Games that we play #carrotranch

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

I’m Game 

‘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

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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32 Responses to Games that we play #carrotranch

  1. Ritu says:

    Aw His Geoffleship! You look so cute in your Whites!!@

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      I wish my batting lived up to the image

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu says:

        Lol! Lil Man can give you some tips. Apparently he bowls a Chinaman… something rare and not easily teachable! Means nothing to me, but yay for him!

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        It is probably the most racist terminology in cricket, because it describes a left arm leg spinner’s ‘wrong ‘un’ and it was dubbed chinaman because in the early 20th century the Chinese were inscrutable and damned cunning. The left arm chinamen and google bowlers are extremely rare and indeed the right arm aren’t common _ especially as they have so many variations: the leggings, the googly, the slider, the top spinner, the zooter, the Boise, the wrong un… but they are the best to watch bowl, bar none. So tell him to focus on it because he is already my hero for trying probably the most difficult art in sport let alone cricket.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu says:

        Oooh that’s cool!!!! It appears to be a technique he just ‘knows’! I told him to work on it so the opposition batsmen quake in their boots knowing he’s coming up against them!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Erika Kind says:

    “…dressed like a medieval Christmas tree…” you have me bursting 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fish slapping dance…One way to break up the EU.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always been intrigued with Morris Dancers, we even have some groups here you know. It looks like a stately form of genteel exercise – with sticks. Less robust than Irish Dancing and requiring less room than ballroom dancing. However I’ve never done it and aren’t likely to now!
    That’s a lovely field of poppies at the end of this post – is there a reason for it?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mick Canning says:

    Yes…who was it said you should try everything once, except incest and Morris dancing…especially Morris dancing? And, ah yes, the Fish Slapping Dance. Lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So are we to assume you have very scarred thighs? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. willowdot21 says:

    How the North family have grown on me!! As for Morris Dancers they scare me!I much prefer the fish dance too!!💝🎆

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Norah says:

    Hi Geoff, I enjoyed this post. Pauline sort-of said what I wanted. I have always been fascinated by Morris dancing. It looks so fun and fancy free. These ones you’ve recorded are a little more rustic, for want of a better word, than some I’ve seen. I think I’d like skipping around beating sticks with Morris dancing – maybe more fun that line dancing. One day – maybe. I don’t think I’ll take up fish slapping though. 🙂
    I like the way you put a little competition, or not, into your flash. Thanks for answering Pauline’s, and my, question about the poppies.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Norah says:

    Oh, and I meant to comment on your book marketing ability. If I’ve read that correctly, I wish you more success in that area. Finding an audience is difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Games for the Fun of It « Carrot Ranch Communications

  11. I loved this post, Geoff. I enjoyed seeing all you pictures – the English have so much wonderful tradition and dancing.

    Liked by 1 person

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