I was sitting Tuesday afternoon at a Starbucks answering email and doing some other work and every few seconds someone at a table near me would shout, “Peel.”

This would be disconcerting to many, I suppose, but to us initiates, it was musical. Bananagrams was in the building.

A year and a half ago, our friend Robin at Funtoysia, a store I should never approach without surrendering my credit card to someone wise and trustworthy, recommended a new game called Bananagrams. Being a sucker for games and trusting her recommendations, I laid down one of my best spent $14.95 ever. This has become a Greenwald family favorite game.

Shortly thereafter, we took it with us on a visit to family in Cincinnati, and for hours on New Year’s Day there was a continuous game being played at my sister’s family room table.

Bananagrams is a word game played with Scrabble-like tiles. The object is to take a set number of tiles and create interlocking words, much like would occur on a Scrabble board, except that every player is creating his own ‘board’. The winner is the one who uses the last available tile. If you can spell, you can play.

It’s most endearing feature is its banana shaped package. It’s pure marketing genius.

We’ve found that it can even be a multilingual game. My son-in-law speaks very little English. So, when he’s played with us, we simply allow him to create his words in Spanish. (I believe, though, that he cheats – using words from two languages at once just is not playing fair.)

Bananagrams is $14.95 wherever you buy it. So I suggest that those in the Bradenton-Sarasota area find their way to Funtoysia and pick it up there. Tell them ‘Randy’ sent you and they’ll, well, they won’t do anything, really. But tell them anyway!

Oh – what does ‘peel’ mean? Buy the game and you’ll find out. Or ask the next guy you see playing it at Starbucks.

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Where did the game originate? Ask CNN.

Embedded video from CNN Video

3 thoughts on “"Peel"

  1. Adria

    I take issue, I believe the family would let you use all the words from another language that you could… Plus the reason Gama can use from two different languages is because he speaks more then a “very little” english. He speaks enough to communicate, and enough to be the boss of the landscaping team, directing and instructing what needs to be done completely in english.

  2. TulipGirl

    Gus and Adri introduced us to Bananagrams, and we bought it and brought it to a family reunion in Colorado. They all adored it — especially since much of the family is word-oriented, and it was a game that could involve the kids and adults. Unfortunately, my hyper-competitive aunt (the one no one will play scrabble with anymore) dominated the bananagram table after awhile. . .

  3. Randy Greenwald

    Whew. Never attack Adria’s man – ESPECIALLY when she is pregnant! You know, of course, that I was teasing about the cheating. The ‘very little English’ comment was way exaggerated, and I’m very sorry about that. “Very little’ better explains my Spanish!

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