Race Against Time

I’m in the process of having my entire house switched over from copper piping to PVC piping. The last stage of the process is scheduled for the end of the month. Part of these pipes runs through a closet at the foot of the basement stairs. The closet has always been the game closet. It’s full of board games, dominos, card games, the electronic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and so on. 

To allow the plumber access to the pipes, I have to clean out the closet, which is just as well since the basement’s flooded a couple of times since I’ve been here and the games, well, they smell.

As I was cleaning out another shelf last night, I came across three games I had completely forgotten about that I used to play all the time. Perfection. Superfection. Numbers Up.


I brought the games upstairs and ended up playing all three for about an hour. Yes, by myself. And, yes, it took many attempts before I was able to beat the game. I never made it to how I used to play, which was setting the clock for less and less time so I could always better my score. Like I was training for some strange Olympic event that’s only broadcast at 3 in the morning. Or training for membership in some elite bomb squad in a comic book. “Hurry up, your time’s almost out and you have 4 pieces to finish in the Puzzler’s dastardly trap!”

You remember some of the games. Perfection and Superfection worked on the same principle. Dump the pieces out of the playing field, set the timer and put them back before the game threw the pieces at you. Every time, I jumped when the plastic bottom let loose, spilling my hard work.

Numbers Up

Numbers Up worked the opposite way. All the pegs have numbers (go figure) on the bottom. You put them upside down in the carriage, set the timer and, pulling one peg at a time, arrange them in order at the bottom. I no longer have the #10 peg so you can see my difficulty. When time’s up, the unordered pegs fall through the game.

To add to the feeling of saving the world by completing the puzzle in time, the timers all click by the seconds or half-seconds or whatever as time winds down. When there’s about 10 seconds left, or 25 in older, kept-in-the-basement-for-years versions, the click slows down, becoming more ominous.

These games won’t be making the trek to the trash can. (A) They’re plastic, so they can be washed and reclaimed. (B) It’s an Olympic year, and I can still save the world … if only I could find that #10 peg.


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