Get Moving, But Don’t Actually Move?

The evil, dangerous ball with holes

Nothing will draw me out of a long break like a news story such as I read this morning.

Holy crap on a cracker, the people are fa-reaking out over “dangerous” games such as wiffle ball and freeze tag? Excuse me? FREEZE tag, where someone chases the rest of the gang around and the people who get tagged have to STAND STILL? I know; the ERs are full of kids with freeze tag injuries such as grass-stained knees and stiff legs (from all of the, ya know, just standing there.)  According to the officials, Frisbees are safe,but freeze tag isn’t. WHAT? Ever get hit in the head by a Frisbee cuz you’re too busy yacking away with your BFF? No? Happened to me in my backyard when I was about 10. It stings, for cryin’ out loud! I guess Frisbee sting is safe, but wiffle ball sting is potentially deadly.


No freeze tag. No wiffle ball. No kickball. No Red Rover, the  favorite game of Waverly Drive kids in Hamilton, OH in 1967. Too unsafe.  Oh, they’re ok if the camp pays a 200 dollar fee to NY (Ca-CHING!) and has medical staff at hand. You know, with a cold cloth to offer to the kid who got whacked by the kickball.

Green light: Frisbee, tug of war, and sack races. Nobody gets hurt in those? I got Indian burns (sue me, I’m using the archaic term) from the tug of war, and I fell over in the sack race.  Aside from the bruised ego, I had black and blue marks on my legs. I don’t know how I can still sit here and type; I was physically ruined from playing outside.  I think the State Of New York is onto something!

All of this “lets get kids moving” talk from experts and bigmouths like Michelle Obama, and this is what we get? Sissified parents who are so afraid that Emily and Aiden might get a scratch that they can’t even pick up a plastic bat to hit a plastic ball?

Some of my favorite childhood memories are from “sleepaway” camps I went to with the “Y” and Girl Scouts, especially the “Y” camp. I was there for a week in late summer, 1968. I’m sure we played lots of these “unsafe” games. We ran and we swam and we made ashtrays out of clay. We performed skits, drank “bug juice”  and I still remember the names of some couselors (Skipper and Hokey.) What we did not do is sit inside all day,watching tv, eating cheetos, and using the phone to call our friends. The only serious  injury I can remember anyone getting was when one girl butted heads with another while swimming laps. She knocked so hard that, somehow, she bit right through her tongue. I didn’t even see it happen, but the story grossed me out so much that I puked. Well, I was in the pool at the time of the accident, and I had mistakenly thought that she bit her tongue off, and that it had been in the pool. So, that’s what made me hurl.

I loved that oversized sweatshirt so much that I wanted to keep it forever. I could not wait to go back to camp again the following summer, and I spent the school year planning and plotting how to get my parents to cough up the dough to send me for another week.  Tough job when there were four other kids in the family that I had to compete with for that small pot of “extras” money in my folks’ budget. It was not to be, though, since we moved from Ohio to Pennsylvania during the summer of ’69.  So, I had one week’s worth of memories that have lasted all these years. No scars. These parents and the State Of New York need to lighten up already.

What was playing on my transistor radio?


Cry Like A Baby

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