I overheard something the other day which broke my heart a little. Apparently kids in certain schools now are not allowed to run around! If they are caught slapping their little shoes up and down on the tarmac with raised shrill voices... having fun… then basically the educational system collapses and they’re no better than ISIS. When I was a child growing up in the late 80s and 90s, break time at school was my favourite part of the day! I also loved going out to play on the weekends and the summer holidays were epic. I was a huge tomboy so breaking bones, climbing trees/ walls/ ‘danger of death’ electrical cages and basically fucking myself up when I would fall over was super fun! Some people might say “Shem… that sure sounds mighty dangerous!” Well I might say… “No. Breaking my leg in two places when trying to ‘surf’ down a slide on my feet was character building. Stop being a little bitch!”
Here are 6 fun time games that distracted me through puberty.
One – Every ball game where the object of the game was to stand against a wall and have a football smashed at your face in a frenzied attack. If you managed to get a ball to the face or groin, then you were out!
Two – Playing high jump with a broom handle or a long piece of stick you snapped off of a building/tree. You would then run and jump over the stick (trying to avoid the splinters) landing directly onto shitty grass which was no softer than concrete.
Three – Climbing the wall bars for PE with nothing but a teeny tiny mat with zero cushion to break your fall/neck.
Four – Playing ‘world cup’ football. This was mob mentality at its finest! Either as singles or doubles you picked a country (Brazil or Italy generally were the best!) You then would basically have to kick the shit out of everyone as 20 of you bundled each other and violently swiped at shins to get the ball. If you scored a goal, then you went through to the next round. If you didn’t score, then you were effectively shit and were laughed at by everyone until you cried.
Five – British Bulldog. This was trying to get from one end of the playground to the other whilst avoiding concussion and being clotheslined within an inch of your life.
Six – Wearing slap bands! These fine fashion accessories were bits of bendy metal covered in bright coloured fabric. You then would proceed to aggressively slap them across your wrists and they would magically wrap around. Of course they came with a few injuries so schools began to ban them, but there was still a slap band system operating on the black market! The danger of slashing your wrists just made them more desirable.