Bill Gates, Please Eradicate the Game Cootie Because It’s Boring and Stupid

Cootie Plague

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing a lot of great work to eradicate diseases like polio and malaria from the face of the Earth, but we need to talk about getting rid of Cootie because it’s a boring game my daughter made me play yesterday.

Invented in 1949, the game uses cartoonish insect body parts to trick children into thinking they’re having fun when really all they’re doing is rolling dice. There’s no skill. There’s no strategy. You just take turns rolling the dice until you an overly specific order of rolls.

The dice numbers correspond to pieces of the Cootie’s body. So you have to roll a one first because that’s the body, and then after you roll a one you have to roll a two because that’s the head. After that you can get the numbers in any order because it’s all stuff you stick to the head or body, but that’s it.

It took me a statistically unlikely 14 rolls to get a one and another 18 to get a two. Then you have to get a three, a four, a five, for the eyes, mouth, and hat and six sixes for the legs.

That’s the whole game.

Pick up a d6 and do that without the cootie pieces. Roll until you get a one. Then roll until you a two. Then roll until you get a three, four, five, and six sixes. It’s not fun. It’s the kind of game you’d invent in solitary confinement if you snuck a d6 into your cell.

It’s probably more fun than repeatedly throwing a ball against the wall, but only slightly.

Steve McQueen Ball Throw

If you wanted to make it more fun, take less time, and be less stupid, have everyone start with a body. You can keep the dumb thing where you have to roll a two to get the head before anything else since that’s where most of the stuff goes, but if you roll a number for a piece you already have you should get to steal a piece from another player.

This would speed up the game, but it would still be too long and I don’t ever want to play it again, Amelia. I’m serious. Go get Candy Land or something that doesn’t take 45 minutes.

So I know there are other diseases we should get rid of first like hookworm or measles. I’m not saying Cootie needs to be moved to the top of the list. I’m just saying it should be on the list.