Judge John Hodgman Episode 159: The Waiting Game


Mollie files suit against her husband Geoff. She says Geoff can be overly competitive when playing board games, and takes his sweet time plotting the perfect move to crush his opponents. She wants Geoff to get a move on! Geoff says playing the game means taking the time to do it right. Who's right? Who's wrong?

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Thanks to Lauren Cummings for suggesting this week's case name! To suggest a title for a future episode, like us on Facebook at Judge John Hodgman. We regularly put a call for submissions.


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Super Late to the Party

Hey catching up on backlogged episodes - there are also cooperative board games out there like Pandemic or Touch of Evil, games where they can work together towards a common goal. A lot of the time, each person's turn is spent conversing and deciding what to do with the other players.



Whoa, whoa, whoa. I object to the classification of The Ghostbusters as just a Bill Murray vehicle - the rest of the cast was awesome, too! They played off each other as a team and it worked. I love that movie and have never thought of it as just "a Bill Murray movie".

Great Ruling

John Hodgeman's sagacity is only matched by his mercy.

Ascension App

I highly recommend the Ascension iOS app. It's a pretty good computer opponent and offers asynchronous online play. Many expansions are available for it, too.

Also, it's "Mechana."

Rules Changes

I totally respect the idea that Geoff just wants to play with the rules that come out of the box, but there's an easy way to change the rules to speed him up without adding a handicap - just make Mollie play her turn under the same time limit.

If I didn't know any better I

If I didn't know any better I would have sworn that this episode was about my friend, also named Jeff, who has the same issues and does not believe it. I just might recommend this episode to him.


Chess timer instead of stopwatch?

Really, Mollie was right...

I have played board games with Mollie and Geoff, and Geoff does take forever to take a turn!

Solitaire Ascension

You can absolutely play Ascension by yourself! It offers a solitaire version of the regular game that is, in my opinion, more difficult than playing with other people. Anyone who loves Ascension should definitely give it a try.

Also, the iPhone version of the game is another great way to play without the need of others.

Marx brothers

The sixth Marx brother was named Manfred. He died when a toddler, and would've been the oldest.