Chutes and Ladders

On hearing about hundreds of lawyers being deployed by both major political parties to hopefully assure a fair election, I thought of my fourteen year old granddaughter. Thinking of her reminds me of how silly, wicked [a New England word] proud I am of her. Even now, instead of spending time on electronic tablets or smart phones, I would always catch her reading a book. But I shout the loudest about the time we played “Chutes and Ladders” with grandma. How does this relate to hundreds of lawyers? I’ll tell you.

She was 4 and losing the game. For those who do not know the game because they weren’t blessed with children that needed to keep babysitters busy, a “chute” is a slide. If you spin the wheel and your next move lands you there, you have to slide all the way to the bottom of the chute. If you are lucky to land on the bottom rung of a ladder, you climb all the way to the top.

87 is the beginning of a long chute to the bottom!

Our 4 year old granddaughter was winning with a loud smile when a spin eventually put her on square 87, the top end of a chute! If memory serves (at least it is an exciting thought) she went from 28 to 84 and then on her next spin, the arrow said move 3 spaces. And I could see tears peeking out from behind those baby blues. She wanted to change the rules but grandma and I encouraged her to keep them. Win or lose, following the rules is a principle worth cultivating. (We didn’t quite say it that way, but you get the point.)

When she was four. The old man is me! If you think her cute, she only gets lovlier—inside as well as outside.

Eyes wet, saddened by the realization grandma or I could win since she had to negotiate, the entire board (again), our adorable (in many ways) young granddaughter reluctantly consented. (She was simply brought up to obey the adults even though grandma and I were and are pushovers.)

She started over following the rules … AND SHE WON!!!!


Why can’t grownups be like my granddaughter!? We wouldn’t need to worry about someone rigging an election—either party.

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