Squashed – an excellent family game

I recreated the cube. My daugher, purple, reached the king. I had a red piece on each side. So when she squashed me, my other red piece went to the top next to the repositioning of the king. I then squashed my daughter and took care of my wife shortly after that. BTW, use the yellow mat or a tablecloth to play. We didn't because we like distressing our $100 Craigslist table. But you might not like the result of smashing pawns into the cube on your table.

I recreated the cube. My daugher, purple, reached the king. I had a red piece on each side. So when she squashed me, my other red piece went to the top next to the repositioning of the king. I then squashed my daughter and took care of my wife shortly after that. BTW, use the yellow mat or a tablecloth to play. We didn’t because we like distressing our $100 Craigslist table. But you might not like the result of smashing pawns into the cube on your table.

So there we were at the kitchen table after dinner playing Squashed, my 12-year-old daughter whooping it up and rubbing in the fact she won the first game. I  squashed (pun intended) my tweener’s happiness by winning the second game, leaving my wife 0 and 2. 

Now the object of Squashed is to be the last pawn standing. Simple, or so it seemed the first time we played and each of us took the simplest strategy of racing to the top of the cube to reach the king. Now reaching the king means you get to flip the cube to any side you like and squash other players’ pieces into the center of the cube, never to be seen again – or until the next game.

I realized during the second game that there is strategy beyond racing to the top. It isn’t the only way to play. The key: it helps to plan ahead. Hold that thought for minute. I’ll get back to it.

I’ve already established that my daughter is a terrible winner and loser. Hmm, where did she get that from? my wife likes to ask.

Yeah, okay, she got it from me, which makes for a battle royal each time we play a game.

And the third game of Squashed was a classic battle. My daughter wanted nothing to more than to squash me and win.

She was in good position to do just that, with one pawn left that was much closer to the top than my two pawns. But I grew up playing board games, not video games, and knew it was time to school my daughter in the art of “non-digital gaming.”

Like a compulsive gambler whose horse is 10 lengths ahead with the finish line in sight, my daughter giggled and jumped about, taunting me with her knowledge that she was a sure winner.

I have no problem busting self-esteem in my house when it comes to games. It’s good to learn what defeat tastes like early in life. So, I moved both of my pieces sideways to opposite sides of the cube.

This is an exact quote from my daughter to my wife: “I don’t know what Daddy thinks he’s doing.” That should have been her first clue something was up, but certain victory clouded her tweener mind.

And when she reached the space next to the king, she chose to squash me instead of her mother. Oh, the glee and joy of certain victory in her face when she left me with one piece – one piece which just happened to be next to the new location of the king. You see, when you flip the cube the opposite side comes up and the king gets moved to the top. I planted my pieces on opposite sides so no matter what, one piece would be in the position to squash her on my next turn.

“Daddy can’t do that,” she said to her mother, her certain victory crumbling like a 6-month old chocolate chip cookie. I almost felt bad for her. Ah, not really. I was happier for my own craftiness.

I finished her off, then my wife and became the Squashed King with a 2 and 1 record.

The next morning I rubbed it in and left a note for her on the cube: “You were Squashed.”

So, a high recommendation for the game Squashed. It appears simple the first time you play it, but gets better each time. I got my money’s worth alone during the third game – “I don’t know what Daddy thinks he’s doing.” That’s right, Honey, even I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes, but this time I did. Ha.

Letter to my daughter, 03/22/11

Dearest Daughter,

We’ve spent two days together while Mommy is away on business. Thanks for making my life easy, so far. But there’s always tomorrow to change course and wake up in a foul mood and fuss about putting your shoes on. We’re not home free yet.

I do, my wonderful daughter, need to share an observation with you I noticed this week: You’re Fox’s child, not mine. Yes – you are.

This became very clear to me the first morning when I had an epiphany and saw your fox tail showing.

Here’s how I knew: How many years has Mommy brought you a heated blanket in the morning, carried you to breakfast, and sat you on her lap feeding you?

Hmm, I wonder?

Then, when she’s away for a few days, and I’m here, you manage to get up without an alarm clock, put together your own breakfast, eat it in record speed, and have 30 minutes to get dressed and ask if you can play Pokemon.

And no blanket or sleepy-head look? Very interesting indeed.

You see, I now know your secret – you bamboozled your mother! All these years and you kept the act up. Well done, my child. Well played, young lady. Well. Played.

I will keep your wicked little secret when Mommy gets back, and let you have your pack-mule moment of being carried to the table. It makes your mother happy, though she’s having a hard time carrying you now. How old will you be when you exceed the maximum weight limit for that ride? I’m sure it will be sad for all of us.

From this point forward, each time I see her lugging you like a heavy bag of groceries, I’m going to have a huge smile on my face watching you, Baby Fox. Yes, you.

Enjoy your trick, honey, because before you know it, you’ll be carrying your own daughter to breakfast wondering when she got so heavy, and wasn’t she just a baby a few days ago, and where did the time go?

Where did it go?

And you’ll remember, at that very moment, what I once told you in a blog post – you blinked.

With all my love,


Saturday Funhouse – Fox Returns with Inventions

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am one handsome hunk of fox

Fox here. I’m back. Did you miss me? If you didn’t, you can kiss my furry butt. I’m Fox and my middle name is “polarizing.” There is no middle ground with me. So, for those who love me, keep reading. The rest of you? Well, you can all F-F-F-Fade away.

Now I know what you’re thinking: Where have you been, Fox? The answer you may be expecting is “I’ve been partying,” which is a good answer, but not correct. You see there’s a side of me most of you don’t know about. I’m an inventor. I have patents for all kinds of inventions. And for the last three months, I’ve been holed up on an island in the south Pacific with my assistants Malorie and Julie, who are both top-notch engineers and help with the math I chose to ignore back in my school days (party or math class? Not a hard choice.)

The three of us have been working on inventions to make the lives of those fighting cystic fibrosis easier, even that jerk-off bum of a CFer named Unknown, whiny loser that he is.  A little blood and he runs to the hospital. You didn’t see me passed out in a hospital bed after my four-day bender with Keith Richards had me spitting up blood in a bathroom in the south of France. Some of us can take it. But I digress.

During the past four months, my brainy assistants and I have come up with four excellent inventions. I’m here today to share them with you. They’ll be available soon to buy, but I’m giving you a preview because that’s the kind of fox I am – generous and sober with my 1-day AA chip, which I’m going to bet on red to win.

Pull back the curtain, please.

Stay out of my room. You're covered in Pa.

Bacteria-finder sunglasses. Wear these glasses and you can see all bacteria harmful to CFers. Pseudomonas shows up in orange. Cepacia in red. MRSA in Yellow. You name the bacteria, we have a color for it. Friendly bacteria show up in blue shades. These are great to wear in the hospital. You’ll look like a rock star to doctors and nurses, while knowing who’s been naughty and nice when it comes to washing their hands.  “Come back when you learn to use soap and water,” you’ll say to the nasty Respiratory Therapist fresh from the bathroom and covered in C-Diff. He’ll stare with a sad-dog grin as you bust his ass for spreading germs and almost giving you the world’s most dangerous case of the squirts.

Am I still alive? iPad/iPhone app. Ever wonder what your temperature is, your O2 sats, blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rhythm are — all at once? Simply download the “WTF is going on in my body” app from Apple and you’ll know in the time it takes you to set down your mojito grande and place two thumbs on your iPad or iPhone. The CF version of the app also tells you if your lung has collapsed or if you’re just a big hypochondriac like Unknown is. And as a bonus, the Fox version has a built-in breathalyzer. Just place your mouth on your iDevice and blow (just the fact you’d do that tells you that you’ve had enough to drink).

Ring of hemoptysis fire

Dragon Gum. Nothing worse than coughing up blood. It’s a drag unlike any other. Chew this new gum and blood turns to fire. It’s quite a trick and we’re still working out the kinks, like timing the combustion of when the blood turns to flame after contacting the gum. I had a hard time kissing my PhD’s for a week after I burned my mouth on the first stick. Plus, my mouth smelled like dead flesh, making me off-limits to the opposite sex. But when this sweet tasting gum works, hello, King of the Dragon Colony. You’ll be spitting fire balls across the room. Take that cystic fuckbrosis.

IV fluid Clothing Pads. If you’ve ever been on home IVs and used IV balls, then you know it’s a pain to wedge it under your shirt by your shoulder while you’re infusing it. Hey there, Jr. Hunchback. We have a solution to solve the IV geek look – IV Bra Pads for the ladies and IV Speedos for the men. Now instead of IVs making you look like a geek, you’ll look like a Goddess or God with amazing physical gifts. And you won’t mind when the zosyn dose runs three hours. That’s three hours you’re eye candy for the opposite sex. “Why is there a line running from your bathing suit to your arm?”

I’m glad to be back and contributing to the CF community again. No need to fill my comment box with Thank You notes. I know you love me and what I do. But, hey, if you have to leave a love note, it won’t hurt me. I am, after all, a sensitive Fox who only wants to fill the world with love and happiness. Or beer and Vicodin chasers. I forget.

Party like it’s your last.

Fox out.

Fox designs a line of hospital shirts

You can't keep a good fox down.

Fox here. I’m back. And better than ever. I spent the summer in Monaco with some of my Hollywood friends. I’d love to write about my adventures, but I don’t remember a lot of what happened. I do remember waking up face down on the water bed most afternoons, sometimes wearing the dress of the woman next to me. Crazy fox fun.

The entire summer wasn’t a complete inebriated waste of time. I came up with an cool idea for Unknown – a line of hospital t-shirts. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. What do you think? A different one for each day he’s in the hospital next time?

Party like it’s your last.

Fox out.

The Who’s Roger Daltrey Microphoned Me – A Fox Tell-all

[Not a post for a kit]

I'm never going back again. Creative Commons, Ulybug

It’s Saturday night. I’m having a shit time at the Hard Rock in Vegas, and down over 200K. The dealer’s treating himself to 21’s like Ginger’s been treating herself to hotel shampoos, soaps and robes – one for me, none for you, Fox.

Dealer Jack from Montana is beating the crap out of me with every faceless card in the shoe, 3’s, 6’s 2’s. I’m thinking, you better, you better not bet, Fox.

I sign for 100K in chips. I’m feeling angry. Ginger’s counting cards in her crazy nurse way, whispering 100ml, 5cc, 50mg. WTF? How does she do it? I don’t know.

Dealer man thinks she’s nuts, not the PhD she really is. But her method works. She’s up 70 or 80K, which only makes it worse that my lucky lady is showing me up. I know she’s smarter than I am, but don’t Einstein me in public, Kid. The real me is sensitive.

It’s another tricky day all the way around – my fox ego pounded and dying on the floor. I’ve had enough.

Who's next for a beating?

But guess who sits down at my high-roller’s table? Baba O’Riley himself, the thunder-god of Rock n Roll, Roger Daltrey. My pal CG would have jumped him right there cause she hearts aging rockers; and Unknown would have wet his pants like the yellow lab pup he is.

So, Roger D sits down in the last position with Ginger sandwiched between us. The dealer flips me two 8’s, Ginger a Blackjack, and Roger a 16. Dealer Jack shows a 5.

Roger’s making all cute and cuddly and using his rock-star lucky charms with nurse Ginger, who is jumping up and down yelling “code blue to you, sucka” at the dealer thanks to her big win. Woo F’ing who, I’m thinking. I’m playing cards here, not the dating game.

I slide another 50K forward with my paw, all cool and fox-like. No words needed. Happy Jack knows I’m splitting 8’s. The two 10’s he drops turn my 8’s to 18’s. It’s about F’ing time. Let him chat it up with Gin if he’s turning coal to platinum.

I look at his 16 and pray to Athena that he makes the right move and stays at 16. But wrong, I am.

I don’t know how they play blackjack in the UK, but the way we friggin’ play it here is the US of A is when you’re last position, and dealer Jack is showing a 5 to your 16, you plant your ass on your rock-star hands.

But no, that’s not what Sir Who does. He scratches his finger on the table and calls for another card.

I can’t get the words “Fuck no” out fast enough. Dealer Jack tosses him a queen of spades, clubbing my beating heart, and turning his 16 to 26. He busts, then laughs about it cause he owns mansions made of gold.

I can see for miles what’s coming next. Dealer Jack flips his hold card and shows 15. The 10 that Tommy Boy just asked for, that cost him 100K of his walking-around money, was supposed to go to the dealer to bust him. He took the dealer’s 10, damn it.

Tommy himself

Now Jack from Montana looks at me, the corners of his mouth raise like an alley cat’s, all wicked-like. Even he is clairvoyant enough to see my bad luck coming. He’s chuckling inside, knowing what Princess Pinball Wizard just did.

But I’m too late. Here comes the trick of the light, as the four of diamonds falls flat, giving the dealer a 19, beating my two 50K 18’s. I’m crushed by the man who sang Sister Disco.

That’s about when I hear Who Boy start singing “mama’s got a squeeze box, Daddy never sleeps at night” to Ginger.

One of the remaining Who geezers is singing the creepiest of songs to Gin thinking it’s the magic bus to her heart. He slides his room key across the felt all-stealth and old-guy creepy like.

I only know what happened next because the police were playing the tape when they paw-printed me. Laughed their asses off, they did.

In the video, I jump on the table and go mobile. I nail Roger right in the nose. After that, there’s five minutes of me hanging on to his face as he tries to shake me off. Tables, cocktails, everything goes over. He’s screaming just like he does in concert. Then he grabs my tail and uses his microphone twirling skills to whip me across the casino. I land against a Wheel of Fortune slot machine, where security takes me down.

I have blue eyes that are sad. Where's my billion dollars in royalties?

Ginger has seen this show before. I yell out that she led him on and there goes my bail money. She says she won’t get fooled again and runs out.

In court, he judge says, “Who’s next?” and looks like he’s ready to give me life. I want to give him the slip, Kid. I can’t explain my actions, but I can tell him what Sir Behind Blue Eyes did. And after hearing the story, the judge dismisses all charges. He agrees that’s it’s illegal to hit a 16 when the dealer is showing a 5. It’s a crime, he says, and lets me go.

I’m free.

That’s my side of the story. Ginger won’t return my calls. Unknown sits in a hotel room somewhere. I look in the mirror tonight and wonder, Who are you, Fox? Who are you?

Fox out.