Lessons I Learned From Playing the Board Game “CLUE!”

photo 2 (1)I spent many a childhood evening around the kitchen table eschewing Monopoly because my brother stole from the bank and pretended to flatten my Hat token with his Iron one.  That’s when Clue became my game of choice. And oh — the pertinent things it taught me!

SCARLET – – I learned that Miss Scarlet is either a southern Belle with a petulant personality (and an 18 inch waist!) who makes sure that men frankly DO give a damn or she’s a smoldering femme fatale character with a long cigarette holder who would be pronounced guilty if “looks could kill.” I realized that by choosing Miss Scarlet, I would ALWAYS be entitled to go first in the game. After all, it was written in the rules, which I would eagerly drag out to prove to anyone who mistakenly thought the highest roll on the dice determined order. But I would have picked Miss Scarlet anyhow, even if she was destined to go last (although I’m quite sure all men wanted to be behind her!) because aside from Veronica (in the Archies) I had very few raven-haired role models. From my eleven year-old perspective, she was both smart and sexy plus from her starting position, she could quickly sneak into “The Lounge” where everyone knew was the prime place to knock someone off.  Yes, I got into many a rowdy tussle with my female cousins who claimed Miss Scarlet before we even removed the lid to the box. Disclaimer: I never used a lead pipe on any of them. photo-436

WEAPONS — Having grown up with a father whose idea of fixing the plumbing was letting his fingers do the walking in the Yellow Pages, I learned from Clue that a Wrench was a murder weapon, not a tool. The first time my handy boyfriend came over, noticed my leaky sink and pulled a wrench from his car — I was already dialing 911 to report domestic abuse.

PALACE — I learned that when I grew up, I wanted an opulent house (like the Clue board) with its own  Billiard Room, Library and Conservatory. And since when is a “Hall” a special room in and of itself? In our home, a narrow hallway led to a dingy bathroom – sadly the hall was the only way we got from the kitchen to the washer/drier. There were no “secret passageways.” Deprivation.

COERCION — I learned that you can pressure your opponents into giving you information you need by moving your token into the Kitchen (when you already hold a card for the kitchen) and then asking to see either Mr. Green (when you already hold a card for him as well) and the Knife. Nowadays, I walk into our kitchen and upon seeing a knife (with some crumbs) I’m able to force a character named Mr. Son (who wears a green shirt) to admit guilt in eating the last piece of cheesecake.

ENTERTAINMENT — I learned that when you run out of things to write about, you can use board games to create a blog that breaks you into The Huffington Post like I did here. Or you can just create a movie like they did in 1985 when they turned Clue into a feature length film starring Leslie Ann Warren as my favorite, Miss Scarlet.  However, this was no “Whodunnit” plot but instead it was a “Howdunnit?”  How DID they keep her from falling out of that dress??photo 1 (3)

WINNING — I learned that whenever I beat my family at Clue, my “prize” was getting to put the game away.  Interestingly, when I lost — my penalty was also . . . yep, you guessed it!  Let’s just say I wasn’t the sharpest weapon in the arsenal.

FLIRTING — When I played Clue with a boy I had a crush on, I learned to wear a red dress, flutter my Miss Scarlet eyelashes at his Colonel Mustard’s hot-dog, and try to land in the Ballroom a lot to see if he would ever get the hint and ask me to a school dance. I then learned this never worked. Nowadays, I just beat the pants off men I like in Scrabble, while spelling out their favorite seven letter word, “Bedroom.”

Thank you Parker Brothers for all the valuable life lessons!


28 thoughts on “Lessons I Learned From Playing the Board Game “CLUE!”

  1. Pingback: Statistical Fantasies — Where Do Yours Fit In? | Once Upon Your Prime

  2. LOL. Stephanie, what a great endorsement for why kids should still be playing with board games rather than sitting in from to the computer :). I would have picked Ms. Scarlett, too. I love the analysis between lessons learned and how this applies to your life today.


  3. I have no clue what you’re talking about. Monopoly ruled, with Chinese Checkers and Parcheesi, in our house as I was growing up 😉

    Monopoly is where I practiced going for extremes: I held out for the cheapest and most expensive streets, and put up hotels or nothing.

    I also learned about regional differences: different homes had different rules. Some accumulated huge amounts of money in the center of the board — taxes and other non-banking expenses — to be awarded to the person who landed on Free Parking. Others (like my frugal home) put nothing in the “pot”.

    And I practiced compassion. We could get out of jail with 7, 11, OR doubles, and we always got out free eventually.

    Sexism kicked in, too: girls had the iron and thimble; boys had the hat and horse.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We call; it Cluedo over here in the UK, and Miss Scarlett is blonde. However , she still comes across as a bit of a tart (albeit a classy one)! It didn’t stop me from wanting to play as her, although I usually ended up as the more frumpy Mrs White or elderly Mrs Peacock as I have quite a few siblings who can fight better than me! (I soon paid them back when I whacked their character over the lead with a bit of lead piping (What IS that)? and bumped them off in the kitchen!


  5. What? How did you get into my childhood psyche?! I was Miss Scarlett and I’d just play with the board and counters and imagine what an amazing house it was! Why do so few houses have secret passageways? Didn’t architects ever play Cluedo? The murder stuff was always secondary to the lifestyle!
    And the film? Up there with Bugsy Malone for best film of my childhood!


  6. By now your brother is probably out of jail or still attempting to roll doubles. I have heard that there is quite a view from your library. I would pick you more with the rope. Tying up your victim or were you tied up? You can’t have it both or can you. Ms. Scarlet was smart enough not to leave any plum sauce or mustard on herself.

    Liked by 1 person

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