Copied over from the previous version of my website..
According to Google, there is no reference to Ratchet Screwdriver,
the legendary game played by young
Quakers the world over (and, as far as I can tell, nobody else).
How it can be that Quakers from Edinburgh to California all play the
same game without ever having met is a remarkable achievement of
nature of proportions similar to the the near identical shapes of
sharks and dolphins despite their evolutionary separation.
Some people mistake Ratchet Screwdriver as being violent. Some
people mistake it as being rather too intimate. Technically it is
both of these but mostly it’s just great fun.
Ratchet Screwdriver was banned by BYM’s Children’s and Young
Person’s Committee. There is no way of knowing when this happened or
who was consulted about the forced destruction of our heritage because
BYM’s committees do not make their minutes generally available.
However an explanation can be found at this
thread on u19s qboard (search for `co-clerks’). An anonymous reply explains the fault in
Unfortunately what you have done is to drive it underground, to make
it more popular than ever. Meaning it now happens without proper
supervision, it has become something cooler.
The first rule of Ratchet Screwdriver is: don’t talk about
First, remove all footwear, jewelry, watches, and especially
glasses. I’ve never known a pair of glasses to come out of Ratchet
Ratchet Screwdriver requires an odd number of people to play,
usually numbering at least 11. One person sits on their own while the others
pair up and sit in a circle one member of the pair behind the other.
Those sitting behind their partner may not touch the person infront,
but can otherwise sit as closely as possible.
One player sits on their own, the others sit in pairs one behind the
The odd one out calls the names of two people sitting in the front,
and those two people must compete to be the first to kiss the odd one
out. The partners of the two that were called have to hold them
The one who kisses the caller first is the winner and now sits
behind the person they managed to reach, the partner they left behind
becomes the new odd one out. The other pair swap places to let the
person at the back have a chance at the front.
Oh the questions
But where did this game come from? Why is it thus called Will CYPC
see the error of their ways? If you have the answers to any of these,
any more interesting nuggets of information or tales of Ratchet
Screwdriver please do e-mail me.
And apparently some of them call it wink. That
page explains it quite well.