Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

‘Cabinet’, A Game of my Own Invention

Penned upon the 23rd of March, 2006

As you know, I am an inventor, and invent things. This week, one of my many invetions was a game, which can be played with up to any number of people and I’m sure will prove enormously popular. It is a variant of Sardines, which in itself is a variant of Hide And Seek. Here are the rules:
1- One player is nominated the “First Lord of the Treasury”. That player has one minute to hide.
2- The remaining players, or “Parliamentarians”, wait one minute then begin seeking the First Lord of the Treasury.
3- When a Parliamentarian finds the First Lord of the Treasury, they must join them in their hiding place.
4- When enough Parliamentarians are hiding to “Form A Government” (usually 15-25, depending on the total number of players, though there is historical precedent for as few as 3), they may begin to “allocate Ministries”.
5- The squabbling, bickering and hairpulling resulting from the allocation of Ministries (over who gets to be Home Secretary, or Minister for European Affairs, and who has to be Minister without Portfolio) should quickly attract the other Parliamentarians, who also join in the hiding but do not claim a Ministry, merely becoming “Back-benchers”.
6- The last Parliamentarian to find the First Lord of the Treasury is “Ousted In A Bi-election” and leaves the game.
7- The Parliamentarians then elect a new First Lord of the Treasury and the game begins anew.

One possible variant is to begin with two or even three First Lords of the Treasury, who compete for hiding places, and the last First Lord to amass enough Parliamentarians Forms The Government, while the others only form Shadow Cabinets and do not have a stake in the election of the next First Lord.

Regional and House rules may be used in which the last player to join each Cabinet is Ousted, resulting in a much quicker and higher-stakes game, or even in which Coalition Governments can be formed, allowing two Cabinets to gang up on a third.

When the game has been played to the satisfaction of all, the players gorge enormously on chips and relish and fall asleep in their chairs. For ages 3-107, especially those making more than 50,000 a year.


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