Back in My Day: Fun ‘n’ Games

10 Feb

Mr. Mondoo and I have been reminiscing about our childhoods lately.  I’m sure it has something to do with the baby girl on the way.  Regardless of the reason, we’ve had some good times talking about back in our day and I thought that maybe readers of 141characters would enjoy the trip down memory lane as well.  This first installment of this “Back in My Day” series is all about the games that I used to play when I was a little Mondoo.  I’m sure many of you enjoyed these games as well; let me jog your memory:


Cootie was one of the very first games that I have a recollection of owning.  And from reminding myself about this game on Wikipedia, it’s pretty clear why I remember it as one of my first games.  It’s pretty much the dumbest game ever and only super little kids can get a thrill from playing it.  You roll the dice and depending on the number, you choose the corresponding number of cootie pieces.  The first to build their cootie, wins.  Boring!  But fun when I was in pre-school.

Ants in the Pants

Cootie actually had a series of games and the second one that I recall is Ants in the Pants.  This one wasn’t as easy as Cootie, it couldn’t have been because I’m pretty sure I beat my Dad every time we played.  Then again, he could’ve let me win.  Dear Baby: I promise not to let you win at games just because you’re a little girl.  Where is the fun (for Mommy) in that?  Plus, someone has got to teach you how to cope coming in second place to Daddy all the time.  He wins at everything because he’s big.  Love, Mommy.  P.S.  I love your kicks but some of them are really hard.  P.P.S.  Can’t wait to meet you!

Don’t Break the Ice

The third game in the Cootie series was Don’t Break the Ice.   Through investigating Don’t Break the Ice for a suitable image to share, I have discovered that the game has been tragically altered.  One of my fondest memories of Don’t Break the Ice was that it relied heavily on the game owners to have tissues on hand.  Maybe that’s why they changed it, apparently not everyone owns tissues?  SHENANIGANS!  If you can afford to buy a Milton Bradley game, you can certainly afford to buy tissues.   (Editor’s Note: SHENANIGANS on my memory!  Apparently the game I was thinking of was Thin Ice.  Mondoo Fail.  I’m sure that Thin Ice was some knock off version of Don’t Break the Ice.  My parents totally rolled like that).

Don’t Spill the Beans

The final cog in the Cootie machine was a little game called Don’t Spill the Beans. Not familiar?  Don’t Spill the Beans promoted the following:  counting skills, the importance of being tidy, and a creepy bean man with seemingly eight fingers on one hand.

Mouse Trap

I’ll be honest, I owned this game (Santa got it for me one year) but I’ve never actually played it.  No, the whole fun part of this game for me was constructing the elaborate set-up and then sending the little silver ball through the trap.  I bet Santa was pissed that he wasted his money on that game that never got played.

TV Tag

Wow, did we play TV Tag ALL THE TIME and wow, upon looking back on it, TV Tag was REALLY lame.  It must have been hell to be “it.”  I mean, really, what kind of idiots must you have to play with to actually win.  Honestly, everyone can think of a TV show title, even under pressure.  Never played TV Tag?  Well, WikiHow gives you a really good explanation on how easy (and stupid) it is.

Paper Fortunetellers

If I had a dollar for every paper fortuneteller that I made as a kid, well, let’s just say, it wouldn’t matter that I’m unemployed now.

Mall Madness

In my humble opinion, I saved the best childhood game for last:  Mall Madness.  My sisters and I didn’t actually own Mall Madness but our cousins did.  And lucky for us, we had sleepovers with these particular cousins ALL THE TIME and forced them to play Mall Madness whether they wanted to or not.  Mall Madness was so awesome for many different reasons:  you got to spend money, you got to use a credit card, you got to shop, AND the game board TALKED TO YOU!  Wasn’t technology magical back in the day?!  As cool as the talking game board was with phrases like “There’s a sale at the chichen store” and “There’s a sale at the lens hop,” it was also completely intelligible (Yeah, there was no Chichen Store or Lens Shop.  I believe the correct words were Kitchen Store and Mens Shop, nice try, Mall Madness).  Production errors or not, this game rocked and apparently there’s an updated version out there today, Mrs. Zack Morris told me.  I think that I’ll buy it for Baby Girl someday.

Stay tuned for Mondoo’s next edition where we’ll explore more fascinating memories from my childhood and yours… if you were as cool as me “Back in My Day.”


11 Responses to “Back in My Day: Fun ‘n’ Games”

  1. summer February 10, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    loved all those games – except ‘don’t break the ice’ – i def. had the tissue version.
    and i absolutely love mall madness! i would totally play that today if i still had it. did you know there was a non-electronic version? weird.
    the game would not be the same w/o that voice “attention mall shoppers!!!” – wouldn’t that be awesome if that happened at REAL malls. random discounts and such…

    i also liked to break out ‘party mania’ at sleepovers. did you have this one? it included a VHS tape to play along with.

    • mondoo February 10, 2010 at 11:09 am #

      oooo I’ve never seen Party Mania but was just reminded of two other sleepover classics:

      Girl Talk and Girl Talk Secret Diary

      Did you experience these?

      • summer February 11, 2010 at 10:00 am #

        i def had girl talk. that was the game that came with the red zits right?

      • mondoo February 11, 2010 at 10:01 am #

        Yes it was! Hahaha.

  2. CQ February 10, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    What about Real People? I liked that game! It is pretty much a middle school/teenager version of Guess Who? You had to guess which “Real Person” had which occupation, interests, etc… Good times!

    And speaking of Guess Who?, I loved that game!!! “Does your person have facial hair?” What a great way to know if it was a male or female AND knock all the males down who do or do not have facial hair!

  3. Mrs Zack Morris February 10, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Ah! CQ I was just going to bring up “Guess Who?”!!! Mall Madness was also probably my top game, ever. The old version is on sale on ebay, too…

  4. Kristina February 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Mondoo’s Mailbag question:
    I ran across Kathy Griffin on TV the other day. She has a huge love/hate relationship with celebrities…which made me think of you. How do you feel about Kathy?

  5. Kerri February 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    The cootie games are all a little bit dumb. A few years ago I played Don’t Spill the Beans for the first time (we had a TON of games, but never the cootie games). The 6-year-old I was playing with consistently cheated by “accidentally” knocking beans onto my side. Nice try, Honoria, you were not sneaky at all!

    The thing I remember most about Don’t Break the Ice, from playing at school or friends’ houses, was that it was a pain in the rear to set up. It took forever, then inevitably some dummy would whack the little cubes super hard on his first turn, and you’d be back to square one of set-up in less than a minute. Lame.

    Because I really like board games, I’m really excited about this new series from 141 characters!

  6. Kerri February 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Hmm. I decided to actually read your last paragraph, so I now see that you won’t be talking about games again in the next installment. Oops. I’m still excited about the series though, because hearing funny childhood memories is pretty much my favorite thing. Side note – THIS IS WHY WE SHOULD HAVE READ LISTENING IS AN ACT OF LOVE. Just saying.

    But anyway, other games that I remember: Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land (really lame and goes by very quickly when you’re not 5, apparently), and the Game of Life. Life was the most traumatic for us, because whenever we played with my older cousin, he’d always buy up all the stocks on his first turn and be a millionaire. We, unfortunately, either couldn’t read very well or were too naive to ask for the instructions, where we would have noticed that you’re not allowed to do that! My brothers, especially, would also get really upset if they got a crappy house, so we would have a “mulligan” to pick a new one. Now, I’m like, “crappy house? awesome! it’s cheaper!” So this is the short list – we are definitely a game family, but I’ll be kind and spare the rest of the details…


  1. Back in My Day: Candy « 141characters - March 2, 2010

    […] Leave a Comment A few weeks ago, I launched a new series called “Back in My Day.”  The first installment chronicled games that I used to play as a little Mondoo.  Well, today I’m hungry.  (No surprise there).  And Baby wants sweets.  So, I thought […]

  2. Back in My Day: Toys « 141characters - March 16, 2010

    […] Leave a Comment This is my third edition of “Back in My Day.”  I’ve covered games, then candy, and now toys.  I have some other Back in My Day topics up my sleeve but if there are […]

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