Friday, October 21, 2016

How to Win at the Mennonite Game: A Comprehensive Guide

The Mennonite Game is easy to play, but difficult to master. For years Mennonites have been playing the game, but after all this time, no winner has been determined for the simple reason that there was no clear set of rules. Using the following points system, Mennonites can tally up their scores throughout their lifetimes and have their final total printed on their tombstones for future Mennonites to see. This game is appropriate for all ages, and although younger people will have more time to tally points, older Mennonites certainly have the advantage when it comes to knowledge about aunts and uncles and cousins-once-removed.
  1. Any time you are asked, “Who is your father? or “Who is your mother?” – 5 points
  2. Any time you ask someone else these same questions – 5 points
  3. If you are asked these questions and actually have an answer – 10 points
  4. If you can ask and answer in Plautdietsch – 20 points
  5. If the asker ruffles up your hair or pinches your cheek while asking – 10 points
  6. If you ask someone who they are related to and it turns out they aren’t Mennonite – minus 5 points
  7. Any time you are asked by a stranger what church you go to – 10 points
  8. If you name some local Mennonite church in reply – 20 points
  9. If you’re lying when you say it – minus 5 points
  10. If you don’t attend church except for Christmas and Easter – 5 points
  11. If you used to attend but don’t anymore – 2 points
  12. If you’ve been completely turned off by church because of how you were treated in the past and spend an hour or two ranting to the asker about this – minus 50 points
  13. Owning a family history book – 5 points per book
  14. Politely smiling and thanking your Uncle Gerhard for the spiral-bound self-published history book – 15 points
  15. Actually reading the bloody thing – 50 points
  16. Tracing at least one line of ancestors back to Russia, Germany or Prussia – 5 points
  17. Tracing at least one line of ancestors back to The Netherlands, Belgium, or Switzerland – 10 points
  18. Discovering a non-Mennonite in your family tree – minus 10 points
  19. Discovering a famous Mennonite in your family tree (like crazy man Claas Epp or Nebraska senator Peter Jansen) – 20 points
  20. Finding a relation to Menno Simons – 100 points
  21. Visiting an important Mennonite historic site – 20 points
  22. Defacing it – minus 50 points
  23. If you can name all your cousins including the really young ones – 10 points
  24. If you can name at least one second cousin – 10 points
  25. Marrying a first cousin – 50 points
  26. Marrying a second cousin – 40 points
  27. Marrying a third cousin – 30 points
  28. Marrying a fourth cousin or higher – 20 points
  29. Marrying a first cousin-once removed – 40 points
  30. Marrying a second cousin-once removed – 30 points
  31. Marrying a third cousin-once removed – 20 points
  32. Marrying anyone else in the Loewen Book – 10 points
  33. Divorcing any of the aforementioned people – minus 10 points
  34. Having relatives on both sides of the Red River – 5 points
  35. Each time you cross the river to visit them – 2 points per trip
  36. Having relatives who still live in the old country – 20 points
  37. If your middle name is your mother’s maiden name – 20 points
  38. If you know what ‘Grandma’s Window’ is without having to Google it – 20 points
  39. If you actually have a subscription to it – 40 points
  40. Routinely referring to your relatives as “frintschoft” – 20 points
  41. If you understand that the Mennonites are a religious denomination, and not actually an ethnicity – 1000 points

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