Games: Eric Reads the Week, #36

Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?

I have not won a single board game this weekend and, frankly, it feels like a justice issue.

I think I like playing board games. I KNOW I don't like losing. Every time I play a board game I have three thoughts in quick succession: 1) Oh, this takes some skill or strategy or some sort. I was just hoping to coast by on good looks and quips or whatever. Is there a board game called "Quips and Nice Sweaters from H&M" because... 2) OH! My so-called friends are actually beating me right now which, honestly, feels aggressive. 3) I'm going home. Everyone is my enemy. Scattergories is rigged like the SATs. Show me the receipts! Release the tapes! Bring in Robert Mueller!

I'm a monster. David routinely beats me in board games which is why we do not have any board games in our house. That's actually a complete lie. I compulsively buy board games because I like to believe that I'm that guy who is always playing board games and laughing in Instagrams. In reality, I am the person who is like "Instead of finishing this round, why don't we just discuss the last season of Kimmy Schmidt and compliment my sweater?" Against my better judgement I have a closet full of board games and a brain full of incorrect Trivial Pursuit answers. (Please pass me the version of Trivial Pursuit that consists only of fairly easy questions about romantic comedies and Beyonce albums and I'll run this town. I'LL RUN THIS TOWN.)

I don't know why I get surprised when David beats me at games. He has two Masters degrees. One of his degrees is in Chutes and Ladders. That's not true. But suffice to say he's a smarty-pants Magoo who remembers everything. I almost exclusively remember who starred in failed pilots from the mid-90s, which celebrities are in feuds and the plots of every Broadway show. We all have our pieces of the sky.

I think I always figure that I'll come out on top because my interests hew so much more closely to pursuits that are... what's the word? Agh, it's on the tip of my tongue...

I forget that games are actually a serious business. Watching David ponder his next move on a Catan board while I scroll through Toni Morrison's Twitter, sometimes I wonder "Should I be more strategic?" (PS Toni Morrison does not have a Twitter, which, also feels like a justice issue. Can you imagine what that would look like? I would literally luxuriate in that all day every day for the rest of my life. Toni? Are you reading this? Jump into my DMs, please!)

Every time someone pulls out a board game I'm reminded of the episode of Will & Grace in which the title characters get disinvited from their own game night because they're such bad sports. I don't think I'm that bad. I have definitely stopped pouting about losing rounds of Cards Against Humanity (though I'm not above tweeting the ACLU about it on the off-chance that there's a case in it.) Most of the time I chalk it up to a mysterious mix of strategic and luck on the part of other people. In life that can be hard to accept; in Chinese Checkers, however, I'll let it slide.

Wait, I totally lied. I won a round of Exploding Kittens this weekend! I AM THE KING OF BOARD GAMES. NO ONE CAN BEAT ME. U.S.A. U.S.A.

This week, folks were straight up playing. Kim K. showed up in Jackie O drag; two dudes decided to write an all-female Lord of the Flies; but first... the president.

Can Someone Tell the President There Is a Disaster Happening?

He later pointed out FEMA administrator Brock Long, identifying him as "someone who has become quite famous on television" since Harvey began. While this is certainly true, it's definitely not the point. Then again, we all know that TV star Lucille Ball first got her start as the FEMA administrator, so all of this checks out, I guess. Every episode of I Love Lucy was about her trying to convince Ricky to let her go set up disaster relief tents and coordinate food banks, as you'll recall.

Trump seems to be obsessed, as usual, with the scope and the historic nature of the events in Houston rather than than on the human toll. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

What Is Going on with Kim's 'Interview' Magazine Cover?

Looks like Kanye really was serious about running for president in 2020. Apparently, I missed the vote. I was too busy trying to climb out of a pile of Old Taylors. Did I Rip Van Winkle myself through the whole Trump presidency? Good for me! And good for Kanye! Good for President and Mrs. West! Please put John Legend on the $5 bill. No, scratch that. Please put Chrissy Teigen on the $5 bill. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

You Have to See a Toddler Prince William In An Almost Identical Pose to Prince George

It's the photo that birthed a thousand memes and for good reason. Prince George is absolutely adorable and his expression is absolutely priceless. But what would you say if I told you that this pose is actually a Royal Family trait?! [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

Good News! I, a Man, am Also Writing an All-Female Lord of the Flies

So, there's a plane full of girls and one boy that lands on an island. And the boy takes over and some of the girls are like, "This is super boring; we're just going to do our own thing in small groups." And the boy is like, "No, that's not cool. You've been socialized to listen to me. Also, I have the conch!" And the girls are like "Sucks to your fragile masculinity. And sucks to metaphors." [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

Random Thing from the Internet...

I started watching this clip from Clue to pull the first screencap in this email and even though I was watching on mute I still cackled non-stop. Madeline Kahn was a treasure.

Play on, playa,