Whether or not you choose to acknowledge its existence, lets be honest, cheating is a very real and fundamental element to any game (at least in my family) the yard-art game included. In my opinion there is an appropriate time and place for cheating, and if done correctly is neither shameful nor dishonest (well, maybe still dishonest… but at least not THAT shameful).
To set things straight, I am NOT a fan of cheating explicitly to win. I think that kind of cheating displays immaturity and lack of skill on the cheater’s part. However I AM a fan of cheating out of boredom, ill will, or to see how gullible the other player is.
Of course like anything the best cheating takes practice and skill. Sure the other player may not be avidly scanning your side of road, but nothings going to stop them from snapping their head around to check your fake call (if they’re the passenger). And if they’re the driver they already have a pre-emptive scan on both sides of the road. So timing is everything.
You’ve been riding for the last 20 minutes and nothing more interesting than a small family of geese has been counted. You’ve entered a “dead zone”. Boredom sets in.
Player 2: I see 2 geese!
Player 1: Ok
Player 1 keeps driving, oblivious to your act of deceit.
Appropriate? Maybe… you’ve been in a dead zone for a while and no one’s going to discredit you a couple geese and those 2 measly fake points you got. But entertaining? Not really, actually that was a pretty lame call for even a real yard. Are you satisfied? Was it worth it? Are you any less bored now?
You’ve exited the dead zone, but since then Player 1 has pulled ahead 85 points. You are feeling spiteful. A strikingly similar yard is passed.
Player 2: Ah! Dutch people kissing! Only repainted yellow and black!
Player 1: Really?? Yellow and black??
Player 2: Yeah! They must be Steelers fans or something…
Player 1: Oooo! How creative! You can have 2 extra points for that!
Player 1 drives on, still oblivious, but entertained by the thought of pro-football/gardening fanatics.
Ahh! Both appropriate and humorous! Now you can laugh quietly to yourself about how gullible Player 1 is, and bask in your own cleverness while enjoying your 5 hard-earned points. All of this eases the sting of your horrible losing streak (now only by 80 points!)
Your improved mood soon vanished as Player 1 passes a Wonder Yard, which miraculously gives them another 50 points. You are enraged. Your side of the road seems to have nothing except for a bunch of similar looking blank yards.
Player 2: Uhhh… 4 lawn gnomes!
Player 1: Wow, really?
Player 2: Yeah! In a circle!
Player 1: Creative arrangements too?
Player 2: Yes! …And I think they’re doing a séance! …With a garden orb!
Player 1: Wow!! This must be the sighting of a lifetime!
As driver, Player 1 turns the car around to go look at the wondrous yard and catches you in your filthy lie. You let emotions take over and went too far, and now you have the reputation of a cheater. As just punishment you are shamefully stripped of all your points and the game ends, you dirty fraud. You spend the rest of the car ride thinking about what you did, and hoping someone will play with you again on the ride back.