Parker Brothers Board Games. Living in 2018 is exhausting, both for global and personal reasons—my father has been dealing with lung cancer for almost a year. To cope and deal with it all I spend a lot of time indulging my passions more than usual. Which is to say I’ve spent a significant amount of time scouring local thrift shops for vintage board games, and filling my eBay watchlist full of them like I’m loading hams into a cart on “Supermarket Sweep.”
In my nightly restlessness I think about board games. Specifically, I think about the jingles to the TV ads of so many games from my youth. The 1990s was truly the golden time when mass-market board games and video games existed together peacefully, with ad time devoted to both about equal. In a slightly ironic twist, last night I couldn’t sleep as the jingle stuck in my head was the one for that classic game of terrifying your father “Don’t Wake Daddy.”
“Don’t Wake Daddy” was a simple game where you had to move your pawn to a space determined by a spinner, then press the alarm clock on the giant plastic bed in the middle a certain number of times—not knowing which one could make daddy wake up. The sculpt of the plastic figure that was the game’s title character always looked terrified for some reason—God only knows what kind of nightmares this poor plastic man dreams of.
As I fell deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of board games on eBay, I came across a particularly insane game from the early 1970s for kids called “Ice Cube.” What is the point of “Ice Cube” you ask? Simple, you make pawns out of actual ice—and the last one to melt wins. Along the way, the pawns have hot metal washers placed on them, salt, warm water, and other methods to make the characters melt.
Despite the box gladly stating “self-contained waterproof tray”—the game is super rare and goes for an insane amount of money as, according to legend, the game was so messy most parents tossed it into the trash as soon as they could. If you’re gonna make a game that isn’t even luck based, but based around the concept of…well…melting, why not take it one further? Introducing “Watch Paint Dry!” The new game from AndyCo where you and your kiddos apply a stretch of fresh paint to a card and watch it dry!
First player’s card to fully dry wins, but look out, your opponents can stop you! Look out for the dreaded “wet sponge” that can keep the paint as damp as a dewy day! I hope you won’t have to place your card into the “Paint Thinner Bath!” Oh, no! You’re almost done with the game but now it’s time to beat the devil out of the brush! The more I think about this, the more I need to get this game made so I can finally retire on a private island with my board game collection.
Maybe this could be my new side gig? Maybe I’ll become one of those overnight stories that they talk to on the Today show all the time? Maybe I’ll finally become respected by my peers and no longer just thought of as “The Little Word Boy.” I gotta go talk to someone I know about this. See you next week.