A couple of years ago, my family and I went to Lorain, Ohio to visit my Grandma Mollie. We went to her house on a Friday, and we had planned to be there till Sunday. On Friday, we pretty much enjoyed each other’s company, had some pizza and watched a movie. Luckily, my grandma didn’t have to work on Saturday, so that meant tomorrow would be a day of fun with her.
On Saturday, my Grandma Mollie had gotten up early to make everybody breakfast. My grandma loves baking cookies and making breakfast. It’s literally her bread and butter. It’s like her happy place, the same way writing is for me. She has this passion for baking that I’ve always admired and respected with her. One time, I remember my grandma was making dozens of cookies late at night to sell at a church convention. She’s truly dedicated to one of her many crafts and seeing her dedication was always an inspiration to me. My grandma illustrated to me the importance of constantly working on your craft by her always wanting to bake cookies and make breakfast.
Anyways, my grandma typically makes breakfast for 30-40 people because she always invites uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends to her house to eat breakfast. My grandma really enjoys the company of other people, especially family and friends. Breakfast at Grandma Mollie’s ended up lasting till 2:00, and a lot of my family would leave and thank my grandma for the food. After people leave, my family and I begin the next phase of our day with Grandma Mollie. Games.
Just like movies, playing games is always something that I value with my Grandma Mollie. We played Scattergories, Apples to Apples, Phase 10, Heads Up and many other games. Then, the real game came along when my Grandma Mollie suggested playing Greedy. A game that would lead to betrayal, heartache, disappointment, humiliation and greed.
For those who don’t know, Greedy is a 20-dice game. You can play with as many people as you want, and the goal is to get to 50,000 points before anyone else. You roll 20 dice in your hand, and a certain amount of dice get you a certain amount of points.
Three dice of 1’s=1,000
Three dice of 6’s=600
Three dice of 5’s=500
Three dice of 4’s=400
Three dice of 3’s=300
Three dice of 2’s=200
One die of 1=100
One die of 5=50
The numbers up above are the only way you can get points. For example, a die of 6 will not get you any points because you need a set (three dice of 6’s) to get points. Only a die of one or five can get you added points. Also, you have to roll down to three dice. Once you roll down to three dice, you can have your score be written down on the paper and it will be the next person’s turn.
However, you can be greedy and keep rolling till you have no dice. For example, if I have two dice in my hand, then one or both of those dice have to end up being a one or a five because that’s the only way I can get points. So, if I roll a five and a four, the five gets counted and it would get added to my score. Then, I would have one die left. If I choose to be greedy, my last die would have to be a one or a five. If I roll a one or a five, then I would have those points added to my score, and I would get to roll all 20 dice again and add more to my score. However, if I don’t roll a one or a five, then I would lose all my points that I gained in my roll, and it would be the next person’s turn. The term I would be for losing all of my points is set.
In addition, you can be set if you roll your dice off the table and stack your dice three times.
Now that you hopefully have an understanding of the rules, let’s get back to the story.
So, my family and I gathered at my Grandma Mollie’s big table to play the 20-dice game known as Greedy. It was me, my Grandma Mollie, my Aunt Rachael, my Aunt Bev, my mom and dad, my cousin Alvin and my brother Isaac. I ended up getting to roll first. I had all 20 dice in my hand, and I rolled it all on my grandma’s slippery table.
The person to the left of you counts the dice for you, and that person ended up being my Grandma Mollie. I ended up getting 2 sets of one’s (2,000), a set of six (600), a set of five (500) one die of five (50) and two dice of one’s (200). I ended up being left with five dice in my hand. On your first roll, it doesn’t matter how many dice you have in your hands, you just have to have at least 2,500 points on your first roll. My first roll total was 3,350, so I elected to not be greedy. It was a pretty good roll for me, and it would be just the beginning of me flourishing in this game of Greedy.
Now, I’ll admit that I’m a very competitive person. I love winning, no matter what. I’ll also admit that back in the day that I was not a humble winner either. I liked to talk a lot after I won something, and I was just not a gracious winner. Thankfully, I’ve improved myself a lot and started becoming a somewhat more humble winner. I still trash talk here there, but I’m more kind and sweet to others when I win. Unfortunately, I was just a unnecessary, greedy, competitive person when I was playing Greedy at my Grandma Mollie’s house.
Anyways, I was rolling in Greedy. No pun intended. I had a commanding start and lead to Greedy, while everyone else was struggling. I was literally cooking and dominating, and I was naturally talking smack. I was talking about how I’m the greatest, the legend and the myth in Greedy, and nobody could touch me. My Aunt Bev has this catchphrase in Greedy when she got what she wanted. She would say “Haaaaambuuuurger.” So, I thought to myself, “Since I’m murdering my family in Greedy, it’s only natural that I have a catchphrase of my own. I’m so great in Greedy like my idol Muhammad Ali is in boxing that I had to have a signature, clever catchphrase. A catchphrase that would fit me and who I was.”
All of a sudden, it came to me. My Grandma Mollie ended up getting set, so I looked at my grandma, smiled and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”
My grandma didn’t understand. Then, I started doing it to everyone else when they rolled the dice off the table or got set, I smiled at them and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”
My Grandma Mollie and others were annoyed with my catchphrase, but they couldn’t help but laugh at it because it was so good. The way I said and my consistency to say it was hilarious to my grandma, mom and Aunt Bev. My grandma was talking about how I was about to lose this game of Greedy because I was being too cocky. Also, she said, “Oh, I can’t wait to say ‘there ya go’ to you when you start losing your luck in this game.”
I thought my grandma was being foolish because I was just too hot. I wasn’t slowing down at all, and I was having a historic game of Greedy. I was like the 73-9 Warriors team. I was just dominating and rolling lights out all game long. Now, I say the 73-9 Warriors team because I ended up choking and blowing a great lead that I had in Greedy.
I had 47,500 points and all I needed was 2,500 points to win. It was my roll, and I ended up talking about how it was great game that we played. I talked about how they were all worthy opponents, but they just couldn’t stop the legend that I am in Greedy. Isaac yelled, “Will you be quiet and roll?”
I was laughing, and I ended up rolling two of the dice off the table. I was in shock. Then, everyone started laughing. I was muttering wait, but everyone was laughing. My Aunt Bev said, “Nope, it’s your grandma’s turn now. You messed up, Isaiah. Haaaambuuurger.”
Then, my grandma asked me to look at her, and I did. Then, she said, “There ya go.”
Everyone was laughing, and I was just shaking my head at how naïve they were being. I said, “It’s fine, I’m just trying to give y’all a chance, honestly. I’m so far ahead, I’m cool and thriving.”
Eventually, it was my turn again, and my brother Isaac was the closest person to stopping me. He was only 5,300 points away from getting 50,000. Naturally, I’m not nervous because he needs at least two rolls to get to 50,000. Anyways, I roll the 20 dice and I end up getting 2,350 points. I had five dice in my hand, so I still had to roll. I rolled and I ended up getting two five’s in that roll. I was at 2,450 points. Now, I could’ve decided to be done because I was done to three dice now, however I decided that I wanted to be Greedy. The reason is because I only needed 50 points to win the game. Surely, I could easily roll a one or five in these three dice I thought to myself. There was no way that I was going to be set, I thought to myself. I told my family that I’m about to win this game now because there comes a time where one must be greedy, and this is one of those times. I said, “Y’all played good, but y’all are just no match for the greatness that I am. Please, remember this moment. Please, remember that I am the legend, the myth, the great and the greatest known as Isaiah Warfield.”
I did a little bit more talking, and I eventually rolled the three dice that I had. All I needed was a one or a five. To my disappointment, I ended up rolling a two, a three and a four. I was devastated. Everyone at the table was laughing at me. They were so mean. What did I do to deserve getting made fun of? I looked to my Grandma Mollie for some support for her first-born grandson, but I got the exact opposite. She looked at me, smiled and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”
Then, I said to everyone at the table, “Hey, I’m still ahead. I just another roll, and I’ll be good. I’m still about to win this game.”
Sadly, I was mistaken. It was my brother’s turn, and he ended up rolling and getting 2,800 points. He was left with four dice. I was thinking to myself, “Alright, he’ll probably get his points, but I’ll have the opportunity to get my points.”
To my surprise, Isaac ended up rolling a set of six (three 6’s) and a one. Isaac yelled, “Let’s go!!!”
It made his total 3,500 points. With no more dice to roll, he ended up getting a chance to roll again and add to his total. I was stunned. He was now 1,800 points away from beating me.
Everyone, except me, was cheering him on. They were telling him that he could do it. My Grandma Mollie, “Come on, Isaac, you can do it. I’ll take you winning over this joker that’s been talking too much all game.”
I couldn’t believe my grandma wanted Isaac to win more than me. The betrayal was real to me. Anyways, my brother ended up rolling all 20 dice and getting 2,400 points. My brother had enough points to beat me, however he had four dice in his hands. He had to roll again. I was praying to God that Isaac wouldn’t get a one, a five or a set, but God sadly disappointed me. Isaac rolled all four dice, and he ended up rolling a six, a three, a two and a one. My brother’s total ended up being 6,000 points, and his total score was 50,700 points. My brother had won the game of Greedy that I was meant to win.
My whole family at the table congratulated my brother Isaac, then they started mocking me with my own catchphrase and other things. Ashamed and humiliated, I ran away from the table in defeat. I wasn’t a winner, I was a loser. I wasn’t a legend, I was a phony. I wasn’t the greatest, I was the worst. I wasn’t the truth, I was the lie. I didn’t live up to the hype. I choked like the 73-9 Warriors team did against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. I blew a lead that I had like the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead. I hate the Warriors, and I’m ashamed that I was just like them in this game of Greedy.
This game of Greedy really taught me the importance of sitting down and being humble. I look back at this moment, and I just can’t help but laugh about it, especially with my Grandma Mollie. In the end, I’m grateful for the memory of that heart-breaking game of Greedy that I had with my Grandma Mollie.
This is the end of “Getting Too Greedy.”
This weekend, I will be posting two poems on Saturday and Sunday.