[Scruples] Dressed to the “nines”

Scruples question card

Scruples is a party game where, in theory, you test the morality of your friends. This is done through question cards, and three answer cards per player with “Yes”, “No”, and “Depends” on them. A typical question would ask, “You discover that your neighbour has a mistress. Do you tell his wife?” Obviously, I would, because I have Scruples! (Well, Geoff has Scruples, I have the abstract concept.)

The beauty of Geoff’s copy of this game is that it was published in 1985, and is dated by almost half of its cards which were surely written by someone who grew up in the 50s. It assumes that every man has a wife, and you could support a family and buy a house on your first job out of sixth form. One mentioned picking up the phone and hearing that people are already having a conversation, which isn’t exactly relatable now. (We grew up with two phones on one line, but I am told whole streets would be connected by the same phone line, and you could stumble upon your neighbour conversing with their aforementioned mistress.)

Sometimes, the game puts you in character. “You are a female secretary,” oh, I am, let me just adjust my brassiere, “and your boss has his fly down. Do you tell him?” This works quite well for some scenarios, but others really place it at the crux of the dilemma as it asks for you to assume you require kids in your marriage and your partner is infertile. Oh well, it’s a party game from the 80s, pinch yourself and breathe slowly.

Let me highlight one card in particular. The core question is, “You don’t feel like going to work. Do you phone in sick?” Nice little morality test. But, for some reason, that isn’t what the card said. The full text of the card is, “You are having an affair and don’t feel like going to work. Do you phone in sick?” Because, honestly, when I skip work for a woman, all I can think is whether she is my wife or my mistress. I adore the complete lack of connection between point A and B; it’s basically telling you that you’re a piece of crap, would you like to put a cherry on top?

The butt of the joke this evening was the 80s. Somehow, it found so many ways to manifest itself and keep on giving. Some in particular just don’t correlate to a dilemma for modern geeks, and serve to remind you that 30 years is a really long time.

“Your teenage daughter is dating a boy of another colour. Do you encourage her to date boys of her own race?”

I misplaced ‘Yes’ and had to swap out before anyone saw; they all saw.

I don't want a goddamn cishet daughter in my house!

The whole experience was hilarious.

Don’t buy this game; it is not a good game. But if you do buy it, get an original printing, dress to the “nines”, and ponder the ethical dilemma of whether to tell a dapper man that his shirt tail is hanging out.

  • “Misplaced”

    • Thomas

      I swear, it was a non-Freudian slip!