What do you say…do you want to play?

TaxiNow that Vacation Bible School and 4th of July are behind us, I feel like the kids and I have finally hit our summer stride. We’ve got a routine. We’ve got some boundaries. We eat 3 square meals a day (albeit mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, and carrot sticks, but whatever).

It may not mean we’ve got a tidy house all the time, but I’d say it’s kind of working.

We’ve also got us a new gimmick—a little lunchtime game I like to call “Cash Table.” Based on Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab, Cash Table is a trivia game that takes place right at my dining room table. I ask the children general knowledge BrainQuest questions. For every right answer they get a nickel. For every wrong answer they…don’t get a nickel. At the end of the game (as determined by the empty plate count and the number of ants gathering in the pants), the kids can risk it all and go double or nothing on one final question (that I screen carefully to make sure they can definitely answer it).

What I find most curious is that, watching the program, the children always advise the players against the double-or-nothing risk (not that the TV people can hear the advice, but considering Dionne Warwick’s claim that psychic energy is more powerful over the phone lines, maybe it’s also boosted by cable…and TiVo). These on air contestants have accumulated hundreds and hundreds of dollars, with the possibility of earning enough in the end to pay for a month of even NYC rent. However, given the choice of doubling 11 nickels into 22 at Cash Table, my children both unequivocally wanted one last question so they could totally risk it all.

All 55 cents, but still.

It’s provided an interesting little window into the kids, I think. I want my children to be risk-averse, but only to a certain degree. On the other hand I want them to be risk-takers too. It’s that old Aristotelian thing—the mean between the extremes. Risk too little and you’re a coward. Risk too much and you’re reckless. Risk 55 cents and, well, you’re really not risking that much.

$1.10 though? Now that’s some real money.



  1. Lorraine said,

    July 18, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    We watched the “Cash Cab” in Germany – Dieter had to keep translating for me! It was hysterical. What a fun idea to play with the kids! A $1.10 or so every lunchtime of the holidays they’ll soon be rich!

    • scheirmad said,

      July 21, 2009 at 9:28 am

      Perhaps we’ll re-outfit the van as the Cash Cab for long car trips!! Imagine the spending money!!!!!

      • Lorraine said,

        July 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm

        I can’t wait to see all those flashing lights!

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