was the winner of that one although not, as one of my opponents so harshly suggested, because of my fat head. Actually, it wasn't my opponent at all... for some reason it was my own team-mate. He had his own chance to shine in the next event, the sack race. I couldn't have done that one anyway due to the fact I am ever so slightly overweight at the moment. The sacks are made of sturdy enough material and would have just about been roomy enough for me, but there were some quite legitimate concerns that me jumping around the garden might dislodge some of the roof tiles or somehow damage the foundations of the house so I was forced to take a rain check. It was worth that personal humiliation to watch my team-mate's own humiliation, as he and his sack were completely left for dust. He was such a bad loser that I had to laugh. Well, until he came towards me rather aggressively with a garden fork I did, anyway.
The egg and spoon race was next. This was to be a relay, requiring a smooth changeover and perfect co-ordination. Teamwork, in other words. We came last in that one by some considerable margin. Oh, those eggs are rather delicate by the way. If your team-mate decides to blame you for losing and crushes them with his bare hands it won't necessarily mean he's got the strength of Lou Ferrigno, so don't be overly impressed. My own team-mate went as pink as our team colours and I had to laugh. Well, until he came towards me rather aggressively yet again with that garden fork I did, anyway.
The last race was one we were clearly never, ever going to win: the three legged race. The word 'partners' is used in the rules to this particular game as well as a dire warning of the consequences if the Velcro band which holds these 'partners' together should fall off... you have to go back to the start. I'm not entirely convinced we ever actually made it more than one step away from the start in any case. 'Partners'? We were like Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in 'The Defiant Ones'. I was dressed more like Tony Curtis in 'Some Like it Hot' actually, but you get the general idea.
This sports day set was tremendous fun to use and really helped to make our get-together particularly memorable. The other players all said they had not had so much fun in years. I have to agree with that sentiment, because I certainly haven't laughed so much in years. Even the person I was laughing at got something positive from the experience when he subsequently hurled the box and all its contents into next-door's garden, thereby (finally) winning an event outright. Great fun.