Monday, May 10, 2010

You're It, Seven Readers!

I was playing tag with a seven-year-old the other day, and just while I was wondering how in the heck we decide who starts out being "it," she got down on one knee and started touching each of our shoes in succession to the tune of . . .

Bbubble gum, bubble gum in a dish
How many pieces do you wish?

Dr. Ken: Uh, three?

One, two three, and you are it!

Now, when I was a kid, it would have been . . .

One, two, three, and you are NOT it. Not because you're dirty, not because you're clean, just because you kissed a boy behind a Playboy magazine.

Fucked up, right? But not as fucked up as this . . .

My mother and your mother were hanging clothes
My mother punched your mother right in the nose
What color blood came out

Other Person: Blue

B-L-U-E and you are not it
(then the Playboy magazine riff)

I always wondered what the dispute was all about with those mothers hanging the clothes. Maybe your mother took a clothes pin from my mother when my mother wasn't looking? Also, it's awful sexist to pigeonhole the moms into domestic duties like that, right?

Some do One Potato, Two Potato, like this:

One potato, two potato, three potato, four,
five potato, six potato, seven potato more.
Icha bacha, soda cracker,
Icha bacha boo.
Icha bacha, soda cracker, out goes Y-O-U!

I didn't look this one up, but I'm guessing it comes from Ireland with all that talk of potatoes and soda crackers.

Another one goes:

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he hollers, let him go
Eeny, meeny, miny moe

A much more offensive, outdated, racist version substitutes the word "nigger" for "tiger," and then says:
If he won't work, let him go

Yikes. How horrible! I'm glad school children aren't using that version anymore, but I'm sure PITA is offended by kids condoning grabbing poor tigers by their toes.

A couple more things:

When you were playing Hide-n'-Seek, Kick the Can, or Ghost in the Graveyard, and you wanted to indicate that you could come out from hiding without losing the game, did you ever say:

Olly, olly oxen free!

Also, what did you call the safe place to stand or the safe thing to touch in a game of tag, for instance? Was it goal, ghoul, base, or something else? Also, if one guy is touching it, could that guy reach out to grab the hand of another person to keep that person safe through touching the person touching the safe haven, and then that person could reach out to grab the hand of another, and so on, like so many paper dolls? And did you call this effect "electricity?"

Let me know, Seven Readers.


The Same Idiot That Inquired About the Bicycle/Big Wheel Ice Cream Store


JerseySjov said...

*"tarzan the jungle man
swinging on a rubber band
slipped and fell and broke his hand
what color was the blood?"
we also did bubblegum and eeny-meeny, but never that potato ish... too many italians in my hometown for that to catch on maybe?

controversy would arise when someone bopped you on a different syllable/word than you usually did- eeny could either be 1EENY or 1EE 2NY depending on the kid.

*we never used olly olly oxen free because when the game was on it was ON.

*we called it base or home. you had to be touching it directly.


Kadonkadonk said...

Olly, olly oxen free. Yes. But that's what we screamed when we touched ghoul and were safe.

And I know I have used the bubblegum one and the tiger by his tail one, but the one I really remember ended with 'and my mother told me you are not it', but I can't remember the beginning right now!

radioactive girl said...

Just wait...someday if you have your own kids you may find yourself correcting them when they are doing things wrong in these kinds of games. I seriously once caught myself telling them that they were not saying the rhyme correctly and then I said something about "electricity doesn't count". WTF? Who made me queen of the backyard? Once I caught myself saying these things I let them be but I think "the rules" you learn as a kid have much more sticking power than I ever knew.

Heff said...

Oooooh !!! You said the N Word !!! I'm tellin' Jesse Jackson !!!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Jov: The Tarzan one is new to me, but it still gets you to the bloody part like the ladies hanging clothes.

Donk: Lots of mothers involved in these things . . .

Radio: Hey, someone has to be the Tag League Commissioner!

Heff: Ha! Bring on Jesse! I challenge him to a game of tag.