How We Used to Play “Kick the Can”
When we were kids we played a game called *kick the can*. While I know we didn’t invent the game, I assume our rules were unique to the way we played it on our street growing up in Portola Valley. Basically, 1 person was *It* and his job was to remain at home base (a big tree) and protect a coveted nearby can that the kids hiding were supposed to try to kick to win the game. To start the game, he had to cover his eyes and count to 20 while all the other players hid. He was allowed call out, tag out or throw out a player. If he could see you from the tree and call out your name you were out. Poorly hidden players were often picked off early with this tactic. You could also get tagged out but *It* would obviously have to leave the base in order to do that. If he couldn’t tag you before you kicked the can, he was allowed to try to peg you with a dodge ball (he was allowed to carry 2 per game as his fire power) as a last ditch attempt to knock you out of the game. Face shots were not only legal but encouraged. And there was no greater indignation than losing the game by getting hit in the face with a fuckin’ dodge ball, lol.
The key to the game was to stay hidden well and to wait him out. The game had a time limit of 5 minutes so he couldn’t just sit there hugging the base of the tree. At some point, he would have to leave his precious base and try to come find his prey. To signal to the hidden players that he was about to leave the base to come get you, he would have to yell out at the top of his lungs, “I’M GOING ON A JOURNEY!!!!!!!” When that happened, our peaceful little neighborhood would turn into a chaotic, disorganized mad dash to the can. All players revealed themselves and took off from all directions with a single destination in mind. You prayed that you (or one of your comrades) could get to that goddamn can before you were tagged (or hit with a dodge ball). After he yelled *I’m going on a journey!!’ he was allowed to, at any time, return to base and begin trying to call out hidden kids once again. But he had to declare it by saying “I’m back from my journey!” to indicate to the other players that they must return to their hiding places. If you didn’t get hidden in time, he could call you out that way, too.
Anyway, that’s the childhood game that popped into my head when I heard about Blade’s *Around the World* trip that he’s leaving for on January 17th. He’s *going on a journey!!!!!*. And he’s going to be writing a blog about it. I won’t detail it here, you have to go to his blog if you want to read more about it. I encourage you to bookmark it but I will also have a link to it in the blogroll to the right………
Steve, we are all looking forward to following along with you on your trip and I speak for everyone when I say that I’m looking forward to the day you say “I’m back from my journey.” Safe travels, my man…….