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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
DonD Folklore: Tag (the game) (78* d) RE: Folklore: Tag 16 Aug 07

First, thanks to all for the memories and especially for the consideration of specifying the geography. No thanks to those who think that saying 'here' is of any use at all. Or perhaps they think they're so famous that everyone knows where they're from.

In The Bronx (does everyone know where that is?) when I was a kid in the thirties (!) we played tag and hide & seek (not hide and go seek) and kick the can, among other street games. Car traffic on our residential streets was sparse, and we resented having to interrupt our play when a motorist appeared. Among the popular games was 'War' which involved placing a rubber ball (a spaldeen if we had one) in the center hole of a manhole cover in the middle of the street, drawing a large segmented chalk circle around it and writing the name of a country in each segment. The players stood with one foot in his segment, leaning away to make a fast getaway but stretching an arm toward the ball. Whoever was it first called "I declare war on ---(naming a country)". The player in the named segment lunged for the ball while everyone else ran in all directions, until the ball-holder yelled 'stop!' He/she then had to throw the ball and try to hit the most vulnerable player. If he hit someone that player would be the one to declare war the next time; if he missed, or if his target caught the ball, the thrower would get to declare war. The choice of country names was always influenced by the news of the day and the politics we heard our parents discussing the night before.
Don't get me stared on 'ring-a-levio', because I can't remember the rules.

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