One of our favorite games to play was Kill The Guy Football. We used a sidewalk as one end zone and a tree as the other. If you somehow got possession of the football, heaven help you. You ran as fast as you could and hoped to hell no one caught you. If you were caught, you were subject to whatever they could come up with to remove that football from your hands. That could include punching, kicking, hair pulling, tripping, elbowing the head or ribs, or knocking the person head over heels. Often, we used several of those moves at the same time to get the ball. If you were “lucky” and made it to an end zone that was just as painful. Try diving face first onto a sidewalk and let me know how that works out for you!
Another favorite was Violence Basketball. That game was basically the same as Kill The Guy except using a different ball. This was often an indoor game (in the basement) so you had obstacles to navigate. It was always a thrill to slam full speed into a washing machine or dryer. Baskets of laundry were fun though because the clothes would fly all over and confuse your opponents. You’d run for your life and hope that the “violence” wasn't going to be too painful. You got
We also played Detective. We’d be Starsky & Hutch, Baretta, Kojak, and occasionally the girls would be Charlie’s Angels (without a Charlie to boss us around). Now, we were all “good guys” but we’d beat the hell out of each other to solve crimes. Don’t ask me how that worked. An arrest consisted of getting knocked to the ground and having someone sit on your back and pretend to put handcuffs on (while wrenching your arms backwards). You’d hope to get caught on the grass and not on the sidewalk or in the alley. Then, you were interrogated. None of that bright light in your face from the detective shows, no way. You'd get sprayed in the face with the hose or you were subjected to some sort of physical punishment until you confessed (to something). Often, you’d get the nerve between your shoulder and your neck pinched. Pinched real hard.
I’m not sure, as I look back now, how we survived. Without broken bones. Without concussions. Without ever having to go to the ER.
We did survive. And we had a blast doing it!