Charli’s prompt this week is
June 8, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves playing an outdoor game, like tetherball, hoops, tag. It can be made up, traditional, cultural or any kind of twist. Go where the prompt leads.
Games have meant a lot to me. As a boy I was a bit of a lump by the standards of the day. I never really mastered swimming and other boys had better motor skills at games like football. I have a vivid memory of one humiliation at primary school involving a coir mat and a forward roll which I think is best left to the imagination.
In fact it was imagination where I succeeded. I came up with ideas for games, using the school play ground or the field behind where we lived as a blank canvas on which to sketch out some new version of ‘it’ or hide and seek. Not that I ever was any good at my own games – great at ideas, crap at implementation – I was my own metaphor for my book marketing abilities…
One game we had, in the cul-de-sac where I lived, involved using our bikes in a sort of formation game of mobile chicken. There was a dropped kerb on the corner – a blind corner. On a shout from one rider two of us would pedal hard at the kerb from opposite directions, the idea being to shoot up onto the pavement as the other rider, coming from round the bend did the same and see who could get there first while avoiding each other. If you were first, you won but the real winner was whoever came in just ahead of their opponent and not swerving or leaving the racing line as you passed them. Then you were accorded hero status. Or you crashed and ended up with abrasions the size and shape of Australia all down your thighs. Perfect really.
One thing that intrigued me then – still does in truth – is the idea of the adult game. I love organised sport and the war without guns side of competition but there are some past-times, more so than games that are not competitive per se yet fascinate me.
Morris dancing for instance. Ok it’s not a sport but it certainly seems to fit the mould of a game to me. A past-time at least. And taken very seriously.
But grown men and now women performing a ritualised dance routine while dressed like a medieval Christmas tree – hmm, beats me.
However, and here is the thing, so what if I think they are a couple of bells short of a glockenspiel.
They are having fun, entertaining themselves and others and often raise money for charity. What’s not to like?
Though personally I’ve always been partial to the fish slapping dance
This week’s flash sees the North family at the beach
‘What shall we play? Rounders? Frisbee? Wheelbarrows?’
Penny and Mary exchanged a look as Paul pulled a ball from the bag. Penny giggled. “I’ll look after Charlotte, mum. You can be dad’s stooge.’
‘Stooge?’ Paul put hands on hips. ‘Is that what that school teaches.’
‘Love the double teapot, dad. What about a sand sculpture?’
Paul smiled. ‘Best one gets to choose the ice cream.’
‘Does everything have to be a competition, dad?’
Paul began digging. ‘Hmm?’
Mary whispered to her daughter. ‘Give it an hour and he’ll be fast asleep. Then we can go and get some tea.’
If you’d like to catch up with the North clan, click here