Nolan and I ended up brushing our teeth at the same time last night, and while we stood next to each other in the bathroom, he looked at me in the mirror and said, "I had a really good time this weekend, Wil."
I dumped toothpaste foam all over the place as I said, "I did, too."
I was supposed to head out to the Infamous Murderer’s Row homegame for some crazy poker action, but several events conspired to keep me home, where I played in the Donkeys Always Draw Heads-Up Championship. My results are over at CardSquad.
My brother has this hawesome remote controlled car that he got from woot last year. Nolan has this equally hawesome remote controlled car that he got from the remote controlled car place last month. I have this cool barbeque and a freezer filled with meat.
Nolan put those things together and planned on a Saturday barbeque and car race, but the weather babe on KCAL kept telling us it was going to rain, so Jeremy and Nolan rescheduled Saturday’s festivites for Monday, which was a school and work holiday.
Anne was out for the day with her friend, so the kids and I spent the day in true guys-home-aone fashion: even though it didn’t rain, it was freezing cold here (by Los Angeles standards) so we spent most of the day inside watching movies and playing Pirates! on Xbox. I think we reheated some food, but mostly ate chips and salsa. Hawesome.
Late in the afternoon, while I stood in front of the refrigerator and tried to talk myself into preparing dinner (rather than ordering pizza), the kids walked into the kitchen together.
"Hey, Wil," Ryan said, "can we play D&D?"
"Yeah," Nolan said, "you keep saying that we’ll play, but we never do."
"Guys," I said, "you know that I haven’t had time to put together an adventure."
Their shoulders slumped.
"But!" I said, "I have an idea that may be even more fun than D&D."
I closed the refrigerator door, and went to the phone to order pizza.
"Go to my Big Trunk of Games, and bring out Munchkin."
I ordered a large pepperoni, and met them at the dining room table. Nolan held the box in his hands.
"So this is just like D&D," I said, "without any of the annoying role playing."
I opened the box, and split the cards into treasure and door piles.
"The thing is," I said, "you can’t take this game seriously. At all. Even a little bit. The whole point here is to screw with each other and come up with really lame ways to beat each other up."
"I think I’m going to love this," Ryan said.
I walked them through the rules, and we started our first game. I desperately hoped that they’d grok the game, and wondered if they’d get into the spirit of Munchkin.
A few hands into the game, when I was at about level four or five, I used up a few cards to defeat a level 10 Floating Nose.
"Uh, that’s an Ancient Floating Nose Ryan said, tossing down a card an pumping it up to level 16. Okay, Ryan gets it.
I played a most of my remaining cards, and said, "Okay, I defeat the Floating Nose!"
"Yeah, you sure did," Nolan said, "but guess what?" He drew a card from his hand and slammed it down on the table. "It has a mate! Ohhhhh, sorry about that." Okay, Nolan gets it, too.
"Aw, crap!" I said. I looked through my hand, and pulled out a +2 Buckler of Swashing, worth 400. "Okay, I bribe the Floating Nose’s mate and make a masterful escape."
"Oh man!" Nolan said. "I’ll get you next time!" He made a fist at me and shook it. I couldn’t recall the last time I’d had so much fun with the two of them.
During our second game, I asked Ryan to help me defeat a Pukachu, which Nolan had made Humongous.
"What’s in it for me?" He said.
"Well, how about I let you take half the treasure, and I give you this +2 Singing and Dancing Sword?"
"Well, I’ll ask heem, but ah don’t think he’ll be very keen," he said, in a bad French accent, "he’s already got one, you see!"
I blinked at him. Did he just quote Holy Grail at me?
He snickered into his hand. "I told heem we already got one!"
"You realize there is only one +2 Singing and Dancing Sword in the game, right?"
"I don’t want to talk to you no more!" He said. "I blow my nose at you, and fart in your general direction!"
I glanced at Nolan. He looked back at me like we were speaking a foreign language. Which we were.
"What are you talking about?" He said to Ryan.
"Oh my god, Nolan, it’s from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s the funniest movie ever." He turned to me. "You’re on your own there, big guy."
I looked at Nolan. "Little help?"
Nolan just laughed, and I had to discard my entire hand when I rolled a two.
We played several games, messing with each other, helping each other, double-crossing each other, and scarfing down an entire large pizza. Yes, it was just like D&D, but without all the annoying role playing.
We finished the night on the couch, watching the Super G from Torino in HDTV. We may have played some more Pirates! too, before we all went to our respective beds around midnight.
The kids organized a football game with their friends, and I stayed home with my dogs and watched the Olympics. I may have played Pirates! for three hours, too, but the record is unclear on that. I can confirm that I jogged a little bit, wrote a little bit, washed some clothes, and told Anne over and over again how much fun I had with the kids on Saturday night.
"It was more than just playing games and goofing off," I told her, "it was that they could have gone to a friend’s house, or watched TV, or played games without me, but they both came to me to do stuff together. After all these years," I said, "I’m really feeling like they’re bonding to me."
Nolan got up early, and built his race course in the front yard. Jeremy has a street car, and Nolan has an off-road car, so Nolan had spent a lot of time during the week beta testing various designs which he felt would balance Jeremy’s speed with his own off-road advantage. The rain on Friday night had compacted down a lot of the soft dirt at the edge of the driveway, so Nolan worked on a quick redesign, which he was certain would be perfect for the two of them when Jeremy arrived.
Sadly, when my brother got here, they discovered that their cars have the same frequency, so they settled on time trials instead. Ryan and I threw a football around in the grass while the two of them raced, and though I love my brother, I have to say that he never stood a chance. Nolan is a master of the remote controlled car, and he pwned Jeremy.
A little past noon, I headed out to the barbeque to grill some cheeseburgers. I’ll spare you all the details, but I managed to turn the lovely little sirloin patties into carbonized drink coasters. We ended up driving to this place on Hill called Tops, which is an awesome hamburger joint, in the style of Tommy’s or In-N-Out.
We took it back home, and made a real mess of ourselves. And by "we" I mean "me," because the whole point of eating a chilicheeseburger is to wear as much of it as possible.
After Jeremy left around 3:30, Ryan made some really cool songs in Garageband (which I’ll probably include in a future episode of Radio Free Burrito) while Nolan watched me play Pirates! a little bit more. I was determined to get the Governor of Maricaibo’s Daughter to marry me, which I figured would be a slam-dunk since I was such a great dancer, and captured the damn city for the Dutch in the first place. It turned out that she wanted all these presents, and for me to waste her fiance and for me to rescue her when she was kidnapped. Sheesh! Women! Good thing she was beautiful (and I had to marry her as a Pirate Quest) or I think I may have married the Governor of Trinidad’s rather plain daughter, who wasn’t so high maintenence.
We goofed off until Anne came home from work, and we all had dinner together. They all sat together and watched House, which I’m not that into, while I went up to my office and caught up on all the e-mails and bloglines subscriptions I’d been ignoring while I had the best weekend ever with my kids.
When it was time for bed, Nolan and I ended up brushing our teeth at the same time. While we stood next to each other in the bathroom, he looked at me
in the mirror and said, "I had a really good time this weekend, Wil."
I dumped toothpaste foam all over the place as I said, "I did, too."