Mudcat Café message #220683 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20909   Message #220683
Posted By: Mark Cohen
01-May-00 - 04:48 AM
Thread Name: Children's rhymes and playground songs
Subject: RE: Children's rhymes and playground songs
Oh, now you've got me started. Did anybody from outside Philly ever play halfball? Cut an old tennis ball in half, pitch it underhand, use a broomstick for the bat. We played it in the driveway between the rows of houses. On the roof was a triple, over the house a home run. Then there was wireball. You throw the ball (usually either a "pinkie" or a white "starball", both rather bouncy, rubber, about the size of a billiard ball) over the telephone/power wires that ran along the driveway. If the other guy catches it, it's an out, if he misses, it's a single. If the ball hits the wire (on the way up or down) and isn't caught, it's a homer. [Brits, Aussies, and other unAmerican friends, I'm not going to explain the rules of baseball here. I made it through the Marmite thread, you can make it through this :-)]
And then there was "chink", which was not an ethnic slur. It's what some people called handball. You hit the ball (again, soft rubber, not hard like a real handball) so it bounces first on the ground and then against the wall, then back out and onto the ground again, then it's the other person's turn. Two or more people could play. If the ball hit right where the wall met the ground (the "chink"), you played the point over.

Fat Albert, by the way, was the meanest, baddest, Buck Buck player there was, 'cause he weighed about 300 pounds. Buck Buck, at least in Philly, involved a few kids forming a line with arms around the waist of the guy in front, bent over so as to make a kind of platform. One by one the members of the other team ran up and LEAPED onto the platform, until it collapsed and then they changed places. Fat Albert's signature was a loud "Hey, hey, HEY!!!", at which point, feeling the ground shake, the other team would just give up.

Thanks, lloyd, this isn't musical but it sure is fun!

Aloha,
Mark