M.A.S.H. is a fortune telling game most often played by pre-teen girls. It's a two person game, one person asking the questions, one person having their fortune told. The procedure is pretty simple:
  1. Get a piece of paper and a pencil. The person telling the fortune is the only one who gets to touch the page.
  2. Write the letters M A S H across the top of the page. These stand for Mansion, Apartment, Shack, and House, respectively, and determine what sort of dwelling the person will live in.
  3. Divide the rest of the paper into a grid. You'll want between six and 12 cells, depending on how many categories you can think of.
  4. Each box represents a category. You can choose to title them or not. The basic ones are: spouse, job, number of kids, location of home, and car. Other possibilities: number of sexual partners, number of computers in your home (we always did number of Barbies, but we're a little old for that now, hm?), salary, education, color of house, color of car, prized posession, etc. You can get pretty detailed and pretty creative.
  5. Fill in the options of each category. The person having their fortune told chooses 3-4 (but the same number for every category) options for each. Example:
    husband
    Jarvis Cocker
    young Sean Connery
    Holden Caulfield
    cute barista
  6. Save one square in the middle of the page for the swirlie. The person having their fortune told looks away and whom-is-telling-fortunes begins to draw a spiral, counting slowly in his or her head. At any point they choose, whom-is-having-their-fortune-foretold can say stop.
  7. Starting with the letter M at the top of the page, begin counting through the categories, crossing out the current option whenever you reach the number the person stopped you counting at. You can proceed through the categories any direction you want, as long as it remains the same throughout the game. The most common way is the typewriter method (left-to-right, carriage return, left-to-right). Example:
    (assume the person stopped you at "..five")
    M
    A
    S
    H
    (husband)
    Jarvis Cocker
    young Sean Connery
    Holden Caulfield
    cute barista
    (job)
    sysadmin
    waitress
    etc.
    When you reach the bottom of the page, go back to M without starting over. Just count it as the next option.
  8. Once all but one of the options in a category have been crossed out, skip that category altogether every time you pass it.
  9. When you have only one option left from each category (and only one of the top letters), tell the person their fortune. Don't let them peek, though, as that ruins the fun.

Why the heck would you, a grown person, play M.A.S.H.? Because it's fun. You get cynical as you grow up. You forget how to daydream about making out with popstars and living in exotic places. You're more pragmatic.

Fuck that.

Do it if for no other reason than to realize what your (admittedly mainly material) desires are, and that they do still exist.

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