games of yesterday

It’s quarter to 4 in the afternoon; the sun is a golden ball on a warm Saturday. I was by the window intently looking at the children busy as a bee out in the streets. They were laughing and shouting, running back and forth from the corner of the street to the other. I check the time and watch the minute hand move as slow as a snail as the time winds up to 4. I just can’t wait to join the kids playing on the streets. My dad won’t let me play not until it’s 4 and the reason behind that – I never found out. As the clock struck 4 I stepped out of the house, so excited my pulse was a race car. In the next hour I am a ball of fire, blazing, scorching and flaming.

Growing up in a tropical country, I spent a fair enough of time on the streets playing various outdoor games. Those games involve a lot of running, jumping around and concluded with so much sweating. There’s this game called pick-jump.
My playmates and I would divide ourselves into 2 teams. 2 players would stand at the starting line with their fists closed looking intently at each other, squinting their eyes a bit before the game begins. You’d thought they’d have a fist fight or something. But no, pick jump is a very peaceful street game. At the count of three, they would draw rock paper scissors and whoever wins gets a number of sprints to the finish line. If you draw a rock and win over a scissor, you get 10 sprints. If you draw paper and win over a rock, you get 5 sprints. If you draw scissors over a paper, you get 2 sprints. The next player goes next after each one gets to the finish line until all the players had their turn and whichever team gets all its players finish first wins. This does not involve a lot skill really except for having the advantage if you have really long legs. But I enjoy that game a lot.

When we get tired of pick jump, we would usually move to a more athletic game we call monkey-monkey.
I have no idea who and how that game was named as such. The mechanics of the game is simple. One player would be the it and he would chase each player and touch them saying monkey. When you get caught and monkey-ed, you will have to stop like a statue and not move until one of the other players frees you by touching you and saying Annabelle. The game would go on until the it have made all the players statues and whoever was the first to become a statue will be the next it. What keeps it exciting is that even when you’re touched to be a statue, you can move and inch closer to any of the other players so they can touch you and say Annabelle but if the it catches you, he would shout boom at you and you automatically become the it. I’m quite a sneaky player back in the days and I move as light as a feather I don’t remember being an it at all. There’s a similar game called shake-shake shampoo which is technically the same. This time, the it would touch you and say shake and to free you up, another player would have to touch you and say shampoo. And instead of being still, you would sway your hips like this until you’re freed by the magic word – shampoo. It must have been a shampoo commercial where they got the name of the game. I never really cared to find out.

Another game that I really liked to play then is called Dr. Quack Quack.
This game is all about creativity, flexibility and involves puzzle-solving skills. We would divide ourselves into 2 teams. A person from each team will be chosen while the rest of the team hold hands and form a circle. The chosen team member tangles and intertwines her team mates into a human twist puzzle. A delegate from the opposing team will have to untangle the puzzle to score. If he is unsuccessful, the score goes to the other team. It is then the other team’s turn to tangle themselves and a delegate from the opposing team tries to untangle them to score. It could be a race to 3 or a race to 5 depending on what was agreed.

These games are the pillars of my childhood and I am a bit saddened that in this year and age, kids even back in the Philippines, barely know about these street games. They know more about Clash of Clans, Candy crash, Farmville and a thousand more online games. Their afternoons consumed sitting in front of the computer or holding on to their IPods. I had a dynamic childhood and it remains fresh in my memory as if it was yesterday. On some Saturdays, I find myself staring out my window, thinking about yesterday that was my childhood. I check the time and watch the minute hand move as slow as a snail as the time winds up to 4.

I wrote this speech for the 4th speech project on the Competent Communication manual How to say it. The objectives of this speech are:

• Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly
• Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas
• Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words. Use correct grammar

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