The war had been raging for four hours and the casualties were high. Great Britain had fallen into the hands of my father-in-law (a fact which he delighted in reminding me and to which I had retaliated by taking Holland/North Europe). My wife controlled South America, I controlled North America and we both had armies in Africa. Europe was not particularly under anyone’s control and Australia and most of Asia were under the iron fist rule of my brother-in-law. My wife had not seemed keen on the idea of joining forces to crush her brother. Nor did she agree with my belief that she should simply let me ‘have’ South America under the ‘what’s mine is your’ law of marriage. It was the kind of epic game of Risk that they write war poetry about and ask questions about on history exam papers.
My forces along the border of North America were under attack. When the fighting had started it had suddenly become clear why my wife had turned down my earlier suggestion of an alliance. My beloved was the one attacking me. When my attempts at peaceful negotiations and compliments about her new hair failed to deter her from this course of action and threats to make her sleep on the couch also met with similar success (that argument never works on women) I was forced to take up arms and defend myself.
As our armies clashed upon the battlefield of cardboard I tried to rally my tiny plastic men with words of military encouragement. “Hold the line men! Stand your ground and we will share victory upon this day!” I shouted, along with similar lines of motivation as I rolled the dice.
One by one my tiny plastic soldiers fell upon the basic geographical representation of American soil on the Risk board. “Courage men! Courage! The day is not yet lost!” But I knew I was lying to them. I started to mentally compose telegrams of condolence to the tiny plastic families they left behind. Risk is not a game for the faint of heart.
When only one soldier remained defending the border of North America something happened. The dice rolls started to fall in my favor. My last little plastic soldier was fighting, fighting for all he was worth.
The dice were rolled. A six and a four versus a three and two ones. Two attackers down.
“You can do it! Do not give them one inch of ground!”
The dice were rolled again. Two fives versus a four and two twos. Two more attackers fell.
“Fight! Fight for all you are worth!” I was on my feet, cheering for my tiny plastic Rambo as he lay waste to the enemy.
I felt the excitement rising. Feelings of emotion and pride welled up inside me. The fighting became more and more intense. The clouds were drawing over the battlefield. The drums of war were beating. And then I was asked to turn off the epic battle music I had started playing from my ipod as it was proving a little too distracting no matter how much ‘atmosphere’ I thought it added.
Sadly Rambo, my brave little soldier who dared to say ‘No’ to the enemy was over powered and fell in battle shortly after that. With my main line of defense gone my wife marched her forces across the face of North America and I lost my mighty Empire of for the third and final time (to which it was also pointed out that constantly capturing and losing a continent hardly forms a stable basses of an empire). All hope was lost.
My wife (who under the rules of warfare was now also my ruler) proceeded to extended her control over Asia and secured her victory with a blitzkrieg attack that had surprised us all. They say it is healthy for couples to have some secrets from each other but somehow I don’t think they had plans for world domination in mind when they said that. Even if it is just in a game of Risk.
One day I will have my revenge.