“Ha! I win again! In your face!”
My husband, Michael, stood up, arms raised overhead, and turned around to face his imaginary adoring fans. His victory dance rivaled those of football players in the end-zone after a touchdown.
“Who’s the chess master in this house? Come on, who’s the best? Say it.”
Ignoring him, I put the game away and reflected on his past victories from board games to miniature golf. The Good Sportsmanship Award isn’t hanging on our wall. He wouldn’t win, or even qualify.
An example of his competitive nature happened during what we now refer to as “The Mr. Bucket Incident.” Mr. Bucket was a child’s game that my daughter received as a Christmas present. He was shaped like a bucket and spun around shooting-out colored balls, which you scooped up with a little scooper, and put in the bucket. Whoever got all of their balls in the bucket first, won.
We stood ready with our scoopers as Michael started the game. Mr. Bucket shot out the first ball – mine. As I bent to scoop it up, Michael whacked it across the room. I tried to get between him and Mr. Bucket, but was promptly butt checked. I flew across the room, scooper falling from my hand. My nephew tried next, but he too was butt checked and flew into the next room, his scooper flying through the air, hitting the cat who promptly knocked over a lamp. Michael stood triumphant, Mr. Bucket held high overhead. My two-year old daughter, traumatized by the whole incident, stood in the corner, eyes wide with terror, still clenching her unused scooper tightly in her little hand. She never again played with Mr. Bucket. To this day, she has an aversion to anything bucket-shaped including hats, purses, and well, buckets. (I imagine her future home will have dirty floors thanks to her father.)
The following Christmas it was the board game Don’t Wake Daddy. Again, the obnoxious competitiveness of Michael shined through.
“You can’t beat me! I win again! You two are LOO-OO-SERS!”
Next we attempted the family card game Uno. Arguments erupted frequently during the game and continued long after it ended. I found myself saying, “Let’s have green vegetables tonight since the Uno-Master thinks yellow is the only color in the world.” And, “Ask Mr. I Like the “Draw Four” Card if he knows where the remote is.”
Finally we gave Five Hundred Rummy a try. Michael turned it into the Super Bowl of Card Games inventing rules as he went along. “I can take this card because I was thinking ‘Rummy’ even though I didn’t say it.” A quick check through the Hoyle Book of Card Games proved him wrong.
Of course, when we win, he‘s quick to whine, “You cheated!” or “I wasn’t ready yet! ” and the ever popular, “I was gonna pick that one! ”
We can’t hear him. We’re too busy doing our victory dance. Being more obnoxious than Michael is our new family game.