Sunday, August 22, 2004

Hit Below the Knee

SatoriSam, somewhere in the multitude of comments to his blog entry Heads Up!, responded to something I said by saying, "You win."

I told him I didn't know it was a competition.

This reminded me of the time a bunch of colleagues were discussing childhood games, and I tried to explain the game my brothers and I liked the most on rainy days. This was a game we made up ourselves, called Hit Below the Knee.

The rules of this game were simple, I told my colleagues. You collected all the balls you could find in the house. This could include everything from ping-pong balls to basketballs, plus a few ball-shaped things - pom-poms off woolly hats, for example. We could usually collect 15 or so. (Coming from a large family has its advantages.)

The four of us (the other three had left home already) would then shoo the adults out of the living room, remove all breakables (of which there weren't many - my mother knew better), push the furniture back, pile the balls in the middle, and then someone would shout "GO!" We'd all dive for the balls and throw them at each other. You aimed for below the knee. Everybody would throw at once, and there would be balls flying and children leaping frantically and yelling and laughing and screaming, and this would carry on until we all collapsed into giggling puddles, at which point the game ended. (Do you know how silly your little brother can look when he is leaping to avoid an incoming ball while at the same time throwing one and trying to grab another one?) It was a very fast game. We all ended up with red shins, and laughed so much our stomachs hurt.

At this point my colleagues wanted to know how you won the game. How did we keep score?

Keep score?

I thought about it. The nearest thing to 'winning' I could remember was one time at the end of a game my older brother reached out an arm weak from laughing too much and dropped a ping-pong ball on my shin. We were all lying on the floor, exhausted and giggling. He announced, "I won!" I didn't think that counted.

"Keep score of what?" I asked. "The game was an excuse to hit each other and laugh a lot. Everybody won."

My colleagues thought it was a pointless sort of game, and of course it was. But it was insanely funny, and I'd play it again if I had the energy.


Audie said...

Sounds a great deal like my sister and me when we were little. We had a couple of great games like "Shark Infested Waters" which involved the couch and other bits of furniture representing things that floated and the floor being, well, shark infested waters. We'd try to do simple things like go from one room to the other with out touching the ground. Needless to say my mother called us monkeys and banished us out of doors most days.

Badaunt said...

To Audie:
We had a similar game to that which involved the red bits in the carpet being fire. Since the carpet had a lot of red, this meant we had to do a lot of furniture-clambering in order to avoid getting our feet burnt.

Children and furniture - an irresistable combination.