The Top Five Life Lessons I’ve learned from board games

5) Scrabble

Don’t trust anyone who is really keen to play scrabble with you. They just want to knock you down a notch. While endlessly searching for obscure words like “za” and “faqir” in the official scrabble dictionary I learnt that people who have problems with themselves often try to destroy others to boost their ego. And for certain individuals there’s no better attack than laying the letters XYLO next to your effort of PHONE (especially if they get a triple word score).

4) Battleship

How do we win this battle? Just blindly fire missiles. If we hit something, shoot some more missiles around the general area. Children play this game. What better way to learn how the military-industrial complex? I can’t wait until I have kids and on rainy days we can play a rousing game of Drone Strike.

3) Mouse Trap

More than a mini Rube Goldberg machine, this game actually had rules, I think. But who cared? I’m pretty sure every kid just set it up and watched it go, mesmerized right up to the point where the plastic net came down over the plastic mouse—then packed the board game away and never thought about it again. And that’s okay. Sometimes you just have to enjoy things for the sake of enjoying them.

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The Kinks - Lola
The Clash - Guns of Brixton
Pulp - Common People
The Who - Who Are You?
Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip - Letter From God To Man

( Top five tracks from my ‘LDN playlist’. I do have a much longer one but these are the ones that really stuck in my head as I had my iPod on today. Every single one of the tracks stuck for very good reasons, reminds me of certain areas in London. Some of which I passed today, some of which I will pass by within the next few days. You can probably guess these places just by listening to the tracks above. )

The Top Five Ways You Know it's Christmas

5) Decorations

I’m not talking about the tinsel that appears in Coles almost as soon as they discount the leftover Easter eggs. Or the sickeningly long line of stroppy families waiting to see the Myer window displays at Bourke Street. I’m not even talking about the perfunctory and slightly depressing council-issued Christmas wreaths that spring up on lampposts. I really know Christmas is here when they decorate the Big Issue vendors, covering them in tinsel and popping felt reindeer antlers on their heads.  It really adds a whole new level of guilt to not buying a copy.

4) Carols

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Christmas carol actually coming out of a real-life human being. I’ve only ever heard them piped over P.A. systems by major retailers. Most people hate it. You really have nothing to complain about — the stuff that’s warbling away in David Jones isn’t that bad. When I was a teenager I worked in a fast food restaurant and the music was piped in via a corporate radio station, giving us no control. Try a nine-hour shift of Perry Como singing Jingle Bells in a calypso beat.

3) Parties

Work functions start springing up all over the place. They are great opportunity to get drunk and exorcise the demons of the year, and also finally pash Linda from accounting (If you don’t have a Linda from accounting in your life at this point, don’t worry — at some point you will). Although I swear to god I’ve watched people try and create sexual tension 48 hours before the party starts. I work at a video store, so I don’t get a Christmas party, and for good reason. That would be like standing on the deck of the titanic and refusing to get into the lifeboat until someone gave you a bath toy.

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