Family learning

By Mir
October 18, 2009

Tonight we decided that none of our usual standbys would do for Family Game Night, so we went ahead and opened up our Urban Myth game that was still sitting in its shrink wrap in the closet.

[Me: Where did we get this?
Otto: You gave it to me.
Me: Uh, no I didn’t.
Otto: Are you sure? I thought you did.
Me: Nope, seems like something I’d remember.
Otto: Oh. In that case, I have no idea.]

Urban Myth says that it’s for ages 12+, but we are fans of rounding up. We read the rules and off we went.

It turned out to be rather more educational than we’d planned.

The way the game works, everyone takes turns being the Reader, who draws a card and reads off a story. Everyone else has to guess whether it’s true or a myth. There’s a board and pieces and categories, but basically you’re guessing whether various stories are true or false.

I thought perhaps I should’ve paid a little more attention to the age guideline when we got to the card where Chickadee had to read off the story about a woman who claimed she turned into a nymphomaniac after being in a cable car accident. (That one’s true, by the way.) Whoops.

But the pinnacle of the game was definitely when we were asked to determine whether or not it was true that actor and former president Ronald Reagan was offered the role of Rick in Casablanca but turned it down. Otto said it was true. I said it was true. Monkey said it was false.

It was actually false. When we expressed surprise and admiration for Monkey having known it wasn’t true when he was the only answerer to know nothing about the film, he replied, “Well, I didn’t think he’d really been president.”

Some nights we play Uno, and some nights we talk about sex addiction and ask the children WHAT DO YOU STUDY IN SCHOOL ALL DAY THAT YOU DON’T KNOW RONALD REAGAN WAS PRESIDENT? We like to mix it up.


  1. TJ

    In his defense, I can name the last few presidents, and the ones at the beginning (because I learned a song about them in the 3rd grade and totally remember the whole first verse), but it does get a bit hazy in the middle there.

  2. Em

    I will come to his defense too. I’m a little fuzzy on the presidents that were in office around the time of my birth. I should say I WAS a little fuzzy, when I was his age. Thanks to rote memorization, I have them down now.

  3. Em

    Holy cow! No! Monkey was probably born during Clinton? Wow, time goes by fast when you get old like me. I actually thinks this affords Monkey even more of a break. He wouldn’t have seen it in a baby book and really, don’t most kids think the world pretty much began when they were born? No? Just mine?

  4. carmie

    I feel ancient. Carter was prez when I was born.

  5. just beaux

    Wow, that is educational. Kennedy here.

  6. Karen

    I must be really old. I have to claim Eisenhower as president when I was born.

  7. Cele

    Karen we’re not old, they are just wet behind the ears.

  8. Aubri

    Wow… I feel ridiculously young here, again, in the comments section. Regan was president when I was born. Then again, I also know who was president before him, and before him, and before him. My mom had place mats with all the presidents on them in chronological order for us kids to use. My little brother and I used to do pop quizzes to see who could remember them best.

    The nerd thing? It’s genetic. Our family is living proof. And it’s a good thing, at that.

  9. Sandra Leigh

    Heh. Would you believe — Truman?

  10. Nicki

    Way to deflect from the nymphomania by focusing on history. You and Otto rock!

  11. Frank

    We had to learn all the presidents in order as part of middle school social studies. I still remember them. Funny I cant remember what I did yesterday, but can recall stoopid stuff like that. Works great in trivia settings, but not much else. :/

  12. karen

    You know Mir… the kid might have a point. I was certainly around for Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, and I’m still not sure he was really President.

  13. Janis

    Another Eisenhower here. Don’t tell anyone.

  14. dad

    William Henry Harrison was a year ahead of me at my high school.

    Time goes fast when you’re having fun.

  15. Kim

    Lyndon B. Johnson here!

  16. Chuck

    In Monkey’s defense, I think there are a lot of people who would like to believe that Reagan wasn’t president.

  17. Suz

    I’m going to come his defense without wit – schools typically do the older, foundational things first, rather than the more current history. My older daughter (8th grade) is just this year getting up to the Depression, and my younger daughter (6th) is still lost somewhere in Ancient Rome. In 7th grade, they took their first stab at learning ALL the presidents.

    But that was cute. I think I want that game.

    signed, another Nixon baby.

  18. Moira

    Haven’t seen a Kennedy baby yet. I was born a short 4 months before he was shot.

  19. Mare

    Lyndon B Johnson was President when I was born. I remember Watergate usurped Gilligan’s Island when I was about 5-6. I got really excited when the ABC Special Presentation (or whatever station Gilligan’s was on) would flash across the screen, only to find out it was some stupid news thing. I remember Ford (He’s from my hometown). Then Carter which nobody in my adult family liked which made Reagan a savior to them. Then Bush SR. Funny how I remember all that, but I can’t find my car keys.

  20. eden

    There’s a terrific scene in “Back to the Future” where Doc quizes Marty about who’s the president in the future… and he’s with Monkey… completely dismisses the idea of an actor becoming a president.

    Note: I didn’t actually pull this out of my adolescent memory banks… just recently went to a retro movie night. The movies of my youth are now retro? Ack!

  21. Katie in MA

    Another Carter here. Beats the game that my two girlies were playing last night, called ‘Let’s cover our hands in ketchup instead of eating our chicken nuggets and run around the room with beige carpeting while Mom’s back is turned.’ It’s kind of a mouthful, but they seemed to enjoy it…until that throbbing vein on my forehead exploded all over them.

  22. MomCat

    What I want to know is, did you have to explain what that *is*, or did your kids just let that slide right by?

  23. Little Bird

    When I was born, the man in office had never even been on the ticket!!
    It never fails to make me feel old.

  24. Jean

    Yeah, you’re mostly just a bunch of young whippersnappers. Get off my lawn, you kids. Eisenhower administration speaking here.

  25. JennyM

    Carter here (but I’ll admit I did a mental double-take before I answered — Carter…wait, what? Hmmm, okay, that’s right.) He hadn’t been President for long, though.

    So, how did you explain what a nymphomaniac is?

  26. Kendra II

    i gave it to him for christmas years ago.

  27. Otto


    It drove me crazy trying to remember who gave me the game. I suspected it was Kendra but wasn’t sure.

    Now, you guys should come down and play it with us – we have eight seats at the table, enough for everyone.

    Kendra’s incredibly forgetful (but appreciative) brother-in-law

  28. jwg

    Roosevelt. You are all far too young!

  29. Carol

    This has led to an interesting account from your readers, Mir. For me, it was Johnson – Reagan was the first president I voted for.

  30. Saskia

    I’m from the Reagan era (1987) – and Obama is the first president I voted for. That should make you all feel old.

  31. mama speak

    Karen took my comment, Monkey had it right, he wasn’t really that much of a president. But he ACTED really well like one. ;-)

  32. Lily

    Kennedy-time baby here, feeling rather old just now…

  33. mom, again, again

    Johnson. I also remember being offended that the Watergate Hearings pre-empted afternoon kids TV. Reagan was the first president I voted against.

  34. Dawn

    I’m one of Ike’s girls. Gneep. OLD.

    Okay, I’m Canadian, but we see so much American TV I actually know this.

  35. Dawn

    Oooo. Here’s a thought… who was Canadian prime minister when you were born… hmmm???

    I shall alert Google.

    I’ll go first. Louis St. Laurent.


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