The Top Trumps of Life

When it comes down to it, life is just a game of Top Trumps. But not the fun Dinosaur version I used to play with Grunting Teen in the days when he actually enjoyed mummy’s company. Then, an affable Stegosaurus with a small brain had no chance against a T-Rex with a high score for intelligence and a killer rating of 9.

Now instead I play Ailments Top Trumps with the Nearly-Beloved for sympathy points. Does his bad knee out-trump my dodgy Achilles? No. But, throw in his tennis elbow and he’s suddenly the overall winner. It’s my least favourite edition but sadly every few months it’s the cards we are dealt. Perhaps we should give up exercising? After all, in the Health Top Trumps, whilst smoking and binge-drinking are obviously low-value items, the danger factor in a daily brisk walk is surprisingly far less than a weekly long-distance run.

But to be number one in the Grandparents Top Trump we have to forget our sporting injuries and rise to the occasion. Nemesis Nana is already on a winning streak, piling up the points with her bootie and bonnet knitting. As for Guerrilla Grandad, he’s storming ahead with his sneaky DIY ‘I’ll unblock the sink for you and take a look at the electrics whilst I’m here’ tactics. But I reckon we can beat them hands down with a spot of unsolicited babysitting.

Little Angel is not so sure. Bath time sees our Childcare Top Trumps plummet to a record low ranking. Grammy’s ankle can’t cope with a baby and the stairs. Poppa can’t bend down to reach the tub. And Gentle Body Wash, not old-fashioned soap, turns out to have the best stat for slippiness. The upside is that Little Angel’s ‘Swim Babies’ class has really paid off – our granddaughter is a natural at holding her breath underwater.

Luckily, she’s not yet at the talking stage so this incident doesn’t make it into the Scandals Top Trumps, which is a very popular category at the moment. Rule-breaking events are racking up record wins. ‘Eye test at Barnard Castle’ looked as if it might do well with an impressive distance level of 263 miles. But despite a less-than-two-metre gap, ‘Canoodling in the Cabinet’ pipped it at the post because of its quicker resignation time. And whilst ‘Wallpapergate’ and ‘Partygate’ were both on equal points for location, a Lulu Lytle makeover meant that the £58,000 refurbishment was more expensive than sixteen ‘work meetings.’

As for Bad News Top Trumps, this is a pack we could all do without. I mean whether World War III earns more destruction points than Global Warming is largely irrelevant. Both are man-made and both are as bad news as you can get. And, when it’s a question of heating hikes versus food price rises, they are both evenly matched in national depression rates.

So, to counteract any family unfriendly versions, I’ve decided to play Silver Lining Top Trumps. Here, a Paleo, raw fruit and veg diet means you are not only up with the latest food fads but you also don’t have to use gas or electricity to cook any meals.  And let’s start a new trend in ‘layers’ so you can gain points for looking fashionable in thermal undies, seven jumpers and a sleeping bag. That way there will be no heating bills and maybe the chance for Ozone to make a come-back. In this new Utopian game, honesty beats spin doctoring, social care trumps corporate profit and kindness is the number one top scorer.

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