As Mennonites, we all play Dutch Blitz, but often the rules vary from family to family. Unfortunately, all Dutch Blitz rulebooks were lost sometime in the mid-1970s. I think it might’ve been during that extended Klippenstein gathering in Altona. You know how cousin Gertrude flips after two cards instead of three? Yeah, well, she thought you didn’t notice and has been getting away with it for years. It’s time we brought back some order to our Dutch Blitz matches. We all know the basic rules, but here are a few you may be unfamiliar with:
- If you start with more than 30 points on your three Post piles, you can reshuffle. This rule only applies to liberal General Conference players. You MB and EMC players are stuck with what you have.
- You can create a descending boy/girl pile on your three Post piles. These boy/girl cards must be placed at least six inches away from each other, with a Bible in between, and closely monitored by Ms. Friesen.
- To avoid cheating, you must count your cousin’s pile and your cousin will count yours. This especially applies to little Johnny Friesen who’s known to be a tad generous in his counting.
- If a pile is finished with a bucket card, everyone must take a shot of dandelion wine. This is in addition to the dandelion wine you’re already drinking.
- If a pile is finished with a buggy card, everyone must kiss the cousin sitting opposite of you. I know all the boys will be scrambling to sit across from Mary Wiens. To avoid quarrelling, Mary will be given the choice of kissing whichever cousin she chooses. We all know it’ll probably be Peter.
- Any bloodshed must be reported to the Sunday School Superintendent. Bruises can simply be reported to the nearest adult, but if blood is shed, a full written report must be filed with Mrs. Klassen.
- The loser has to feed the pigs for one full week. If you’re already on the pig-feeding schedule for the week, you can tack on chicken-plucking duty.
- Subtract two pieces of platz for each card the player has left in the Blitz pile. Every player started with two entire trays of platz, each consisting of 48 pieces. Your platz consumption will diminish quickly if your Dutch Blitz skills are not up to snuff.
- When a player finishes, they must yell “Blitz” at a volume sufficient to wake the infants in the nursery room. None of this polite ‘I must inform you that I achieved Blitz’ stuff that Alice Warkentin likes to do. If your ‘Blitz’-yelling doesn’t wake the babies, it doesn’t count.
- Any disputes over rules must be conducted in Pennsylvania Dutch. I’m sorry, but this game was invented in Pennsylvania, so you better brush up on your Pennsylvania Dutch. Plautdietsch and English must only be used as a last resort.
(photo credit: Kyle Adams/CC)