I spent a lot of my childhood playing games requiring someone to be “IT”, as did all of you. There were no video games, no computer games or social media to fill our time. We all just went out after lunch and dinner and looked for someone to play a game. All yard games required a designated “IT”: Hide-n-seek, SPUD, and Kick-the-Can were the favorites. As you know, I had plenty of cousins to play with, but when they were not available, I would go up the street (crossing Wootton Street) and play with the many kids who lived there. I never recall being at a loss for playmates and never complained of “having nothing to do.” With some imagination and a bunch of playmates, we were always busy until dark.
As you know, I research everything, so why shouldn’t I research the methods of determining “IT” throughout my childhood. I realize that the reason I was not familiar with “rock-paper-scissors” is because that is a method of determining a decision between two people. Look at the size of our families. It was a rare occasion when there were only two of us—ever!
So we had a plethora (you will see this word often since it is one of my favorites) of methods to choose “IT”. The most famous was probably “potatoes.” We put in our potatoes, i.e. our fists, and chanted “one potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, more, five potatoes, six potatoes, seven potatoes, more”. The leader touched each person’s fist as everyone recited the chant. The person whose fist was touched last removed that fist. This continued until one fist, remained, and this person became “IT.”
A different twist involved “putting in your feet” and performing some kind of elimination chant. We had “My mother and your mother were hanging out clothes. My mother punched your mother in the nose. What color blood came out?” The person whose foot was touched on the word “out” picked a color, and then another chant continued such as “R-E-D spells red and out you do go.”
Another classic was “Inka Binka bottle of ink, the cork fell off and you do stink, not because you’re dirty, not because you’re clean, just because you kissed the (boy or girl) behind the magazine and out you do go.”
Who can forget:
“Engine, engine, number nine going down Chicago line. If the train falls off the track,
do you want your money back? (You would pick yes or no and the word would be
spelled out.) “N-O spells no and you don’t get your money back or
Y-E-S-spells yes and you shall have you money back.”
But my all time favorite was brought to you by my cousin Timmy. It is a real doozy. I can’t even spell it correctly:
“Eeny, Meeny,Pipsolini. Ah-ooh-bablini. Atcha-gotcha-babalotcha. Out goes Y-O-U.”
What do you all think? Did you girls do this? Are you jealous? We really did this, and I am sure I missed a few.These were truly memorable times!