If you see something you really like, for goodness sakes buy it!

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“If you see something you really like, buy it.” That’s been my mantra for many a year, yet I still manage to screw things up. How did it become my mantra? This way: one too many times I spotted something in a shop, or at a rummage sale, or wherever; thought I’d really like to have it; decided to think on it a bit more, or leave it and come back for it later, or both – and then came back, only to find that someone smarter and faster-deciding than I am had snapped it up. Such disappointment!

How to avoid that disappointment? Easy! Repeat after me: If you see something you really like, buy it.

But I blew it again just last weekend, when eyeing something I wanted for the Manse.

It was what you see at the top of this post, a vintage board game called Stock Ticker. I spotted it at a booth that specializes in vintage board games at the Aberfoyle Antique Market near Guelph, Ont., a place Raymond and I like to visit each year when we’re in that neck of the woods for the Ontario Newspaper Awards (which are usually held in Kitchener-Waterloo).

We Sedgwick kids had a Stock Ticker game when we were growing up at the Manse, back in the early 1970s. (If memory serves, I pestered my parents into buying it for us because I had played it with classmates when our Grade 5 teacher at Madoc Township Public School used it as a classroom exercise, lord knows why. To teach us about the stock market? Hey, it was the 1970s. Education was different then. Kind of free-form.)

I have to tell you that Stock Ticker is very possibly the most boring board game ever invented. But when my siblings and I were growing up in Queensborough, Ont., we weren’t awash in amusements like kids are today, so we gamely (so to speak) played it.

The vintage-games shelf at the Manse already has a very old Monopoly game, Clue, Ker-Plunk, Cribbage, Scrabble, Diplomacy and Rack-O. Stock Ticker would have been a perfect addition.

The vintage-games shelf at the Manse already includes a very old Monopoly game, Clue, Ker-Plunk, Cribbage, Scrabble, Pit, Diplomacy and Rack-O (not to mention a Slinky). Stock Ticker would have been a perfect addition.

When I saw that game at Aberfoyle, I was fairly sure I had to have it. I thought it would be a great addition to the collection of vintage games that Raymond and I already have going at the Manse, a bit of a tribute to my childhood days there. But there was no price on it, and no attendant handy, so I figured I’d come back for it later, after having a look through the rest of the market. After all, who else in his or her right mind would want to buy an old Stock Ticker game?

Well, you can see where this is going. Raymond and I are finished our circuit of the market and are getting ready to go. I’ve decided that for sure, for sure, I want that Stock Ticker game – in fact I need that Stock Ticker game. So I make a beeline for that booth. And there are all the other games that were on display earlier – various incarnations of Operation, many Monopoly games (including a Grateful Dead version!), Ker-Plunk, Hats Off, and on and on and on. But in the spot where Stock Ticker had been there is – nothing. It is gone.

I am such an idiot! Katherine, say it again: If you see something you really like…

14 thoughts on “If you see something you really like, for goodness sakes buy it!

    • I have, Scott! We didn’t have that game at the Manse in my youth, but would play it when we visited our cousins. All I can remember about it is shrieking, “Corn corn corn corn corn corn CORN!” at the top of my lungs.

    • I’m one of the cousins who played Pit with Katherine, Scott–we were about the only family I knew that had it. We have our own game now (reasonably recent, so it’s still being printed) and our boys’ friends are still initially mystified by it. Always loud, always fun!

  1. Mr Taylor wrote on my Grade 5 report card that I had a strong interest in StockTicker. Yet, for the life of me, I remember nothing whatsoever about it. Nor was I a financial guru at the time [nor even since]. So, perhaps I was fascinated by its artificiality…how could it represent real life [from the perspective of a 10-11 year old]? Hmmm…now that I ponder it, the question still applies today WRT financial markets and capitalism in general.

    • Aha! So my memory about how I got introduced to Stock Ticker was correct – it was the Grade 5 classroom at Madoc Township Public School. Yeah, I’m not so sure about the educational value of the exercise – or the life lessons learned. Maybe we learned them in ways so subtle that we don’t even remember, Graham.

  2. Katherine, you’ll be pleased (or chagrined) to know that I picked up that exact edition of Stock Ticker last year at a yard sale, and Yannick and Jonah and I love playing it. (Not Denis’s cup of tea.) It’s funny how certain commodities really do seem to do better than others over time. And I can be so much more daring than with my actual “portfolio” (read: RRSP)!

    • Well, I’m a little sorry that you beat me to that yard-sale Stock Ticker, Nancy, but happy that you and Yannick and Jonah are enjoying it. As far as I can see it’s no longer being produced, so it’s kind of cool to have (and actually play) the game. I’ll get my hands on one sooner or later – yard-sale season is imminent!

  3. Stock ticker had a fundamental flaw in it’s gameplay. Ken and I totally figured out how to beat it. We had epic battles at the Gelert farm that left John ready to shoot himself. It got so that we could run the bank out of money every single time. If only real life investing was that easy…

    • Bruce, why am I not surprised that you figured out the “fundamental flaw” in Stock Ticker? Now every time I play it – once I finally get my hands on it – it’s going to drive me crazy trying to figure out what that flaw is!

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