Monday, December 22, 2008

Dreidel Shark

I love my daughter. Really.
But I would be remiss if I did not warn everyone that playing the dreidel game with her is less festive than it should be.
She's a sweet kid. Since last night kicked off Chanukah, she gave me Pirates of the Caribbean action figures complete with sword-swinging awesome.
Even now they are engaged in a duel to the death while balanced atop my flat-screen monitor.
But . . . And I still hesitate to mention it . . . She cheats at the dreidel game.
Since there isn't really a way to win so much, it isn't even about the rapid acquisition of candy coins.
Somehow, she picked up an innate ruthlessness when it comes to game-playing in general.
I have lost count of the number of times I've seen her nudge the dreidel into the winning position post-spin.
But it isn't just that.
If it does happen to land on the winning side, you can expect a loud "GIMMEL, BABY!" followed by a less-loud but more targeted, "In your FACE, loser!"
In all, it makes the whole game a bit . . . non-fun.
To be fair, it isn't Chanukah which brings this out in her.
In Monopoly, she employs a strategy which includes buying up all the cheap properties and loading them down with little plastic rent houses and questionable hotels with the goal of ripping off all the Boardwalk/Parkplace set who have the misfortune of needing to crash there.
It is a solid plan, which only fails her when her when she moves too quickly too early in the game.
Anyway, we did not dreidel with her at all last night.
Instead, we spent the evening lighting candles at a retirement community.
There were two residents in attendance. One from New York who wanted to talk about how wonderful New York is and one with a fear of New York who wanted to talk to us about the school district we live in.
We tried to steer the topic back to the candles as often as possible, but Shana and I are both soft-spoken and Gwynyth was busy hustling a little boy from her Hebrew class out of all of his presents via her little wooden spinning top of holiday joy and in-your-face.
He was kind of asking for it, though, since in lighting the candles he almost immolated that lady in the Rascal 600T with back-up alarm.
So, if you happen to see my daughter during the next week, and she is casually flipping a wooden top over and under the fingers of one hand, hide your chocolate and slowly back away.
And if she asks you to play Monopoly -- Run.

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