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I bought a used copy of Munchkin (bundled with several expansions) to play with my family while we are on summer vacation. While reading the instructions of the game to the other players, we noticed that someone scratched out this rule...

Decide who goes first by rolling the dice and arguing about the results and the meaning of this sentence and whether the fact that a word seems to be missing any effect.

... and, scribbled above it in pencil, was...

The player with the stinkiest armpits goes first!

My family (especially the kids) decided that they love this rule, but we have no idea how to objectively determine who has the smelliest armpits. How can we determine this in a fair, preferably objective, way?

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The most truly objective method may be to conduct a scientifically rigorous poll. You will need a random sampling of people from the world, we'll limit it to native English speakers to ensure that translation doesn't become a concern. Each will need to be kidnapped to prevent self-selection bias, and deprived of both sight and sound so that other factors don't influence the decision. A researcher not playing, and unaware of the order in which the respondents will present their pits will need to explain the experiment, then leave the room. At this point, each armpit should be passed over the respondent's nose at a set speed and distance in a randomized order, after which the researcher should reenter and ask the respondent to rate the stench. After a representative sample, probably several thousand people, you should be able to say with conviction whose armpits are the stinkiest.

If for some reason the illegality of the prior method concerns you, a less rigorous result could be obtained by passing armpits in front of a single blindfolded volunteer impartial judge, or by a consensus of blindfolded players.

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    I disagree that it should be limited to native English speakers. This will present a cultural bias (what defines "stinky" among non-native English speakers?). If translation is a concern, I propose charts similar to the pain scale they use in hospitals.
    – Geobits
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 21:52
  • @Geobits Really, that chart almost works. Just draw some stick lines under the noses. Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 22:06
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    @Geobits I disagree. Not limiting this to native English speakers would severely increase my risk of abduction on short- to midterm.
    – Synthetica
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 22:14

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