Dear Enemies,

Game for sale.

Scratch that. Game for free!!!!!

Item: The board game Hedbanz

Sidenote: You can remember the “cute” spelling of the game’s name because it is exactly how you would spell it if I told you a headband was a torture device.

Description: Wear a card on your forehead. Ask Yes or No questions and cry until you guess what the card says.


• This game is really fun! Your kids will ask to play it every day, and probably first thing in the morning. Because of trauma amnesia, you will say yes.

Cathartic. It gives your kids the opportunity to cry because they don’t know what their card says. “What? What animals have no legs? There are no animals in the world with no legs!!!” And they will keep crying, grunting, making frustrated sounds, and yelling at you for the entire play of the game.

• Morning cocktail. That is, of the emotional sort. You will be able to start the day right by absorbing all of your children’s above horrible feelings. You can then mix their feelings with your own anger at their stupid response to a stupid game that you didn’t really want to play in the first place. The result will be an exciting tornado of feelings surging through you from head to toe. A better wakeup than coffee!

Learning opportunity. You will see this as a chance to teach them. Not only will you steer them away from dumb questions like, “Am I a monkey?” after you just told them they have no legs, but you can help them recognize that what they are feeling is confusion. The point of the game, in fact, is to be confused. The game ends when you are no longer confused. So confusion is okay, even though it is uncomfortable. Work your way out of the confusion, and you win. As the parent, you will demonstrate how good you are at feeling confused without getting upset about it.

• New levels! You will be able to experience Ultra Emotions you didn’t know existed before. Like “Ultra Confusion.” Where you have asked everything you can think to ask about what is on your own forehead, and you finally give up. And you realize you are something simple and dumb, like a pencil. But you NEVER GOT TO PENCIL. Because your kids told you that, Yes, you are bigger than a loaf of bread. So “pencil” was not on the table for you 10 questions into your 488 questions. You will then violate your calm in the face of confusion tactic from the above bullet point.

• Get the whole family involved! Everyone can participate! Even your children who aren’t playing because they quit after the “New Levels” mentioned above! When the playing child says, “So I have no legs, I live in the jungle, I hang from trees, I have scales…sometimes I’m a pet, some can swim in water…” your other child can come in the room and insist that you were wrong when you said this animal can swim. You can then start arguing with that kid, that maybe he should do more research before he spouts off facts, and that you were sure to clarify that you would not think of this animal swimming but that many, in fact can swim, and during this argument your kid can yell, “No, only one kind of snake can swim in water Mom, so you are wrong!” And then your other kid can start crying—because now she knows without having figured it out herself—and say, “Am I a snake?” You can then take all your feelings and go yell at your husband about something he did wrong around the house, so he can be involved too.

It is fun when it’s over! Ten minutes later, after lots of yelling and apologies and emotional sweep up, you can see your now-happy child at the kitchen table. You can ask, “So, why do you like that game?”
“Because it’s fun!”
“What part of it is fun?”
“When you guess what you are!”
So basically, it is not fun when you are playing. Because the guess is what happens when the game ends. But, it’s fun once it is over.

I am starting to understand why people gamble. Something about this pain is exquisite. You enter knowing it will likely be a disaster, but there is a chance that it won’t be, that you will experience glory…

You know what? Nevermind. We will keep the game. I’m pretty sure we’ll be playing it again tomorrow.