7 Mennonite Tactics of Game Manipulation

downloadMennonites, games and competition. I guarantee there will be family feuds. At family gatherings someone will not be speaking to someone. Sharp game pieces will be used as weapons. Dirty laundry will be aired. People will storm out, shout or throw things…

It has been rumored Mennonites are pacifists. I’m here to tell you this is a lie. My proof?

Dutch Blitz.


A harmless little game called, Fluffy Bunnies.

If you recall stereotypical Mennonite traits, words such as calm, gentle, peaceful, fruit- of-the-spirit stuff comes to mind. All true except for when they incounter a deck of cards.  Now picture the opposite.  Mennonites are competitive, revenge driven, drunk on the power of winning type of game players. NOT pacifists.

Thankfully, a lot of food coincides with these games. If it wasn’t for the verenika induced food coma’s, Manno- murder rates would be much higher.

If you don’t believe me, gather some of your Mennonite friends for an innocent game of Monopoly. Yes. The game centered on money with the cheapest AND most competitive group of people to ever exist. There will be blood.il_570xN.39234740


Tactic # 1. Cheating.

Think Mennonites don’t cheat? It’s only because you have never caught one. The most effective of all the tactics. Comes highly recommended.

My husband and his brother playing...something?

My husband and his brother playing…something?

Tactic #2. Wear ‘em down!

Nah yo! These games last all night. My father-in-law has perfected this tactic. Let me explain. It’s his turn to roll the dice and move his little Monopoly piece. Simple enough. However, this Manno-man  has found a way to stretch this process 40 minutes or more. By the time your turn comes around you don’t care if you win or lose. All you want is to know what year it is and stumble back into the world Rip Van Winkle style. “Am I dead yet?”

Tip – IF you cheat, the game can be over in one turn. Yours.

Tactic #3. New Alliances

If convenient, alliances are formed.

Tip – Cheaters make the best alliances.

Tactic #4. Broken Alliances

If convenient, alliances are broken. This is extremely controversial and usually takes place when younger generation Mennonites are involved. Without fail, someone is always astonished these convenient, quickly formed alliances are weak. I have known people outraged enough to storm out and never return. That is how the Amish were formed. Just kidding, but it sounds like a good theory.

Tip – Cheaters make the worst alliances.

board-gamesTactic #5. Crying

Probably the least often used. Crying is another of the many signs of weakness, but nothing is weaker than losing. If a husband and wife  or child and parent are against each other, some cast all their pride aside in the corruption of competition.

Tactic #6. Threatening

We all know how that might play out. My non-Mennonite sister-in-law has learned this one rather quickly. Similar to the crying tactic, threatening usually occurs in husband-wife, child-parent circles.

Tip – For wives I’ve found threatening much more effective than crying…and you can apply that to most aspects of marriage. I won’t say the same for cheating…

Tactic #7. Bribing

What is more ingrained in Mennonites than bribing? (Perhaps cooking with flour and honoring Oma but that’s for another time).

Just as Mennonites prefer the word frugal to cheap, I believe they prefer  barter to bribe.  This is used more than threatening and often goes hand in hand with alliances. “Do this for me and I’ll do that for you, Nah yo?”

Tip – In cheating, you don’t have to do any favors for anyone.

IMPORTANT WARNING FOR THE OUTSIDER417712_474265009269869_667132996_n

You’re are most likely trying to make a good impression with this Manno-family. Therefore do not, I repeat, DO NOT enter into these games. (UNLESS you are a great cheater who never gets caught.) If you’re ever  in the middle of a game feud, serve Pepsi and verenika until the family passes out. While they sleep happily in their food coma and Pepsi intoxication, clean up the game. If you’re lucky, all will be forgiven in the morning.

My mother in-law and I avoid these games at all costs. We usually hide and watch some sort of home-gardening show until the bloodbath has ended. We know its ended when the door slams, there’s blood or tears.

But again, nothing is as effective as cheating.

4 thoughts on “7 Mennonite Tactics of Game Manipulation

  1. Reblogged this on Things I've learned along the way and commented:
    This post comes from my beloved sister-in-law, who has come to know some of the ways of the Mennonite people.

    Yes, I’ve played those same board games.
    Yes, there’s been yelling and fights.
    Yes, there’s probably been cheating, because I would notice (for reasons explained in her blog).
    Yes, we have snacks to suppress our rage.
    Yes, as soon as the game starts we try to form an alliance with the player who was the most bitter from the previous game we played together, often with a first name starting with “M” and a last name starting with “F”.

    Great post Megan! Till next time (Hmmm…I wonder how we can get her to join a board game. Just once. Hmmm)


  2. Hmmm, maybe that’s why I developed a game-playing phobia? I just couldn’t stand the competition and all that ‘fighting’. 🙂


  3. I find myself on the cusp of yet another Menno gathering. The day is not complete until the crokinole royalty is newly crowned. It is an epic tournament, complete with trophy…a glove mounted on a wooden block, stuffed to stand up and in which the fingers hold a crokinole playing piece. I have a full understanding of the competitive nature of this group of people, even when the heavenly harmonies of the sacred carols float around the hall. Cousins and aunts jostle for spots in which to sing where the balance of harmonies is best. Eiyiyi!


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