February 26, 2011

Games We Play plus Bonus Game Idea

I was thinking about all the different games we played as kids. Many of them were with my sister, Nancy. Many were with the neighborhood kids and cousins. No matter who played, we had a good time. Remember any of these?

Clue - That's why I think Nancy is so smart- because she always beat me at Clue. I'd guess one card in the secret envelope and she'd guess all three.

Monopoly- Aw, yes. I think part of my problem was concentration. I do remember the eons of time it took to play that game. Somebody finally just gave up and ran out of money or it got late and they had to go home to bed. Some people kept their money in neat piles under the edge of their board. Others, like me, tossed it in a pile and then when they had to pay up, the other players whined as they searched for the exact change. "Come on. Hurry up. It's my turn."

Those houses and motels. Oh, the motels. Did you ever step on one of those little green houses in your bare feet in the summer time or a jack or better yet, a pile of jacks? Don't forget the little ball. That sucker only bounced high when you missed it and it rolled away, under the stove because we played jacks in on the kitchen floor in the winter and summer because everything else in the house was covered in rugs.

Racko - I enjoyed Racko, an easy game because all you had to do was be able to count.

Play "dominos" with paint chip samples! 

Erector sets- Nancy got one. As I think back, perhaps Santa brought the erector set for Daddy. We girls would screw together a house or two or make a cart with wheels but our father would build bridges for "our" train set and towers and airplanes. He was limited only by the shortage of parts, certainly not his imagination.

Etch-a-Sketch - I was good and still am with the Etch-a-, where you twist your hands in opposite directions or the same direction, whatever it takes to draw lines. Must be why I can play handbells, tap my foot and chew gum at the same time to this day. I'm so proud.

Wood Burning - I made lots of "plaques' and either Nancy or I left our mark on the hard wood floor in our upstairs bedroom. Thank the good Lord, we didn’t permanently brand ourselves or burn down the house!

Slap Jack- The card game where you – Well, I don't remember the rules exactly, but I do remember the pain. You're supposed to slap the pile of cards in the middle of the table, but instead you accidentally or more like on purpose, slap your sister's hand and one or the other of you pulls back a bunch of rosy knuckles.

Feet fights- On those freezing cold winter days when we'd come in after playing outside until our lips turned blue, we'd divest ourselves of our wet garb, depositing it in the bathtub for our sainted mother to deal with. In order to warm our iced tootsies, Nancy and I would have a kick fest in front of the floor register, no blood or bone, but it could be brutal to see who got the best seat for the heat.

Indian Leg Wrestling- The result was a torn inner thigh tendon. Those of you who know what Indian wrestling is, know what tendon tearing is, too. Oh the memories!

Rock Collection- Santa brought a couple into our house over the years. My favorite rocks were those that sparkled or looked regal, like granite and rose quartz. Then there was mica. That stuff was made of thin, thin layers of translucent rock I'd peel off/chip off until nothing was left but crumbles and a blank spot in the collection where the mica formally lived.

Silly Putty- I liked to press that stuff on the colored Sunday funnies transferring the comics to the putty. I'd pull the putty, stretching the pictures out of shape until the putty snapped in two, leaving a straight flat edge where it split. That's where the fun began. I'd go to the end of the couch, sit on my feet, hold it up to the table lamp, and, with my mother's best tweezers, pluck the protruding errant hair it had picked up over time from falling on the floor, landing on sweaters, dust, etc. Hmm. Sounds rather strange, doesn't it. Apparently, I was a weird kid.

Checkers- The rules we played by, official or un, said if you could move your checker around wherever you wanted, but if you lifted your finger from it for the length of one grasshopper leg hair, and that's not much, then changed your mind about your move, your competition would bust you, saying, "No fair. You took your hand off it." You knew they were right but, man, you hated to give in and go along so you naturally had to say, "Nah-ah." Then you could give it. And "King me!" was always hollered loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear. Am I right?

Bug Off- I was the queen of this one. My kids got it for Christmas. Comprised of plastic flies and swatters, I was the fastest and swatted the most flies. I beat the kids when they were little and I beat them when they were adults. Nee-nee-nee-nee-nee. Hey, they had to learn they couldn't win every time, didn't they?

Those are just some of the games I remember and I haven't mentioned the fun outside. I'll save more for later. Until then, remember your own good times and have a chuckle. Oh, don't forget to tell your kids about how you spent your weekends and summers having fun without electronics. They'll listen because much of it will be completely foreign to them!

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