<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Saturday, May 28, 2005

The neighbourhood children have stumbled across a most wonderful game: death to all. They have outfitted themselves with guns of all types, from water guns to plastic replicas to wooden approximations of a barrel and handle. Using these delightful tools, they scream various gun-like noises ("BANG!" and "BAM!" being the current favourites) at the top of their lungs, shout to their allies and enemies alike, and run for all they're worth. We have recently added walkie-talkies and handcuffs into the mix, leading to yet more screaming and running -- not to mention some unpleasant associations in my own head.

What makes this particularly worthy of note -- at least to my mind -- is their chosen playing field. The scary steep lane is one territory; the street that runs parallel is another. My apartment and its most lovely expanse of wooden deck are right in the middle of the two. At all times of the morning, afternoon and evening, I have been woken by, startled by and have generally heard this commotion for literally weeks on end. Asking for a relocation of the game leads to compliance -- for about five, perhaps ten minutes. Even sitting out on the deck itself offers only temporary reprieve.

Now being raised by a Quaker mother, I must say that this game and others of the sort were most definitely Not Acceptable in my household while my brother and I were growing up, so perhaps my lack of fond memories of screaming bullets and shouting the deaths of my enemies is somewhat to blame for my growing irritation at this particular pastime. (I will note, however, that games involving lightsabers and/or swords, shields and armour were household favourites. Being raised by a Quaker mother who is a devoted fan of science fiction and fantasy does lead to such contradictions.)

I was thinking to myself the other day as I watched a small horde of children pound their way across my wooden deck, all screaming at the top of their lungs, that I would be so much happier if they were playing, say, hide and go seek. I would be more likely to watch them with fondness and a smile--even point out good hiding places on my deck and behind my car. Though who knows if I can blame mere nostalgia in this; after all, hide and seek would be so much quieter.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 6:47 PM


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