When I was a kid we played a game called "Mother May I". One person would be selected as "It" and stand at one end the field and the rest of us, ususally three or four of us, would stand in a row at the other end of the field. The person at that was It would then then ask a question like, "Their initials are "M.M." The first guess in those days was usually Marilyn Monroe, usually not the correct answer. Mikey Mouse? Mary Martin? Mickey Mantle? Mercedes MacCambridge (you had to be a real child movie prodigy to come up with that name)? Minnie Mouse? That's it! That is when you asked if you could take a step forward. If you forgot to say, "Mother May I?" you were out. If you did ask properly, you advanced a step. The first player able to tag It, won and usually became it.
Child's game from simpler days. Doubt they play games like that today. One thing about that game I now recall, it taught the importance of asking permission or at least proceeding with caution before advancing. Impolite? You've out. Not so today I've noticed. Seems the more impolite and even obnoxious you are, the further you advance....well, at least in some games.
Oh well. Those were supposedly simpler days. Please and thank you do seem to be used more rarely these days. But if my mother were still around I probably would ask, "Mother may I?" if she were in the room. It's merely polite and respectful and not at