“I want to see Miss Scarlett in the billiard room with the wrench.”
There was shuffling of cards as she searched for one of the three so I could mark it off. If she produced nothing, then her sister would have to show me what she had.
We went around the mansion, taking turns rolling dice, trying to land on a space that would give us access to a door. We would use a secret passage to speed things along where a player can instantly move from one room to another. Then the accusation could be given. Ultimately, you want to be the first to reveal which of the characters became a cold-hearted killer.
It could be Mrs. Peacock taking a rope and strangling her victim in the kitchen when he got on her last nerve and asked for the salt shaker.
Or Mr. Green lost his temper and took out a lead pipe in a jealous rage to do away with his enemy in the study while he read a world map. Unknowingly, the next destination was the afterlife.
I didn’t realize in the original game he was known as a Reverand. The title was removed because it sent the wrong message that a church leader could go insane and commit a crime. That would be too shocking for the public to handle with a board game.
Professor Plum’s character always seemed shady to me. I wouldn’t be caught dead with him in a conservatory late at night if I met him in real life. Who knows when he would pull out that candlestick and end my existence while I was looking at a botanical?
Colonel Mustard seemed like he could at any moment take out a revolver, and without a second thought, blow away whoever was standing next to him in the lounge while drinking his scotch.
Other characters were considered, but Mrs. Silver, Miss Grey, Mr. Gold, and Mr. Brown did not make the final cut.
When she revealed her card, I was able to take it off the list. And so, by deduction, we were on the move to hunt down the culprit and figure out where, who and what was involved.
When everything is set up at the beginning of the game, three piles of cards are made with weapons, rooms, and suspects. One of each is drawn and placed in a golden-colored mystery envelope in the center of the board. The most alarming thing for me was discovering that my character had been murdered by one of the others playing with me.
How dare they take me out when they depend on me for everything in life? They just callously knife me while I am in the hall, lost and wandering because I don’t even know the hall’s purpose. Isn’t a hall just something that is used to get to somewhere else?
I kept calling off names, rooms, and weapons during one game and kept coming up with no answers. With confidence, she ticked off all her answers, moved along, and closed in on the solution to put us to shame. I usually go with a specific strategy to get to the bottom of what is happening by eliminating one variable at a time.
But, I was coming up short. So, I kept asking for the same items or people multiple times to be sure that I hadn’t overlooked something.
“Something isn’t right,” I said after exhausting all my tactics. “There is a problem with this.”
“What?” she asked.
We had been playing for a while, and there should have been a conclusion to this by now.
“You don’t think something is missing? I keep trying to determine who did this, and there are two instead of one on my list. I have asked for every single one of them.”
She glanced down and looked at her paper with her name at the top, where she had been marking off her guesses. Both of my girls are very artistic, so their papers always have artwork all over them.
They can’t sit without drawing flowers, dogs, cats, and everything else they can think of. They are so talented at it, I could sell them to pay off the mortgage.
It didn’t seem like she thought anything was wrong. So, we played on until I couldn’t take it anymore.
“I think maybe I put an extra card in the envelope when we started. We aren’t going to solve this.”
I had to quit the game and look at what had been set aside. There were only three cards like there should have been.
“I don’t get it,” I said. I showed her my findings, and she showed me hers.
“I think we have a card that has gone missing, so this would have never ended. Without that one suspect, we cannot come to the right conclusion.”
It was somewhat disappointing, and I thought about going online and buying the vanishing card. As I picked up the game, I noticed it underneath the board. Somehow, as we had put it all out, one of the suspects had hidden himself there.
I saw another rendition where you can lie through it unless the other players hit this big red button and challenge what you are saying. Your body language and facial expressions have to look genuine and go undetected as false by others around you to succeed.
I don’t think many of us would admit out loud how dishonest we really are. I am not talking about flat-out telling lies but living in a way that is not entirely what we want. We fake our way through things to keep the peace and make others comfortable even though we are miserable. If you do that long enough, it starts to feel normal.
In another version, the murderer is at large and can take you out before you figure out who they are. It’s a race against the clock to see if you can escape. You are in constant danger, dodging the fatal blow that will end your life.
I have had those situations in real life without realizing how close I had come to being a victim. It takes strong discernment to see the truth and to act on it.
One evening, I was out working in my yard, and a man approached with a clipboard.
“Do you have cable?”
“Yes,” I said.
“I think I can offer you a better deal.”
There was something about him that made me uncomfortable. It was starting to get dark, and I was near my garage.
“I am happy with what I have,” I said. He advanced closer to me, and I moved a few inches away.
I realized that no one was around, and all the houses were closed up.
“I think you should switch to my plan,” he said.
“I have said I am not interested.”
I moved enough so that he could clearly see that I was not at all needing him to go any further.
“I think you will like this better,” he said, coming into my garage.
I had my phone in my pocket, so I took it out.
“I have asked you to leave. If you don’t, I will call for help.”
I moved away again.
“I think you should take into consideration what I am saying.”
I started dialing.
When the 911 operator answered, he was sprinting down the sidewalk. I explained what had happened, and they sent a police officer my way. Those are the moments when you realize you have angels, and you need to have the best spiritual ears ever.
Friends may betray you, just like your opponent in a game of mayhem, and it’s going to hurt. Maybe they kill you with their gossip about you or slander your character, make unfair judgments, and spread it around. You will have to overcome unfair conditions as you walk through them, but God will show you where you have grown into a new person at the end of all of that.
The one thing that is clear if you ask God for help, it will come. In Jeremiah 33:3 it says,
This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: Call to me, and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own. (Message)
When life gets confusing, and nothing makes sense, send out a prayer, ask God for insider information, and listen as heaven will send the most valuable clue.