This past July I went on a small vacation to Branson, Missouri to see a handful of live shows and most importantly walk through the craft malls because I, Rose Gordon, am a Craft Mall Junkie. So much so, I actually have to set myself on a timer when I go in one so I make sure to keep walking. Even if I leave without buying anything, I am the sort who has to look at every single booth and think to myself, “Would I use/decorate/love/hate that?”
Branson has four, maybe five of these malls–all so large you could seriously spend half the day in each. I did not. I was a good girl. I kept moving to “beat the clock” and I even did one better by bringing along cash, knowing that when my cash was gone, I was done. (Yes, I went so far as to leave my debit card securely locked away at a different location so I wouldn’t be tempted.)
Final hour in Branson, I had done sooooo good. I hadn’t lingered too long in any single store and I still had money! I was on a roll!
Then, I saw it…
In every store I’d gone in–even ones that weren’t craft malls–I kept seeing these plastic square tubes full of colored dice. The first time or two I didn’t really pay much attention, but after seeing it for about the 10th time, I thought “Wow, these people sure do like their dice. Maybe this is like Vegas for the family oriented people.”
“Want to play?”
I nearly jumped out of my skin. “Play what?”
“Tenzi,” said the lady standing behind the counter. She pushed ten red dice at me. “Pick ’em up and roll ’em.”
Obediently, I complied.
“Get your sixes,” she said.
So I did.
“I want to play,” said this teenage girl.
The lady pushed her a set of ten dice and the girl took off rolling and separating them.
“What now?” I asked hesitantly. There’s nothing worse than be the person who doesn’t know what’s going on while everyone else does.
“Keep rolling,” the older lady said, rolling her color and moving her sixes aside.
“I just keep rolling and pulling out the sixes?” I asked, totally confused.
“Yes,” the older lady said at the same time as the little teeny-bopper shouts “TENZI!!!” right in my ear.
I looked over at her dice and all ten showed the number six. Her face showed a smug expression.
“Sorry,” her mom said, poking her head around the side of her. “My kids played all night last night.”
I nodded slowly.
“It’s not really fair that I beat two old ladies,” the girl said.
Her offhanded response struck a nerve. I’m not old! I might be 31, but I’m not old! “All right, girl,” I said in a voice I barely recognized as my own. “Game on.” I pushed my hair behind my ear then grabbed my dice.
The girl started giggling and it sounded like she said something akin to “Yeah right.” She picked up her dice. “Shall I go easy on you and start back at sixes?” Her mocking tone stoked my competitive fire, but let me know that I didn’t fully understand the rules!
I looked at the older woman who’d first trapped me into playing this. “How do we play?”
“First round, everyone starts out looking for sixes. The first person to get all of their dice to read six, they say, ‘Tenzi’ and the round is over. The next round whoever had their sixes starts working on their fives and everyone else continues to roll of sixes. There is only one winner per round…”
“I think I have it.” I nodded to the girl who was staring at me like I was a moron. “GO!” I tossed down my dice and started frantically looking for sixes. I scooped up the remaining numbers and rolled again, and again, and again, each time moving aside my sixes. “Tenzi!” I hollered, trying not to laugh at the shocked look on the girl’s face. She’d had nine fives and was trying to roll her tenth.
She grabbed her dice. “GO!”
The next six minutes were the most satisfying six minutes of my entire trip as I trounced a sixteen year old girl in a game that solely consists of rolling dice. I know, I know, it was immature of me to challenge someone to a game. But let me tell you, there is an inexplicable euphoric feeling at whooping the butt of a cocky teenager–even if it is just in rolling dice. (Even her mom seemed to be reveling in the moment!)
I am so immature in fact that I whistled all the way to the checkout with a my very own package of multicolored dice.
Here’s what it looks like:
I’ve been told you can find it in certain toy stores or I found it on Amazon. It’s super easy to play and my kids LOVE it. (In fact, they beg to play it.) You can play it at the table, on the floor, coffee table, etc. Anywhere with a flat surface. I mentioned the easiest way to play. But someone has written a book with 77 Ways to Play.
- What are your favorite boardgames?
- Have you ever stooped to my level to act immature in order to prove your point? (Come on now, I know some of you have!)