Every now and then we receive the odd gripe email – people do love a good old moan. We get hundreds of music review requests each month and do our best to support emerging talent. Multiple spam emails arrive in our inbox daily telling us we’ve got an inheritance to claim, pills to cure baldness and ways to enlarge certain body parts. But like a needle in a haystack, every so often we get the odd classic article submission, such as this one about what it was like growing up before social media, iPhones and apps….
So, I won’t tell you my age, it might make your audience think they’re reading about their granddad. But what I will do is share and reminisce about my good old days, before you could use Tinder to meet your match or your phone to check the daily weather (what ever happened to looking out if the window)?… this is what it was like growing up in the 90s as a kid and what we did to entertain ourselves back then…
This game was a classic. Grab the ball and knock for your mate on your street. Go to the nearest, quietest road and each of you stand on the opposite path facing each other. Throw the ball aiming for the curb. The idea is to get the ball to come back to you to win points and to throw again. If it hits the curb and rolls back more than halfway you get a point. If it bounces back and you catch it, three points. Catch it one handed and top score – five points (and in each scenario you throw again). Try to avoid the ball rolling under a parked car and wait for any driving car to pass before you throw. Don’t get car oil on your top if you have to get the ball! If you don’t have a ball, stamp on a can you find on the street and have a kick around with that.
Knock Down Ginger
This was my favourite. Knock on someone’s door and run away. Don’t be an arse and avoid pranking the elderly. Wind up your mates’ dad and either run away or hide in a bush and watch their reaction as they open their door to no one. I’m not sure why it was called Knock Down Ginger, but if you wanna take it one step further, knock on a door then jump over the wall or fence and keep knocking and running. Look back and laugh as you see all the people one-by-one opening their doors to the realisation they’ve been pranked – this classic spin on the game we called Knock Down Derby. If you get grassed up and grounded, play the SNES or Sega Mega Drive all day.
Get a Chase
It couldn’t be simpler. Just do something to get a chase, then run for your life! There was a wall right near where I lived about head height. When it snowed we used to walk 1 metre in front of the person (on the opposite side of the wall), blowing the snow so it kept hitting them in the face as they walked. It was too high for the person to climb easily so a great advantage for us kids looking for our next victim. On the more naughty days we used to buy eggs and throw them at people. Such a cheap laugh. “Egg him”!
Back then before mobile phones were around, it was good old fashion: knock for your mate to see if they are coming out. But if you were already at the park you’d call your mates home number using your pre-topped-up phone-card. If that ran out it didn’t matter, you’d just call up and reverse the charges from a phone box and their parents would pay.
Put on your Spliffy jeans, grab your fake Ralph Lauren jacket, lace up your Reebok Classics (or not if you’re really cool) and don’t forget to spray your fake Joop or Cool Water. Every girls dream.
Catch a fish
No this isn’t a sarcastic comment about pulling the local easy girl with your sweet smelling aroma and sweet looking jeans. This is where you grab your wellies and a net then walk through the muddy streams catching stickle-backs and bull-heads.
Best played at a park or in the woods. Separate your mates into two even groups. One team protects the base, the other has to make it back. The defending team count to 60 seconds with their eyes closed, whilst the other team splits up and runs away. The defending team leaves one person to protect the base, (usually some kind of significant object or structure. A tree is fine. We used a well). Anyway, the attacking team will try and get as many people back to base by successfully touching it, without being tagged by any defending team member. If you’re tagged before you return to base you’re out. If your team gets more than half of the team back to base you get to go again. If not defending/attacking sides switch.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the games and pranks we used to play whilst growing up as kids. I guess it’s quite a bit different these days? No matter what you do to entertain yourselves, make sure not to cause anyone or anything any harm. It’s all just a bit of fun! Maybe not so much for the guy with egg on his head.