Father’s Day Done Right

What is the greatest gift you can get on Father’s Day?

playing the board game, pandemic on Father's Day at Mr. Mikes.
Getting ready to play the board game Pandemic on Father’s Day

I think every dad has a different idea of what makes the BEST Father’s Day: fishing, bowling, golfing, camping, whiskey, strippers… but for me, it’s playing a game with my family.

So, this year, I chose for forgo presents, dinner, and whiskey to play a game.

See, I love to play games. Risk. Life. Chess. Apples To Apples. Catan. But the games I love the most are the cooperative ones. D&D is such a game, where a group gathers to overcome obstacles by working together, but I would have more luck getting The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World to shave her head than play that game, so I found another one. Pandemic.

There’s a cool video on the game below, but basically, 2-4 players must cure 4 plagues before they become pandemics and wipe out the world. We either all win together, or we lose together.

It’s a cool life lesson.

Now the challenge was that we had never played this game before. None of us.

In a perfect world, the boys would have learned the rules but that was a bridge too far, sort of like getting your dog to write letters to the editor complaining about lack of fire hydrants. So I did what you do these days – I watched YouTube videos.

After about an hour of watching tutorials and gamers gaming, I was ready, more or less. It looked simple enough, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. Basically, you win by defeating the 4 diseases, but you could lose if you run out of territory cards, if you run out of disease counters, or the outbreaks become so many that they overwhelmed the world.

Whew. I’d never played a game with so many ways to lose.

We drove down to Mr. Mikes, where they encourage you to play games, and set up the board. The manager came over immediately, excited by our choice and after we told him this was our first time playing Pandemic, he told us to get him ANYTIME you have a question.

That was cool. Plus, Mr. Mikes has the Mike burger and that’s one of my favourite burgers (mostly based on my childhood, where a visit to Mr. Mikes was, at least for us, 5 star dining!)

The game began well enough and we pounced on the diseases sprouting up around the world like Harvey Weinstein pounces on vulnerable women. We even managed to eradicate one, and stop numerous outbreaks from spreading too far.

The-Youngest was amazing, often thinking 2-3 moves ahead, but in the end, we ran out of territory cards, and lost. I see this as running out of resources, like suddenly someone defunds the program and starts up a starbucks somewhere.

But I had a ton of fun. Not sure everyone else did, but they were troopers and had done something that 2 of 4 didn’t particularly enjoy.

It was a great Father’s Day!

But to answer the question posed in the first sentence, the greatest Father’s Day gift that can be given is not playing a game.

No.

It’s the gift of time. It is the most precious commodity we possess, the only one that matters in the long run.

Father’s Day was the best because 3 people gave their time to me so I could have some fun. How awesome is that?

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