Life: Are you game?


LG-Life’s Good

I like their products. My appreciation for them was shaped by a deliberate decision to use them, rather than a collection of haphazard events that affected my life.

In the movie “Scream,” a spoof on slasher/horror films, there is a scene where actress Carmen Electra must decide to go either left or right to run from an enraged wannabe killer. She is faced with two traffic-like yellow signs — yhe first with an arrow pointing to the left with the word “Safety” on it and the second with an arrow pointing to the right saying “Death.”

Want to guess which one she took? That’s why it’s a spoof.

Recently, I looked at the Game of Life — actually, two games. The (modern) original version that came out in 1960 (courtesy of Milton Bradley) and the most recent that launched in 2017 (compliments of Hasbro). Which do I prefer? 1960.

The “original” Life game caused you to think about available life paths and you learned (over time) how diverse decisions could affect not only your life but the lives of those you interact with, as well.

The newest version gives you fewer opportunities to decide on anything and provides less overall risk. The verdict? The “old” Game of Life (endorsed by Art Linkletter) trains our brains. The newer version cultivates “snowflakes.”

Today, let’s look at America as “life.”

The late Ralph Edwards looked at life all of the time. He created, produced and hosted the television show “This is Your Life” that aired from 1952 until 1961. The show would take a person each week and bring on guests who had either influenced them or were influenced by them. The result was often moving.

In keeping with that tradition, let’s look at American “life” in its idiomatic form, from historical, cultural, moral, political, economic and biblical perspectives.


Life is a bowl of cherries. Obviously phrased by our first commander in chief. Over time, Washington cherries are now in competition with those produced by MSN, also known as the “Bing” variety,

The facts of life, aka the Constitution. Mrs. Garrett would be so proud of you for your knowledge of the same. Lately, however, the document seems to be taking on a “life” of its own and as such is scaring the “life” out of sensible citizens across the fruited plain — assuredly not a welcomed “change of life.”

Life is cheap or at least was considered that way with the advent of U.S. slavery. The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attempted to mitigate that, and as such, it made him a man “larger than life.” Legal immigration serves as the opposite of devaluation and builds both the value of the welcomed and the country that welcomes them. King envisioned an inclusive society, testifying that variety is the “spice of life.”


The “time” of our “Life.” Time magazine began publishing in late 1922 and has become a cultural icon over “time.” In 1936, they purchased Life magazine in name only. Life was known for its breathtaking photography of everyday life, both in America and abroad.

The high life. Describes the proclivities engaged in to alter one’s state of consciousness, as now legal in several (mostly western) states.

Fight for your life. What soldiers do. They fight for theirs so we don’t have to fight for ours. Thank you, men and women in uniform.


The right to life. Increasingly ignored. Stands by itself.


New lease on life. What we can get for our country by voting. Voting indicates that our “life” is in our hands.

Hanging on for deer life. Likely to be the next slogan adopted by the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Hanging on for dear life. Likely to be the next slogan adopted by the NRA.

Life of the party. A prominent politician who usually speaks as though he or she possesses the Jaws of Life, thinking they will rescue his or her constituents by their brilliant oration.

Lust for life. The title of both a 1934 biographical novel about Vincent van Gogh by Irving Stone and the film that came out of it some 22 years later starring the late Kirk Douglas as the artistic protagonist. The phrase also describes peacefully zealous citizens with a passion for their country.


Make a life for oneself. Describes the entrepreneurial spirit that continues to make America such a great country to live in.

The prime of life. The interest rate charged by commercial banks to their financially solid corporate customers.

Set up for life. Describes a person who has won the lottery. Normally, it’s an older person who won’t live long enough to enjoy it.

Your money or your life. The discussion every preretirement couple has to determine when they should or should not begin receiving back a small portion of the large amount they put into the retirement system over their lifetimes.


Death and life. They are in the tongue’s power (Prov. 18:21).

Lay down one’s life. Greater love hath no man than to do this for those he esteems friends, not unlike our servicemen and servicewomen (John 15:13).

Abundant life. He came that we might have it that way (John 10:10).

He that loveth his life. Shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. That in essence is how you lose the game of Life and win the “game” of eternity. When we get to heaven, we won’t see docking spaces for hearses pulling U-Hauls. They are not needed there (John 12:25).

A matter of life and death. An eternally important perspective.


In comparing the older Game of Life with its newer counterpart, a major difference in the boards is this: There are no arrows directing you one way or another on the newest version. Solution?

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).

Les Linz of Seymour writes the “Humor: More or Les” column. For information about Linz, visit his author page. Send comments to [email protected].

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