Alright, alright. Yesterday I wrote a story about Clara telling Andrea and I about a game she and her younger siblings were playing which they had decided to call “Fun Kill”. But I ended the story before I was able to explain this game that my sweet little children made up. Some people were interested, or perhaps a bit concerned, so let me put everyone’s curiosities, hearts and minds at ease. The game “Fun Kill” is not as bad as it sounds. It is a perfectly tame, perfectly normal game for little kids to spontaneously invent in a good home with loving parents. Let me just explain the game as Clara explained it to me.
“Okay,” Clara began, while jumping on her bed in pajamas she had clearly outgrown 6 months ago. “The game ‘Fun Kill’ is a game that I made up to play with Lydia and Gideon. It’s kind of like Simon Says, or something… maybe. But anyway, in this game I am ‘The General’, and I lead two armies. One army is Lydia and one army is Gideon. And in the game I, The General, tell Lydia and Gideon where and how to fight. Then Lydia and Gideon have to fight each other in front of me while I watch and give them both orders. If one of them starts to win or something, I tell them to fight in a different way so that the other one will win instead, or the other way around. But basically they have to do what I say, until one of them loses.”
I blinked at her until she stopped jumping on the bed and bowed ceremoniously. “What do you mean by ‘loses’? How do you know when one of them ‘loses’?” I asked.
She shrugged, “They scream and run away or cry to Mom or something.”
“Do YOU ever lose?” I asked.
She doubled over laughing, “No! How could I lose? I’m THE GENERAL!”
I nodded solemnly, as tired fathers do when they see battles they can not ever win. “You know, you didn’t invent this game. It’s actually a very old game.”
She sat up and stared at me in surprise.
“You are actually not supposed to be called ‘The General’, you are supposed to be called ‘Emperor’, and the game you are playing is called, ‘The Coliseum’. Romans used to play it. It was quite terrible.”
She clapped her hands and fell over backwards in excitement.
“Also,” I went on, louder, so my voice would carry over her uproar of giggling, “I do not want you to play this game anymore. Because it doesn’t sound exactly fair to play with your brother and sister.”
She groaned, but agreed with a frown when she saw I was serious.
I pat her on the shoulder and walked out of the room. It had been a small victory. However, I knew the war was not yet over. The Emperor in tight fitting pajamas would no doubt return with new tactics for world domination. After all, The General never loses.