Dare Uno, Not for the Faint-Hearted

Daily Prompt The Perfect Game You’re set to play poker (or Scrabble or something else . . .) with a group of four. Write a story set during this game. Or, describe the ideal match: the players, the relationships — and the hidden rivalries.

I don’t play games often, but I have some friends who play Uno. My friend, L, has a developmentally disabled son, M, who’s (in my book) one of the most profound and amazing people on the planet. M loves Uno and he’s very good at it. Before they came to visit me this past March, they bought a new game. DARE UNO. What this means is that a player can play a card and with that card the next player must either take extra cards and miss a turn, or take the dare and miss a turn. The dares aren’t very rough or interesting — they’re kid dares, like “put a card in your armpit until your next turn” or “dance like a ballerina until your next turn.”


M is very good at Uno and he’s even a master strategist. He’s a lot less distractible than so-called normal people which makes him a dangerous opponent in Uno. If you do something against him (like make him choose four cards) he might call you a “Rat fink”. And, we could never get him to take a dare even though he’d been the one who wanted Dare Uno!

Last month I was visiting them. L’s grandson, G, was visiting. G is seven and 100% goofy seven year old. After a backyard cookout, we sat down at the dining room table to play a tranquil game of Dare Uno. Meanwhile one of the worst lightning storms in the history of L’s city blasted around us. Our dogs — her three and my two — have among them thunder-terrified members who huddled under the dining room table where we were playing. From time to time a flash of lightning was followed hard on by an explosion that made us jump in our chairs and the dogs shake on the floor.

G had a Coke, real Coke in the red can, a dangerous substance for a little kid (how did we survive drinking that in our childhood? Not like I had it often, but…) and was soon on the wings of a sugar and caffeine rush. The game progressed, the thunder blasted, the lightning flashed, the dogs quaked and the dares flew. Over and over L said, “This is the last hand!”  “You have to go to bed!” and “This is what you get when you give a kid a Coke!” M and I ganged up on L and G whenever we could. That night everyone won once and no one was a “Rat Fink.” We even got M to take a dare or two. G performed “All About that Bass.” M put a card in his armpit and L? She found her inner Margot Fonteyn <3.



5 thoughts on “Dare Uno, Not for the Faint-Hearted

  1. I have never heard of that game. I am afraid the only game I not play is Candy Crush on the computer, and that only to pass time when waiting for a bus or otherwise. A little doggy (no a big dog) told me that a little doggy is on its way? or already there????

    • My puppy was picked up by animal control as a stray and the shelter has to keep her for five business days. That means I’ll get her next Tuesday if her owners (bad owners) don’t claim her. I haven’t had a puppy in a while so it should be fun. I thought she was a Great Pyrenees mix, but looking at 4 month old Great Pyrenees puppies online, she’s way to small. So now I think she’s a husky mixed with Australian shepherd and maybe golden retrieve. That should be a wonderful dog. She’s mostly white with big blue eyes.

  2. Which sends me off on a remembrance of rat finks. I collected them in all colors with their glittering eyes and loved how they smelled. Weren’t they popular about the same time as Trolls?

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