The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Cartoon Tag
This schoolyard biathlon, requiring both physical agility and encyclopedic knowledge of international animation. Although, to be perfectly honest, if you had one you didn't need the other. I wasn't the greatest runner, but I could avoid being "it" for hours on end using the "Thundercats" alone. Which is good, because this is a frustrating game in which to be "it." There's nothing more maddening than having your quarry almost within your clutches, only to have "Casper the Friendly Ghost" shouted in your face. C

Dodge Ball
Also known as "The Welt Game." Whoever came up with the idea of a game where the goal is to cream someone with a ball had both a keen insight into child psychology and a clear interest in keeping school nurses employed. Did you know that the common yardball is capable of being thrown up to 416 miles per hour? B-

I found, on the Web, a reference to an "Official Size and Weight" tetherball for sale. I'm really interested in the standards body that oversees this. Is it a strictly American organization, or is it an international consortium? Do they convene every few years to review advances in tetherball technology? Are there heated arguments over who gets to go first, clockwise or counter-clockwise? Maybe we should have an "Autumn Olympics" with games like tetherball, mini-golf, and bowling. C

Red Rover
Probably the sophomore effort by the inventor of Dodge Ball. "In this game, you throw yourself full-tilt at a line of other unprotected grade-schoolers. No extra points for broken limbs." The chant is unnerving, though. It sounds like the mumbling of a mentally disturbed machete aficionado sneaking up on the teenage victim in a horror film. "Red rover...let... Jenny...come over!" Screech, whack, fade to black. C

Duck Duck Goose
Hoo-ha, now this was a game. Suspense! Action! The Mush Pot! This game had it all. Plus, and this was the real bonus, you got to spend most of the game sitting down. Heck, if you were in the Mush Pot, you didn't even have to worry about having to leap up at any moment. You could just sit back, covered in gentle, soothing metaphorical mush, and enjoy the relaxing chant of "Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck..." B+

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