The Game of Life

Spoiler Alert: The following contains content from the November 12, 2014 episode of The Goldbergs

As determined as a ‘hungry, hungry hippo’ and as energetic as a teenage girl hanging-out with her friends talking, Barry Goldberg’s mission towards gaming superiority still may be stuck in the impossible.

Trivial Pursuit is the game and sister Erica his brainy nemesis. Honestly, knowing the author of “The Diary of Anne Frank” is tricky. Anyone could have missed that one…and by anyone, I mean only one: Barry Goldberg. Without the help of the JTP, he was left stranded on an island in the form of a kitchen table chair with nothing but his Big Tasty raps, ka-ra-tay moves and his confused concept of what sitting down means. Nostalgic board game nirvana aside, Barry’s only hope to defeat Erica for title of the smartest person in the world/between the two of them would require a measured approach to studying and preparation.

“I will do everything in my power to learn knowledge!”

While this intellectual battle between siblings brewed at the Goldergs’ kitchen table (under the careful supervision of bathroom break prone Pops), youngest child Adam was facing a ball of a time in gym class…literally. Red, rubber balls to be precise. The most gladiator-like gym class activity, dodge ball, is the pinnacle of survival for any young boy and girl.

True story.

After hearing about such a “barbaric” game, Beverly went into Beverly-mode: yes, Beverly Goldberg got dodge ball cancelled. But after a special isolation exercise by Mr. Mellor focused on Adam, the youngest Goldberg was struck square in the face with one of these balls of life. It left a red mark, which matched the fury of mama Beverly. We all know what happened next, following a slow-motion, fear-driven stroll through the halls of William Penn Academy. Beverly Goldberg not only cancelled dodge ball, but she also got Mr. Mellor fired.

It just got real…entertaining.

After Murray relieved Mr. Mellor from his inaccurate curb address number painting gig (“where’s the 3?”) and enlisting him to help him at his work, the uber-competitive gym teacher proved too intense for his laid-back job in the furniture store (self-high five). Plus, there were just too many bananas…way too many bananas in one drink.

Had Beverly gone too far?

Of course she did, that’s not even a serious question. But it was in the funniest way possible. Still, a gym teacher belongs in a gym, torturing young children with life lessons and sports cliches, rope climbs and world-class dodging. And sometimes that gym teacher who still doesn’t know your last name is pushing you so hard because he wants to instill some relentless toughness in you, preparing you to dodge life’s many unpredictable challenges that not even the all-powerful Beverly can deflect.

And after Erica beat Barry at his own game (literally, he made a game called, “Barrynopoly”), Barry was not only deflated about his surprising defeat, but he candidly disclosed his intellectual limitations to his older sister Erica.

It just got real…for real.

Contests and debates between siblings reveal a special bond, one that extends beyond normal competitive jousting. There’s an uncensored ruthlessness, all in good fun, with added realizations of what’s really at stake. Just don’t say the words, “Chinese checkers” around a particular sister of mine…But just as Erica cheated to ensure Barry got his much-needed victory at Trivial Pursuit (questions from the “junior edition” were discreetly used), so do all of us with siblings to one extent or another. This may include an older sister finally giving in and seeing and laughing at a movie in the theater she had previously refused to admit she enjoyed, just to spend some quality time with her younger brother and validate his choice in comedy. Or this may include going easy on a younger brother during a complex card game, to give him a much-needed win after a stressful week (then my oldest sister crushed me 3 times in a row, but still).

Even a gaming warrior needs to show some heart every once in a while. A true warrior is not only physically and intellectually formidable, but this person is also fully aware of his or her surroundings:

Like a 1980s music video, a warrior also knows how to take it over-the-top for the win!

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Posted on November 13, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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