Sep 052012

Jean-Paul Villere

We might all agree the digital world is awesome till the power goes out. Suddenly you’re missing out on your next play on Words With Friends, status updates, tweets or what have you, but go ahead and scream because you’re miles from where anyone with a MacGyver-like sensibility (MacGyvine? maybe?) or open Radio Shack might hear you. No sir, the DTs of the smart phone come down ain’t nothin’ pretty, and at press time the Betty Ford clinic ain’t servin’ the likes o’ you.

Okay, okay, you can always run out to your car and get some juice but duh, you only have so much gas and no gas station will be dispensing petrol any time soon during a weather event, if only because double duh they don’t have the juice to dispense. To say nothing if the gas station attendant came to work because oh yeah there’s an old fashioned tropical storm headed this way. Beyond that, do you really want to sit in your car during 80 mph wind whipping rain? No thanks!

Well gather round the campfire young whippersnapper Gen Yers, Gen Zers, and whoever you are after that, and learn about that crazy 20th century time killer and space filler known as “the board game.” Lame, right? As paper slowly dies and digitization makes obsolete all things that once had a sure and steady static lifespan, like say tangible periodicals plastic audio recordings, let’s remember what we used to do during storms. I present to you: the hunker games!

Monopoly. The timelessness of this cross-cultural phenom alone might make it number one. If we could only all agree on the rules of free parking though. Personally a $500 orange papered funny money bump each land never hurt nobody, right?

Scrabble. Or vintage Words With Friends, at least its progenitor. But again, how to agree on word validity? Dictionaries outmode fast and no internet means no latest and greatest. With web access though a little might make a go of it shall we say more colorful?

Backgammon. 007 would be so proud! And your grandmama too. An absolute classic that spans generations and centuries. Rule agreement is out the window here as it’s fairly consistent. Though, when was the last time you played? Or have you ever?

Then there’s of course a deck of cards, charades, and personally our kids put on some plays with some flashlights, pillows, and a raid on the Mardi Gras costumery. All great ways to pass the time. Waiting for that power to come back on. Any minute now. Yep, any time. All the while as the hours melt away so are the perishables in your kitchen, and if only by sheer default the ultimate of hunker games must be played:

Fridge cleaning. How do you play? Very carefully. If it passed the smell test it likely went on the grill, but the butter and milk were the first to go, yes? After cleaning many a Katrina fridge this is my least favorite storm activity, and I’m guessing it’s yours too. Thankfully it pairs well with liquor; that is, if you remembered to stock up? Rouses did report record sales. Were you in that number? I hope you were. Sure makes the hunker games more interesting and miss the ol’ interwebs less, no?

Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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