Yes, fun existed before video games

Yes, fun existed before video games by Bob Karolevitz When a couple of us got together with nothing else to do, we sometimes played Paper/ Scissors/Rocks.

It was a dumb game, and it hurt a lot when you lost.

As I recall, here's how we played it:

Rocks were doubled-up fists. Scissors were imitated with our index and middle fingers. Open hands held vertically was Paper.

Facing each other, we made our choices on a fast count of three. The object was to out-guess the other guy.

Quite often we both came up with the same Rocks, Scissors or Paper, and in that case it was a tie, and then we had to go through the contortions again.

If there was a difference, though, we figured it out this way:

Paper wraps Rocks. Rocks break Scissors. And Scissors cut paper. (Are you still with me?)

The one who had the winning hand got to slap the other fellow's arm just above the wrist with two fingers adjoining (at least that's how we played it).

At first the hits didn't sting much, but as the game wore on, the welts grew bigger and it hurt more. We grew increasingly more sadistic, too.

Why we subjected ourselves to that kind of torture, I'll never know!

Then there was (or were) Jacks. (If you're a grammatical purist, select your own verb.)

I played them a few times with my late sister Ruth. She was good at it, but I never was. When we got up to twos and threes, I could never grab the Jacks and the little ball at the same time.

The ball would go scooting off � and, after a few misses, so would I. I didn't use bad words, but I felt like it.

(Actually, I knew I wouldn't be a Jacks champion when I couldn't pat my head and rub my tummy concurrently.)

I was better at Pick-Up-Sticks, although I jostled them a lot, too. I also got beat regularly at Tic-Tac-Toe, and I soon decided that childhood games were not for me

Come to think of it, I wasn't too good as a teen-ager either, whatever it was that we played. Of course, we didn't have television or computer games back in the 1930s, so we had to use our imagination or go with what we had.

For instance, I can remember rolling tires, which didn't make much sense. Oh, we had tire wars when there was more than one of us pushing our Goodyears or Firestones. Knocking the other guy's tire over and keeping yours upright was how I remember those battles.

We played Cops and Robbers (John Dillinger was in his hey-day), Cowboys and Indians (it wasn't politically incorrect then) � and if there was a dirt pile nearby, there was always King of the Hill.

Needless to say, that was a long time ago. Now I wonder if today's kids play Rocks/Scissors/Paper or participate in tire confrontations like we did � or are they too smart for that?

© 2004 Robert F. Karolevitz

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