Tuesday, August 5, 2008


My family plays a game called Scum. I'm told it's all the rage in Utah. It's a genuinely fun game, and I absolutely recommend you give it a shot.

However, I absolutely recommend against playing the game with me, as this game turns me into an... a.... ...... hmmm.... I'm trying really hard to come up with a proper synonym for "a**hole", because I know I have readers who might appreciate a clean read, but "big fat meanie" is just not quite cutting it.

So yeah, when it comes to Scum, I'm a stronger term for "big fat meanie".

I'm not going to get into the rules of how it's played (it's complicated), except to say that it's important where you are sitting, when it's your turn, and who laid down the highest card. And this is where my BFMness shines.

The following is an example of a typical interaction during game play:

Me: I think that your supposed to be sitting over there.
Other Scum Player: Oh, oops, you're right.
Me: YEAH I'm right. MOVE!

Another example:
Me: Whose turn is it?
Other Scum Player: Oh! It's mine.
Me: YEAH it's yours. GO!

Exhibit C:
Me: WAIT! It's MY turn.
Other Scum Player: sorry...
Me: YEAH you're sorry. HA!

One more example:
Me: Who laid down the card that just beat mine?
Other Scum Player: um....
Me: That's it, I'm DONE!

...and I overthrow the table, party mix and M&M's fly across the room, chairs topple over, women weep, and I walk out of the room, screaming, "I AM FORTUNE'S FOOL!!!", middle finger waving wildly, while the other scum players pick up the strewn cards and pray for my mortal soul.

Okay, maybe it doesn't happen exactly like that, but I'm still a big fat meanie, and I think, after much reflection, I now know why.

I really hate losing.

Games of skill are one thing. I can handle that. No big deal if we're playing Trivial Pursuit, and I don't know who wrote the theme song to Hill Street Blues (Mike Post butthat'snotimportant (yesitis)). I can handle losing when I just don't know the answer (noIcan't). What I can't handle is when luck deals me a bad hand, and I'm supposed to just live with it, accept my fate, and do my best with what I've been given.

I really, really hate doing that.

I think this makes me a bad person. Or, at least, an intolerable person. Kenny Rogers was right to compare a game of cards to life. And if I've learned anything from the way I play Scum, it's that I really suck at life.

So, next time I play cards, I'm gonna be like, totally cool with whatever hand I'm dealt. Roll with the punches. And when I'm losing I won't get attitude, and I'll just repeat to myself that it's most important to just play fairly, play smart, and play 'til the end. I will become a better person. I will find peace and joy in times of great trial. I will not suck at life.

However, if it just so happens that I'm winning, all bets are off, and I reserve the right to do a victory dance all over your sorry excuse for game-losing existence. Sucka!


Katy said...

I can visualize you flipping the table over in a fit of SCUM rage and I love it. Wave your middle finger in the air, like you just don't care.

PS- I totally get game rage too. I'm a stickler for rules and I get very competitive and combative if the game does not stay on track. "We're having fun people, NO you can't get up and go to the bathroom, NO you can't get a drink, sit you ass down, it's your turn!"

Mama's Place said...

Renee I hate losing to, a favorite story that Jack likes to tell is one time we were playing a stupid board game and I was so upset because I was always being sent back to start that I just broke and threw the whole game on the floor and walked away. Needless to say I was a little upset especially when everyone playing started to laugh, really P---ed me off! I'm not a good loser.

eric said...

Perhaps when you girls get together for game night we should hire a security company to make sure things don't turn in to the Source Hip Hop Awards.

LiteralDan said...

I believe the "a-hole" synonym you're looking for is "A-hole", with a capital A. Be advised that I do not say this with judgment or criticism, but rather with identification. It's always nice to meet a likeminded individual.

Becca said...

Ahh...scum memories. I haven't played that since I was like 14, it was "the thing" to play at our family reunions. With our game if you lost you had to guzzle 16oz of water, and you could only pee on the hour. I hate games of chance, because I'm so competetive and I can't control what my next card is going to be.

Becca said...

Sorry the ocd part of has to correct my spelling...competitive. Where's spell check when you need it?

Renee said...

Irene - I love that you own your crazy.

mrsmouthy said...

I taught elementary school for 4 years and never ONCE let the kids win. I figured it would be being dishonest about my RAW, UNBRIDLED, MAD SKILLS!

Ern said...

SCUM! Thanks for the rewind, Becca. Yes, I think it was Becca who taught my family that game and apparently, it was a drinking game-turned-Mormon with the substitution of water torture. My cousins and brothers and sister and Becca and I would sit around the dining room table, chugging water like it was freshly-tapped out of a keg. So, so funny.