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Pin the Tie on the Yuppie
A Game and How to Play



In the early '80s, my dad, a muralist, artist and hippie at heart, collaborated with another young father to create a game for their bevy of daughters. We were all around six or seven, and when we partied, we partied like Phi Beta Kappa. I mean we swarmed the house in droves, breaking furniture, staining the good tablecloth, and drinking juice until we passed out. So as a counter-measure, dad and his friend decided to create Pin the Tie on the Yuppie.

It was about '85 or '86 when the Yuppie first graced that far corner of the cedar fence spanning our back yard. We wee ones had just retired from a frustrating game of trying to drop a wooden clothespin into an apple juice bottle while leaning over the back of a chair. Problem was no one could get even one pin to fall inside the jug. Over by the side of the house, a kid with an unfortunate name was trying to kiss the class beauty. One girl was picking up ants and collecting them in the folds of her skirt, mashing them into the pink cotton. We'd just started a resounding chorus of "I See London, I See France" when dad announced that we would be playing a new game that year.

We all crowded into the studio and were each handed a tie, pre-cut by the dads. Paisley, green and yellow striped, penguin patterned, polka-dotted, each tie was clutched in a sweating palm as the blindfold descended. Minutes later we were stabbing pushpins into a paper effigy. The Yuppie was a hit.

Now, years later, I find that remembering that game gives me a curious sense of pleasure. Maybe it's the flashback of a sugar-rush, maybe it's about letting the kid with the unfortunate name kiss me after he'd given up chasing the class beauty, or maybe it's the look on the Yuppie's face, his toothy smile as we pinned a tie to his right eyeball.

So as I begin to see more and more young parents who look a lot like me, I think it might be time to pass on this glorious tradition to a new generation of partygoers.

Where to find it:

Pin the Tie on the Yuppie ("As Seen on TV!" the label shouts mockingly) was indeed a hit with many parties at the time, both old and young. As a result, the first run completely sold out. The second run, printed in the late '80s, is now available in a signed and numbered edition at the Beat Bookshop on the Pearl St. Mall in Boulder, CO.

The Beat Bookshop is home to a vast array of Beat oddities, not the least being its owner, el Capitan Tom Peters. He will rant to you for hours about the times he had with Ginsberg, Burroughs, and others when they moved to Boulder from Berkeley, CA, but only if you can catch him working.

How to make your very own Pin the Tie on the Yuppie!

You will need:

A picture, drawn or copied, of your favorite Yuppie Scum (political figures and in-laws can also be substituted). Approximately 3 feet X 2 feet. He or she should be tie-less.

Scissors. One pair if you intend to pre-cut, multiples if this is a grownup party (in that case you will want booze AND scissors).

At least seven ties of varying hues and tacky patterns. These should all be uniformly ugly, so that there is no arguing about who gets their favorite tie. Each should be approximately 5 inches long.

Pushpins or, for moderns like us, double-stick tape.

A blindfold. This can be a clean handkerchief, a scarf, even someone's panties if it's going to be that kind of party.

Originally, the ties came on one sheet with the Yuppie, perforated on the long side to allow for easy removal. Then each tie had to be cut out of the strip of paper and affixed with a pin or piece of tape. This can be improved on but it's also part of the charm. After each player receives a tie, draw straws to see who goes first, second, etc. I always elected to go last, and then cheated by feeling where the closest tie was with my fingers so as to place mine even closer. So watch for cheaters!

How to play:

Blindfold each player before he or she takes their turn, spinning them at least three times and then pointing them in the direction of the Yuppie. Ideally, there should be a lot of room around the Yuppie for those unfortunate few with an inner ear problem. The player whose tie comes the closest to the top button of the Yuppie's shirt is the winner!

You may want to decide ahead of time what to do if a player's tie falls off or is knocked off by another player, as sometimes happens, by accident. Usually, some watchful player can replace the fallen tie, but again, beware of cheaters (adults are the worst).