Hunting and Gathering Among Moms and Toddlers: Gaming at the Bagel Place (Childless Dog Lady Version)

We decided to do something different today. We wanted rosemary bagels and coffee. We wanted to play a game. So we took a game to our favorite bagel place, had our bagels and coffee, and played a game. It was a bit of a tight squeeze to get a Carcassonne game, even one without expansions (Hunters & Gatherers), onto a restaurant table. We kept score on the back of the receipt, rather than trotting out the score board. There were times when space issues really affected our decisions, which was interesting. Still, we managed.

What was interesting in a different way – and I am trying very hard to have a positive attitude about this – is that, while we were between the breakfast and lunch hours when we arrived, so that it was very quiet and peaceful, we apparently were treated to the glories of the toddler lunch hour shortly after beginning our game. For reasons that remain beyond my ken, 4-5 mothers chose to seat themselves and their shrieking broods on our side of the restaurant, leaving the other side of the restaurant to one or two solitary patrons. The juxtaposition of a very quiet, almost meditative game with numerous howling young fellow diners was… new to me. I don’t complain, because it was my idea to play in a public place, and my failure to pay attention to the probable schedules of normal people that led to such a coincidence of events. Mea culpa.

Now, we’re dog people. At home, we have a 14-year-old cocker spaniel. We’re used to quiet. Nonetheless, I don’t think the noise threw us off our game significantly. We had some positive points to the game. We both have a bad habit in Carcassonne of making Frankencities/Frankenforests that sprawl across the board, sometimes without ever getting finished. We didn’t do that this game, and I salute us for that. We each had one little single-tile unfinished forest, and no more. I had a particularly good meadow, and got the brush fire tile at the very end to scare off my tigers, so that was nice. I made an adorable forest with a deer protected in a little clearing, which I included in my session report, but will include here too, because it’s darling, and you might have missed it. We had some rough luck with small hut systems (and my husband forgot to even put his second one out, because he had been holding out for a better one – the price of greed!).

I wonder if part of the problem with our hut systems was the space constraints we had due to the table. Our table at home is at least half-again as big as the table at the bagel place, and we did definitely have to make some choices based on not wanting tiles to go on the floor.

Never let it be said that I don’t try new things. I have officially tried playing Carcassonne during shrieking toddler hour at Bruegger’s. I can cross it off my list now, and probably not do it again, at least with this kind of game.


About Suzanna

Suzanna's passions are gaming, dogs, and writing. She also loves reading, travel, and cranberry juice. Above all else, she would have it be said that she is compassionate, funny, and too clever by half.
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