Man, these hot summer nights have really got me reminiscing.
Recently, I e-mailed my sister Sheri and our two same-age cousins, Lori and Lisa, to ask them what they remembered about the games we played as kids in the summertime. I pretty much remembered what the games were called, but then only remembered bits and pieces about how they were played.
Of the four of us, my sister Sheri remembered the most about these—and then she very generously googled and wikipedia’d her heart out to try to figure out how these games were played.
I wonder if anyone else played these, as well? Or are these just games that some crazy Cheesehead made up? Here they are:
Seven Steps Around the House—I think the rest of the U.S. refers to this game as “Ghosts in the Graveyard.” This game must be played in the dark, and basically the objective is for one kid to jump out of hiding and scare the beejesus out of all the other kids.
SPUD!—a kid throws up a ball, the other kids scatter, another kid catches it and yells SPUD! All other players must stop and wait to be pelted with the ball. I loved this game.
Red Rover—I’m guessing most kids growing up in America have played this game. It should be called “How to Break Other Kids’ Arms.”
Red Devil—played in the driveway, and like the game of categories, except a) The players have to guess the correct word that the “Red Devil” (the person who’s “it”) is thinking of, and b) The person who guesses correctly has to race against the Red Devil in opposite directions around the house. Whoever gets back to the driveway first wins. Why Red Devil? I have no idea. Sounds like a weird title for a game played by good little Catholic girls. But it was fun!
Cartoon Tag—like the regular game of tag, except in order to be “safe,” all you had to do was squat down and yell out the name of a cartoon. With approximately 50,000 cartoons on tv (and this was even before the Cartoon Network), there was absolutely no way for the person who was “it” to win this game.
And while we’re on the subject, what did you call the “safe” zone in a game of tag when you were a kid (the place where the person who’s “it” couldn’t touch you)?
We called it “gool.” Iwanski and his friends called it either “gool” or “glue.”
Wikipedia says that the expression “gool” is unique to northern Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
But what do kids in Washington, Nebraska, or Texas do when they need to take a break during the game of tag? There’s no gool? That’s preposterous!