Strange Childhood Games and How to Play Them

I’m starting to lose count. Is this our 3rd or 4th week of captivity thanks to COVID-19? Work from home. Teach from home. Entertain yourselves from home. What is this? Little House on the Prairie? Whatever span of time it’s been, my well of family-time creativity is about to run dry. People just aren’t wired for this shit anymore. It’s like an episode of the show Naked and Afraid, but in reverse.

What follows here is a post I originally did in 2016. I’m re-sharing it because Coronavirus is about to force me to bring back the games of my childhood. The lock isn’t off the box yet, but when it is…God help us all.

As a parent, it’s easy to worry you’re not doing enough for your kids. Are their schools good enough? Do they have opportunities for friends and memories and all that shit? How much could I get for one of them on eBay, and which one(s) would I sell?

It got me thinking about my childhood and the fun I had with my parents. We used to play some of the best games together! Won’t you come along, on my stroll down memory lane?

Star Wars (The 1977 one)

This was huge back then and err’body wanted to be Luke Skywalker. They also wanted miniature X-Wing fighters, but it’s not like dads could build one in the garage. But my dad did, sort of. He found an old refrigerator (the kind that doesn’t open from the inside), painted a big X on the side and said “There you go, Luke. It is your destiny.” But I only had it for one day! Some nosy neighbor saw my maiden voyage and the police came and got me out. Dad left with them too, and didn’t come back for what seemed like forever!



Footballs. Baseballs. Most families were satisfied with these, but mine liked to test my skills with higher stakes. Whenever I was in the tub, playing 6-year-old games with my boats and hoes, mom or dad would sneak in and “think fast” toss me something!

Usually it was a toaster or hair dryer, but I’d get the occasional iron, clock radio, and one time even a crosscut saw. Pretty much anything with a power cord, but by God I learned to catch!

Zoo Keeper

What child doesn’t love the zoo? Dad didn’t care for it much…something about the bars and bad memories. So even though it was just me and mom, he came along in spirit. He made up a game called Zoo Keeper that was awesome!

Each trip, dad made a list of animals for me to take care of, either by feeding or petting them. Sometimes that list was tough! Zebras and giraffes were easy enough, but rattlesnakes were picky eaters and evidently bears didn’t like to be petted.


Keep Away

I think today kids call this Monkey in the Middle. Or Reckless Endangerment. Whatever it’s called, mom and dad loved this one.

I had asthma/allergy problems back then, and when I got around cats, my lungs closed up tight as a drum. Every morning there were like 3-4 cats in bed with me…which was odd because we didn’t have any cats.

Anyway, mom and dad would be ready for me outside, holding my inhaler. It was a blast chasing them around and crazy how far they could throw! Eventually, one of them would pretend to drop their beer which gave me a chance to grab the inhaler. “I won! I won!”

Dodge Ball

Boy was I good at this! Dad loved playing it after he was done making those funny smelling clouds with his plastic vase-looking thing. But I was just TOO GOOD TO HIT and he would make huge dents in the garage from throwing so hard.

What was really weird is on my first school trip, I found out why he was so bad at it. He’d been using the wrong kind of dodge balls! But this was according to the guy at the 48 Lanes Bowling Alley, so what the hell did he know?






Before anyone calls the police on my parents:

a) We’re way past the statute of limitations, I checked

b) This was satire

c) Satire basically means made-up bullshit.

Have great memories of your own? What has your family been doing to pass the time during Coronavirus lockdown? Don’t be shy…share this and add your favorites!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s