Tabletalkin' Team Sorry! The game, the strategies, the people.

I know it's been a while since I last blogged. I'm trying to be careful, because I beleive those words are a sure sign of a last-ever blog post but I feel a need to explain myself. I've been involved in a top secret project for which I signed an N.T.A. (no tabletalk agreement). I'm happy to say that now, I can finally talk about what I've been working on.

Meet Degrasorry! - a glorious combination of Team Sorry! and teen soap opera Degrassi: The Next Generation.

It was a birthday gift - no a tribute - to a man who has given a lot to the game of Team Sorry!, Scott.

My longtime Team Sorry! partner Michele came up with the idea. She also made the board. Rumor has it she spent many hours at Home Depot talking the idea out and figuring out the best way to make a Team Sorry! board. Everyone who seen it agreed she had done it. It is wooden, hefty, and becomes it's own table. It's perfect for the wooden pawns she painted. It also comes with a felt carrying case, which is very classy.

The cards are all unique and were written by Jon Wiener, a Team Sorry! player whom I have blogged about before. Jon also wrote instructions that gave the game a little backstory as a students vs. teachers affair. At the end of the post, I'll paste all the cards he wrote for the game because they deserve to be read by all. You can also use them to create your own Degrasorry! games at home!

Other people who helped with the project included me (designing the cards, printing them, spraying them with playing card gloss), Matt (who helped refine the design, consulted on the printing, making sure there was an ! after the word "Degrasorry") and Dave Trawin (who doesn't know Scott, doesn't play Sorry, and doesn't watch Degrassi but helped with the printing anyway because he's such a nice guy).

A historical note - the first game played on the board was Farrell & Wiener v. Rubin & Catena. Farrell & Wiener got all eight men home first, but everyone was a winner.

The cards were:

-Rick shot you and now you're bound to a wheelchair. SORRY! about your basketball career, Jimmy.
-You smoked Jay's pole, now you pay the toll...SORRY! for your recent acquisition of the clap, Emma.
-Ashley took some E and ruined everything! SORRY! she called you a hag, Paige!
-The tests came back positive. SORRY! It's time to shave the snake, Archie!
-Dear Degrassi 4th season and Joey and Caitlin's relationship, SORRY! I ruined you. Love, Kevin Smith.
-The Duke got arrested before I could finish driving you to the school dance. The Duke is SORRY!


-Your ferret got electrocuted. Move back 4 spaces, Ellie.
-Dylan wants to fuck everything! Move back 4 gay spaces, Marco.
-You are Chester. Move back 4 spaces.
-Wearing a white skirt on the day of your first period? Move back 4 spaces, Emma.
-You're not really Jamaican? Please move back 4 spaces, Hazel.
-You just got dissed by a plus sized model. Move back 4 spaces, ice cream boy!


-JT finally kisses you, Liberty! Swap places or move ahead 11 out of pure joy.
-Hey Craig...Ash totally wants to get back together! Swap places or move ahead 11 because you're coastin', dude!
-Emma loves you, Sean. Don't screw it up! Swap places or move ahead 11 to the right side of the tracks.
-Paige is gonna show a teacher her (Mr.) O face! Swap places or move ahead 11, but keep it hush-hush!
-Manny, you are finally going out with Craig/JT/Spinner/Everybody! Swap places or move ahead 11, one space for each base you've gotten to.
-Dean invited you to his party! I think he likes you! Paige, Swap places or move ahead 11, one for each time you'll say "NO!" later.


-Tracker moved out and you're on student welfare. Bust out some chocolate cake, chocolate milk and "Istanbul", by Evren and move ahead 12 spaces!
-Jeremiah Motors sells two SUVs! Move ahead 12 spaces!
-Marco wins the school presidency! Celebrate for 12 spaces!
-JT loured out the pregnant Guinea Pig! Move ahead 12 spaces, be sure to check out Hatzilakos' rack along the way!
-Kwan's on an extended hiatus! You move 12 spaces until you realize that Raditch is taking over.
-JT got a list of free porn sites! Tripple in no less than 12 spaces.


-JT, Danny got you a penis pump! Move ahead 10 spaces -or- Manny caught you enhancing your stack of dimes, so move back one space.
-Manny, you made it to the gymnastics finals. Move ahead 10 spaces -or- You feel the baby kick while balance-beaming and fall off, so move back one space.
-You won the Kid Elrich tix! Move ahead 10 spaces -or- Silent Alarm! Busted! Move back 1 space.
-Jimmy (??), Spin's Ritalin enhances your jump shot! Move ahead 10 spaces -or- You get pulled from the team for bad team-play, so move back 1 space.
- Jimmy411: Liberty. Armstrong. Doing it. Move ahead 10 spaces -or- It's just a rumor, so move back 1 space.
-Downtown Sasquatch wins the battle of the bands. Move ahead 10 spaces -or- Ash totally burned Craig with the hot shirts and slammin' song. Back one space.


- Congrats, Emma! You got 200 signatures to stop GM foods in the Caf! Move out of start or move two spaces...and play another card for being so eco-friendly!
- The Montreal Crew digs the way you roll. Move out of start or move two spaces...and play another card for not boring the Montreal Crew.
- Kendra is totally into your knowledge of Anime. Move out of start or move two spaces...and play another card for finally getting some!
- Ms. Sauve helped you stop cutting! Move out of start or move two spaces...and play another card for befriending Paige. I hear she puts out!
- You get to live with Joey and your half-sister. Craig, move out of start or move two spaces...and play another card because Joey gets all of the cable channels!
- Dylan isn't messing with you. He really wants to go out on a date! Marco, move out of start or move two spaces...and play another card because Dylan is pretty.

The last Sorry! pictures of 2005? FEATURING A 1934 BOARD!

Cheston of Cheston's LiveJournal posted some pictures from the New Years party I mentioned in the last post. When I implied our New Years was full of Team Sorry!, I meant it!

This picture not only features Team Sorry! players Jon Wiener and Cheston, but also Jon's 1935 Sorry! board. The box proclaims it as the first edition to include rules for a "for points" variant of Sorry! Of course "for points" would eventually mutate into the sport of Team Sorry! we all love.

Another highlight is the 11 card. If you think the 11's in the 1980's edition of Sorry! is overly verbose, you are not going to believe this one. It refers to the players already on the board as "margin men" - a Sorry! vocab word that seems to have fallen out of mainstream use.

We spent much of the night imagining the games that the board had seen. On the inside of the box someone penciled on a list of names in elegant cursive. Is this the first written record of Sorry being played for points? If so, the board may be worth more than even if it's owner knows.

Thanks for bringing the board Jon. It was a pleasure and an honor to play on it.

(update: photo credit Gretchen Lohse, who is in the other pictures of the board on Cheston's LiveJournal!)

Sorry! in Family Circle

Happy new years Team Sorry! players! I hope your party had as much Team Sorry! as Tabletalk's did.

2006's first Sorry! scoop comes from Kim T. - a player well known on the Penn State/Brooklyn Sorry! Circuit for her ruthless use of 11's.

Now, I'm sure you may have missed it as you ripped into the December issue of Family Circle--I, too, couldn't wait to get to "Festive Family Feasts" and "Crowd-Pleasing Cookies" in the back of the magazine. Luckily, I stopped for a second at the editor's letter. See, my dear friend's boyfriend's mom (got that?) was just let go as the editor-in-chief, and I wanted to check out the bitch who replaced her. Ready to deface her editor's portrait with a fine-point felt-tip pen, I was shocked that what I saw, instead, brought a tear to my eye: The editor's entire family gathered around a Sorry! board!

If you look at the photo closely, little Nick is busy setting up for a game, and darling Susannah stares on in anticipation (either that, or she's really hungry for the popcorn sitting next to the board). But I digress--the moral of the story is this: How could I hate her? What a clever move by the folks at the Meredith Corporation, which publishes the magazine, to endear their new editor-in-chief to their loyal Family Circle readers. I have attached the page and am now inspired to go round up the fam for some Sorry! Enjoy!

Thanks Kim!

Sorry! Declared 1934's Most Popular Toy

Forbes has an article about the most popular toys for each of the last ten decades, and guess which boardgame gets a mention? The article's mostly fluff (especially for Forbes, I imagine), but there are some interesting tidbits, particularly in the slideshow. Did you know Play-doh was originally invented to clean wallpaper? Or that Raggedy Ann was developed by NASA as a companion for all-male astronaut crews?

The 11-Chip

As we return from a long weekend and games of Team Sorry! with those closest to us, it is important to remember the people who have given the most to the game. This is the first of Tabletalk's retrospective on those who have improved Team Sorry! for everyone. Our first installment will focus on Sorry! visionary Alvus Middington.

If he were not tragically stolen from us, last Thursday would have been Alvus Middington's 100th birthday. Alvus, for those who are new to the game, invented the 11-chip in 1962.

(above: Avus in an undated photo)

When the first computers that ran on vacuum tubes were built, one of the first tasks they were put to was Team Sorry! game theory. Scientists of the era were fascinated with the idea of a machine that could play Sorry!
"There's no reason that every house can't have a Team Sorry! playing machine of their own by the end of the decade. These machines, which may be as small as a large car, could run millions of calculations a second and substitute itself for one player so that 3 people can play Team Sorry!, even if a fourth isn't available. We suspect the wealthy will purchase two of them for the home, so they can play with only two people."
~Popular Science, May 1955.

There was one problem - the machine could not run the calculations neccesary to compute proper 11 use. 11's, as all readers of TableTalk know, allow you to move foward 11 spaces or switch spaces with any other pawn on the board. This increases the number of possible plays exponentially. The calculations caused the machine to beep furiously, shoot out black smoke, and eventually explode. Scientists in lab coats took the functionality out of the machine, figuring that an artificial intelligence who could play a perfect game of Team Sorry! with the other eleven cards was good enough.

They were wrong. The machine was a total disaster and it's biggest manufacturer, Sorry!Netics went out of business almost immediately.

The idea of a robot that could play Sorry! fascinated a young computer engineer named Alvus. Dissapointed with modern Team Sorry! technology, he worked tierlessly in his parents basement for years perfecting a model for artificial intelligence capable of using an 11.

Then, one day, he did it. Since his journal is written in code, nobody is quite sure how his discovery came about but Alvus had perfected a machine capable of using every card in a standard Sorry! deck. Of course it seemed the market was not ready for Alvus' invention and his company, Sorry!telligence went belly up in under three months. Alvus was shocked. He took what little money he had, three of his most advanced and succesfull Sorry! playing robots, and lived the rest of his life as a hermit. He refused all requests for interviews until his death in 1973.

Alvus' work is still used today in a wide variety of Sorry! products today - from the Talking Sorry! card revenge game all the way to Sorry! for the Gameboy Advance.

Alvus, we at Tabletalk salute you.

Patent No. 01903661

As the girl at the local coffee shop where I play the Lottery every week could tell you, Sorry is registered as patent #01903661 with the US patent office. But what exactly is contained within patent #01903661 ?

Click and find out!

A fascinating read!

Team Sorry! All-Star JW had this to say:

JW: yeah, Nick and I were planning a trip to the Patent Office in DC
JW: so we could check it out
JW: we're going to print out the original board drawing on large paper and mount it as a new board

(thanks Nick for sending in the drawing and for the hot tip!)

Regarding the complaints

There is one complaint about TableTalk I hear over and over again - people think the site is too mainstream. There are those who think we cater to a "Middle America Team Sorry! player" instead of the really hardcore fan.

I think I speak for everyone at the TableTalk when I say we understand your concerns. We are just trying to bring as many people into the world of Team Sorry! as possible. Look for The Sorry Blog! to take more risks in the coming months as we strive to bring you the very best from the world of Team Sorry!

Sorry! and CollegeHumor

I don't know if you were aware, but in addition to editing/maintaining TableTalk I also, on the side, work as the assistant editor over at This picture was submitted to us and isn't quite ridiculous enough to make the site, but thanks to Ricky who saved a copy before it was sent to obscurity on CollegeHumor Raw.

As Matt put it, "Interesting. They seem to be playing the old style with a single draw pile and only one dildo."

Thanks for sending the pic, supahchik!

Sorry Greeting Card

Just came across this.

What better way to tell the Team Sorry! fanatic in your life you are thinking of them through their surgery?

July 2005
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November 2005
December 2005
January 2006

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