Ted Wilson Reviews the World: Papercuts

★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing Papercuts.

There are few things in this world that unite us all, regardless of race, gender, or religion. One of those things is the universally held disdain for paper cuts. That’s why it’s so curious that Electric Literature chose to name their card game Papercuts after one of the world’s most unpleasant physical sensations. They may as well have named it Talking at the Movies or Stolen Laptop.

At first I had assumed the title was a warning, telling me that whatever was inside the box would put me at risk for small, thin lacerations. And I was right. I received almost nine paper cuts from the contents of the box. Not much of a surprise since the box contains nothing but paper. Each piece of paper is in the same size and shape of a playing card and if you try to shuffle them, that’s when you really get into trouble. Those suckers can cut.

Unfortunately the instructions to the game were obscured by all of my blood so I had no idea how to use the game. I felt exactly like how Ralph Hinkley must have felt when he lost the instructions to his alien costume in The Greatest American Hero.

In a way it was freeing to not be bound by a rule book. I was able to enjoy the game on my own terms, which meant putting on a pair of mittens, and sitting in silence with my back to the pile of cards for several hours.

The cards remain in a heap on the floor as I’m reluctant to risk putting them back in their box. I considered asking a neighborhood kid to do it for me, but I don’t want a lawsuit on my sliced up hands. Hopefully if I leave the window open the wind will blow them away over time.

Until then I’ll just have to stare down at the cards occasionally and try to understand what they mean. One of them reads “vest worn by Jeffrey Eugenides.” I have no idea who he is or why he’d be wearing a vest. Vests have been out of fashion for years.

Another card reads, “porny drawings by Dr. Seuss.” I’m guessing that’s just an embarrassing typo and should read “pony drawings.” It doesn’t sound like this game was ever copy edited.

I have given Papercuts 4 out of 5 stars because I fear retribution.

BEST FEATURE: The hidden morse code message above the title.
WORST FEATURE: My paper cuts got infected.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing oil.

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