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Kitty Dunn

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The most dangerous game

kidsThe other day we were talking about the dangerous stuff we used to do as kids, that nobody would allow their kids to do these days. I found out a lot of you did stuff that was way more risky than what I did to wile away the hours as a kid back in Stevens Point. We did not play soccer with flaming tennis balls, throw knives at each other, or play tag with a hive full of angry bees. I guess my childhood was more idyllic. We played a charades type game called Lemonade, Kick The Can, Red Light Green Light, and wiffle ball. But some of our games were more unusual than others. Take the game we called "I'm Going Out to Smoke My Pipe." Now I have written about this before, but some people missed the rules the last time around. So here they are again, folks. Print and save for your records. You need at least five or six kids for this game to work well. One child is the dad, another is a witch, another is the babysitter and the rest are all kids, named after the days of the week. Before the game starts, the witch goes over to the side of the house, while the rest (except the "dad") sit on the front steps of whatever house you're playing at. Then this gripping dialog happens: Dad: I'm going out to smoke my pipe, and I won't be back until Saturday night. Babysitter: See you...have a good time (or something like that). The dad goes behind a tree or off to the side..and then the Witch shows up. Witch: May I borrow some bread and butter? Babysitter: Sure! Then the witch grabs a kid, takes him or her to the side of the house and turns him/her into a pie. The kid gets to choose what kind of pie to be. This is important because it comes up later. Then the dad comes back. Dad: Where's Wednesday? (or whichever kid disappeared) Babysitter: She took a walk around the block (obviously not wanting to admit a kid was missing.) Dad: Oh, okay. I'm going out to smoke my pipe and won't be back until Saturday night. Then the scenario with the witch repeats, but she probably asks for something else, like a cup of suger. Another kid disappears and turns into a pie. Finally when all the kids have been turned into pies, the witch takes off with the babysitter too, and she is also turned into a pie. So when the dad comes back from smoking his pipe, he realizes no one is there...so he goes over to the bakery (on the side of the house) to buy a pie. (That's what I'd do if my whole family disappeared, wouldn't you?) The witch (who the dad thinks is a mild mannered baker) asks the dad what kind of pie he wants. He keeps guessing until he guesses the name of one of the pies that one of the kids had chosen. (I usually chose something out of the ordinary like rhubarb or mincemeat to prevent being chosen). Then he chases the kid around the block and gives him/her a whack for running away. Then he comes back and tries to guess another pie, and the game continues that way until all the pies have been guessed, and all the kids have been slapped. I told you it was convoluted.  And I guess kind of cruel. And we played this game a lot in our neighborhood. How else could I have remembered the intricate rules? I have never met another person (other than the awesomely creative kids from my neighborhood) who has ever played this game. Or at least they wouldn't admit it! Maybe some day we'll have a neighborhood reunion and try to relive old times. But I think we'd have to have a few cocktails first.

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07/22/2009 6:45AM
The most dangerous game
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