This week, I would like to share with you some of the many uniquely Quaker forms of entertainment – and to put to rest one myth. This is just a small sample, comprising one role-playing card game, one observation game, one deception game, and one joke.
The myth is that Ratchet Screwdriver is a game popular among Young Friends. It is of course actually a cocktail popular among Young Friends.
Unwilling, Unable is a card game, produced by some Young Friends in Britain Yearly Meeting, which mimics as closely as possible the real process of nominations. It is a role playing game, in the sense that each person selects a character and takes on that identity for the duration of play. It is both horrible, in the sense that it encourages you to be as nasty as possible to the people around you in the way which is rather delicious when done with dear friends and rather awkward when attempted with near strangers, and hilarious, in the sense of being hilarious. I blame it entirely for the fact that at least one person who looked at my ‘I’m a Quaker, ask me why’ pin-badge and obediently did so received the reply, ‘I’m afraid I haven’t yet got enough points to write an angry letter to The Friend and resign’.
The Longest Continuous Line of Non-Grey Heads in a Business Session of Yearly Meeting is a self-explanatory game of observation. Bonus points can be obtained if you can spot a complete row. Those playing especially hard may find that the Spirit grants them a prize, usually their first grey hair.
Porridge for Breakfast is an alternative name for Lies to Tell Your Non-Quaker Friends. The finest examples are crafted from the questions most frequently asked by people who have just found out that you are a Quaker, but aren’t quite sure what that has to do with oats, or the Amish, or Shakers, and are delivered dead-pan. For best effect they must also now be hard to disprove using Wikipedia. This blog post contains two.
My favourite Quaker joke is as follows: