Copyright © 2006
Robert G. Ferrell
Modern Games for Girls
An essential component of the Ferrell household standard bathroom equipment
manifest is a basket near the toilet containing a variety of reading
material. Most of this fine literature takes the form of cartoon
compilations (for me) or flower arranging/embroidery books (for my wife),
but every now and then something odd will creep into the stable. Today I
was riffling through the downstair bathroom inventory when I came across a
little pink tome titled "Games for Girl Scouts."
That's a real head-scratcher: we don't have any children personally, and
nor are there any tots in what might be termed our neighborhood (we live on
a ranch, or more properly, a "ranchette") who could carelessly have left
such a volume in or near the aforementioned facilities. Having read all the
cartoon books cover to cover several dozen times and not feeling
particularly receptive to discovering cunning new ways to arrange Stargazer
lilies in a cut glass vase, I opted to thumb through the anomalous codex.
As I read through the respectable collection of activities suggested for
keeping a dozen squealing young girls entertained while scout leader tries
desperately to think of some excuse to have next week's meeting at someone
else's house, I couldn't help but think that the games themselves were
hopelessly outdated–not surprising since the copyright dates for the book
were 1949 and 1969. In the interest of contributing to more topical living
rooms and backyards everywhere, I have decided to modernize a few of the
most hopelessly antiquated examples.
Two goals are marked out, several yards apart, representing the "boardroom"
and the "federal courthouse." One player is the "prosecutor," another the
"CEO," and the rest the "accountants." The CEO arranges her accountants
in a compact group, then leads them close to the courthouse and asks, "If
you please, Mr. Prosecutor, have you any indictments?" If she replies
"no," the accountants are safe and free to hide capital gains or otherwise
doctor the books. After a few moments the CEO once again stands between the
prosecutor and accountants and asks her question. If the answer is "yes,"
they must run to the boardroom. The prosecutor chases them. If any of the
accountants are caught, they are taken to the courthouse and
"incarcerated." When all the accountants are doing time or if the CEO
herself is caught, the game is over.
Two girls are chosen as "moms," the rest are "cheerleaders." Each mom
secretly picks a cheerleader as her own and using ping-pong balls tries to
"take out" all the other cheerleaders by hitting each of them with a ball
without getting caught. If a mom is seen throwing the ball by the other
mom, she is "out" and the game starts again. Play continues until one mom
takes out all the cheerleaders but her own or there aren't enough girls
left to carry on. No one actually wins.
One girl is chosen for each of the following "civilization" roles: "SUV,"
"Mega-Mart, "Urban Sprawl," and "Slash and Burn." The rest are "endangered
species" and represent the "environment." Two "habitats" are marked out,
approximately ten yards apart. Half the endangered species start at one
habitat, the remaining half at the one opposite, while the civilization
girls stand midway between the habitats. The endangered species must run
to the opposite habitat without being tagged by civilization. Tagged
species are "extinct" and leave the game. The surviving species must then
return to their original habitat, once again without being tagged. If any
of the endangered species makes the round trip untagged, the environment
wins. Otherwise civilization wins and everyone dies from some super
pandemic caused by a lack of genetic diversity.
War on Terror
All the girls get together in a huddle and accuse each other of plotting to
undermine democracy until one of them is labeled a "terrorist" and held in
solitary confinement without benefit of counsel; i.e., she is out of the
game. The process repeats until only one girl is left. She declares
"mission accomplished" and lobbies Congress to have the 22nd Amendment
repealed so she can stay in office for life. At that point the game is
I should probably stop before I get bitter.