My wife is a constantly-curious person who loves silly little games. Sometimes living with her is like being in an episode of “Seinfeld.” She comes up with games randomly in her head and after a while, usually by accident, she’ll let slip a new game she’s been playing and it becomes a joke to us. Other times, the game is intentionally created to pass the time. One such game is what we call the “Winnemucca Game”
The Winnemucca Game was created on our first drive from California to Boise, Idaho, to visit my parents after they moved out there some years back. Starting outside of Reno, Nevada, the highway signs would list the miles until you reached certain towns, one of which is Winnemucca. Given that they started telling you how far away you were, we assumed it was this beacon of awesomeness in the middle of Nowhere Nevada. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Don’t believe me? Look at the town on Google Maps.
The game started when, during my wife’s turn driving, she would amuse herself by guessing what the miles-to-Winnemucca number would be when we reached the next sign. I remember waking up a couple of hours outside of Winnemucca to find her quietly muttering numbers to herself. Once she told me about the game, then I, be default, became a player in the game (I just lost the game) and she officially had dragged me down into her sleep-deprived silliness. She would get mad if I didn’t throw out a number.
When we finally reached Winnemucca we were ecstatic! Her, because that was where we were switching drivers and myself because I could finally be tired of talking about that damn town. It turns out, Winnemucca, Nevada is pretty much only a town consisting of a few casinos, a big ass gas station for truckers and a ton of fast food restaurants. Oh, there are other things for the poor folks who actually live there, but for the most part, that’s really all it has to offer.
Another game my wife made up and has been playing or a couple of years now is a game with someone she’s named “Florida.” A couple of years back, after the school year started, a car from our part of town started arriving at our children’s school to drop off their kids. They apparently moved from or bought a car from Florida, which is why the game is called Florida, due to the license plates. Every morning, I had noticed, that car seemed to be ahead of us. But like most people, that’s where my fascination ended.
But not for my wife!
My wife started a game with herself where every school day, she had a goal of “beating Florida to the school.” She would curse under her breath and pretend to be angry whenever Florida beat her to the school. On the days when she beat Florida, she would usually say, rather loudly, “Suck on THAT, Florida!”
Over time, the game of hers caught on and I’d say, “Uh, oh, babe. Florida is already ahead of you.” But then the tables turned! My wife started a job this past winter and after a few months she noticed something terrifying – Florida had also started working at her building! The response was something along the lines of, “FRICK! Not only do I have to beat her Florida ass to the school, but NOW I have to also beat her to work! Does she realize what she’s doing to me?!”
To make matters worse, one of Florida’s daughters goes to the same middle school as Thing 1 now. My wife now has a daunting trifecta to win every week day. The best part of it all is that when she says, “Florida!” she says it like Jerry Seinfeld when he curses Newman.