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When I was in high school, a small group of my friends and I played a game that gave us many hours of enjoyment. The sole purpose of the game was to obtain lighters from unsuspecting males. It would probably work the other way around if you wanted to snake them from women, guys.

This is the way it goes:

First you must have an unlit cigarette at ALL TIMES.

Brandish the cigarette as though it were only slightly on your mind. You know, like you are thinking about your drink or the band that's playing.

Walk up to a smoking member of the opposite sex and ask them for a light.

When they hand you their lighter, hold it for a few minutes and chat and generally hang out.

After you have changed the subject and talked about say, the IRS, then you should hug the person and walk away, while holding their lighter in plain view, but not mentioning it.

Once you get away clean with the lighter, you should disappear into the nearest crowd.

Pocket the lighter.

At the end of the night, whoever has the most lighters wins. There are some basic rules, though. You must NEVER, under any circumstances, snake a Zippo. This is out of bounds. If the mark asks you for their lighter back, you must try a second time for diversion. If you fail in this, you automatically lose for the night. Unless, of course, you fail but manage to get the mark to buy you a drink.

In the mid-80's, I played this game with four friends for about two years. We filled two Cooties boxes with the resulting stash of lighters, which has yet to be depleted, as most of us don't actually smoke cigarettes.

BEWARE: This game is not for the weak or the tender hearted, as eventually, you will start to feel sorry for the marks.

Another variant on this one, that works for really dead times, often filling lulls while chain smoking at Shari's, is to proceed as follows. Take a lighter, or any object really, but we're using a lighter for this example.

Now hold the lighter, and while moving it around and doing some other things, chant, "Lighter game, lighter game, can you play, the lighter game?" and hand it off to the next person. The trick is to find the one action that you took that you will deem the winning action. The next person will then try to replicate the action, usually while doing a few other things at once, while chanting the same phrase. If they succeed, you say, "Yes, you can play the lighter game," and they hand it off to the next person. Continue along until everyone has won, or everyone gives up and stabs you.

Good ways to keep it going are to do something extravagant, complex, duplicatable, but utterly useless with your hand, and making the key action something like blinking or tapping your foot. Also fun to do with large unwieldly objects like running chainsaws!



Yes, that chainsaw comment is a joke.

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