Re: Why the Islamofascists will kick our sorry asses.

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Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:49 AM
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To be fair, some of the games the kids were playing did sound "dangerous". Dog piles weren't allowed at school when I was a kid, either. We did that on weekends.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:50 AM
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I think if I was brought up without tag rights I might be ready to kill a lot of people by the time I was military age.


Posted by: bryan | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:51 AM
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And my breakdancing has served me very well in military maneouvers thus far.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:53 AM
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Hey, now, dodge ball SUCKED.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:55 AM
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Dodge ball is the game of the gods. That the kids can't play it makes me really sad. (Almost as sad as the fact that, for all reasonable purposes, I can't play it anymore.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:56 AM
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If you think I'm kidding, just wait 'til I get this cardboard laid out here.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:56 AM
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When Keegan was eight, he had to have three metal staples put in his head to close a gash he got from an afterschool game of tag. He was prouder of those staples than just about anything ever, and I think it prepared him nicely for his current obsession.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:56 AM
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That is to say, DC grade schoolers are a buncha wack-ass bitches!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:57 AM
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I think that kick ball might be worse than dodge ball, as a game, that is.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:57 AM
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I think it's clear who sucked at dodgeball and kickball.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:58 AM
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8: Is hockey big in North Carolina?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 11:58 AM
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I can't play it anymore

There are quite a few adult dodgeball leagues, actually.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:00 PM
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Hey, now, dodge ball SUCKED.

Let us not now recount for the umpeenth time how the delicate sensibilities of our future academics were permanently scarred by the incident in gym class lo those many years ago.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:00 PM
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Dodgeball really might be the greatest game ever. Throwing, catching, dodging, teamwork, room for individual glory, and a hint of danger and sadism. The perfect game.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:01 PM
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A friend of mine who is married to a New Zealander and has a kid wanted said to kid to be able to spend a schoolyear in NZ. So off hubby and kid went for year. As far as I can tell, in NZ schoolchildren cliffdive and, like, learn Ultimate Fighting. OK, maybe not the last thing -- but the cliffdiving in school was real, along with lots of other activities that would never be considered even as a joke here in the states.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:03 PM
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12: After the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup a couple years ago, there are lots of kids now who are big into it. Keegan was in a 9-10 yr league, and there were enough kids for a 10-team league.

When I was growing up here (and even as recently as college), they didn't even bother reading the NHL scores on the nightly news.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:03 PM
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sadism, ogged? That makes it a good game. Did anyone see the movie? I heard that it almost didn't get made, because dodge ball is a uniquely American game, and the studios thought that it wouldn't have enough of an international appeal because of that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:05 PM
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14 - no please, let us. That sounds funny.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:05 PM
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NZ schoolchildren cliffdive and, like, learn Ultimate Fighting

Perhaps our last best hope.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:06 PM
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Dodgeball really might be the greatest game ever.

Ogged understands. They should send you and me to pacify Sadr City.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:07 PM
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We were still allowed to play dodgeball when I was a kid, but after several broken arms, red rover was permanently banned.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:07 PM
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Tangentially to the post title, the PBS show Carrier
http://www.pbs.org/weta/carrier/video.php looks cool. The producer likened the USS Nimitz to a large high school, which makes sense since most of the kids are maybe one or two years out.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:08 PM
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The bare-knuckle fights are now attracting competitors as young as 6

Oh, awesome. My plans are coming along nicely. I have two friends with small girl children named Alana, and I am still having trouble interesting them in my pay-per-view special, Two Alanas Enter, One Alana Leaves.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:09 PM
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The producer likened the USS Nimitz to a large high school

Except with a nuclear plant and F-14s! Awesome!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:09 PM
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I had scuba as a unit in gym class in high school. Twice, actually. Oh, and we did a climbing/ropework unit that involved rapelling down a 5-story woodent tower on school grounds. The gym teacher responsible was a former Green Bay Packer and pretty awesome.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:09 PM
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There are quite a few adult dodgeball leagues, actually.

Wow. As I remember it, when I was young, I used to have to try and trick my friends into playing it. I think it seemed like a kids' game to them, best for third grade and below. (NB: I sucked at dodgeball, but I still loved it. Gawd, even getting hit was glorious.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:10 PM
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26: Chopper, where did you grow up? WI? Where did you dive?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:12 PM
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but after several broken arms, red rover was permanently banned.

You guys were either really, really soft, or really, really, really hard. It never occurred to that such could happen, so I'm guessing the latter.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:12 PM
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Dodgeball would be waaay better as an adult, now that you (well, maybe not the academics) are strong enough to really effin' drop somebody.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:13 PM
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to really effin' drop somebody.


Dodge a wrench, dodge a ball


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:15 PM
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a game "of intense aggression."

This is a sub-set of a more generalized problem. A portion of the populations is made up of wusses. No harm in that. Unfortunately, wusses love nurturing, leading to local dominance of these fields by wuss culture. Once ensconced, wusses inflict their preferences (which they reify) on everyone else.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:15 PM
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Adult dodgeball is blossoming. I actually looked into leagues around here a while back; might join one after the swim meet. There were some hilarious "underground"--as in, meet Friday night in a parking garage in San Jose--leagues. You know those have to be great.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:16 PM
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IIRC, Blume is from dairy country (not the epicenter thereof, but still significant), so bone weakness was probably not the cause of the broken bones.

The banned games in my elementary school were tackle football, baseball (softball was OK), chicken fighting (i.e. one person rides on the other's shoulders tries to knock other riders down), and King of the Hill.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:16 PM
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Since the prohibition began early this month, physical education teachers have begun a "chasing, fleeing and dodging" unit in first through fifth grades.

OK, maybe the link isn't *quite* what they meant. But still.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:16 PM
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Bungee jumping and scuba diving I can see

We had scuba diving as a school activity, IIRC.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:17 PM
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There's a giant sand dodgeball tournament in Berlin every summer, each team representing a different nationality. A play on the German name for dodgeball, Völkerball. The Japanese team has ruled the tournament for several years now.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:17 PM
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chicken fighting

Huh. I've never seen this done outside of a swimming pool.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:17 PM
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29: We would get in trouble for holding each other by the elbows, rather than the hands. Much harder to get through kids with locked arms like that, but much more likely to result in some wounded munchkins.
We had a co-ed football/lacrosse section in hs gym, and the teacher waived the lacrosse part after we all had jammed or broken fingers.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:18 PM
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Ha! I grew up a flew blocks from that elementary school. My sister might have even gone there for a year. Of course, she used to beat kids bloody on the playground for fun at recess.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:19 PM
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38: Me, either. But it seems likely that, in KR's case, the closest swimming pool was a couple hundred miles away. Way to be a classist, Apo. You probably support Obama.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:19 PM
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26: South Dakota. We dove in the school swimming pool.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:20 PM
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The article fedward links has a dangling participle: First developed in France in the late 1980s by David Belle, Toorock sees parkour (the word is derived from "parcours," the French word for route) as the physical art of moving through the world quickly, efficiently, elegantly and playfully.

Don't these papers have editors?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:21 PM
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There were some hilarious "underground"--as in, meet Friday night in a parking garage in San Jose--leagues.

Do you know Tyler Durden?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:22 PM
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About a week ago, I saw a gaggle of kids clapping and singing to make their own backbeat for a break-off. They were just fucking around on their way home after school, making noise, having fun, dancing off their energy. It struck me suddenly that I hadn't seen anything like it in years. Also, now that I live in the ghetto, I sometimes see kids playing ball on the sidewalk. Most (white, upper-middle-class) kids' playtime has become so regimented.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:22 PM
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America's children are soft.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:24 PM
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OTOH, our school fieldtrips included spelunking in a wild cave and castrating lambs (separate outings, FWIW).

We also had an insane football coach who devised the most sadistic drill. There was a steep, bare dirt bank that we had to run up, two at a time. First one to the top got to sit out and rest. This went on until the last person was eliminated. The catch is, it was permissible to trip, grab, shove, clothesline, or throw the other person down the hill. If you were fast, and could outrun the other person, you only had to get a couple of steps ahead and you were done. If you were big and slow, and you were racing someone small and fast---someone like, say, KR--your only hope was to grab the other person right out of the starting block and throw him to the ground so hard that he wouldn't catch you before you got to the top.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:25 PM
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America's children adults are soft assholes.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:25 PM
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I've never seen this done outside of a swimming pool.

Pussies.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:26 PM
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Pussies.

I gotta say, in the face of lamb castration and arm-breaking games of red rover (I think Bume comes from similar climes), I find it hard to dispute the charge.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:28 PM
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This is always some local craziness blown up into a national doohickey. My nerd school played tackle football in the central yard each wednesday, so at least our nation's engineers and programmers will be willing to face the new international menace.

Also, dodgeball should be preserved as the leveling field for nerds. They're usually among the last kids standing thanks to being small targets and lithe from years of avoiding noogies or wet willies.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:28 PM
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I think Bume comes from similar climes

Not the same state, but the same state of mind: I recall Blume acknowledging that the first day of deer season was a school holiday in her school district, too.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:32 PM
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You kinda wonder what it would take to get our priorities back in order.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:33 PM
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I like the use of "acknowledging" in 52.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:34 PM
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Meh, it's all well and good to bitch and moan about how back in our day we ganged up on the weaklings and it was fun, dammit!, but the fact is that pretty much any game can get turned into an opportunity for bullying. And that if that's happening, it's responsible of school officials to tell the kids to knock it off.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:34 PM
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The UF Gators homecoming was a public school holiday, when I grew up in Gainesville.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:34 PM
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On the HS ski team, we had a few activities which I assume would no longer be tolerated. One was running laps inside the school building, up and down three flights of stairs. Apparently that breaks bones or something. Another regular drill was playing soccer in our humongous downhill boots, in 2 feet of snow. And then there was "binning," which involved wrapping a freshperson in jackets and tossing him in the ski bin at the back of the bus, before piling in everybody's skis and poles.

America's children are assholes, too.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:35 PM
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it's responsible of school officials to tell the kids to knock it off

Knock off the bullying, yes. Outlawing tag, however, has the familiar sound of a baby's fall being broken by bathwater.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:36 PM
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the wussification started with the dying out of America's chestnut trees - conker fights build character (and concussions).


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:37 PM
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The only thing I can think of that would no longer be allowed was two different summer camps, both which kept zero tabs on its campers. You just wandered off wherever you wanted, off-camp or whatever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:37 PM
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The beginning of the ACC basketball tournament may as well have been a holiday in Durham County Schools when I was enrolled in them, since every teacher just brought in a TV and shut the door.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:38 PM
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Not the same state, but the same state of mind: I recall Blume acknowledging that the first day of deer season was a school holiday in her school district, too.

Please, please let the broken arms be a result of playing red rover with deer.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:39 PM
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But surely one can regulate bullying without banning tag. (Next, a letter from the school: Due to the abnormally high energy levels among our students during their Quiet Sit No Moving activities, we recommend that all parents have their children tested for ADHD.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:40 PM
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but the fact is that pretty much any game can get turned into an opportunity for bullying

And why did this happen? Because the liberals took the Bible out of the classroom, that's why!

Seriously, B, if "any game" can get turned into an opportunity to start bullying, isn't banning individual games a pretty absurd policy response? Wouldn't it be more sensible to focus on the bullying behavior and correct or discipline the responsible individuals?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:40 PM
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58: If I read the post correctly, the school's said no more tag for the rest of the spring semester. That's not quite the same as "outlawing" it. And you surely know as well as I do how kids can turn make any given activity--tag, tooth-brushing, dinner--into an entrenched battle of attrition, and that the only hope is to somehow change the structure of the thing altogether. E.g., you can play, but not tag; you can brush your teeth after breakfast instead of before; you can skip dinner for all I care, but if you get hungry later don't come whining to me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:41 PM
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I wonder about baa's 32. It doesn't seem to be true in all cultures, although the nurturing professions are pretty much same across cultures. So why does wussiness get reinforced here? The rot goes deeper, it seems.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:42 PM
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47.2: Did it ever occur to you guys to just walk up the hill one at a time?

In my one year of fullpads tackle football in high school, we had a coach who had a drill called "bull in the ring," where one guy stood in the middle and the other guys formed a circle around him. Coach when then call out jersey numbers and your object was to knock the guy in the middle off his feet. If someone lasted longer than 4-5 hits coach would start calling out numbers faster and faster until the guy got blindsided. Your reward for knocking him over? You got to be the bull. Of course, it never occurred to us to foil the game.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:42 PM
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Not the same state, but the same state of mind: I recall Blume acknowledging that the first day of deer season was a school holiday in her school district, too.

And we shot guns in PE class. Really! One of our units in middle school was the hunter safety course (required in MO to get a hunting license). If you passed the test at the end and got your hunter safety card (valid for life - I wonder what I ever did with mine?), you got to take part in target practice in the shooting range the conservation agent set up in a shed behind the school.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:42 PM
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how kids can turn make any given activity--tag, tooth-brushing, dinner--into an entrenched battle of attrition

Right, meaning that focusing on a particular activity is missing the point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:43 PM
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66: I blame pluralism.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:45 PM
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Of course, it never occurred to us to foil the game just blindside the coach.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:45 PM
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B makes a good point, in that this may be consequence, "If you children don't behave and stop the dog-piling, I'm taking away your Tag priviliges!" which is then being mistranslated as safety issue, possibly because the principal didn't think through how to spin it, or some parent picked up the wrong point, or the media is misrepresenting it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:46 PM
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Over the past couple of months, she had noticed that tag was taking up too much space and sending too many students to the nurse's office.

"This is not the old-fashioned tag, where you could use two fingers and you would be it and move on to someone else," Hooker said. The game, she said, has become much more aggressive. "I call it the nouveau tag."

Nouveau? Taking up too much space?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:46 PM
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The answer is obviously to make it more attractive for people who hate children, have no nurturing abilities, and are extremely masculine to enter the nurturing professions. This was the goal behind the English system of boarding schools, as well as the military in general.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:46 PM
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64: Sheesh! Stop being reasonable, KR. That will get you absolutely nowhere. What we need is activity recognition software, cameras, and shock collars on the kids.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:47 PM
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63: Banning tag /= making kids sit still. It just means that they find something else to play at recess.

if "any game" can get turned into an opportunity to start bullying, isn't banning individual games a pretty absurd policy response?

No, because kids don't think in abstractions; they think concretely. If one of the unofficial "rules" of tag at X school has become "so-and-so is always it", then you tell the kids they can't play tag any more, because they're *not* playing tag anyway; they're just using "playing tag" as an excuse to make so-and-so cry. How are you going to "focus on the bullying behavior"? Forbid them from making so-and-so cry? "We can't help it if he cries!" Forbid the victim from playing tag? Not helpful. Tell the kids they have to be "nice"? How are you going to enforce that? Micromanage their play? Untenable.

On the other hand, saying, "look, clearly you guys can't play tag fairly, so you don't get to play tag any more" is a time-tested parenting technique. It's not going to fucking hurt the kids to have to play some other game that isn't inherently structured around singling out a particular kid, if doing so has turned into a problem at a given school.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:47 PM
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Tell the kids they have to be "nice"? How are you going to enforce that? Micromanage their play? Untenable.

Isn't this how most parents manage siblings?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:48 PM
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or the media is bloggers with masculinity issues are misrepresenting it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:49 PM
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13 ff: There are quite a few adult dodgeball leagues, actually.

Without reading much farther in the thread, adult dodgeball might be okay. As early teens, in early high school, it was vicious and to an extent class-based and racial. All respect to TLL. but my nascent sensibilities had nothing to do with being essentially beat up at 11 o'clock in the morning. I didn't like being forced to extreme anger with people I didn't actually hate. Not gonna play that game.

I assume ogged is joking about the sadism.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:49 PM
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Of course, it never occurred to us to foil the game just blindside the coach.

Problem was, this was freshman year and coach was bigger than 99% of the guys (and assistant coach was twice as big as 100% of the guys). Plus, he would stand outside the ring and would see us coming.

One of his other ridiculous drills (I don't recall what he called it) was to form two parallel lines facing opposite directions, one with the ball. When the whistle blew, the first guy in each line ran outside the parallel lines and then around inside the two lines running directly at each other with the goal of delivering the biggest hit possible (i.e., the guy with the ball wasn't allowed to try and dodge the other guy).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:49 PM
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77: Even if it is, there's a big difference betwen micromanaging 2-4 children who have the same social norms, and micromanaging 2-400 kids who don't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:50 PM
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(NB: I sucked at dodgeball, but I still loved it. Gawd, even getting hit was glorious.)

Jeesh, Tim, maybe you were hit in the head one too many times....
Or are you old to have False Memory Syndrome, so that all your memories of youth are bathed in the pastel hues of nostalgia?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:50 PM
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I blame pluralism.

The decline began when they decommissioned all those steel jungle gyms that were *mounted in cement* (and whose bars could reach surface temperatures of, like, 300° by mid-afternoon). Also, the disappearance of these hasn't helped any.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:51 PM
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78 is a clear signal that the bad-faith baiting has begun in full force. Who knows why she does it, but she does. Everyone leave this thread.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:51 PM
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B, I get your reading, but the article also says they've banned touch football, and the parents, at least, seem to be taking it as more than a justified punishment for rule-breaking.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:51 PM
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I assume ogged is joking about the sadism.

Are you new here?



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:51 PM
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Did it ever occur to you guys to just walk up the hill one at a time?

No, the concept of spontaneously evolved cooperation in iterated positive sum games was beyond our primitive junior high powers of abstraction.

I did, however, manage to stick it to The Man on one occasion. I was up against a bigger guy (not a bully, though; we were friends). Right out of the gate he bumped me to the ground. But I bounced up, ran after him and caught up with him, grabbing him by the leg. We struggled together on the dusty slope for a while, then we both rolled down to the hard dirt to the bottom of the hill in a mutual embrace. We struggled there on the ground until he headbutted me hard enough to make me lose my grip. He then got up and started to run the hill. But I managed to get hold of his ankle and bring him down again, then I clambered on top of him and put him in a hold. We went at it for so long--the whole team yelling encouragements like at a WWF smackdown--that the coach started getting bored and finally blew his whistle and said we could both sit out.

Lest anyone think all this Spartan discipline had any practical effect, our team went 2-8 that year.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:52 PM
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83: I'll go along with bemoaning getting rid of equipment because kids might get their fingers pinched or fall down, but that's different than paying attention to the effects of social play on kids' development and stepping in when games (as they will, occasionally) get out of hand.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:53 PM
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No, the concept of spontaneously evolved cooperation in iterated positive sum games was beyond our primitive junior high powers of abstraction.

Not to mention that being kicked off the team was likely sufficient motivation to prevent that from happening.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:54 PM
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Hey, I went to elementary school in the heartland too, you know. We had the National Guardsmen come by and demonstrate things like rappelling down the side of the school and talk about "command presence" and how to project your voice.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:54 PM
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85: Okay, I might be wrong, having not read the article. But touch football is basically tag, and depending on what's going on, it could be playing precisely the same role.

(Full disclosure: PK's teacher has periodically "banned" "Yoshi club" when the exclusionary or hazing aspects of the game got out of hand. Then the kids get to "try it again" a few weeks later, things go okay for a while, it gets banned again, etc.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:55 PM
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I assume ogged is joking about the sadism.

Mistake. See prior thread on torture (or whatever) relieving our suppressed need to beat the shit out of each other. (Or some similar claim; I can't remember.) I didn't buy it then, but I do buy it--to some extent--here. And, as someone noted above, it's a game that the not otherwise athletically endowed cand play pretty well.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:55 PM
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Not to mention that being kicked off the team

Not to mention that junior high kids love games like that and would play them for hours.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:55 PM
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Lest anyone think all this Spartan discipline had any practical effect, our team went 2-8 that year.

Yeah, I heard all those crazy other teams were practicing catching and other bullshit. Weird.

I do wish our school had a football team. I also wish colleges had weight-class football. It's too cool of a game and hitting people is too much fun to be wasted on only big dudes.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:56 PM
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We had the National Guardsmen come by and demonstrate things like rappelling down the side of the school and talk about "command presence" and how to project your voice.

Then they pegged the kids in the heads with big rubber balls and told them to quit their blubbering.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:56 PM
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Were these ferocious Winnetka National Guardsmen?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:57 PM
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Then they pegged the kids in the heads with big rubber balls and told them to quit their blubbering.

That was kindergarten. There's a cute little Farsi rhyme that basically means "Play entails broken bones." I admit that I heard it a few times as a kid when I whined.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:58 PM
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Tetherball was all the rage when I was in elementary school. Last time I was near the playground, the tetherball pole was gone. I wonder if it just fell out of fashion or if someone hurt themselves trying to 'rope' another player.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:58 PM
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83: Really? No more merry-go-rounds?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:58 PM
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Not to mention that junior high kids love games like that and would play them for hours.

Actually bull in the ring sounds kind of fun now.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:58 PM
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Were these ferocious Winnetka National Guardsmen?

I went to elementary school Elsewhere.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:58 PM
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Having read the article, I think the school is completely in the right. If the playground's overcrowded, and games of tag have become opportunities to grab or shove people who are just standing around or doing other things, then banning tag makes sense. Plus the school's having the kids play tag in P.E., where it can be better supervised, so they're still getting to run around just fine. Blaming the principal for trying to keep an overcrowded playground safe is really missing the forest for the trees.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:59 PM
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Yoshi club?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:59 PM
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I'll go along with bemoaning getting rid of equipment because kids might get their fingers pinched or fall down

B.'s opinions are like the anti-matter equivalent of mine. Getting rid of dangerous equipment is smart practice. There are perfectly adequate substitutes made of safer materials and with the benefit of many decades of design improvements. It's not a matter of pinched fingers; it's the stuff that can cause (and has caused) severed limbs, strangulation, or spinal cord damage. (Plus, the stuff needs to be replaced at intervals anyway, so why not update to something safer?

Tag, by contrast, doesn't multiply the force of small bodies with any mechanical advantage.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 12:59 PM
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I'll go along with bemoaning getting rid of equipment because kids might get their fingers pinched or fall down

B.'s opinions are like the anti-matter equivalent of mine. Getting rid of dangerous equipment is smart practice. There are perfectly adequate substitutes made of safer materials and with the benefit of many decades of design improvements. It's not a matter of pinched fingers; it's the stuff that can cause (and has caused) severed limbs, strangulation, or spinal cord damage. (Plus, the stuff needs to be replaced at intervals anyway, so why not update to something safer?

Tag, by contrast, doesn't multiply the force of small bodies with any mechanical advantage.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:00 PM
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101: I went to elementary school Elsewhere.

It was a hard life in Hinsdale.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:01 PM
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Hinsdale.

Now that's just mean. Can't you play nicely?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:02 PM
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Getting rid of dangerous equipment is smart practice.

It is. When I look back at most of the playground equipment I grew up using, I'm shocked that I didn't see more bones sticking through skin than I did. It's almost like the adults were trying to think the herd. But oh man did I love those crazy-ass merry-go-round things, which really are a recipe for fractures.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:02 PM
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It's not a matter of pinched fingers; it's the stuff that can cause (and has caused) severed limbs, strangulation, or spinal cord damage.

Yeah, although accidents still do happen (my 6 year-old nephew broke his elbow on the jungle gym recently, and needs surgery).


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:02 PM
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Yeah, I heard all those crazy other teams were practicing catching and other bullshit. Weird.

The wisdom of this comment is proved by the experience of the following year, when we got a non-crazy coach and went 7-3, with an arguably less talented team.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:02 PM
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Er, thin the herd.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:03 PM
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103: They made it up. It's named after a Mario character.

104: It's not a matter of pinched fingers; it's the stuff that can cause (and has caused) severed limbs, strangulation, or spinal cord damage.

Look, if equipment is genuinely dangerous, then fine, you get rid of it. OTOH, the fact is that children can jump off of just about anything: if the "spinal cord damage" fear is that some daredevil dove head-first off the top of the slide, then I'm not inclined to see the slide as a safety hazard.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:04 PM
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then I'm not inclined to see the slide as a safety hazard

See, this is pretty much my take on the tag. On the other hand, I suffered a pretty nasty ligament tear in my leg when I was four from jumping off the top of the really tall slide ("but he dared me!"). So maybe my take is a bit skewed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:06 PM
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if the "spinal cord damage" fear is that some daredevil dove head-first off the top of the slide, then I'm not inclined to see the slide as a safety hazard

B. joins the tort reform movement.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:07 PM
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I also loved cooperation games like the complicated hand-clapping ones. "Down-down baby, down by the roller coaster". Or patterns or rhythms that got extended and more complicated with each person, and you try to go without making a mistake. Etc.

Oh, and I like to sing and play dress up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:07 PM
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But oh man did I love those crazy-ass merry-go-round things, which really are a recipe for fractures.

They are absolutely awesome. And were still around in my semi-heartland suburb well into my adolescence.

I should check, but I don't think I've seen them around in any city parks.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:07 PM
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and you try to go without making a mistake

...'cause if you mess up, the person next to you gets to punch you in the arm as hard as they can. I remember those games!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:08 PM
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Apo is an outlier and should not be included in normal-people pools.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:08 PM
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Because he pees in them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:11 PM
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Eh, after reading the article, B's position might be reasonable. (That hurt me more than getting hit in dodgeball ever did.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:12 PM
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Zing zing zing zing
Eenny meeny bitsarini
Oop bop bopalini
Otchykotchy fibberacci
I hate you
Take a peach, take a pear
Take a bite of underwear
When the teacher rings the bell
Close your books and run like hell!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:12 PM
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I also loved cooperation games like the complicated hand-clapping ones. "Down-down baby, down by the roller coaster". Or patterns or rhythms that got extended and more complicated with each person, and you try to go without making a mistake

This was, in fact, the origin of heebie's dissertation topic: Application of Fourier Series to Playground Jump Rope Stunt Sequences.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:13 PM
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If the playground's overcrowded, and games of tag have become opportunities to grab or shove people who are just standing around or doing other things, then banning tag makes sense it's time to up the ante and hand out claymores and falchions.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:13 PM
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92: Mistake. See prior thread on torture (or whatever) relieving our suppressed need to beat the shit out of each other. (Or some similar claim; I can't remember.) I didn't buy it then, but I do buy it--to some extent--here. And, as someone noted above, it's a game that the not otherwise athletically endowed cand play pretty well.

And I buy the claim in a general way as well: we need outlets for aggression. That's in part because we repress so fucking much on a regular basis. In any case, among pubescent kids, the sanctioned acting out of hatreds is not something that serves us well.

This is all apart from whatever the thread's ostensible topic is, banning "tag" games and whatnot. I haven't read about that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:13 PM
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I don't think I've seen them around in any city parks

You can still order them, but what sort of tiny children are people making these days that this would fit 30?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:13 PM
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Ogged's 66 makes a great point -- and I like the cross-cultural comparison. I'd be inclined to say the following:

1. It is true that's there's something intrinsic "rot" at work
2. That said, US society has a couple of features that makes it susceptible to "personality type aggregation" -- the idea that people with a certain personality type take over a field, and then change the culture of that field in a self-reinforcing fashion such that the ideology of the field becomes the reflection of a personality type. Some of these attributes -- flexibility, openness to bottom-up input, and the idea that your personality should influence how you do your job -- aren't entirely negative. That said, we now have a world where people in the "helping professions" think talking things through is helpful. Not because of evidence, but because they are all the types of people who like to talk things through.
3. As a test case, it would be great to know generally how the personality stereotyping of professions differs culturally.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:13 PM
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If only he stopped at peeing, Heebie.

My 58 year old sister shit in my bath water 56 years ago, and I'll never forgive her for that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:14 PM
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That's in part because we repress so fucking much

There are a couple of words out of sequence there at the end, parsimon.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:14 PM
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Bill Cosby with a different take on playground equipment (on topic, but no his best).

For an interesting literary treatment of the spirit of the playground, I strongly recommend Antrim's The Hundred Brothers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:15 PM
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i) B is totally right on this one. At various schools/preschools/daycares my kids have attended there have been blanket bans on pokemon games, superhero shirts, and other stuff that looks stupid until you see the dynamic that had built up around the game.

ii) Recess? What kind of retrograde school is this, letting those kids see the light of day. Testing and curriculum taken care of that around here.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:15 PM
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Oop bop bopalini
Otchykotchy fibberacci

That rhyme went "otchykotchy Fibonacci" at heebie's playground.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:17 PM
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"Down-down baby, down by the roller coaster"

Oh, gosh. I remember that. I could do that right now. That and "Chinaman, had a wife . . ." Ugh!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:17 PM
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"Down-down baby, down by the roller coaster"

This has set off a memory capsule for me, but the lyrics I remember are: "down by the something of hanky-panky, where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky, something something, with an ee eye oh oo, ee-slap-a-dilly and a [pause] baroumph."

Much more satisfying was the hand-clappy game to "Take me out to the ballpark," which I've had stuck in my head for about three years now. The percussive element is in a different rhythm than the song, so it's challenging, see.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:17 PM
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B is totally right on this one.

spaz apparently needs a refresher on the house rules.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:18 PM
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3. As a test case, it would be great to know generally how the personality stereotyping of professions differs culturally.

My first year in grad school, we all took a "How to teach" class, to help us be happy TAs. One day we had a speaker, who wanted us to understand that there are many, many learning styles. To illustrate this, they had us take a short test to diagnose our own learning style, and then we plotted the class's range of styles on a graph. Unsurprisingly, we all clustered in one corner, and thus sabotaged the demonstration. Hooray.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:19 PM
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On the veldt women played hand-clapping games with small stones, which makes them good at housekeeping, service work, retail, and childcare.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:19 PM
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126: I'm not sure I buy #2. I wasn't really joking when I said "pluralism." I think talking becomes the bridge between the culture of people that dominate a field (e.g., male) and the cultures of people we'd like to see get a good foothold in the field (e.g., female). I mean, it's either talking or shooting.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:19 PM
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Down in the valley where the green grass grows
There sat [jumper], as sweet as a rose
She sang, she sang, she sang so sweet,
Along came [jumper's crush] and kissed her on the cheek.
How many kisses did she get?
[revolve rope very quickly, trip, fall down]

Cinderella, dressed in yella
went up stairs to kiss her fella
By mistake she kissed a snake
How many doctors did it take?
[revolve rope very quickly, trip, fall down]


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:20 PM
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All of these games sound awesome. I miss dodgeball, tetherball and red rover. I was always crappy at tag because I was slow; being able to tackle people would have given me a distinct advantage, which would have been great.

The most sadistic game I played in High School was Guts with a frisbee, where you line up like red rover maybe 10 or 15 feet apart and, instead of running, whip a frisbee as hard as you can at the other team's heads. If they catch it, they get to throw.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:21 PM
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baa at 32: Unfortunately, wusses love nurturing torturing.

Fixed it for you, you little pissant.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:22 PM
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Do kids still play hand-clappy games? Or do double dutch? I haven't seen it. Double-dutch is probably as dangerous as anything else on a playground. Chinese jumprope was even recognised as kinda dangerous when I was a kid---seeing as the "fancy" moves involved getting your ankles tangled up in the elastic and then trying to jump yourself free.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:22 PM
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By mistake she kissed a snake

Oh my.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:22 PM
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spaz apparently needs a refresher on the house rules.

I can't decide if the original line was more of a troll or a setup. Both, I guess.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:23 PM
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Yeah, that rhyme sounds a lot different than it did when I was ten.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:23 PM
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I played the Cinderella, dressed in yella game but not the Down in the valley one.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:24 PM
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Oh man, I loved Chinese jumprope. And when they brought out the parachute during PE.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:24 PM
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Do kids still play hand-clappy games? Or do double dutch?

My daughter has been working on double dutch with friends - I'm not sure if they play it at school. Hand clappy things, not so much.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:25 PM
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139: All great games when the participants opt in.

And the rhyming games always had regional and neighborhood variations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:25 PM
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Bloody knuckles was pretty popular along about 6th grade or so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:26 PM
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135: A friend of mine worked in a hospital lab which was having serious problems with feuds and spats, so a specialist was called and gave them a test. Everyone in the lab clustered in the "compulsive-obsessive taciturn introvert who holds grudges" corner, except one who was in the "chatty routine extrovert who holds grudges" corner. The specialist was visibly at a loss for what to say. She may have had to phone back to her supervisor. "I've never had to deal with a team like this one before".

We had a secretary there from Finland who reported that she had lunch with this group, and in 40 minutes no one said a word to anyone else. "I thought I was back in Finland", she said.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:26 PM
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we now have a world where people in the "helping professions" think talking things through is helpful. Not because of evidence

Except for, you know, vast amounts of psychiatric literature.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:27 PM
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To illustrate this, they had us take a short test to diagnose our own learning style, and then we plotted the class's range of styles on a graph.

Best use of a graph as a pedagogical aid I ever saw. On the first day of introductory statistics, we had to fill out a card with our name and some basic information about ourselves. Among other things, the card asked for SAT scores. I thought this a little odd, but what the hell, I wrote mine down, giving myself a little credit by rounding up a **90 to a **00.

A week into the course, the lecturer was talking about various types of biases you might encounter in data, and he put up a graph of the self-reported SAT scores versus the data that the registrar had on file (all anonymous, of course). At least 2/3 of the class had exaggerated their scores.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:27 PM
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126.2 in toto, but also:

That said, we now have a world where people in the "helping professions" think talking things through is helpful. Not because of evidence, but because they are all the types of people who like to talk things through.

No, this has nothing to do with certain 'helping professions.' It's a 20th century American cultural phenomenon. We have come to disfavor strong, negative emotions -- anger, fear, jealousy or envy -- and the culture as a whole has filled in the gaps that are left by promoting a culture of talk. Talk it through, or vicariously enact it, and it will go away.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:28 PM
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Oh yeah, bloody knuckles. I confess I found that pointless even as a kid, but I did play a lot of "Mercy" where you intertwine your fingers (palms facing each other) with your opponent, and try to bend their fingers back until they say "mercy."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:28 PM
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148: well, yeah. Throwing frisbees at the heads of unsuspecting people is fun, but it's an asymmetric kind of fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:28 PM
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And when they brought out the parachute during PE.

Now I might just squeal with nostalgia.


Posted by: blogger with masculinity issues | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:28 PM
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To illustrate this, they had us take a short test to diagnose our own learning style, and then we plotted the class's range of styles on a graph. Unsurprisingly, we all clustered in one corner, and thus sabotaged the demonstration. Hooray.

Ha! But really, it's almost a crime to have education policy designed almost exclusively by people who really enjoyed school.

I think talking becomes the bridge

Right, but some people don't want that bridges. They aren't comfortable talking about what they want. A talking culture makes them uncomfortable/miserable. A true pluralism would allow multiple styles to thrive. The ideal version of this may be hopeless, but surely we're not doomed to consensus cultures...


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:29 PM
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I found that pointless even as a kid

Way to reinforce the "Democrats are effete elitists" meme, Ogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:30 PM
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Paper football, bubblegum tape canister hockey, and pencil fighting were all popular in elementary school on rainy or wintery days with no recess.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:30 PM
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He did jumprope games and double dutch during recess at school, but hand clappy games were almost entirely a summer camp phenom. Hand clap games and jacks -- all the young people were wild for jacks.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:31 PM
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He=We


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:31 PM
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156: oh, I know. Squeeeeeeeeeeethatwassofun!

it's almost a crime to have education policy designed almost exclusively by people who really enjoyed school

Meet Division 1 football programs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:31 PM
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I ruled at Mercy. Big hands, flexible fingers, and a stubborn streak.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:31 PM
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146, 156: Go see the Cirque do Soleil "Love" show in Vegas.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:32 PM
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I was really good at bloody knuckles. Not so much at mercy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:32 PM
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You know what they say about schoolgirls with big hands.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:33 PM
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a stubborn streak

Yeah, my trump card was that my friends weren't willing to break my fingers. Pussies.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:34 PM
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135: That wasn't sabotage so much as a failure of preparation. The quick answer to your class graph is "and this is why you're all in this class. The rest of the world looks like ..." followed by the graph of expected results. I mean, duh.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:34 PM
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Also, remember all those fuck-you tricks? "I want to show you something neat!" and you'll end up with an Indian rugburn or a mouth full of sand.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:34 PM
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In re: bloody knuckles, mercy, etc. Did any of you ever play the game with the compass (the kind you use in geometry)? You and your adversary placed your right hands flat on the desk, fingers splayed apart, and stabbed the point of a compass into the desk in the gaps between your fingers, going back and forth across the hand as fast as you could? The object was to see who could go the fastest without stabbing himself in the finger? This game frequently ended in injuries that resembed that scene at the end of The Godfather.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:35 PM
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The second year I was a lifeguard -- so I was 15? 16? -- we invented a game. We would steal straws and frilly toothpicks from the restaurant at the beachclub. Then, sitting in our little perch on the beach we -- there were always two of us there -- would load the frilly toothpicks in the straws and shoot them as hard as we could into each other's legs. The goal was to make as many as you could *stick* there in the other person's leg -- and you couldn't pull them out until the game was over.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:35 PM
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psychiatric literature.

The latter word being the important one. I really enjoyed "The Alienist."

they aren't comfortable talking about what they want. A talking culture makes them uncomfortable/miserable. A true pluralism would allow multiple styles to thrive. The ideal version of this may be hopeless, but surely we're not doomed to consensus cultures...

Fair point. There's still shooting.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:35 PM
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I wonder what correlation exists between people who enjoyed the sadistic games as kids and people who excelled at drinking games as adults.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:36 PM
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I think talking becomes the bridge

Nu! Bidding up a contract becomes the bridge!

I tried to find a youtube of the hand-clap we used to do to "take me out to the ballgame" but found instead 1) giggling idiots doing nothing recognisable, 2) seriously awesome "Stomp!" knock-offs, 3) endless rehashes of "say say oh playmate."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:36 PM
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Did any of you ever play the game with the compass (the kind you use in geometry)? You and your adversary placed your right hands flat on the desk, fingers splayed apart, and stabbed the point of a compass into the desk in the gaps between your fingers, going back and forth across the hand as fast as you could? The object was to see who could go the fastest without stabbing himself in the finger?

Man, someone should invent playing this game with a knife. Now that would be scary.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:36 PM
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stabbed the point of a compass into the desk in the gaps between your fingers, going back and forth across the hand as fast as you could?

I think we called it something like Mumblety Pegs. Played it a few times. Slowly.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:37 PM
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170: technically that should be played with a knife.

In high school my friends and I created a series of "Really Dumb Games", the winner of each of which being the person who could do something pointless and/or painful the longest. The first one was sticking your hand out a car window in mid-winter, while travelling at highway speed. The worst was eating tablespoon-fulls of powdered iced tea mix. I won, but it was like inhaling a sandstorm; all your saliva was instantly wicked away, and every spoonful after that was scratchy torture to swallow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:39 PM
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One summer I ended up at summer camp with a counselor who thought playing "two for flinching" (as in Stand by Me) was great fun. He was lucky I didn't stab his eyes out in his sleep.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:39 PM
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Hey, Aliens was on last night. The android guy does it really really fast.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:39 PM
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176: Too scary. We never played. Had a teacher that did it to students as punishment for a while.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:39 PM
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Mumblety Pegs was that game's name in the early nineteenth century, so, odd's are, that's still a name for it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:39 PM
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Next UnfoggeDCon, we should get one of these.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:40 PM
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I suppose double-dutch is out, too.

My kid once socked the fifth grade bully on the playground. As he explained, "I tried using my words, but he wouldn't listen, and he kept making X cry. So I stopped him." The FGB's parents, Russian immigrants, didn't seem at all upset that their kid was routinely picking on smaller children - "You have to get ahead in this country" was their mantra. How endorsing their son's habit of tormenting others would aid him in his future endeavours was not clear.

Therein lies the problem, IMNSHO - how fucking hard is it to understand that one has to socialise one's kids? I was either blessed with the most rational child on earth or the parental units I see who seem to be ignoring it as their kids barrel into people in the mall or taunt other kids or throw things aren't doing their jobs. [Or have borne the children of Satan, take your pick.] Yes, I know that kids get carried away on the playground, but it is possible to instill some basic rules into their plastic little brains. That's why we're bigger than they are and have the credit cards. Doting on unacceptable behaviours leads one's children to grow up to be mortgage bankers and Vice Presidents.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:40 PM
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So heebie-pwned. So, so heebie-pwned. I bet she didn't play really dumb games, though.

Apostropher makes a fascinating point. I bet the correlation is very high.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:41 PM
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The worst was eating tablespoon-fulls of powdered iced tea mix

Smoking oregano was pretty friggin' awful, as I recall.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:41 PM
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this has nothing to do with certain 'helping professions.' It's a 20th century American cultural phenomenon.

Parsimon, I think the question is why it's a 20th c American cultural phenomenon. I think that as you say, part of this is the disfavor of strong negative emotions (what I, and ogged, are calling "the rot"). It is my impression that there are other dynamics at play -- suspect American professions tend to be more malleable to the personalities of the incumbents than in other countries. We have more of an expectation that you should a) succeed by being you, b) bring your personality into the workplace, c) defer to local expertise. Of course, this is all hypothesis...


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:41 PM
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178: I went to a camp where that was all the rage. It devolved eventually, so that flinching during the initial two was grounds for four more punches, with things proceeding geometrically from there. I really hated that camp.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:42 PM
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I wonder what correlation exists between people who enjoyed the sadistic games as kids and people who excelled at drinking games as adults.

So many possibilities for multicollinearity there, the true explanatory variable may be impossible to isolate. If you could get the data, the variable "ratio of father's youthful athletic aspirations to his actual lifetime accomplishments" might give you the best R^2.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:42 PM
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188: You were "It" a lot, weren't you?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:44 PM
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Who was it around here who used to pride himself on his excellent parenting skills until he had another kid with a different personality?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:44 PM
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188: "ratio of father's youthful athletic aspirations to his actual lifetime accomplishments" might give you the best R^2.

I am unconvinced. Many factors lead to an embrace of cheerful masochism.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:45 PM
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187: We didn't take it that far, but the damn counseler never ever flinched.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:45 PM
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Stupidest stupid game: eating about 20 No-Doz.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:45 PM
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167: "Daddy, look, daffodils!"

Dude, I'm willing to break your fingers, but it is boring!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:45 PM
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Heh, pwned by Jackmormon on the dd whilst I was getting laundry into the dryer.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:46 PM
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OTOH, the fact is that children can jump off of just about anything: if the "spinal cord damage" fear is that some daredevil dove head-first off the top of the slide, then I'm not inclined to see the slide as a safety hazard.

I'm proud that when I broke my arm it was in a timeless manner: by running into a fence at top speed (the fence representing the goal line in a touch football game).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:46 PM
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the variable "ratio of father's youthful athletic aspirations to his actual lifetime accomplishments" might give you the best R^2.

Awesome. Some kids did have an almost comical need to prove themselves in pointless ways. We got one guy (who later became a Marine) to eat donut after donut by claiming that someone had eaten one more than he had. "Are you going to let him eat more donuts than you??" No, by god, he wasn't.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:46 PM
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Also, remember all those fuck-you tricks? "I want to show you something neat!" and you'll end up with an Indian rugburn or a mouth full of sand.

Hey, do you like seafood?

How about some ABC gum?


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:47 PM
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Allow me to agree with Ogged and Baa that blind rage and black hatred are more wholesome emotions than school counselors dare to admit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:47 PM
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Which is to say, if shivbunny and I have kids, and the kids take after me, they'll have a tendency towards smartassedness but be relatively well-behaved otherwise, and if they take after him, I'm going to spend their entire childhood explaining rules that are usually not necessary to mention like 'Do not run up and down the hallways shouting just because you like to hear the echo' and 'Do not jump off the basketball hoop.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:47 PM
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Who was it around here who used to pride himself on his excellent parenting skills until he had another kid with a different personality?

I may have said that at one time. What's especially delicious is that now I'm struggling with the first one as she gets older and more obstreperous.

Most likely she's not devil spawn - I'm just failing at my basic responsibilities.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:48 PM
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193: oh, yeah, we did that too, albeit with some coffee in there. Really, the iced tea mix was worse. It's hard to explain how sucky it was.

We actually developed the Final Dumb Games, in case it ever came to that. They were, I believe, "Who can stay on fire the longest?" and "Who can do the most crystal meth at once?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:48 PM
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eating about 20 No-Doz

Ugh. Eating just four in high school resulted in about an hour staring into a trashcan, on the verge of vomiting but never quite getting there. Snorting them: also unpleasant.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:49 PM
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Who was it around here who used to pride himself on his excellent parenting skills until he had another kid with a different personality?

The Apostropher.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:49 PM
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182: In Austria once, I encountered a game at a festival similar to those "test your strength" games where you hammer a lever and try to propel a weight as high as possible up a caliper. Except, instead of a hammer and a lever, the device consists of a dynamo and two conductive poles. The object is to grip the two poles for as long as you can while the voltage escalates. The labels for the top end of the range are apparently taken from the Milgram obedience experiments.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:50 PM
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"You had to get better to die" was the report on the No-Doz. Caffeine actually can be fatal, at what level I don't know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:50 PM
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Periodically at school there would be outbreaks of "cheesers", which involved sneaking up behind someone and doing something painful with the edge of a ruler.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:50 PM
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185: Sounds a bit like the Cinnamon Challenge,
Which itself sounds easier, yet not nearly as rewarding as attempting the same with nutmeg.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:50 PM
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You are overcautious.

I am intrepid.

He is foolhardy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:51 PM
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I may have said that at one time.

I've said it more than once. I have a sneaking suspicion that Noah is going to LOVE pain games.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:51 PM
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Ugh. Eating just four in high school resulted in about an hour staring into a trashcan, on the verge of vomiting but never quite getting there.

Ugh, indeed.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:52 PM
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205: hah! Years ago, my then-roommates and I discovered that two poles at the entrance to a nearby park had been sunk too close to a buried power cable, so that if you touched both poles you would get a shock. At first people would convince other people to touch the poles -- or touch one and convince somebody to touch the other and then shock them -- but eventually we started really getting a taste for it, to the point that one of my roommates spent literally hours hanging on to them one party (he was quite drunk, and may have actually passed out holding on to them). It was also reputed to be a lovely and romantic thing to take a girl to the poles, each hold one, and kiss, but one of our friends tried it and the girl nearly decked him, so maybe not.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:54 PM
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200.---If my honey and I ever have children, they would be such sarcastic, introverted, grudge-holding little bundles of neuroses that only their physical beauty would preserve them into adulthood.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:54 PM
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Caffeine actually can be fatal, at what level I don't know.

That likely depends on the route of introduction.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:55 PM
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in my childhood, like kindergarden aged, we played jump-ropes and 'rezinka', when you jump over and on the long elastic thread circle usually used for the pants' waistbands, i don't know how it is called, making some elaborate figures and holding it higher and higher up to one's neck
then classiki, when you draw squares enumerated from 1 to 12 on the road and jump on them without hitting the lines
i also remember playing games involving folding of one's handkerchiefs in a manner of origami
these all games girls played usually though and max 2-3-4 kids, not in teams or mass
then lapta, which resembles a bit baseball
i do not remember any sadistic games


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:55 PM
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212: On the veldt, the laydeez developed a peculiar antipathy to sudden electric shocks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:56 PM
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i do not remember any sadistic games

Even the Mongol hordes have gone soft. The Martians are going to invade any day now.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:56 PM
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ABC gum?

Between classes one day, a friend of mine asked me if I had any more gum. I pulled the piece out of my mouth and said, "just this."

Without pausing, she took it, popped it in her mouth, chewed once, and made the most wonderful face (I still recall it clearly, 20 years later).

"You didn't ask how long I'd been chewing it. I was about to throw that away. Thanks!"


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:58 PM
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207: We had episodes of rubber-band ambushes. The teacher would turn around and someone would fire a set of doubled or tripled heavy rubber-bands at someone else's head. One "lost" by making enough noise to attract the teacher's attention.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:58 PM
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208: oh. My. God. That video is awesome!

I think it would actually be quite a bit more rewarding with nutmeg, if you call 18 hours of hallucinations rewarding (I know I do!).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:59 PM
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I have a fucking kid who makes "drip" noises every now and then. In college. It doesn't really crack the other kids up now, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:59 PM
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The stupidest game I remember: if someone farted, everyone would say "Toby", and the last one would get punched.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:59 PM
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215: 'rezinka'

We call this "Chinese jumprope."

"classiki"

We call this "hopscotch." For some reason, I'm incredibly nostaglic about hopscotch. It wasn't a popular game even when I was a kid, so when we played, it was always a bit removed from the other kids' bustle and worries. I remember hopscotch as strangely meditative.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 1:59 PM
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The stupidest game I remember: if someone farted, everyone would say "Toby", and the last one would get punched.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:00 PM
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The cinnamon thing is awesome. But not so awesome as snorting wasabi.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:00 PM
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220 continued: I think my favorite part is the cloud of cinnamon coming out of the kid's nose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:01 PM
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186: It is my impression that there are other dynamics at play

The (a), (b) and (c) you mention are all responses to the phenomenon. On a broader scale, the restructuring of strong emotion as 'bad' was a gradual adjustment to the encroachment of the workplace on daily life -- a work environment that initially differed notably from the home environment, though it doesn't so much now -- and to urbanization.

To put it very bluntly, when people increasingly became cogs, they had to learn to behave as cogs. This country's response to that has been to counsel talking things through, keep it out of the public sphere. It shouldn't be a surprise that this culture-wide advice has resulted in professionalization. If you think the changing nature of those professions, or the general psychologizing of the culture, is itself to blame, you're dreaming.

It's weird to me that someone like ogged, who so dislikes public expressions of anger or passion, should inveigh against the so-called rot.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:03 PM
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225: Wasabi?!?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:06 PM
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The stupidest game I remember: if someone farted, everyone would say "Toby", and the last one would get punched.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:12 PM
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224, 229: Somebody punch Emerson.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:13 PM
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A friend and I used to snort Altoid dust while studying in the library for exams.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:14 PM
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Two for double-posting!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:17 PM
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A Russian friend of the family was sent out to work on some big project that used camp labour. The prisoners apparently got high off of concentrated tea - they brewed massive amounts for hours, boiled it down to a paste - and presto hallucinations.


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:20 PM
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spaz apparently needs a refresher on the house rules.

Bah. B is right. When that shit gets out of hand, you gotta break it up. So you take the big bully kids, split 'em off, organize them into two teams, and make them play some game together that involves beating the shit out of each other.

max
['That'll learn the little sods.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:20 PM
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when summer camping, we used toothpaste to paint kid's faces and into noses
jumprope is this, right?
http://www.jumprope.com
we call it 'dees'
'the chinese jumprope' uses elastic bands like our rezinka? well, now i know, i was pretty good at it, until my eyesight got worse and my mom said me to not jump
our hordes were never sadistic fyi, they never used torture, they were ruthless, but simple and did not like prolonged sufferings or took pleasure in others' sufferings for that matter
if they found the guilty as enemy they just killed as quickly as possible and preferably without spilling blood


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:23 PM
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205: An acquaintance of mine ran into that game in South America. His Spanish was not particularly good, and he thought he was yelling "stop" - "Alto!" he cried, "Alto!" So they kept dialing it up... The only good result of this is that he got to be feted later as muy macho and given a great deal of alcohol.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:26 PM
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In the spirit of 233, I was once joking about making pruno at a fancy academic party. Fancy Oxbridge prof in whose honor the fancy party was kept coming up to me to talk to me about my life and my course of study, and I was like, uh, is Dude hitting on me? What is this about? But no, it seems that he was fascinated by my inspirational story -- oudemia's journey from Caged Heat to Cato. In any event, I never got the opportunity to disabuse him of the notion, so when I next run into someone from his institution I will threaten to cut them.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:27 PM
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Application of Fourier Series to Playground Jump Rope Stunt Sequences.

"I didn't mess up! I didn't! Gibbs' phenomenon!"


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:28 PM
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237: from Caged Heat to Cato

I smell a Liberal Fascism 2 subtitle!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:30 PM
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One of my favorite childhood memories--next to that time some kid in summer camp cut off his thumb with the knife he stole from me--is the time I jumped on this geeky, googly-eyed kid who'd called me a pussy for not wanting to play dodgeball, sat on his neck, and filled his mouth with grass.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:33 PM
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201: When the Offspring was teething and very crotchety, I used to rock him and query "Who stole my angel baby and left me the devil brat from Hell?" in lullaby tones. For reasons unknown, that became "devil bat from Hell", and his nickname. He would announce this proudly to little old ladies who bent over his stroller at the mall: "I'm my mommy's devil bat from Hell".

They, of course, would look at me in horror...


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:39 PM
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235.---Yeah, that sounds like "chinese jumprope" alright. Including the part about the advanced levels having the elastic bands around the necks. Dangerous little game, that one.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:40 PM
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Nice one, Populuxe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:48 PM
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Jesus, people. This isn't American Schools Suck. This is American Journalism Sucks. "Some principal somewhere did something stupid" and "some parent somewhere is unhappy with their kid's school" were both old and stale within about 15 minutes after public schools were invented.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:54 PM
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244: way to take all the fun out of it, nerd.

(Throws ball: headshot!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 2:55 PM
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Hey, if you say it just right, "Islamofascists" kind of rhymes with "sorry asses." Just saying.

MC Ogged.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:00 PM
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Oops, it's Apo's post. I'll just be going.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:01 PM
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When I was (briefly) in Scouting, I learned that the stabbingsharp-thing-between-your-fingers game was "Pirate's Poker". Mumblety Peg was where you placed a knife (typically an open pocketknife) on your body and launched it so it flipped, stabbed into the ground, and remained upright. You started easy, with the palm of your hand, and worked your way up to arms, elbows, and foreheads. Mmm, open knives being flipped off of foreheads.

That and setting fire to anything that would spray out of a can were the highlights of that era.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:20 PM
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Re. talking culture: yes, of course people who are averse to talking (often, but obviously not always men) should have that respected. And no one whose idea of these things is more sophisticated than what you can see on afternoon talk shows thinks that talking about conflict will make it go away.

What talking can do, however, is give older people (teachers, parents) the knowledge they need to help kids figure out how to manage and express negative emotions. Hopefully adults don't need to have *everything* spelled out for them, hopefully they can help the uncomfortable-with-talk folks to explain things enough (whether verbally or through some other medium), and hopefully they can help even the kids who can't or won't talk about stuff deal in other ways. Not everyone's verbal, and sure: for some kids the traditional "go play baseball" advice will help a lot more than all the talk therapy in the world (and a good therapist/school psychologist will know this, too). But the idea that bullying isn't "just something that happens" and that we can actually help kids figure out more effective ways of dealing with aggression and conflict is a pretty good one, I think.

(That said, I'm annoyed by things like PK's school's "no gun play, ever!" rule, because--despite being on the "don't like gun play" end of the spectrum myself, I'm coming round to thinking that as symbolic representation of aggressive instincts, it's probably better to let kids have gun play than to think that telling them not to is going to make those aggressive instincts go away.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:21 PM
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245: People with a little less brow ridge would take it more as an opportunity for another couple hundred comments abusing journalists, but if violence is all you have left, I'll just have to rely on a continent and an ocean to protect me.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:23 PM
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250: stupid journalists!

(Throws ball: headshot!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:26 PM
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would load the frilly toothpicks in the straws and shoot them as hard as we could

My husband taught PK how to do that just this weekend.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:27 PM
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248: That's the way I learned those in the '50s. There was also something called "Territory", involving not moving one's feet while talking turns claiming areas as determined by throwing knives into the ground.

And fire and explosions were always fun. One could accumulate a significant amount of black powder by carefully opening rolls and rolls of caps with a razor blade.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:29 PM
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(That said, I'm annoyed by things like PK's school's "no gun play, ever!" rule, because--despite being on the "don't like gun play" end of the spectrum myself, I'm coming round to thinking that as symbolic representation of aggressive instincts, it's probably better to let kids have gun play than to think that telling them not to is going to make those aggressive instincts go away.

Wow. By the time he's hit puberty, you'll have come around to the idea that some of the physical and social* differences we broadly observe in the genders may be motivated by biology.

* Not the status-related ones. And you'll be right to exclude those.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:32 PM
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some of the physical and social* differences we broadly observe in the genders may be motivated by biology.

I don't think I've ever disputed this. What I've disputed is that we can definitively determine what those are, or that even if we could, that knowing that would justify taking those starting places as conclusions.

Also, presumably you mean "sexes" rather than "genders."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:34 PM
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253: it's really a miracle you survived into adulthood, Biohazard. Between the knife throwing, the radioactive materials and the explosives, growing up in the fifties sounds like a hilarious dangerthon 24/7.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:37 PM
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Oh no, "le" and "la" are definitely different.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:38 PM
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something called "Territory", involving not moving one's feet while talking turns claiming areas as determined by throwing knives into the ground.

Priceless: my friend from Israel just told me about this game but didn't know the name. So, so appropriate.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 3:44 PM
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There was also something called "Territory", involving not moving one's feet while talking turns claiming areas as determined by throwing knives into the ground.

This reminds me of a childhood game the rules of which I can only vaguely remember. I think it was called "I Declare War." Using chalk on the pavement, or else a stick in the dirt, we would draw a map of Europe and label different countries. And each kid would claim a country. And then whoever had a turn would bounce a ball and then suddenly call "I declare war on...[Germany, England, etc]" and whoever was Germany or England or etc had to catch the ball while the other kids ran away. I can't remember how it worked, but somehow you could capture others' territory by hitting them with the ball.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:39 PM
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And fire and explosions were always fun. One could accumulate a significant amount of black powder by carefully opening rolls and rolls of caps with a razor blade.

Good times. My dad bought me the Anarchist Cookbook when I was 12 (damn bookstore dude wouldn't sell it to an underage kid). I made my own M-80's and such using reloading powder all the time. I was probably the only kid around who bought cigarettes to delay fuses rather than smoke them.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:39 PM
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'Do not run up and down the hallways shouting just because you like to hear the echo' and 'Do not jump off the basketball hoop.'

Jumping off of high stuff is fun when you're young. We were always jumping off of garages and stuff.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:42 PM
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Stuff stuff stuff.

Also glorious, dodge ball and those merry go round thingies. My dad was a strong guy, and would spin us on those like a madman. We begged for more every time.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:47 PM
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tendency towards smartassedness but be relatively well-behaved otherwise...'Do not run up and down the hallways shouting just because you like to hear the echo' and 'Do not jump off the basketball hoop.'

This effectively describes my two younger children, or thing one and thing two. No points for guessing the sex of either.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:53 PM
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Also, remember all those fuck-you tricks?

Not a one, but I do recall that if your hand is bigger than your face, you probably have cancer.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:53 PM
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I actually always hated tag. But man those merry-go-round things were awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 4:57 PM
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shivbunny, at age two, snuck out of the house, walked across a field, crossed a stream by walking across a narrow plank, and wandered a mile or so away to the neighbor's house, where he asked for cookies. The neighbor lady, who knew him, gave him cookies, and then called his mother, who thought he was still asleep in his crib.

He also jumped off of sheds and houses and built ramps to ride his bike up so he could jump off.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:12 PM
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He also jumped off of sheds and houses and built ramps to ride his bike up so he could jump off.

Well, yeah. Didn't everybody do that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:13 PM
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266: At a similar tender age I climbed the ladder leaning on the house to retrieve my knit cap. My sister, the harridan, had thrown it on the roof.

Mother was not amused.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:24 PM
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He also jumped off of sheds and houses and built ramps to ride his bike up so he could jump off.

Well, yeah. Didn't everybody do that?

You have to put your little brother past the ramp and see how far away he can get before you can't clear him.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:25 PM
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Multiple ditto on the merry-go-round thingy. True, you could probably get mashed up pretty good on one, but hey.

I don't see what's wrong with running up and down the hallways shouting just to hear the echo.

Ah! I've just remembered finding a large, uh, culvert? No. A big concrete tube thing, underground, about 6 feet in diameter with a 2-foot-wide trickle of water running through it. If you got up speed, you could run banking off one side, then the other, for a good ten minutes, shouting (for the echo) all the way. A secret place I only showed a few people.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:25 PM
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Once ensconced, wusses inflict their preferences (which they reify) on everyone else.

But not in the for profit sector!

http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2008-04/can-testosterone-make-you-rich


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:49 PM
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put your little brother past the ramp and see how far away he can get before you can't clear him

When MTV was airing The Young Ones they published a companion book that I remember as being very funny. Q: What is the world record for jumping over nuns with a steamroller? A: Half a nun.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:51 PM
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I've played mercy within the last year. Still fun, stubborn people still can't lose.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 5:56 PM
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266: At a similar age, my uncle escaped from his playpen, made his way to the kitchen, climbed up onto the table and found and ate 1.5 lbs. of butter.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 6:07 PM
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Having read the article, I think

[...]

waitforitwaitforit! everybodyplaceyourbets ....

[...]

the school is completely in the right

Aaaaaah!

This has been another episode of "Ripley's Tales of the Amazingly Predictable".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 6:13 PM
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a large, uh, culvert? No. A big concrete tube thing, underground,

Yes, culvert.

We had a three-foot culvert on our walk home. One fall my brother and I decided to start a contest to see who could crawl through the culvert latest in the year. The first time, there were a few inches of water in the bottom and you could get through dry and mostly clean by getting your hands and knees up on the sides. The last time, it was mostly full of 40-ish degree water. I won, because we figured we'd better change out of our school clothes before crawling through and only I made it out the door before our mother had a chance to ask why exactly we were leaving the house in our oldest pants and no shirts or shoes in late November or thereabout.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 6:18 PM
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256: Looking back, my friends and I were extremely lucky. I mean, we played with carbon tetrachloride, stole ether from the HS chem lab to get high, messed around with mercury until we got bored with it, poked around the insides of television sets to get long sparks, etc. There were some warnings on things but not like now.

It was a time when the grownups really didn't understand what WW2 had brought in terms of technology and the dangers thereof, and adventurous kids could find surplus WW2 stuff to mess with on Canal Street in NYC.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 6:58 PM
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Acutally, tug-of-war can be deadly.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 7:14 PM
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I don't see what's wrong with running up and down the hallways shouting just to hear the echo.

At shivbunny's brother's elementary school, what was wrong with it was that class was going on, the teacher wasn't amused, and the principal advanced the idea that shivbrother should be put on Ritalin.

His mother, however, handled it well. "You just should be glad you didn't have my oldest son in your school."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 7:33 PM
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We had a three-foot culvert on our walk home.

Oh! I'm so glad I'm not the only one. Mine was 6 feet (or maybe 5 feet, as I was probably shorter then). Is that way cool or what? I mean, to avoid getting wet, just run banking off the sides every few steps! If you are not willing or able to run and bank, languish a few feet in with longing.

I don't know why this pleases me so much, but it does.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 7:46 PM
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277: stole ether from the HS chem lab to get high

Oh that's so awesome! I've wanted to do ether for years. What's it like?!?

It's basically impossible to get your hands on now since it's a precursor for so many other drugs. Some day, some day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 8:02 PM
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I don't see what's wrong with running up and down the hallways shouting just to hear the echo.

You don't have children.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 8:04 PM
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Find a place for the children to do the running and shouting where it's okay, then. Life would be boring as hell if people didn't break the rules do unusual things.

Honestly, what do kids get to do these days that's secret at all?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 8:10 PM
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283: sex with priests?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 8:22 PM
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281: Sifu, it's been a while, like 50 years ago. What I remember is, it was sort of like a combination of pot and alcohol. There's the mental freedom, the free-floating thoughts of being on pot added to the physical relaxation of alcohol. More than a little and you start stumbling around and falling into things.

My friend in crime and I would put a little on a rag, put that in a plastic bag, and inhale. That the air-ether mixture might explode, taking our lungs with it, didn't occur to either of us. If you do try it, remember that your breath will stink of it for some time afterwards.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 8:22 PM
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Will do!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 8:23 PM
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I've wanted to do ether for years. What's it like?!

Kinda like nitrous.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:17 PM
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287: dude. You've done it too? I'm so jealous.

Although if it's like nitrous, I've done my share of that (assuming that "share" is measured in dozens or perhaps hundreds of pounds).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:19 PM
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Same deal, theft from high school lab supplies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:21 PM
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Stupid DEA ruining my fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:23 PM
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Incidentally, pretty much anything in the MDA/MDMA/MDEA Pihkal/Tihkal range can be made with Ether and not much else: if only you'd known, and also had a degree in organic chemistry.

Although if I remember you're not a huge fan of the MDMA?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:24 PM
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You remember incorrectly. Maybe you should smoke more pot.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:35 PM
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That's for sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:37 PM
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Hey, there's an idea, seeing as how I successfully compiled all my tax info four hours before the deadline, and my brain is now useless for anything else.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:43 PM
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283: Of course they should get to run and shout. Doing so in secret, and out of earshot, is *preferred*.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-15-08 10:55 PM
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ether is fun. very "my head is a helium balloon floating above me on a long string". you can get wicked bad headaches afterwards, though. as well as falling down and breaking a tooth out, as happened to one friend--not that he cared! at the time.

the game I really liked when I was a kid was four-square. four big squares and kickball, with a kid in each square and the person in the top square determined the rules.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 2:08 AM
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It was a time when the grownups really didn't understand what WW2 had brought in terms of technology and the dangers thereof, and adventurous kids could find surplus WW2 stuff to mess with on Canal Street in NYC.

WWII certainly helped. In Britain we had disused air raid shelters and bomb sites to mess about in too (exposed cellars, ten year old iron ladders, what's unsafe about that?). But you used to be able to get stuff at school long before that. In the 1920s a mate of my father spend a chemistry class cooking up a large bowl of nitro-glycerine from shit that was lying around the lab.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 4:23 AM
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At the age of 13 I was shorter than most of my coevals, and therefore I had to stand on a box in order to reach the controls of the 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannon with which I was attempting to shoot down a target flare. Fortunately, the 114mm Vickers naval gun could be fired from a seated position using a foot pedal.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:02 AM
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Sassafras oil (as in root beer) is a precursor drug for MDMA or something.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:21 AM
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A lot of those aromatic, flammable solvents give you a buzz. Ether, toluene, ethanol, and a friend of mine says acetone. Nitrous oxide is a solvent but not flammable.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:24 AM
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the game I really liked when I was a kid was four-square.

Another great, great game. But it doesn't really work as well as you age.

the person in the top square determined the rules.

Never heard that before.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:26 AM
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300: combine it with flammable things and you have something really special though.

If anyone ever asks if you want to smoke nitrous and ether, say no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:27 AM
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301: really? If the 1 square doesn't get to make rules how can you express your talents at petty tyranny in-game?

The beach I intend to get Blume to this summer has a foursquare board painted on the ground. Maybe we can team up to demolish a couple of fifth graders.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:29 AM
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Never heard that before.

Really. The variety of rule options were part of what made the game fun.

That and the fact that it was unusual for a kids game in that it had a nice balance between everyone playing for themselves, and having the ability to team up to get someone out.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:32 AM
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Maybe we can team up to demolish a couple of fifth graders who will likely be taller than me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:32 AM
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Really. The variety of rule options were part of what made the game fun.

Are we talking about slams, or something else?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-16-08 10:33 AM
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