Amid all the items that have come out of boxes in the last week and a half, one game held a special fascination for Ladybug. She scattered all the playing cards from the game, and went all over the house buzzing the buzzer until someone, who may or may not have been me about to lose my mind from the incessant buzzing,
sledgehammered the obnoxious buzzer to smithereens took the batteries out.
Anyone remember the board game Taboo? Do they even still sell Taboo? (Okay, yes, they do. I just checked.) It’s actually a great game; you receive a code word and try to describe that word to your team without saying any of the most commonly-used words about it. Here’s an example:
Well, our Taboo game hasn’t been played in years. We tried once and Honey and I couldn’t stop laughing at how inept we were at coaxing the code words out of our children. They thought we were laughing at them and tried to turn the tables on us, only to get mad that we wouldn’t say the code words either. That was fun for the whole family. (You may remember I quoted Jerry Seinfeld on this topic a few weeks ago.)
So when I was confronted with the trail of scattered cards, I thought about chucking the whole mess out. But seeing as how I know exactly where our trash ends up (a post for another day, believe me), I didn’t want the guilt of trashing the environment with Taboo. I started picking up the cards. At the bottom of each card appears, on the blue side, a copyright mark with the date the game came out: 1989! Wow. Surely after 24 years, some of these cards had to be out of date. I started paying more attention to what was printed on the cards.
You might have noticed the newspaper theme that prevailed in the picture above. Einstein is the only one of our kids (including our 23-year-old Cartwheel) who knows who Walter Cronkite even is, and that’s only because when he was tiny, I had a paperback by Mr. Cronkite and Einstein used to ask, “Who dat? Dat’s Wa-ter Con-kite!”
(It occurs to me all of a sudden that there may be a reason my children appear a little odd to other people sometimes, and that that reason may not be entirely their fault. Ahem.)
And if Walter Cronkite is not exactly a household name these days, well, the other two cards don’t fare much better. Three of the words that describe “Scoop” have to do with reporting, and “Newspaper”? Yeah. I love and miss them, but in 2013, are they a “daily” item? No.
Here’s another set:
Which of these makes you laugh the most? That you can’t say “attractive, gorgeous, handsome” when describing “Hunk”? That there’s a whole card about the way Gorbachev ruled the Soviet Union? Or that the TV show “thirtysomething” describes “Yuppie”? (And no, none of my kids know what a “yuppie” is either.)
Try this set:
Other cards had just one outdated term on them. For “Lily,” you couldn’t say “Tomlin.” For “Shampoo,” no mention of Warren Beatty. For “Samurai,” leave John Belushi out of it. (Even Honey didn’t get that one.) Evel Knievel hasn’t been the go-to “Motorcycle” celebrity in a good, long time. Reading through these made me laugh.
But for every three outdated cards, there was one that you might have guessed would be outdated by now, but isn’t. Here you go, people, straight from Taboo in 1989:
That’s right. Graceland – still going strong. Our 17-year-old visitor from Spain counted it among the highlights of his trip to see us last summer. The first word I think of when I hear “Queen” is “Elizabeth,” reigning since 1952! And, well, Fidel Castro does cross my mind from time to time for some reason. I put these three cards back in the game.
This is the kind of thing, in case you ever wondered, that makes me love moving. The fact that Taboo isn’t buried so deep that we never even see it. The fact that we move crazy things like this all over the world. And the fact that that stupid buzzer has finally been silenced.