A story is told of a rabbi who was always careful to ensure that guests in his house suffered no embarrassment. Once a guest spilled wine on his expensive tablecloth. The rabbi immediately and surreptitiously knocked over his own wine glass and said, "This table has a wobble." The guest was thus spared embarrassment.
My friend made challah for shabbat, but was unhappy with the results: the dough didn't rise enough, and she believed that she burnt it on top of that. So when I was making cookies, I "accidentally" dropped the tray onto the door of the stove which is angled slightly inwards. The tray slid onto the bottom of the stove, the wax paper slid off the tray onto the heating coils, and the whole thing burst into lovely flames. I did this so as to make her feel better about the challah. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
Dinner was out at some fellow shul members. Arriving at the hosts' house, I noticed the first game on the floor: Barbie Game. Like Monopoly and Life, but far dumber. I decided to play a round of it, just for fun and so that I could have the privilege of rating it.
I then did my usual. I took the die and said, "Here's a better game you can play, with more meaningful decisions it only takes five minutes, and requires nothing more than a single die." Roll the die trying to get all numbers 1 to 6. You can roll as many times as you want and then pass the die, saving your results. If you get a duplicate, you lose everything that you haven't previously saved.
So easy, and so simple to teach.
The following day, before lunch, I played my game prototype with my one of my friends. Both of them hate the temporary name of the prototype ("Light My Menorah") and don't like using a Jewish theme, saying that it will scare off potential publishers. Can't please everyone.
Later in the day I went with him to play Scrabble at a neighbors. My friend is a champion Scrabble player, and so is the neighbor, it turns out. When we got there, the neighbor was deep into a game with yet another neighbor. Both using all of those ridiculous two and three letter words. They each had a copy of the new official words as of October 2005. It's like the latest expansion set from Magic the Gathering.
My friend and I played Anagrams, which I almost won, until he finally managed to steal two of my words at the last moment. Then we played quick Scrabble, which I lost by 80 points, him having had a 70 point bingo and a 50 point double OX with the X on a triple letter. Aside from those two moves, I played better, as any fool can see from the scores. :-)
Sat night I dragged them to a house concert by Richard Berman. Now, I went through the papers of the previous week and there was nothing about this house concert in there. I had heard about it on Musi-cal. There was lots in the paper about U2, Hall and Oats, Styx and Def Leppard, etc. all of which were $50, $100, etc... U2 probably would have been worth it.
This house concert was simply amazing. For $10, I sat in a room with 10 other people, up front and personal, hearing what amounted to a perfect evening of music. He plays lovely guitar, his voice sounds like James Taylor, and his words are personal, sometimes funny, sometimes serious. Like all great house concerts, he occasionally forgot some words, and we all schmoozed around during the break. It turns out that he knows a folk-singing friend of mine from Israel. Small world.
See? Sometimes you can save money and still get the best.
Still experiencing jet-lag.