plural noun: scruples
1. a feeling of doubt or hesitation with regard to the morality or propriety of a course of action.
2. A game of moral dilemmas invented in Canada in 1984, when a man who was studying mortality amongst baby boomers came up with a questionnaire for his friends, who had so much fun discussing the answers at length, they said, “hey, we ought to make this into a game!”
Have you played before?
This weekend, while at Steve’s family’s house, we were immersed in our own little game of a “scruplesesque” moral dilemma. Here’s the quandary- Steve’s brother, who has always been a big baseball fan, and has collected cards since he was younger, found out that a certain baseball card was worth approximately $10,000. A certain run of these cards had been printed with an error, making these rare “mistake cards,” a valuable treasure!
Around the same time that he had heard about the value of this card, he recalled that a friend of his, about 25 years ago, had left a binder of his baseball cards at his house one afternoon while they were playing. As luck would have it, my brother in law recalled that his friend’s collection not only contained a copy of this player’s card, but that this binder also still happened to be collecting dust in the crawl space in my in-law’s garage! Over 25 years had passed since his friend had left these cards at his house, the friend in question had never asked for or attempted to retrieve the binder of baseball cards. (And although they technically once belonged to him, they had now been in my brother in law’s possession for the last 25 years, and my BIL wasn’t even sure the friend even remembered once owning or leaving these cards at his house.)
Now for the dilemma… do you try to get in touch with the friend to tell him that you have this baseball card that once belonged to him, and it is now worth 10 grand? Do you call and tell him and offer to split the pot with him if you can dig up the card? Do you keep your mouth shut and cash in for yourself?
Turns out that although my brother in law did actually find the card! – it was not the one with the printed error and was only worth a couple of bucks. But this interesting predicament got us all talking, and debating, and discussing for quite a while. (Hey! this ought to be a game!) It was so intriguing to hear what everyone’s justification was, for either side of the argument, and it was genuinely surprising to hear some of the answers- especially from people you think you know a lot about!
This stirred up memories of the board game Scruples, and although I had never played, I remember it vividly in my parent’s hall closet where they kept all the board games when I was growing up. After a quick Google search, it turns out that the popular 80’s game is now a free app!
And just for fun, here is Scruples on The Johnny Carson show:
And… on Everybody Loves Raymond
Fast forward to 6:42