Deep in the recesses of my brain are a few strange things. You know, like when Yowie toys were actually buildable figures, the tiny cocktail animals I’d nick from the local pub, and pouring over cheat codes in gaming magazines with my brother. In amongst all the mess and noise of a childhood in a coastal country town one game we played stands out: The Chocolate Game.
This particular memory of mine wasn’t get unlocked until my boss reminded me of it recently. A game, played by a group of people anywhere from five to 50 that involved a block of Cadbury chocolate, a knife and fork set, an assortment of clothing and a pair of dice.
We’d sit in a circle on the floor around a plate with the block of chocolate and take turns to roll the dice. If you landed on doubles, you’d sprint to that plate, throw on the clothes (which often included awkward gloves) pick up the knife and fork, and start sawing into the block square by square.
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There were only two rules: no hacking at the chocolate, and you had to eat it one square at a time, swallowing the mouthful of choccy before going to work on the next square.
You could be overtaken at the plate at any time, as soon as the next person rolled doubles.
What resulted was a circle of people all screaming and hurriedly rolling the dice for a slim chance at shoving sawn-off squares of chocolate into their gob.
Sure, it might have been a truly terrible way to eat a block of chocolate on a Friday night with a group of teens, but there’s no denying it wasn’t a lot of relatively innocent fun. Simple entertainment. Pure comedy. There’s no wilder rush than how it feels watching those dice roll out of your hands, hoping they’d land on the same number so you can have a chance of sweet, chocolatey success.
And sure, maybe we could have just gone and bought a block at the shops at any given time, but where’s the fun (and the heart rate spikes) in that? Also, it’s a bit weird to just sit at home by yourself and eat chocolate with a knife and fork. Wretched, cursed energy. Don’t like it.
Maybe we should bring back The Chocolate Game for adults somehow. I wanna see people down the park getting progressively cooked on wine in plastic cups while they hoot and holler over someone trying to cut up a block of chocolate under immense social pressure.
But I’m not gonna pretend it’s not a bit (read: very) unnerving to imagine sharing a knife, fork, and a communal block of chocolate with anyone after the last couple of years. On second thoughts, let’s leave that slobbery chocolate mess firmly in the back corner of our memories unless we can formulate a less-yuck alternative. Much safer.