My kids go to an elementary school about one mile from where I went to school as a kid, in the same NYC public school system, in a very similar looking brick building. Picking them up the other day as they got out of school and streamed into the courtyard brought back a lot of memories… Memories that I’d like to put to rest, by SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT.
The following statements are hereby proclaimed INCONTROVERTIBLE for ALL TIME. (Mostly backwards in time – I somehow feel that my kids and their classmates may not know what the heck I’m ranting about for some of these.) In fact, I just may write them up and nail them to the door of the school sometime (but only if I can come up with 95 of them).
THERE ARE NEVER “BACKSIES”. Yes, some kids call out “no backsies”. That does not mean that absent such a declaration, there are implicitly “backsies allowed”. Backsies are never allowed. If you have to be told “no backsies”, you are a putz. If you actually claim that the backsie should count, you are beyond putz all the way to cheater!
THERE IS NO “ELECTRICITY” FOR BEING ON BASE. Look, having a “base” (much less multiple bases) in a game of Tag is already Wuss Factor One. But claiming that people can transmit Basitude by touch or contact is Wuss Factor Ten.
IF YOU ROOF THE BALL, IT’S NOT A HOME RUN. You LOSE and so does your whole team! Especially if it’s my freakin’ ball you roofed! And it was foul anyway!
CATCHING A RICOCHET DOES NOT MAKE THE THROWER OUT AT DODGEBALL. Just because you caught the ball before it hit the ground doesn’t mean the thrower is out, this isn’t baseball and you didn’t catch a line drive or pop-up. If the ball hits someone, and that person doesn’t catch it, but it happens to fly up in the air and someone else catches it, the person who was hit is still out. (It’s a different story if the person who was hit catches it before it hits the ground – you can claim that’s a “juggle” scenario.)
IF YOU THROW THE KICKBALL AND HIT A RUNNER WHILE HE’S OFF BASE, HE’S OUT. Come on, what do you mean “you never heard of that”? You learned to play kickball in the same freakin’ school, with the same freakin’ kids, from the same freakin’ gym teacher as the rest of us, right?!
IF WE’RE FLIPPING BASEBALL CARDS, IT’S LEGAL TO KNOCK YOUR CARD ASIDE. This isn’t like golf where your position is marked for the record. Your card is “in play” and knocking it aside so as to get my card closer to the wall in the final position is not only legal, it is PART OF THE GAME and I WIN. Now gimme that Rusty Staub card!
On a more contemporary note, I noticed that all the classrooms now use whiteboards instead of blackboards, and dry erase markers instead of chalk. I reminisced about doing duty as an eraser clapper, where we had to take a bunch of erasers out to the door to the courtyard and clap the chalk dust off of them for the teacher. Except now I think: Hey, can I sue them for White Lung Syndrome?