Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The World Series of Dreidel

We arrived at the JCC at 5:20 sharp ready to win. The competition didn't start until 6pm, so we made our way in, sat at a table, and enjoyed a meal of cold pizza, iceberg lettuce, potato chips, pretzels, Krispy Kremes, and jelly donuts. There were quite a few families there, many of whom I recognized from the pool. The room was lively, with many kids just running around willy nilly.

A woman, one of the kindergarten teachers I presume, finally took the stage and explained how the competition was going to work. All of the kids gathered in front of the stage and were then divided into about 6 groups of ten along with an adult or two who volunteered to monitor the game.

Jiro, who had been telling me all day that he wasn't going to play, refused to join in the reindeer games. Thankfully this did not hinder Satchel from joining in. My mom, Jiro, and I pulled up some chairs and formed Satchel's official cheering section while Warren shadowed him with the camera.

Then, inexplicably, the teacher decided it was time to pass the prizes for the Hanukah art contest they held earlier in the week. All 5000 of them. It was crazy!! All the kids were revved up and ready to play and the parents were all ready to watch. It took all my strength not to jump on stage and throw the gift bags wildly into the crowd. (Now had Satchel actually entered this contest, I may not have this complaint!)

Finally the first round started and Satchel proved to be a natural. I was so proud of him on so many levels. One, for joining in; two, for actually knowing the rules; and three, for being so awesome! Of course he advanced to the second round, which saw the crowd shrink from about 60 to 8. (I personally thought this was a little extreme, but quickly got over it since Satchel was among the 8.)

Due to Jiro being completely covered in chocolate (his was palming his gelt/chocolate coins before eating them), I missed most of the second round. When we returned from the restrooms, Warren informed me that Satchel was one away from advancing to the third a final round. "The kid next to him cheated, otherwise he would have won," he said. Dammit!

Satchel didn't seem to mind. He was happy to return to the table and start eating his gelt, which he graciously shared with the rest of us. Soon a friend from school came over and Jiro set off running around with him. My Mom, Satchel, Warren, and I relived the highlights of the game until the fire alarm started going off. I didn't actually see Jiro or his little friend pull the handle, but judging from the looks on their faces, I wouldn't put it past them!

We filed out of the building wondering if there was actually a fire and made our way home.

1 comment:

Dreidel Addict said...

It all starts out innocently enough, spinning the dreidel for chocolate coins. Sure there is little harm in a child's toy, a game of chance...watching the top spinning in a blur before it gradually slows down and falters to reveal one's fortune. But before you know it, he'll be behind the montessori hustling the other kids out of their toys and milk money. Then one day he'll wake up to the cold reality that is his gambling addiction...turning tricks behind the Beer Joint for a little spare change to bet on the dogs in West Memphis. Please make him stop.

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