Are You There Jenkins?

This game is what you make of it. A simple premise can be turned in to hours of entertainment, if you are willing to be somewhat sillier than average. The aim is for one player ‘The Gentry’, to gently strike the other player, ‘Jenkins’.

The game involves two players but rotates and can include a larger group. The two players lie on their front but propped up, positioned as if about to have an arm wrestle. The players should hold left hands, resting their clasped hands on the ground. ‘The Gentry’, has his [1] eyes closed, and they hold in their right hand something approximately the size and dangerousness of rolled up newspaper. They say, and it must be said in an English accent, “Are you there Jenkins?” or something similar.

Player 2, ‘Jenkins’, responds, in an English accent, “Yes”, or similar. ‘The Gentry’ now gives ‘Jenkins’ a gentlemanly amount of time before which ‘The Gentry’ will launch a single strike with the newspaper. It should be a single swipe made from the elbow, beginning with the newspaper around the shoulder, towards the ground – that is, ‘The Gentry’ would be very ill-mannered to strike parallel to the ground.

In the gentlemanly escape window of time, ‘Jenkins’ should reposition his upper body so as to avoid the blow. He will use his voice, as well as the clasped hands, to misdirect ‘The Gentry’. Once he has quickly chosen his position, he cannot move, and the test of his skill is whether he is hit or not.

If ‘Jenkins’ is hit, he moves out and is replaced by a player waiting with well-bred patience. If ‘The Gentry’ misses, he swaps roles with ‘Jenkins’ and the game continues until one of them is struck.

1 – While I endeavour to use gender neutral pronouns, it seems appropriate that in a game based on the English aristocracy both the butler and the lord of the manor should be male.


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