Friday, August 26, 2011


M.A.S.H. for NYC Adults

You remember M.A.S.H. It was sort of like the paper fortune-teller game, but requiring fewer impossible-to-master origami skills. It was also like going to a psychic at age 10, if the soothsayer had the savvy to put Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Andrew Keegan on your list of potential suitors, and setting your honeymoon at Six Flags Great Adventure. Plus M.A.S.H. belied our still hyper-positive, adolescent outlook on the future: Of the four-or-five choices in each category, most of them bestowed upon you a sparkling home, a sleek red car, and a choice profession, while only one option stuck you in a shack, put a jalopy in your driveway, or made you the garbage man. (Though in NYC, is that really so bad?  What benefits you would get!) Since, in our preteen years, we were clearly not capable of making savory choices for ourselves (see: UMBRO shorts), M.A.S.H. helped us decide what we might want to fantasize about doing with the rest of our lives.

Partially because I will never stop concocting crazy possibilities for how my future might play out, and mostly because I wanted an excuse to buy a brand new set of 36 neon/sparkly/metallic Gel Pens ($14 at Staples – RUN, DON’T WALK), I updated the game of M.A.S.H. to include some more realistic scenarios for the modern, New York single lady. So draw that spiral* and figure out the magic number that will strike the attached Husbands, One-Time Celebrity Passes, and Creative Side Projects from your ultimate destiny.

*In case you don't know what I mean by "draw that spiral," here's a refresher on the rules of the game: How To Play M.A.S.H.

Stacey Brook is an NYC-based writer who documents her eccentric wardrobe and handmade/crafting obsessions on EtsyBrook.com. She is also writing a book of personal essays on her failed dating experiences. In all likelihood she will end up living in Ouihauken with a money-grubbing manchild, occasionally fucking Meatloaf.

44 Comments / Post A Comment


this is amazing.

Judith Slutler

A thing of true beauty. I forgot all about this game!


Well, it is unfortunate that I am evidently going to have a child named Namaste, as my brand new valediction is "Namaste, Bitches."


@meaux how i met your mother namaste pun:

"the namaste cafe doesn't serve alcohol? all I know is, namaste here any longer than i have to!"

Tuna Surprise

If you're going to put Meatloaf on any sex-based lists, it probably should be the Men Mostly Likely to Drop Dead Mid-Coitus(RIP Nelson Rockfeller) list


@Tuna Surprise Or else the "I would do anyone for love" list.


@Tuna Surprise

That's why he uses the oxygen tank!


@Tuna Surprise

I hear he doesn't let his meat loaf.


oh, me and my friends do this! in the Dallas version you also have to pick a car. We also added Addiction and Weird/Shameful Hobby or Fetish as categories. An important addition I think!

Stacey Brook

@deb I love the Shameful Hobby/Fetish category ideas! Will have to add them to the next version...


Woah, I never did the spiral thing! I think we just made tick marks.. I'm totally MASHin' it up this weekend.


@girlandtonic Us too! I was like, spiral what? And also, YES I know how to play!


@girlandtonic Same here! And now I am getting ideas for an Austin version...it practically writes itself.


Did you ever purposely draw your spiral really fast or really slowly because you wanted to end up living with Dylan McKay in a Malibu condo and you knew your asshole friend was timing you just so because she wanted you with Steve Sanders in a tenement on Staten Island?


@applestoapples Absolutely! I used to try to figure out multiples of four so I could plant names. We generally used Real Life Boys, so it was Smug City whenever I got the name of the boy I had a crush on.

Jolie Kerr

Stacey you're going to bring this when you canoe over to my place for our hurricane party, right????

Stacey Brook

@Jolie Kerr Oh, you know it. M.A.S.H., 40,000 gel pens, and my sticker book.


I love the inconsistencies of MASH. "You marry Leonardo DiCaprio and work as an astronaut and live in a shack with 8 kids!"

cholla cholla

@MollyculeTheory She's a cruel mistress, MASH.

Quick Brown Fox

We used to do four choices for each category, two picked by the girl getting her fortune did and two picked by her friend. In other words, two good ones and two of the most horrible choices we could imagine.


I got all the lowest denominators except for the shrink's office. Lord bless you, nonprofit health insurance.


Meatloaf! Nice touch.

cholla cholla

@yourfriendCamille In my experience, the MASH practioner, not the mashee, would draw up the MASH board. The mashee chose three options, while the practioner chose one, undesirable choice. I wasn't sure if Meatloaf was the undesirable choice? (To me, it'd be JRM...bleck)


Oh, I like this version SO much better than the one I played in middle school.

Lamar Anderson

but what will our coop shifts be? FTOP? food processing? WALKERS ONLY WHEN IT RAINS? there is so much about my life that this will answer.


I did the internet version of this awhile ago and also included Jon Hamm on my list of possible suitors! He and I will apparently be married with 14 children and drive a motorcycle, with or without the children in tow.


i'm going to have so many awesome life plans strewn about my floor when this hurricane is over


Holy Mary, mother of God. Get out of my head! I admit that a couple weeks ago a friend and I started a shared googledoc specifically for playing MASH during work. There, I said it.

Ella Dorband@facebook


Made a Seattle one! A little messy, but unfortunately true to real life.

Stacey Brook

@Ella Dorband@facebook Ella this is hilarious! I especially love the "Clothes Exclusively From..." category.


would it be bad if i purposefully made it so i ended up with meat loaf?

yeah..im sick.


I wish I had more female friends. My husband did not know what I was so excited about when I read this post. MASH was a highlight of my tween years. I thought guys played it too? I guess not.

fondue with cheddar

@LumpySpacePrincess I specifically remember boys playing the origami version in my 5th or 6th grade class.


oh my god "SAME DIFFERENCE"! amazing idea.


Stacey- last time I played MASH with you I was promised a mansion in London with Luke WIlson. This game is a liar!! Not cool MASH. Not cool.

Stacey Brook

@juliaK Sadly, MASH makes no guarantees.


My love for Jonathan Taylor Thomas, JTT if you will, was so deep...I taped every episode of Home Improvement (because it was on past my bedtime) and owned every movie that he made. Then I discovered James Marsden (Second Noah, anyone?) and JTT was lost on me.


I love MASH! My best friend and I used to do the thing where you got to choose two guys, cars, etc. and your friend got to choose two (HORRIBLE) options for you? Usually some socially awkward guy we were at camp with or something. I saved some of them at the time and put them in my diary, thinking "I may have to have four children and a golden retriever named 'ogden' but I will get to marry Andrew!!!" I remember the "career" category being particularly awful/awesome - "Underwear model at sears" "loving christian housewife with a wonderful hubby and 224 kids" "herring packer" .... I don't know were we got this stuff at 12


I always put the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile in the vehicle category. It makes me laugh every time.


I always put the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile in the vehicle category. It makes me laugh every time.


I have never heard of this! Just the orgiami type one. We were more into using Ouiji boards for this sort of thing in my neck of the woods. That's not weird, is it?


Love this! When I taught high school in Japan, I made my students play this (I told them to pick 2 good and 2 bad for each) and it was pretty hilarious to see the things they chose (esp. the boys, who surprisingly loved this game). We also did origami fortune tellers, which were really fun!


Love this! When I taught high school in Japan, I made my students play this (I told them to pick 2 good and 2 bad for each) and it was pretty hilarious to see the things they chose (esp. the boys, who surprisingly loved this game). We also did origami fortune tellers, which were really fun!

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