How To Play MASH

The fortune-telling game MASH, kept alive over decades by primary-schoolers, requires nothing more than pencil, paper and a friend. Here's how to play this little bonding game.

  1. Write MASH and list your categories: Life partner, number of kids, job, salary, car, and where you live.
  2. List four or five options for each category, with your friend picking a terrible last option for each.
  3. Choose a number from three to 10; count out that many of your options, strike one out, and repeat.
  4. When all but one option in a category is struck out, circle the remaining one.
  5. Read out your full fortune.

There are dozens of variations. Some players lay out their categories in a giant tic-tac-toe grid; some choose their random number by drawing dots or tick marks. Other categories include pets, honeymoon plans, university degree, partner's job, and how long you'll live.

It's customary for your friend to write out your fortune for you, while you tell them your choices. Etiquette dictates that after they complete your fortune, you return the favour.

Get out those calculators and sharpen your 2B pencils - it's Back-to-School Week! Going far beyond the classroom, we're bringing you genius tricks and ideas on how to start routines, brush up on old skills, or learn something new this year.


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