Throw away the PSPs, the Playstations, the X-Boxes. The Zapaks, the Need-For-Speeds, the whole damn computer. Let’s get out and indulge in those runaround, sweat-till-your-BO-can-kill-a-man-at-5-paces, frenzied GAMES. That we played when the world was young and new, and God was resting.
Ok boys and girls, time for Gaming 101.
Start with Chor-Police? Two teams – preferably boys vs girls. Wink, nudge – 'tis the only way the girls will chase a dawg-face like you, dawg!
And with a Colony like St Peter’s, there’s a thousand places to hide, and huge lawns to sprint across, and bushes and trees to crouch behind, and staircases that go on up to the terrace, and the Colony Office with its water tank, and the watchman’s shed, and balconies of empty houses on the ground floor, and … whew! Chors’ heaven!
Cheat till they throw you down and sit on your head – but that’s the only way to get your gang outta jail free, forget collecting the 200 dollars when you pass GO, tho’.
Then – the best part. You get to chase the screaming girls! And drag them screaming louder to the jail. Yeah dawg, 'tis the only way you can ever get to hold that cute lil ….. (whoops! names have to be protected) errr… person’s hand.
All caught, it's time to switch – to Frozen-Melted. Girls-vs-boys (of course!). Touch someone, they freeze in whatever position, till someone from their team touches and ‘melts’ them. Cheating mandatory, here’s where you first learn to lie with a straight face.
Relay? Run like your butt’s on fire, holding a bent stick aka baton. Hopefully, no Uncle or Auntie is exiting the building at the same time, or BOOM! Straight down the paths, round the Mayflower tree, back down, round the Christmas tree and pass it, men!
Kick-The-Can? An ancient Oats, Dalda, whatever trophy, rusted preferably. Now, pay attention to the choosing of the ‘Den’. All stand in a circle, wave your hands, shout “Majority Wins!” and thrust palms forward, either facing up or down. All white, do it again. Till one Cleverdick stands apart and goes against the majority. Cleverdick counts to hundred or fifty, usually stops at ten and charges around searching for the hidden. Finds ‘em, and yells, “I spy NevilleAshleyBernuRalphNainiCoretteClaudeSushil … huhhhhh … (deep breath) KarenFionaOrvilleKeithDesiree …” and BAM! Up rushes Sunil who kickblasts the can into outer space. Loophole – if Cleverdick didn’t call your CORRECT NAME, you could blastkick the can. And Cleverdick had to start all over again.
A variation – Sardines, anyone? One dude hides, all others have to find him. Then huddle up till the rest find them. Like a can of sardines. Or a wraparound string of Goa sausages. (Yeah dawg – the only way you’ll ever get close to a girl!)
Seven tiles? A pagoda of old asbestos bits or flattish stones was erected in the middle of the lawn. Members of a team took turns in flinging a ball at the edifice, till they crashed it. The opponents had to grab the ball and fling it to hit any Team 1 member, before Team 1 managed to stack up the tiles into a miniature Eiffel Tower, once again. That bleddi ball could hurt, men, if you took a tight shot!
Langdi? Hop on one foot till you catch the others. I remember some bleddi kangaroos, who took great pleasure in slapping your back so hard when they caught you, the dust didn’t settle for an hour, and the palm-print stayed for a week.
And we wind down with the songs! Boys and girls, all together now… “In and out the sparkling bluebells…” “We’re going to the talkies, we’re going to the fair…” (Found out later the word was talkies, tho we mumbled “turkeys” or “chuckies” or someshit.) Rumble to the bottom??? Who the hey wrote those lyrics, and who the hey taught them to us?
Then “Is the Lamb at home today?” Hold hands in a circle, while the Wolf pushed and shoved to get to the Lamb. Key insight: Make sure the Wolf Guy and the Lamb Girl are ‘pataoing’ each other… Adds to the passion in breaking through the circle.
Then – 9 o’clock and the mothers start their litany, calling the prodigals home for dinner. Happily tired, clothes filthy, BO that would raise the dead. Till tomorrow then, and “Let the Games begin!”