Last night at dinner my boys, aged 7 and 9, started doing something called “The Cheese Touch”. With fingers crossed, they would poke each other in the chest or shoulder and say “CHEESE TOUCH” and then laugh uncontrollably. Then the other one would do the same thing back and the process would repeat itself. Being the typical un-hip, out of touch Dad that I am, I inquired as to what the hell was going on. They informed me that if you get hit with the cheese touch, you immediately smell like stinky feet cheese and will continue to do so until you pass the cheese along to another person. The only way to block the cheese touch is to resort to the usual, “UH UH, my fingers were crossed” defense, thus nullifying the odoriferous attack. Interesting. I was forced to improvise other ways to defend myself and since I was half in the bag on cheap chardonnay at the time, I came up with “Wine Thumbs”, whereas a new counter attack could be unleashed by touching the attacker on the head with both thumbs. The boys were stunned and didn’t know how to counter the deadly, dizziness inducing, and newly invented counter-offensive. I then completely breached protocol and hit the two of them with “Cracker Elbows”. Yep, Cracker Elbows. This is where I would touch both of my elbows simultaneously to their temples and they would be immediately rendered immobile. At least that was my plan. The older one looked at the younger one and together they reaffirmed that dad was a bozo and resumed their fun without me. This silly game eventually evolved into what they called a “sissy fight” where they would slap each other and then into a full out, good-natured brawl on the kitchen floor. Eventually they returned to the table and finished dinner but not before a vein stood out in my forehead and I had a moment to think back to some childhood silliness that I engaged in.

Cooties – I remember running from girls on the playground because they had cooties. Although I felt justified at the time, I realize now that what they had was not called “COOTIES” but “COOTERS” and that I want to get them ALL THE TIME.  If only I had known.

Kill the man with the ball – This was also known as “Smear the Queer” and probably the dumbest game ever invented. The guy holding the ball gets the shit kicked out of him until he drops the ball or begins to spit blood. My friends and I would play almost daily in the summer on my front lawn and it was in one of these scrums that my buddy got his nickname, Johnny Whimper.

Blind Darts – We would lay a dartboard on the floor and stand at the bottom of the stairs and blindly toss darts up the stairs and try to hit the dart board. What makes this more stupid was that we positioned the board in such a way that you couldn’t see it from the bottom of the stairs and only the thrower was at the bottom. Everyone else stood around the board. Brilliant, huh?

Red Light / Green Light – I once ended up in the ER after a fast and furious game getting stitches in my chin. That’s right, the fat kid tripped running up the porch and cracked his face on the top step. Go ahead and laugh, I’m used to it.

Can’t wait to head home and see what the kids have in store for me tonight. Maybe it will be “chase your little sister with a booger” or my personal fave, “shit, close the lid and don’t flush”. Late!

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