I was sitting here at work and randomly thought of all the different games I used to play growing up. No, not board games because when someone I knew as a child did have one all kinds of pieces would be missing or no one quite knew the rules so people would cheat like crazy or we'd make rules up as we went along. It wasn't until I was about 30 that I played a real game of Clue. Who knew you had to match the weapon to the killer in the proper room?! I didn't.
In this Kids These Days I'm gonna write about some of my favorite ones. I wonder if kids even play most of these anymore or if its something 31 year olds and up fondly remember. Or maybe not so fondly. People got hurt!
Hot Hands. This was a game of speed and also a good excuse to whap the shit out of someone without getting in trouble. My brother used to play this with me all the time which in hindsight sucked because he was faster than me. In this game you would hold your hands palm down over someone else's open palm and try to yank your hand away before they slapped the shit out of yours. My brother used to destroy me at this but with my long fingers there was no child that could escape my whip-like digits. I would get accused of cheating so much that I learned to play this with my eyes closed to prove that I was playing fair. The rounds wouldn't switch until someone had their hands hit once or sometimes three times. Cheaters would use their middle finger to tickle your palm to get you flinchy and just as you were about to protest they would smack you. Good times.
Get Like Me. This was a hood game and silly as hell. 99% of the time if some kid challenged you to a game it meant that they had more money in their pocket than usual. This was a game you didn't play with poor kids anywhere near the 1st and 15th of the month. The point was to say “Get like me!” and anyone involved would take all the money that they had out. Whoever had the most would get the other players money. Sounds fun, right?! No. It was stupid. This game is probably what made me realize how stupid gambling was. There was no skill involved in this. I have no idea how many quarters I lost because of this bullshit.
Big Bad Wolf. This was a fun one. Someone would play the wolf and as you and others sat on a porch or what have you there were lines that were said. Knock knock. Who's there? The big bad wolf. What do you want? A color. What color? If the wolf guessed your color you would have to outrun him after a quick countdown. If you were caught you had to sit in the pee pot. It was not a pot nor was it pee but it was shameful as hell to have to sit there and wait until the next game started. Playing this game is what made me realize just how dangerous it was for a bunch of Black kids running around a yard that had a painted walkway in karate shoes was. I have a very vivid memory of turning the corner of my Grandmama's driveway and eating it when I made a left. One leg next to her car, the other against the fence. Not a good look.
Red Light Green Light. This game showed how your were raised in terms of how your parents drove. Someone would be the caller of the light colors. If they shouted red light you would stop and if they shouted green light you would run your ass off until you sweat all the sugar out of your system. If you moved at the wrong time you had to either take a step back or leave the game depending on what asshole was in charge. Sometimes yellow light would be called and a kid would either start moving slowly or if your parents were bad drivers the kid would run faster than when green light was called. You could scream that they were cheating by running but they didn't know any better. Their parents were terrible people.
Freeze Tag. This game could either be super fun or annoying as hell depending on the group of kids you hung out with. Someone was picked to be “it” and no one ever wanted to be “it” so that was a whole thing. After that they would chase you around a chosen area because there was always that dumb ass kid who ran down the street and didn't even know the game was done. When you were caught or tagged you would be frozen where you stood until one of your teammates unfroze you. This could take anywhere from moments to long, long minutes. This was also a good way to hide from kids and play another game with someone you liked called Hide N' Go Get It. If you don't know what that game was it is not my job to tell you. Suffice to say I never got to play until junior high and touched tits for the first time.
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