Sunday, March 20, 2011

Miss Cee's Infallible Guide to Managing FoBs

Above is a live action shot of my very own self, flanked by the Netherlands Ambassador on my right, and Senator Palpatine, a surprise attendee, on my left. Always be prepared for any contingency!

[a.k.a. Eavesdropping Inside the Uniquely Wondrous Mind of Cecily Grace]

The first thing to remember is don't be intimidated by the size of these big guys. Sure they’re taller and stronger, but that’s nothing to be afraid of. After all, they are FoBs, also known as Friends of Ben: how scary can they really be? Nothing I can’t handle, I assure you. The goal, gentle readers, as alway, is to be IN CONTROL without arousing undue suspicion.

Now then, the details. As the accompanying photograph illustrates, many important advantages can be gained WITHOUT THEM EVER KNOWING!!! For example, it was nothing at all for me to simply slide my small self into the chair at the Head of the table….psychological advantage for my queenly self? Score!!

First, FUEL:
It should go without saying that copious amounts of food are not only helpful, but—indeed—necessary when dealing with the male species of any age, but especially so between the ages of 10 and 50. These guys are all 19-21 so, take it from me, extra fuel is required. The good thing, though, is that they are surprisingly unpicky about what you place before them. I’ve seen them go through crackers and cheese, pizza, cookies, pizza, boxes of cereal, chips, pizza, and enough Mountain Dew to buoy a whale. Without ever coming up for air. It is astonishing, really.

And that’s not even getting into the Fast Food category.

Anyway, if you see them breaking out the Texas Hold Em set (one of Benny’s friends actually has his own aluminum brief case, with special little nooks and crannies for cards, chips, pads, pencils,….it’s kind of the bomb)…just be patient. Unless they are INCREDIBLY progressive, they will not let you play poker with them. We just have to give them time to evolve. But patience pays off.

What you’ll find is that after the strongest personality has lost enough money, he will insist that a new game be found, and now , gentle reader, your Moment of Opportunity has arrived.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet of game possibilities, rated according to effectiveness:

BOGGLE, SCRABBLE, and other letter/word games – you probably won’t get them to go for these, because, being male, they probably are more left-brained, and aren’t really delighted by verbal challenges.

PARCHEESI, SORRY, etc. There is a tad of strategy here, but only a tad. And strategy is a flavor of thinking that Friends of Ben automatically equate with bravura and other so-called manly qualities. You might be able to get away with this one if it is the beginning of the gaming session, and you are just getting them primed. Alternatively, wait until the end of game time looms, and everyone is sloshing with Mountain Dew and lining up for the powder room (but don’t tell THEM it’s called that !)

DOMINOES – The thing to remember here is that, in general, FoB’s have a relatively short attention span (unless we’re talking NBA or NFL on the flickering screen) and so it’s unlikely that they will stay engaged long enough with the domino tiles for you to really enjoy a resounding victory. And even if you are getting ahead, they won’t let you get any real glory from it. They put it down to “luck” or some other random cause from which you cannot hope to gain any adulation or congratulation whatsoever.

APPLES-to-APPLES: This is the apex, girlfriends. If you get them around to this table game, you are in…as in, ‘easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.’ Apples to Apples is a game that’s been around for a while. We were introduced to it by one of my aunts (which means my dad is their little brother…so they WAY know how to manage brothers and friends!). The gist of it is to get people to think the way you do…is this genius or what??? There are decks of cards, some of which represent categories, and some of which could be examples of the given category…depending on how one’s mind works…um, assuming it does. Each person takes a turn as the ‘judge’ who decides which of the other player’s card choices best represents your category. Here are a few excerpts…

“The Word is ‘little’, as in small, not big.”
“Dude, how do you get ‘screen door’ for ‘little’?”
“It’s the closest thing I had.”
“That is SO lame…”
“What!!! Are you kidding me?
“I am amazing…I’m, dude, just amazing.”
“Is there any more pizza?”

Now, I grant you, that some patience is still required because everyone gets a turn at being the judge….but, I assure you, FoBx are no match for our feminine instincts and expertise.

And there is nothing to compare to the glorious thrill of hearing, “No, Cecily IS the judge now!”, and then, just a short time later, hearing yourself say:

“Thank you. I WIN. Let’s play one more!!”

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