Hello, Eric. I won’t patronize you with tall tales about the cat or spilled coffee. I am the one responsible for the scene you woke up to in our apartment this morning. I’m sure you’re confused as to why I got up in the middle of the night and purposefully ruined our six hours of unfinished global domination—so let’s first take a moment to recap where things stood before we turned in. It was late and I just want to make sure we’re clear on things.
You were in control of North America, South America, Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe. And I, if you recall, stood at the helm of Scandinavia and Madagascar. Scandinavia: a frail Nordic outpost with three infantries and the grave misfortune of bordering your icy beast of a country, the Ukraine. And Madagascar: a tiny island off the coast of East Africa with one isolated platoon and lots of cute animals.
Three hours into our conflict, the writing was on the wall. The battle was over. You knew it and I knew it. But you wouldn’t let it be over, would you, Eric? You dragged it out, forcing us both to roll dice and draw cards in vain for another three hours—and, if you had your way, for another three tonight.
On at least five occasions, I offered you a complete, no-questions-asked surrender, granting you absolute world sovereignty and us both some much needed sleep. Yet each time—with a glazed, czarist glint in your eye—you rejected my offer.
Your pigheaded warmongering left me no choice but to violently flip the board while you lay smugly asleep in your bed. I’m surprised the tinkling of game pieces hitting the floor didn’t wake you, but, alas, I imagine you were consumed in despotic dreams of victory.
While we’re at it, Eric, allow me to let you in on a couple of other candid tidbits. Things I should have been more up-front about before we became roommates six years ago.
I hate Risk. I have for many years now. I hate that you still like Risk. I hate that you guilt me into playing with you because no one else will. I hate that you do the accents of the countries you’re attacking from. And I hate that you wear a beret every time we play. God, do I hate the beret.
If you insist on ignoring decades of advancements in the gaming industry, that’s your decision—but don’t drag me into this Hasbro time warp with you. Video games, for instance, have been invented and they’re really fun. Perhaps not the mind-numbing, 12-hour Napoleonic ordeal you’re looking for, but fun nonetheless.
In fact, a video-game version of Risk recently came out. In 1988. It’s got all kinds of fun audio and visual stimulation with, dare I say, even greater realism than the explosion sounds you so enjoy making with your mouth.
But all this is water under the bridge now, Eric. It may not have ended the way you would have liked, but our battle is finished. Your vast infantries are strewn in crevices all over our apartment—many members of which are destined to remain MIA until future tenants discover them years from now. Cavalry under the fridge. Artillery behind the radiator. Their communication with you, their great general, has been severed.
I wish I could say I’m sorry, Eric, but I’m not. In fact, for the first time in a long time, I am truly happy.