Thursday, October 03, 2013

Classic: Twister

This classic aka pastor guy post is just over eight years old... I didn't edit it much - it's good just the way it is.

Fasten your seatbelts... I'm going to ramble through a lot of territory today. For those of you who've been wondering when I'd post about games again, this may help. Or it may not, because I've got a lot more than games on my mind.

I got sick Friday night with the same evil stomach flu thingee that sidelined Shari earlier in the week. I spent Saturday in front of the TV set, watching college football (the UT-Ohio State would have been much more fun if I was feeling better) and the last few episodes of the first season of LOST.

I also spent some serious time worrying about whether I'd survive Sunday. You see, Sunday was one of those "heavy load - use your back, not your legs" days in ministry. I started a new teaching series (entitled EPIC) which uses a lot of video clips. Right after services, I led a training meeting for the capital campaign leadership... then I got a 2 hour break. Actually, not a break as much as "some time where I wasn't at the church". (Shari & I had to plan for the experience we were leading that evening.) Then back to the church to lead Church Council, followed by "Church: a hands-on experience", which is the aforementioned thingee Shari & I are doing to help get our folks ready for ministry in a postmodern culture.

By the time I went to bed, I had a 102 fever. It broke some time during the night... but was back up to 101 by the morning. Needless to say, I didn't go into the office on Monday. Instead, I did a bit of work from home via computer and got to watch Shari & Braeden as they homeschooled. (Which was cool... Shari's an incredibly gifted teacher and Braeden's like a knowledge sponge.)

This week, Braeden is learning about himself - Monday was about the body. So Shari picked up a copy of Twister, which wasn't previously a part of the family game collection. And I, as The Sick Guy, was designated referee, which means I got to spin the spinner.

For the first time in my life, I read the rules to Twister. (Really - there are rules.) And there's a bit more of a game there than what you grew up playing. (Like Monopoly... sigh.) I didn't realize you could move a hand or leg and return it to the position as long as you let the referee know beforehand. And it became obvious quickly that there are some board position issues (it pays to stake out a lot of real estate so you don't get cut off) if you're trying to win.

For the record, Braeden wasn't all that fascinated with Twister, but he's actually a bit young (4 when the box says 6+) to enjoy it. I think he might like it better solo or with his friends. Playing against Mom is a bit of a mismatch.

My reaction to Twister? I found myself surprised that I didn't hate it. Now, that may seem a strongly worded shot at an American classic, but that's what came boiling up when I took the lid off my feelings. With nothing better to do than lay on the couch & stare at the ceiling fans (Monday Night Football wasn't on yet), I decided to unpack those feelings a bit.

Here's what I think. Twister, along with it's "cousins", Funny Bones (sadly out of print) and Octopus (so obscure I needed to add it to the Geek database), are very "body-conscious" games. I discovered Funny Bones at my ACTUAL cousins' home in Missouri (and played primarily with them) as an elementary school kid. Shari & I didn't buy Octopus until after we were married. Twister, OTOH, entered my life during junior high.

Think about it... at a time in a young man's life in which he has the worst possible body image (because his puberty-driven growth betrays him with broken voice & clutzy ineptitude) as well as the most heart-destroying social scene, get him to play a game like Twister in front of people he hopes will think he's cool. Recipe for freakin' disaster.

And, since those lovely images from the Turner Classic Movie Channel of my mind came rolling back, right next to them are the two times I played Spin the Bottle. (Yes, there is a Spin the Bottle entry on the Geek... but we all know that's not what I'm talking about.) The red-faced embarassment, the meaningless kisses, the agony of watching the girl I liked kissing another guy, the sound of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack playing in the background...

And there I realized that I wanted to make sure that Braeden & Collin, when they're old enough, understand how precious it is to kiss a girl. What a privilege it is to have that kind of physical contact with God's creation... and how sad it is to waste it on a circle of junior highers. I can't stop my boys from doing painful things - but that doesn't mean I shouldn't let 'em know how empty it can be... or how a simple kiss can be filled with meaning.

Whew... pretty deep for a Thursday morning. And all started over a game of Twister. Imagine how nutty I'd have gotten if the memory train ran past Gnip Gnop or Which Witch? :-)

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