Why I Miss Hopscotch

Photo by charlief

I would like to make a request of Wii. Would you please create a hopscotch game? Since neighborhoods have gotten so stepford and nobody allows chalk on the sidewalks anymore, the game has virtually disappeared.

Can any of us forget the incredible tension and excitement of a good game of hopscotch?  It would start with the location of the drawing utensil. In my neighborhood we didn’t have any chalk – we were lower middle class and fairly poor. Therefore, we’d have to locate a white rock that would serve the purpose. This involved going down to the richer part of the neighborhood and pulling a rock out of somebody’s gaudy white rock flower bed.

Then you draw the ten squares. There were a variety of possible patterns:

I generally used the one in the middle, because it required less balance. Having had five concussions before the age of nine and sporting weak ankles, every square was a wobbly attempt to keep myself upright.

Next you would pick whatever item you would use to toss from square to square. I started out using rocks, but found that they tended to bounce and skip out of the lines. Plus I tended to throw them at people when I lost.

Imagine my delight when I realized that chains stayed where they were thrown, and as long as they didn’t stretch out and go over the outside line you were fine. I was a chain girl. My mother wasn’t quite as thrilled when I lost my cheap chain and replaced it with her Sunday bracelet.

Why do I love hopscotch so much? Five reasons:

1. No fancy materials required. A white rock, a sidewalk, a bracelet.

2. It is deceptively challenging. You get momentum and think “this is too easy” when suddenly your foot touches the line and somebody yells “you’re out of bounds!”

3. You get to rest after nine squares. Just when you’re sure you can’t take the pressure of maintaining your balance, you get to rest in square ten, turn around, and reevaluate your strategy.

4. There’s nothing to put up once the game is over. Once you finished a game like Parcheesi, you had to find all of the little pieces and put them back in the right spot. In hopscotch, you just walk away or hose it off the sidewalk.

5. If you know how to skip rocks off sidewalk, when someone gets too annoying you can skip it right into their calves when throwing it and pretend it was an accident.

I would like to suggest that Corporate America put hopscotch in the hallways so people can play during break. If you’d like a place to get a hopscotch games for grandkids, try Robbinssports.com or SuperActivities.com. Until then, what game do you other Dames miss?