Last summer everyone poured buckets of ice water over their heads, then a few weeks ago all the young girls wanted to stick their lips in shot glasses. This week, the latest viral video trend is Charlie Charlie. Suddenly popular with teenagers, Charlie Charlie is a game that has apparently been around in Spanish-speaking countries for years. Cross two pencils on a piece of paper, write down some yeses and nos or whatever other answers you hope to receive and start asking questions. Supposedly a non-existent, Mexican demon named Charlie will then predict the future by spinning the top pencil towards the answer. Sound familiar? I know. The best part is that you’re supposed to record the terrifying, supernatural occurrences and then post the videos to social media.
Concerned parents are completely freaking out about this “dangerous game,” but I’m here to say calm down, moms and dads. Charlie Charlie may be ridiculous, but it’s basically harmless and here’s why:
1. Your kids aren’t summoning demonic forces, unless of course you consider gravity to be a demonic force. Sorry, but if you cross two pencils, the pencil on top is going to roll off. End of story.
2. No matter what the pencils say, I guarantee that your daughter is never going to marry Liam from One Direction.
3. Today’s parents did the same things when they were teenagers. Umm, hello? Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloo- Remember what happens when you say her name three times in front of a mirror? Of course you do, and admit it, you tried it, scared the living hell out of yourself, nothing happened and you were actually kind of disappointed.
4. Remember eighth grade slumber parties and asking the Ouija Board if Chad was going to ask Jennifer to “French” him at the middle school dance? The Ouija Board said he would and he totally didn’t. Proof positive that supernatural beings aren’t answering our most dire questions, and if they are, they sure aren’t very accurate.
5. Look at it this way, it’s not the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge. That, thankfully, lasted all of five minutes. Charlie Charlie will suffer the same fate. Teenagers have very short attention spans.
6. Kids, especially young teens, love a good scare. Charlie Charlie offers them a safe thrill and gives them an excuse to scream and yell and burn off a little steam. It could be much worse. They could be doing far more dangerous things for an adrenaline rush. Think about the alternatives.
7. At least it doesn’t cost anything! When was the last time your kids managed to inexpensively entertain themselves for so long with nothing but two pencils and a piece of paper?
8. Admit it, some of those videos people are posting all over social media of the #CharlieCharlieChallenge really are hilarious.
9. No one actually knows anyone who’s ever been possessed from playing these games. Except that girl down the street’s third cousin twice removed’s neighbor’s daughter’s best friend’s little sister. Wait no. Never mind. She was the one who was killed by the hook-handed, escaped mental patient when she was making out with her boyfriend in the backseat of a car in the woods. So yeah, no one’s ever been possessed.
10. Parents, are your children peeing on the living room carpet? Levitating? Speaking in tongues? No? Everything’s fine. Put a tray of chicken nuggets in the oven, make a box of mac and cheese and go back to your wine and Facebook. Rest assured, we’re all going to survive the Charlie Charlie fad.
The Charlie Charlie Challenge isn’t a big deal. It’s simply the latest incarnation of a schoolyard game that kids around the world have been playing probably forever, only now it’s on video. Games like this help tweens and teens release tension, safely explore fear and death and give them a space to act like total fools with little consequence. Parents don’t need to freak out about Charlie Charlie, but to be on the safe side, just remind your kids that when they’re done they need to say goodbye to Charlie and drop those pencils. You know…just in case. Bwahahahahahahaha.