Childrens' party game
, of the once-prevalent, but now almost-vanished "humiliation
On a wall, or easel (pun intended), in easy reach of all playing, there's a large picture of a donkey, missing a tail. Each player in turn is blindfolded, spun around three times, and given a paper tail with a tack, or tape, to place as close to the right spot as possible. (A polite shove in the right direction is customary.) Whoever does so, wins the Gold Prize. Often there's a Silver Prize (furthest tail) and even a Bronze (wackiest tail) as well.
The real fun of this activity is not winning, however, but watching one's friends (and foe) as they grope stupidly around, ending up with the tail in some place that makes the donkey look like an atomic mutant. (Indeed, after the first couple of tries, the donkey tends to look a bit wonky, anyway.) This game is also (with other pictures/parts) a popular college/adult game usually accompanied by drinking, which usually takes the place of the "spinning around" bit.
Modern parents tend to shy away from such activities, thinking them a form of social bullying, since one (and only one) gets it right, while everyone else gets laughed at. Actually, activities of this nature (and their opposite/corollary games, like Little Brown Squirrel, where a child is chosen by lot or trifling achievement to be a temporary ruler, or leader for the day) tend to level the playing field for the sandbox set, since, barring cheating, there's no telling that Vanessa QueenBee isn't going to have her tail end up somewhere in the next room (as I've seen on many an occasion), while Gus Nosepicker might get it right on the money, leading to character-building minidramas that can easily beat the hell out of television as Van goes into a diva tantrum and Gus does a victory dance.
To avoid bloodshed and unseemly quarreling, there should be the following ground rules:
- No putting the tack in your mouth, on pain of disqualification. This goes for everyone. (Apparently, this is a problem.)
- Shouting hints is OK, although it's up to the player's discretion as to whether they should be believed. Misleading/conflicting hints are excellent.
- Where the tack lands first on the wall or other surface, is the player's spot. Using the other hand is only admissible to keep from tripping over furniture, etc. In general, the Rules of Chess apply: Touch = Turn.
- Players get right of way at all times. Tripping or touching an active player is a disqualification, except to prevent cases of near or present danger.
- The Gold Spot should be clearly marked, and the Silver prize decided by measuring tape. Bronze is decided by voice vote.
Strategy (if you're interested):
You can get fairly close by simply walking in a beeline from the shove.
- If you're one of the later players, make deals with previous players to shout only correct hints.
- Try to remember where other tails are, and judge accordingly.
- If all else fails, remember that there are two other prizes, and try for one of those.
Have fun and play nice, childrens!