Twisted Times with Twister

Board game Twister 1966

Twisted Times

When I think back to being 14, the same age as Leigh Corfman was, the woman who accused Alabama’s Roy Moore of molesting her,  the sexiest encounter for me was contorting my body in a tangled mess of  legs and arms with a pimply faced 14-year-old boy in a racy game of Twister.

But an adult man preying on adolescent girls is just plain twisted.

Twisted Logic

In Twister – the game advertised to have you tied up in knots – the players were actually the pieces in the game. Sadly today many of these women making accusations of being sexually assaulted  are being moved around and used as pawns in what feels like a political game by both sides. That fact alone has most women tied up in knots.

Recently under the hashtag #MeAt14 women have been sharing pictures of themselves at 14 to highlight the gravity of the sexual molestation accusations at Roy Moore of Alabama.

Me At 14

collage Mystery Date and Roy Moore

What girl would ever want to find as Roy Moore as their Mystery Date? L) vintage Mystery Date Game by Milton Bradley (R) Alabama’s Roy Moore

When I think of myself at  14,  I was barely out of girlhood. I was still a child.  In fact at 14 I wasn’t that emotionally removed from my days of playing Barbie or Mystery Date.

Imagine playing that quintessential boomer board game in hopes of getting the cute ski instructor and opening the secret door on the Mystery Date only to find your secret admirer was a creepy 32-year-old assistant DA. Gross out! I’d slam it faster than if I had gotten the unshaven dud.

Times Were a Changin’

Sure, by the year I turned 14 in 1969 times were a changin’ with x rated movies like “I am Curious (Yellow)” that actually had full frontal nudity with simulated intercourse  that appeared in   legitimate theaters, and musical festivals like Woodstock celebrating Free Love. But that uninhibited world was far removed from the insulated, suburbia of my own Junior High set.

Dylan may have beckoned “Lay Lady Lay,” but I was clearly more “Sugar Sugar”  cloying sung by the Archies.

For me at that age dating and romance seemed far in the future, lived vicariously through  Betty and Veronica comic books. My primary concern was mustering through Algebra and looking forward to the next issue of Mad Magazine and Tiger Beat where perhaps I might occasionally  linger a bit longer at a picture of Bobby Sherman or Davy Jones.

 

Teens playing Twister

Teens playing Twister Photo: Getty Images

Boy/ girl parties were such a rarity, notable even,  that they were still distinguished as such, a seismic shift from our normally gender segregated parties that had been the childhood norm.

These coed parties were indistinguishable  from one another – always held in someones finished basement  where little went on other than listening to records, munching Fritos and Lays potato chips  and playing ping-pong. Sure I heard rumors about “Spin the Bottle” and “Pass the Orange” but that would come later.

But then there was Twister, the game some critics called “Sex in a Box.”

The idea of Twister, was fairly simple – it was a board game played on a plastic mat where the players were the pieces moving around on rows of color circles that forced the players to interact physically.

Spinner for Twister Board game

Spinner for Twister

As the party wore on, the Twister mat would suddenly appear signaling the game was about to begin.

My heart would pound nervously and true to the tag line that the game would have you tied up in knots, my stomach would be knotted  until it was my turn to spin the spinner which would direct my limbs and hands to stand on specific colors.

After a few right foot reds and left hand blues I would find myself  mortified, entangled with a cute boy from Earth Science class  so that his corduroy dress bells might actually rub against my mini skirted thigh causing me to blush deeply.

The entire experience so racy it was worthy of a full-page “Dear Diary” entry later that night.

A Game That Would Sweep the Nation

Twister Board game 1966

It is hard to imagine that when this game was first conceived in 1965  it was considered risqué and banned from some stores. Even Sears refused to carry the game in their thick catalogue not thinking it appropriate. Some executives at Milton Bradley felt playing with members of the opposite sex in poor taste. It was considered by many “too far out.”

But a segment on late night TV changed all that.

On May 3 1966  host Johnny Carson played the game with blonde bombshell Eva Gabor and after getting playfully entangled together the studio audience went wild with hoots and whistles.  Sales of the game skyrocketed.

In 1967 it was named “Game of the Year.”

Innocent times perhaps, but I’ve  no doubt there remain stories that are not so innocent that still need to be told. And that keeps me tied up in knots.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 comments

  1. If you needed a soundtrack to Twister, there was “Hokey Pokey”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never wanted to play this game! If it were with girls, it was to erotic; with boys, ick! With boys and girls, the signals got too confusing to handle! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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