How Does One Cheat at Being Awesome?

Story Sent in by Cora:

Jeff and I had already met in person once, and for our second date, he invited me to a board game night at one of his friend's houses. He gave me the address and I met him there.

His friends were warm, welcoming people, and about eight of us were there in total. We started out with a game of Cranium.

To keep things fair, his friends picked two-person teams at random. I was paired up with a guy named Henry. Henry and I slaughtered the competition at Cranium. All good, so far.

Next game was Taboo, and we were randomly matched up again. This time, I was paired with someone else: Cynthia. Cynthia and I won.

As we prepped for the third and final game of the night, people joked about how they wanted to be on my team for the next game, as I had been the only person to have been on both winning teams thus far.

Jeff, though, broke in and said, "I know, right? Isn't that weird? Like too-much-of-a-coincidence weird."

He stared hard at me, hard enough for me to reply, "I haven't been cheating. You can be on my team for the last game, if you want."

He said, "No, no. I'm happy to do it randomly. Just weird, is all."

There were general murmurs of disagreement with Jeff's appraisal of the situation, and the hosts pulled out the last game: Catch Phrase. Teams of two were again chosen randomly, and I was matched up with someone new: Jennifer.

Despite the best efforts of everyone else, Jennifer and I won at Catch Phrase. Gwen, one of the hosts, said to me, "If there was a medal of honor for party games, you'd win it."

I laughed, then glanced at Jeff, who was the only one not smiling. I said to him, "Don't be sad. I'll teach you all of my tricks."

It was a poor choice for something to say, because Jeff grabbed the little electronic Catch Phrase machine, shook it, turned it over and over in his hands, inspected it, and slammed it down on the game table. He said to me, "You're a cheat. I don't know how, but it's statistically impossible for you to have won three games straight."

That shut everyone up. I said, "It's just coincidence."

"Prove it," he said, "There's no way."

I said, "Well, you lost three games out of three, tonight. That could be a coincidence, too. Can you prove that you didn't do that on purpose?"

There was some giggling at that. Jeff clapped his hands to his head and said, "Believe me, all of you! She's a cheat! A cheat! Bwaaaaaagh!" He spun around, stamped on the floor, flew to the door, ran through it, and slammed it shut behind himself.

I was suddenly very uncomfortable, but Gwen assured me that Jeff was probably upset about something else. It was hard to believe her, especially when we heard him yelling outside: "A cheat! A cheat! Cora's a cheat! A stupid, stupid cheat!"

Henry went outside in an attempt to calm him down. I heard Jeff yell, "I'm gonna kill that cheat! How dare she cheat with my nice friends!"

It fell silent soon after, and from inside, we could hear a car drive away. Henry returned and told us that he had convinced Jeff to leave. That made me feel a bit better.

Then the text messages started. First the words, "CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT" appeared on my phone, and soon everyone at the party received similar texts: "You must all find proof of Cora's CHEATING. FIND IT NOW."

I'm still friendly with Gwen and a few other folks from the game night. As far as I know, Gwen hasn't run another game night since, and after ignoring Jeff's messages for about a week, I never heard from him again.


  1. People are more trusting than I thought they were in this day and age, going to an unknown place with unknown people after meeting your date in person only once is not being as cautious as I would have been.

  2. I remember acting somewhat like this when I was three years old. I quickly learned that this behavior would ensure many years of nobody wanting to play board games with me. Pretty sad that Jeff apparently couldn't figure that out as an adult.

  3. 3 games in which intelligence plays a greater role than chance does, and the only possible way he thinks she could have won was by cheating? He obviously wasn't equipped to play them.

  4. If it is statistically impossible for people to be smarter than Jeff three times in a row, society is truly doomed.

  5. I'm glad that despite his shitty juvenile behavior, Cora ended up with new friends.


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