Game night is a time-honored tradition that I’ve observed with religious reverence every Wednesday for the last six weeks. Over that time, I’ve unsurprisingly encountered many hard-earned victories, and even suffered one or two losses (but we all know those were fucking bullshit and honestly shouldn’t even count). Naturally, I’ve made a few enemies along the way, as evidenced by the numerous texts in the group chat telling me not to bring my “musty ass around game night anymore.”

I suppose it’s easier to send me crass texts than it is to defeat me in a game of Mexican train dominoes, which has never been done, by the way. Understandably, they’d rather ban the conductor than suffer the humiliation of one more ride on the pain train.

On some level, I sympathize, but ultimately, I fear the precedent this sets. If someone can be kicked out just because of the things they say and do, what else can they be kicked out for? The things they wear? The way they look? The God to whom they pray? Unfortunately, this exact kind of bigotry is on full display when a “three board flips and you’re out of the group” rule is instituted, which isn’t even fair when you think about it because I was only told about this rule on board flip number two, and should therefore have one more board flip before I’m kicked out.

Evidently, punctuality means nothing to this group. I always arrived on time, ready to play, and caked from head to toe in mud. Mud cloaks the scent of pheromones that are released during stressful situations, which can easily turn the tides of battle. If you choose to let me smell your fear, thus giving me a window into which Uno cards are in your hand, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t expect me to do the same.

Also, regarding the arguments that my mud camouflage unintentionally comes too close to blackface for comfort, I want to say this: I see you, I hear you. I’m not going to stop, but I see you and hear you.

Toning down my behavior is just not an option because I’m a natural competitor. You need only take one look at my massive gambling debts to know this. Usually, a competitive spirit is welcomed, even encouraged at game night. Unfortunately, the woke mob (Gary and his wife, who host every week) has convinced the otherwise sane participants in the group that it is something to be ashamed of. I suspect this targeted harassment has more to do with Gary’s fear of his wife’s lustful eye, which inevitably falls upon me as I skillfully achieve victory and humiliate her husband time and time again.

And sure, over the last six weeks, I’ve inadvertently wracked up a couple hundo dollars worth of damage to their house, but that’s just the risk they accepted when they offered to host game night.

Besides, I’m happy to take accountability for accidentally shattering their glass coffee table just like the time I took accountability for playfully throwing a Catan card with enough force that it stuck in Doug’s forehead and produced a geyser of blood when removed. On both occasions, I was wrong.

But before you judge me, I challenge you to first play the word “proximity” in a heated Scrabble game, with the “M” falling on a double letter and the “Y” falling on a triple word, skyrocketing you into a distant first place with a whopping 78 points. If you’re somehow able to replicate my achievement, I further challenge you to resist the urge to do a little dance that causes you to lose your balance and fall on top of the glass coffee table, ending game night early (which, as the player with the highest score at the time, means you’d win).

You shouldn’t kick someone out of game night just because their incessant taunts of “pube breath” got in your head and hindered your chances to kill the Monopoly man. You also shouldn’t kick someone out just for insisting that we play Monopoly with a twist that involves accruing enough wealth to enter Mr. Monopoly’s social circle, earn his trust, and kill him so that you can wear his monocle.

For a group of so-called progressives, you seem awfully disinclined towards diversity. Diversity of ideas, that is.

NOTE: Shortly after writing this piece, the author died of a cerebral embolism brought on by a particularly vicious bout of trash-talking during a game of solitaire.