SCHOOL GAMES-THE "INSIDE" STORY

Life certainly has its share of unexpected pleasant surprises. For example, the other day Tim and I were sitting on the porch and reminiscing about the elementary school games we used to play indoors. We talked about Red Rover (played in the gym of course) and 7 Up which was played in our classrooms. One of the high school kids I hired to clean my horse stalls (The degenerative arthritis in my shoulders has been sending me malicious messages lately) finished up and came up to the porch to be paid. I asked him if they ever played Red Rover and 7 Up when he was in elementary school, tacitly assuring myself that he no doubt would have ever heard of these school games. To my astonishment, he said they played those same games in school too! I certainly never expected that those same games Tim and I played in the 1950's are still being played! BOING! Whoa! Hey! Wait just a second. The 1950's! Oh my goodness, that was over a half century ago! As I have said repeatedly, I'm not growing old gracefully! On the other hand, I don't feel that old and I certainly don't act it!

 

I recalled that we first played 7 Up in the 3rd grade and I'm sure we continued after that. The game was played with 7 classmates standing in front of the class. The rest put their heads down on their desks. The 7 then moved around the room and each touched 7 of us. After being touched, we stuck our thumb up. The 7 touchers went back to the front of the class and shouted, "Heads up 7 UP"! Each one who was touched, i.e. the "touchees" got 1 guess as to which of the 7 touched them. All those who guessed correctly got to stand in front of the class and the other one(s) had to go back to their desks. The cycle then started all over again.

 

After 52 years, I have a confession to make. Now it can be told! I used to peek at the shoes of each one that touched me through a small gap I made under my arm while my head was down and consequently always won. Well, there you have it. Alas, confession is good for the soul. I imagine all the other kids including the teacher must have thought that I was psychic. Actually, I was psychotic!  You know, as I think back, I was an insidious little kid wasn't I.

 

Whenever I put my head down on my desk, I would always lick the top. It always tasted like pencil lead. Why did I always do that you ask? Hey, it beats the heck out of me. I guess I found tactile delight with some aspects of school.

 

We guys used to play several "unauthorized" inside the classroom games when the teacher wasn't around. Eraser fights were a favorite event. Some of our games weren't always innocuous. We used to have pencil fights and stab each other with the point. This resulted in permanent "tattoos". I have a few. In the picture below is one from the 7th grade when Dennis Ray stabbed me in the hand. I also have one on my right knee. However, at the moment I don't feel like rolling up the right leg of my tight blue jeans to take a picture of it. Besides, I wouldn't want to drive you lady fans wild. (Hey, I told you I was psychotic and not psychic.)

 

Spit wad fights were also among the "unauthorized" indoor school games. You would be surprised how much velocity spit wads can attain shooting them with a wooden ruler. The ceilings of our classrooms were dotted with dried out spit wads made from notebook paper.

 

Now I shall come to the most sinister sadistic indoor school game ever devised. This past time was no doubt invented by some Hitler aspiring kid. I am referring to the infamous and dreaded "Bobby Pin Snapper". If any of you have ever been the victim of a "Bobby Pin Snapper", you will not soon forget it! They inflicted much pain. In fact, thinking back, they should have passed a bill in Congress outlawing Bobby pins. To construct one of these we bent the straight side of a Bobby pin out and up over the top and toward the back. We then kept going until it formed a double loop and hooked the tip behind the crimped side of the Bobby pin. We then walked around very clandestinely and stalked an unsuspecting victim. When the snapper was pressed against the body, the spring-loaded part snapped against it with great force. The result was very acute pain resulting in a white welt surrounded by red flesh. Fortunately, by the grace of God, these were only constructed and used at school. I would like to make one now just for old times sake, but I cannot find any Bobby pins around here. I hesitate to go buy some, since being a guy, people might talk. I could claim they are for my wife, but they know that with her very long straight hair, that she doesn't use Bobby pins. Maybe one of you lady fans can buy some for me and give them to me! On the other hand, I wonder if they still make Bobby pins these days. If they do, they are more than likely made of cheap plastic produced in some Communist Chinese sweatshop assembly line. Many things we had laying around when we were kids are very hard if not impossible to find these days. A case in point, has anyone of you tried to find the one-piece slip on wooden clothespins these days?

 

Another neat thing we used to do at school was to make a paper "snapper". I sure wish I could remember how to do it. The only thing I recall is that a piece of notebook paper was folded into a triangle and when it was flicked by the arm and wrist, it would make a loud popping sound. Hey if any of you, my beloved fans, remember how to make these please let me know! After an exhaustive Google web search, I turned up nothing. Surely, someone must remember!

 

I wonder if school kids still pass notes in class these days like we all used to. On second thought, they don't need to since they can just send text messages to each other on their cell phones in class or better yet "study" hall. Speaking of cell phone text messages, I suspect that is the reason why young people today communicate typed messages in all lower case letters. Good grief, does that ever bug me! Whenever I get an email or a posting on one of the news groups I moderate in all lower case letters with little or no punctuation, it just irritates the daylights out of me. When I'm really "running hot" I've been known to delete them before I even finish reading them. I certainly don't want to get off on another one of my famous "sidetracks" of the things that irritate me these days. Well, please allow me to insert just one of hundreds of my Pet Peeves that is presently germane. This time of year fruits and vegetables are starting to get ripe. Please! never refer to vegetables as "veggies" within my hearing range! All these current trends really... Whoops, I won't elaborate any further at this time. In the future, I am entertaining the thought of listing several of my Pet Peeves and inviting all of you, my beloved fans, to do the same. I think it would be fun to compare notes, don't you? Since many of us are about the same age, I think we will find it most interesting. Well, at this time I'm going out to the field to find some ripe tomatoes and other VEGETABLES for supper. J  

 

 

 

 

THE FOLLOWING PICS ARE SOME  SCHOOL STUFF I HAD LAYING AROUND
MY SECOND GRADE CLASS. CAN YOU FIND ME? HINT: LOOK FOR THE KID WITH HIS HEAD DOWN. I'VE NEVER LIKED FLASH BULBS GOING OFF IN MY EYES. THAT'S WHY INSPITE OF ALL MY WORLD CLASS ACCOMPLISHEMNTS IN LIFE, I HAVE NEVER SOUGHT PUBLICITY BECAUSE I STILL DON'T LIKE FLASHBULBS GOING OFF IN MY EYES!
BACK TO DIRECTORY
MY FIRST "CLAIM TO FAME" IN OUR SCHOOL NEWSPAPER
OH, HEY! SINCE I AM ON THE SUBJECT OF SCHOOL, HOW ABOUT YOU, MY BELOVED FANS, CHECKING OUT CLASSMATES.COM LINK BELOW. YOU CAN READ MY BIOGRAPHY AND EVEN REGISTER AND POST YOUR OWN SCHOOL INFO! GO ON, LOOK IT OVER!