Dearest readers, Aunt Betsy's typically sunny disposition is being tested this week. For starters my twin sister Levitica asked if I could watch her adopted negro (called Advil or Levitra or some such pharmaceutical-sounding ethnic name) from some God-forsaken multi-syllabic African nation whose chief exports appear to be orphans and Ebola. When Levitica showed up (six minutes prematurely), she deposited her ghastly caged ferret Sir Hopsalot in my well-appointed parlor. When I politely reminded her that when I agreed to negro-sit I hardly imagined opening a zoo, she laughed off my concern with not so much as a howdy-do and traipsed off to her monthly Claymates Karaoke Nite. Fortunately little Percoset fit nicely in the cage as well. I could barely hear the two of them caterwauling from the utility closet and was therefore able to enjoy my shows in relative peace.
Then, the next day, during a rather heated debate at Yahtzee league Enid Plottnik rudely called me a Yahtzee Nazi. The plump Presbyterian was insisting on a re-roll because yours truly had quite accidentally assigned her to one of my least sturdy foldaway chairs, the collapse of which caused her dice to scatter hither and yon. As a staunch Yahtzee traditionalist, Aunt Betsy believes that counted as her final roll. Yahtzee Nazi indeed! If that were true, I'd have crammed that meshuga Mildred Plotz into my self-cleaning Amana Radar-Range the moment she loudly declared my famous Velveeta-and-Bacon-Bits Dorito dip to be non-kosher.
Be that as it may, in spite of herself Aunt Betsy has become something of a Yahtzee guru. As such, nary a week goes by where yours truly isn't inundated by letters of Yahtzee-centric concern. With that in mind, I've generously decided to devote this week's column to all things Yahtzee.
Dear Aunt Betsy: Last time I played Yahtzee I couldn't stop rolling Yahtzees. Roll after roll, Yahtzee-Yahtzee-Yahtzee. At first it was amusing but as the game wore on it started spooking the other Yahtzeers. I like rolling a Yahtzee as much as the next gal, but too much of something is definitely a bad thing! Is a full house or a four-of-a-kind too much to ask for? I have since placed my Yahtzee game on the highest shelf of my game cabinet (above even Stratego and Candyland). There it sits to this day, mocking me. I feel an unnatural urge to take it down and hear those five dice bouncing around inside the cup like a Yahtzee maraca, but if I roll a Yahtzee again I'm afraid I might snap my cap and lose my tenuous grasp on sanity. What should I do? Signed, Startled And Tired And Nervous
Dear SATAN: Aunt Betsy has seen this odd phenomenon before. Back in 1985, Yahtzee League temporarily threw its doors open to new membership. League hopefuls were given strenuous oral and written tests concerning Yahtzee rules and etiquette, and were given a chance to demonstrate their Yahtzee prowess in a mock tournament. One applicant (I'll call her Arbara-bay Ush-bay) rolled nothing but ones. We quickly dubbed her Snake-eyed Sally, just for grins and giggles. But as the evening wore on and her possessed Yahtzee cup continued to issue nothing but ones, we were forced to resort to a seldom-invoked Yahtzee rule regarding the unlawful use of witchcraft. When we attempted to restrain her so we could bleed the evil from her by jabbing at her withered hide with knitting needles in a ceremonial exorcism, the ancient turtle-faced succubus cackled and disappeared in a poof of orange smoke. My advice to you my dear is to immediately chain a dozen or so bricks around your neck and jump off the nearest suspension bridge.
Dear Aunt Betsy: My family recently sat down to a cozy evening of Yahtzee and s'mores. What should have been a pleasant evening was utterly destroyed when the game ended in a three-way tie. While my nephew Lance suggested that whomever rolled the highest Yahtzee should prevail, I suggested the tie should be broken in a bonus lightning round. Unfortunately, it was Aunt Levitica's suggestion that the winner should be decided by the parties in question clamping a corner of a cloth napkin in their teeth and engaging in a to-the-death knife fight. Needless to say, I won. But the sweet taste of victory has been tainted by the fact that I had to bury my nephew and my sister. That, and the stubborn stain on my House Beautiful divan. But what makes this episode all the more disturbing is we don't have an Aunt Levitica and no one remembers inviting her. Signed, Wow, How I Need You!
Dear WHINY: Your Aunt Levitica sounds profoundly disturbed. Any Yahtzee aficionado knows that the victor of a tie-breaking knife fight is decided by whose mouth lets go of the napkin last, not who survives. What a dreadful clan of barbarians your family
Hello, Diddy: Were I not a woman of impeccable Christian charity, I'd remind you that the Devil has a special corner in hell for Yahtzeephobes like you. After a century or so in the lake of fire, condemned to have your genitals pecked off by blood stained vultures on a daily basis, don't come crying to me. I'll be with Jesus and Elvis and Patsy Cline, rolling a full-house, the hard way.
Love, Aunt Betsy