Spanks and Excuses

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Spanks and Excuses is the colloquial name for Penitatas variant of Chutes and Ladders or Snakes and Ladders. It is mentioned in the chapter Janie Turns Five of Melody's Stories.

It is a game for two to about four players. In addition, a Guardian is required to deliver the penalties that are part of the game. All penalties consist of a number of spanks given on the respective player's bottom. The game is recommended for Bad Pennies aged 3 to 12.


Game board[edit]

The game board is a 10x10 grid numbered from 1 to 100 that follows a boustrophedon track from the bottom to the top of the playing area. The board also contains about 9 ladders that connect two squares on different lines, as well as about 9 chutes or snakes, that are likewise arranged. No ladder or chute will share an endpoint with any other ladder or chute.


The game will come with about four pieces of different color that will easily fit into a square on the board, used to mark the player's position in the game.


A six-sided die, or a spinner labeled from 1 to 6, is used to determine how many squares to move a player's counter.

Penalty Pack[edit]

This a deck of red Penalty cards. Each card can contain up to 9 icons on it. The first icon represent a boy's and girl's state of dress:

The remaining icons will all be of the same type representing what the spank will be with and the number of swats (between 1 and 6, except in the case of the hand where the number is between 1 and 8). In the order of severity:

The easiest Penalty card is one hand-spank on the seat of the skirt or shorts. The worst Penalty card is six spanks with the hairbrush on the bare bottom.

Excuses Pack[edit]

This is a deck of green cards. An Excuse card only has 2 icons, one for the clothing state and one for the implement. The face of the card is covered in a red transparent X. The implement is worth as many swats there is on any one given Penalty card.

An Excuse card can be played to cancel a Penalty card if it is of greater or equal severity. State of dress trumps implement in severity. This means, for example, a bare bottom - hand Excuse card can be played to cancel a panties/briefs - ruler Penalty card. However a skirt/shorts - hairbrush Excuse card can not pe played to cancel the same Penalty card.

Game play[edit]

First order of play is determined. This is normally conducted as per the child social hierarchy, but via die roll can also work.

On each player's first turn, the die is rolled, and their counter is placed on the square with the matching number. Any subsequent turn after the die is rolled, the player's counter is advanced by the number indicated.

On any turn, including the player's first, the counter ends at the base of a ladder, their counter is then moved to the top of the ladder, and the player draws an Excuse card they can keep for later use.

But on a turn that ends at the top of a chute, the counter is moved to the bottom of the chute, and then must draw from the Penalty Pack. If the player has an Excuse card of equal or greater severity they many choose to play it to cancel the Penalty card, otherwise the Guardian in charge delivers the indicated penalty.

The end of the game[edit]

The winner is declared by the first to move their counter into the 100 square. The losers have to draw one card for each of their years of age from the Penalty Pack. Any penalties drawn they couldn't excuse with their own green cards would be sequentially applied to their bottoms in the required order; all clothed spanks first. Hand spanks, followed by Helper Paddle, then Ruler, then Hairbrush, with the number of spanks represented by the number of implements pictured on the card. Followed by all Panty/Underwear spanks, then all the Bare Bottom spanks earned, all applied by the Guardian.

And the winner would get to draw one red card for each opposing player and get to spank them however the card read. With no Excuses allowed.

Birthday variant[edit]

Before the game starts, every player who is not the Birthday Penny get to draw as many Excuse cards as the age of the Birthday Penny, for use in the game.


See also[edit]