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November 07, 2003

Ghetto Games

This afternoon I took my son to a joint called 8 Ball. It's the local Yugioh hangout. He's just in the 4th grade so he's just warming up to these kinds of trading games. I've got a lot to learn.

My wife and I got into the discussion about what Yugioh is all about and ended up talking about back in the day. As some of you know, I grew up in the Hood. A knuckle-up neighborhood to be sure and very dangerous by today's suburban standards, but hardly anything a mensch from Brooklyn wouldn't understand.

We played handball. Do you remember the kind of handball we played? No breakers, popups go over, you try to lay tees and slices. The ultimate is the drop. We played sockball and one-base which was a variation on sockball. Sockball, was like baseball except that there was no pitcher and you socked the ball into the outfield. You got put out by getting hit by a thrown ball if you were between bases. That was some serious pickle.

But those were the tame games. When I headed over to Catholic School, I took the public school games with me. The classic of all? Suicide. But there were the psychological games too. BB Britches and Open Chest.

BB Britches is a classic exercise in vigilance. It works simply like this. On any day at any time, somebody declares that BB Britches is On. Any word that starts with 'B', you have to say 'BB Britches' or else get fired on. The game would go on until whoever started it could get with a bunch of players and all mutually decided to quit. You can imagine what kind of confusion it causes when people didn't know the game was on, but generally it was only the stupid kids that didn't catch on.

Open Chest was simply more stupid and brutal. You walk around with your arms crossed across your chest. If you left your arms down, you get fired on. Simple, stupid, deadly.

Needless to say 'getting fired on' had it's own rules and regulations. But you would have to live in the hood to know that. Essentially, except during slapboxing (which we'll cover momentarily), 'getting fired on' meant specifically a punch to the chest. It had to be hard enough to make you go 'oof' but not hard enough to make you cry. Since none of us was older than 11 for these kinds of games, that was a broad enough range and we all understood our limits which were almost never breached. You don't hit someone in the stomach or in the ribs. You don't ever hit someone in the face. Hitting on the arm is for the b-players. When you get fired on well, it will make a deep resounding sound and 'cave in' your chest. You bend over, say 'Damn' or some such and rejoin playfully admitting your opponent's clean shot since all of these kids are your friends anyway.

"You play too much", was the remark one heard by someone who got fired on and could handle it but didn't want to play. It served as a warning. Don't hit that boy again. (Yes of course it was only boys.)

Now to the three classics of the aggression games. Suicide, Slapbox, Stomp

Posted by mbowen at November 7, 2003 06:42 PM

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Catching up II from Prometheus 6
Cobb again, but it's Ghetto Games. He just mentions Open Chest, but goes into detail on Suicide, Slap Boxing and Stomps. Ah, memories…... [Read More]

Tracked on November 8, 2003 08:52 AM



Posted by: Hannil at December 5, 2003 07:36 AM

this is ghetto maannnnn

Posted by: saleem at February 26, 2004 03:38 AM

gay gay and gay...but cool!

Posted by: saleem at April 21, 2004 07:55 AM

that was boosie then a fool try again!!!!!!!!

Posted by: blue at July 28, 2004 05:13 PM

that was boosie then a fool try again!!!!!!!!

Posted by: blue at July 28, 2004 05:14 PM

umm aint nothin hard bout living in that kinda neighbor hood soundz like a fun child hood

Posted by: da kid at August 8, 2004 08:39 PM

my life is all wrong i suffer every day :( i need sum1 to talk to my age im 13 and i cant take it anymore it hurts im goin through way tooooooo much at once i cry at home wishin i die

Posted by: Larissa at August 24, 2004 04:27 PM

can sum 1 help me b4 i kill myself i cant stop myself!!!

Posted by: Larissa at August 24, 2004 04:29 PM