So you know the basement? The one at the bottom of the steps under this little house where I occasionally venture to load dirty laundry into the washing machine and then forget that I actually need to go back down there to put them in the dryer? Yeah.
Well, in addition to the place where all our socks mysteriously become mis-matched, it is also home to some odd little things that have been left behind by previous relatives who have either lived between these walls, or, when it was empty, convieniently used the scary basement for a nice warm place to store things they couldn’t possibly bear to be without.
Like old records, college portfolios, embarrassing love letters, photos from eighth grade, three malfunctioning vacuums, thingsthat weren’t supposed to break but did, a few thousands spiders and this little gem right here:
Yup. And I am the lucky one who found it in my quest for party games last weekend. Little did I know that this existed under my very roof. Imagine all of the knowledge? Imagine all the fun my house guests and I could have bragging about our “Flickertail” state and screaming out our state bird and flower and song!
So I decided to bring it up from the deep, dark sock graveyard to expose it to the light of day and my guests patiently waiting for something a little less nerdy and a little more like Catch Phrase.
But how could you go wrong? It’s the game that makes learning about North Dakota fun! FUN! It says so right on the box.
So I trudged up the steps and presented my new found treasure to my guests, waiting with wine filled glasses and anticipation.
“Look what I found!” I declared in my best super-excited-and-you-should-be-too voice.
“Yyyaaaayyyaaaa ggguuuuyssss. This is gonna be so much fffuuunnnaaa!”
I unloaded the contents of a game that I soon discovered was probably invented shortly after North Dakota was declared an official state.
You know, just a few years ago, in 1889. It’s in pretty good shape considering…
Anyway, as you can see there is a board, those little pawn things, pictures, about three million trivia cards and… wait for it…wait for it…diplomas! Yes that was plural. Not a diploma. Five. You can earn five in five different categories.
This game has everything!
Except the directions.
Not that I would have read them.
I have no idea how to play this game.
And if my guests had an inkling, they weren’t giving it up.
But that didn’t stop me. We could still test our knowledge of the state we all know and love. We could tally the answers. We could wrack our brains. We could high five and shoot little guns formed out of our hands and then blow the imaginary smoke off the tip. We could finally justify taking that North Dakota History class in college. I…I mean we could be victorious.
Yes, all my board gaming dreams could come true if only the inventors of this deceivingly enticing game didn’t delight in the misfortunate miseducation of others while dancing with one foot in the devil’s living room, laughing and rubbing their long goatees.
And it turns out making people feel stupid about a place they have lived and loved most of their lives does not a good party make.
No one was dancing on the tables about getting questions like “What modern contrivance of the white man did Sitting Bull accept and wear?” wrong. Or because they had never heard the word contrivance before. That will just bum a person right out.
Anyway here’s what I’m going to do for you on this Friday morning, because I am so depressed about the whole thing. I need to know there is someone out there who has the capability to conquer this game, or at least the skill to Google the shit out of it.
So I have hand picked one question from each of the following six categories:
- Geography (GEO)
- People (PLE)
- Government (GOV)
- Flora and Fauna (F&F)
- Transportation and Communication (T&C)
- Industry and Agriculture (I&A)
Be the first to get every question correct, answering in the comments below, and you win a prize.
The prize? An 8 x 10 framed metallic print of one of the following photos–your choice.
Yeah, my prizes are customizable.
And I might just send you the diplomas as well.
Yay smart people!
Yay hope for humanity!
Yay North Dakota!
Here we go party people–setting the weekend off right.
- GEO What organization in North Dakota has 415 volunteer units?
- PLE What happend to the North Dakota Norwegians who decided to march on Washington to protest Norwegian jokes? (Note: My favorite question out of all 5 million)
- GVO When were fishing seasons first established in North Dakota?
- F&F What are the three fossil fuels found in North Dakota?
- T&C What is a “Cow Catcher?”
- I&A In what year was ranching introduced into the western part of North Dakota?
Go get ’em friends and be the first to be crowned “North Dakota’s Valedictorian.” Now that’s a title to brag about at parties.
I’ll be waiting here with all the answers…
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and Google Valedictorian.