Tuesday, April 12, 2005

as restless as a willow in a wind storm

Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

Just a little e.e.cummings to start off the post. Love him.

Despite the recent un-springlike mini cold-snap my mind has latched on to the still-weak beams of sunlight and followed them through to memories of springs past. I swear that from my windowless office, I can smell trees waiting to be climbed and bugs waiting to be chased and games of freeze tag waiting to be initiated.

Heh. Freeze tag. That's right up there with 'Mother May I' and 'Red Rover' and 'What time is it, Mr. Wolf?'. Do kids still play these games? God, I hope so. I have a very vivid memory of one of my aunts teaching us how to play 'Mother May I' in my grandparents' front yard. Twenty years later I'm still skeptical about the 'Mother May I Make Aunty's Bed' question.

Better yet were the games we made up ourselves. Oh admit it, you made games up too. And chances are good they had stupid names and even stupider rules. My brother and I had a favourite when we were between the ages of about 4 and 9. It was called 'Janet'. We would get dolled up in our favourite dress-up clothes, gender be damned, and parade about the house calling each other Janet.

"Hi Janet!"
"Hi Janet!"
"I like your hat, Janet!"
"Thanks, Janet! Want to go ask mom for a snack while I set up the autobots, Janet?"
"Okay, Janet!"

.....and that was pretty much it. No one is sure what posessed us to initiate this particular game, never mind why we loved it so much. One theory (and I can't lie to you, it's my favourite) is that it has something to do with my brother's love for Janet from 'Three's Company'. ha hahaa

Another favourite game was 'Dark Dark Tarantula'. And yes, the name made it much, MUCH scarier. Of course, when you're 8, scary = fun. If we weren't spinning around in bathroom stalls, chanting 'Bloody Mary' or telling stories about a man with a hook for a hand scratching through the rag top of a convertible to attack the blissfully unaware passengers, chances are good we were playing Dark Dark Tarantula. I've actually noticed this game (essentially tag, in the basement, with the lights out) in the childhood stories of several friends, but always with a different name. The best 'other' name for it I've come across so far is 'Shit Monster'. Thanks to JeCo and her siblings for that one. Classic.

Anyway, perhaps the stresses of the past week just have me yearning for simpler times. If you have any stories of childhood exuberance, please do share.

The more embarassing, the better.


Anonymous Keltie said...

Oooh, we used to play a version of Dark Dark Tarantula (LOVE the name) after youth group in the church basement. And dark church basements are creepy stuff. We were teenagers at the time, which I guess is a little less innocent and simple (especially groping around in the dark and all) but it was fun.

As little girls my big sister and I used to dress up in our leotards and bathing suits and twirl our umbrellas over our heads while singing. Adorable.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Roro said...

I LOVE "Janet". Definitely my favourite Berin game!

I remember playing a game called "Sic Soc" in our backyard with my friend Amwe when we were 6 or so. It involved us frolicking in the grass and then suddenly being attacked by villains, at which point we would yell "sic soc!" and each whip out a sock with a tennis ball in it. We would then whale on the fence with the tennis ball socks until the "bad guys" were beaten into submission. Sadly, the game had to be discontinued when my dad discovered that WE, and the not the neighbours, as he suspected, were the cause of the fence's rapid deterioration.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Toxic Chi said...

DARK TAG! Not a very creative name, but equally as fun(ny), especially after hearing the gong of someone's head smacking against a basement pole.

11:08 PM  

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