Games Children Play

…..What kind of stupid game was this? Run up to some strangers house, knock on their front door, run away, very fast, hide out of sight, then watch the poor sod open the door, look around at nothing, shrug their shoulders, then go back inside.  Why on earth did we find this so hilarious? God only knows. We were kids after all.  This would not have been so bad if we didn’t continue to rant on about this at the same abode.  What did we expect to happen? To get caught of course.  And why did we call it “Nicky, Nicky Nine Doors?” And who was Nicky?

To a ten year old this was very dangerous, exciting stuff.  It was also very stupid.  And if we were really stupid we would find some dog shit, put it in a brown paper bag, run up to a door, light the bag on fire, place it on the stoop, strategically, so as to be about a foot or so away from the threshold, knock hard on the door then run away.  The aim here was for the homeowner, resident, family member, whoever, to open the door, spot the fire bag, stomp on it to put the flames out, and then watch the shit and curses fly.  As we laughed our guts out, it should not have surprised us in the least that someone would spot us and give chase.  But that was the real danger here: the excitement, the adrenalin rush.  If some homeowner did spot us and decided to give chase we would split up running in all directions.  This provided a conundrum to the chaser on who would be the chase-ee.  Pity the poor fool who was the slowest runner for he or she became the obvious target of the homeowner. As kids we were pretty smart that way.  Luckily for me I was never caught.

The dog shit setting and set-up was just one progression of creative thought in this game. Evolution and change management being the very essence and credence of human nature and action, it would not have been good enough just to knock on a door, run away and watch the fireworks develop.  No, no, no we had to come up with the dog shit scenario to make things more interesting.  As things progressed and as we became more mature in game play, we came up with the ultimate challenge: multiple targets. How? We needed at least five players here. The aim was to go up to 5 separate houses, knock hard, run away, hide, then hope to the highest hope that five separate doors would open simultaneously with five confused startled faces peering out into the unknown.  Look to the right, look to the left, look at one another and in a really stupid fashion, shrug their collective shoulders, slam their collective doors while uttering some expletive deletive, collectively speaking of course. The ultimate hilariousness here would have been to include the dog shit with the multiple targets.  But with everything in life there are consequences in trying to do too much with too little.  Synchronization by ten year olds was just too much of a stretch and too complicated to achieve.  On top of that there were too few resources in dog shit and brown paper bags. There was a life lesson here of course and on top of all that this would have been our “Shit Too Far.”….