I hate everyone in this room. Everyone. But particularly James because he said, “Bam! I win, bitches!” when he won, which seems excessive, like he’s shoving it in my face, like he thinks he’s a smarter, better, more valuable human being than me because of his board game skill. I’m going to have to flip this table. Yes, that’s the only option. I’m going to have to flip the table, kick my foot through the window, tear off my own arm, eat the arm, cry, and throw up in the next four seconds if I have any hope of expunging the darkness welling up in my soul like an oil derrick.
Murder. I have to commit a murder. How many murders? Nine. Nine murders. Yes, right around nine will be enough to extinguish this fire inside me, for this attack on my self-esteem cannot stand! My mother told me I was the best at everything, and she was right, is always right, so this must be a trick of some sort — a cheat! James cheated, and though the law of man restricts it, the law of the cosmos demands blood for this violation! Mount him like a blood covered scarecrow on the front gate, as a grim warning to other potential board game cheaters. Drink his blood! Absorb his essence and gain mystical power!
Wait, let’s contextualize this for a moment: despite the agony of defeat, this is just a board game, not a Hunger Game or an IQ test. Carefully defuse the situation so as to minimize damage to your self-worth. Devalue James’s victory with the cold calculation of a clinical psychopath. Contort your expression in one of boredom. Yawn. Say something dismissive, as if the game is so dumb, you don’t even care about winning.
“This is like one of those games nerdy high school kids play in the library at lunch.”
Yeah, that’s good. Now laugh in an affable nonthreatening way.
It’s working. Now, question the validity of James’s victory, further nullifying his feelings of superiority.
“It took me so long to figure out the rules, it was only right at the end I started understanding it. But hey, makes sense the guy who owns the game would win.”
Yes, now everyone’s thinking about how ownership of the game has given James an unfair advantage, and they’re wondering whether he bamboozled us into playing him at his favorite board game, thereby illicitly acquiring feelings of self-importance. Perhaps, after James leaves the room, I will say something casually patronizing: “I’m glad he feels good about himself,” or “Next time, we can play something I’m great at.” I will also refer to my own extenuating circumstances: “I was so sleepy the whole game, I couldn’t answer the questions in time,” or “Those questions were weird.” Don’t act defensive, though, because then you’re a “sore loser” rather than “one who nobly protests against an unjust universe”.
And now James asks whether we want to play again. Oh my, the poor fool, the witless pile of deluded obliviousness, you’ve played right into my trap. How could you miss the goblins behind my eyes, my steady deconstruction of your win? Immediately, I summon forth an entire catalogue of withering retorts: “I’m sure you do,” or “Let’s skip ahead and pretend you already beat us a second and third time.” No, not vicious enough; I need to gut him with surgical precision.
“If you need to pad your self-esteem like a teenage girl pads her bra, then yeah, sure, we can play again.”
Tilt your head and smile so you seem facetious rather than cruel. Yes! Who is the victor now? Who is the true winner of this moment in time? It is — why is everyone rolling their eyes? Why is James smiling while someone else pats me on the head? No!
See, this is why I hate board games; they bring out our primitive savagery by reducing us to winners and losers rather than a diverse collection of people with unique skills and talents, who are all great in different ways, perhaps just not in ways relevant to this specific game. See, if I’m acting like a sore loser, it’s only because the game’s binary framework implies I am inadequate. By setting friends against each other, these games promote conflict and enmity. This is not a good party activity. This is not encouraging camaraderie. This is not strengthening the bonds of fellowship. And I withdraw my participation from what I see as friendship poison.
Wait, we’re playing Scrabble now? Oh. Um, okay, so let me reaffirm what I said before, but with the added caveat that I will now reduce you all to hopeless illiterate children! HAHAHAHAHAHA!