Sometimes, when it's late enough and everybody's in a silly enough mood, it can be fun to take a board game one step further.
Anything Goes Scrabble, for example. Real Scrabble is restricted to what the dictionary contains. But what if you're allowed to create CHTKPTY? Or QUIFNGT? And then funny definitions for each? Lotsa laughs.
Equally good is Revolutionary Monopoly. The game begins as usual, with players amassing properties as fast as their dice rolls can carry them. Suddenly, one player chants a few slogans, overthrows the hated capitalist system and declares that Park Place belongs to the people!
But what happens when such slapstick is accidental? So it went in Alexandria the other day when Martha Finney lovingly unpacked her new Trivial Pursuit set and sat down to play.
More than 100 of her answer cards turned out to be hilariously wrong. So wrong that it couldn't be a matter of interpretation, as it often is with TP. Questions were from one category and answers from another. This was clearly the fruit of a card-printer that had gone temporarily mad.
Martha called TP's manufacturer, who said this happens about 2 percent of the time. He arranged to send her two boxes of replacement cards right away, without charge or hassle.
But Martha sent along some of the misfitting Q's and A's "for your amusement." See if you don't find them as uproarious as I did.
Q: Who was Napoleon's first wife? A: Charles de Gaulle.
Q: What's the fastest land animal? A: Alan B. Shepard Jr.
Q: Who portrayed Carl Bernstein in "All the President's Men?" A: Man of La Mancha.
Q: What does God create in the first sentence of the Bible? A: Jimmy Carter.
Q: Who killed Cock Robin? A: Faith, hope and charity.
And so on. By the way, if you have a defective TP set, write to Melodie Smith, Selchow & Righter Co., 4320 Veterans Highway, Holbrook, N.Y., 11741. But not before you treat yourself to some of the better giggles around.