Go Directly to Stalag 12. Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

September 29, 2009

I found this story about how the British military in World War II hid maps and escape tools in Monopoly boxes for POW’s in Germany and Italy to use in escaping their prison camps very fascinating.  Psycho Dave found it to be an excuse to rip up board games to see if the government left him anything.

“Nothing,” says an exasperated Psycho Dave.  “No secret maps painted on the sides of Jenga blocks, no coded messages in the Peppermint Forest of CandyLand… but I think that Pop-o-matic Trouble game can be used to send messages through telegraph wire.  I need to run more tests on it.”

“The government isn’t going to hide things in board games again,” I say.  “People barely play them anymore.”

“But board games are perfect for prisoners,” says Psycho Dave.  “They’re the perfect audience for games like Monopoly and Risk that take all day to play and crush the human spirit.  Who do you know that felt better about their lives after a marathon game of Monopoly?”

“You’re never going to be able to sneak that stuff into board games again,” I say.  “Now they know to look for that sort of thing.”

“So now what do we send our imprisoned soldiers in our humanitarian packets?”  says Psycho Dave.  “A Nintendo DS and a bag of batteries?  You don’t think the Taliban won’t just take that for themselves?  Even glorious martyrs for Allah love playing Nintendogs.”

Twenty minutes and a bunch of bubble gum vodka shots later we’re on the phone with the Pentagon pitching them an idea to bundle escape items into Dungeons and Dragons game kits to be sent in humanitarian packages to our prisoners of war.  America’s religious extremists already think it’s the game of the devil, surely Islamic extremists would share the same sentiments so they’d be loathed to inspect the Great Satan’s game.  And even if they did, they’d never understand it (hell, most Americans don’t even understand it either), allowing vital information for escape to slip through under the guise of a campaign to retrieve The Sword of Kings from the Cave of Tiamat.

But alas we failed our saving throw on dialing the phone and ended up calling up a Waffle House in Alabama.  They didn’t seem interested our plans, and didn’t pick up that when we say “the Elven Ranger has a long bow and high agility points” that means the bombing on Omaha Beach starts at dawn.





  1. i’m partial to Yahtzee. sufficiently mindless, but with enough minor thought required you can pretend you’re clever. oh, and a complete game takes about 20 minutes… and you can play “strip Yahtzee”, too…

  2. and that’s why I only play mah jongg

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