A Summer Afternoon At Home: Rocket Pays Gizzard

Sitting on the screened-in porch.  Reading a magazine.  Sipping an iced coffee.  Late afternoon.

Summer is all around me.

In the distance across the ravine hidden behind the trees I hear kids playing outside.  They have a trampoline over there–  and they play all sorts of “ball” sports, like football or softball or basketball.

These kids, who are around 8-10 years old, are a happy bunch.  Boisterous.

And supportive of each other.  I’ll hear some of them encouraging the other ones with “good job” and “awesome.”

There’s rarely an argument.

So, when I become aware of a lull in the kid noise, my ears perk up.

What is this, I think.  Not the usual light-hearted chatter.  Is there a problem over there in kid-topia?

As if on cue I hear one loud little voice yelling: “Rocket pays gizzard. Rocket. Pays. Gizzard. ROCKET PAYS GIZZARD.”

This child is insistent.

All sorts of other kid voices yell back at him: “That’s not right.”

Then silence.  Nary a sound.

Of course now I need to know what they’re up to, so I wait to hear what they will be say next– and much to my surprise I hear an adult voice.

An adult who is laughing while trying to speak.

An adult who has decided to intervene to keep things rolling along smoothly.

An adult who is correcting the kids who are trying to play…

{Answer in comments below.}

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

17 thoughts on “A Summer Afternoon At Home: Rocket Pays Gizzard”

  1. I wondered if that was what they were playing or a variation thereof. There are kids on my street but only one family has them playing outside. They have a gym set and bikes and all the standard things. Sometimes I hear happy noise but they are 3 houses up so it’s never annoying. We have 2 kids (in 2 separate houses) across the street (who are now in college). We never saw them play outside at all. Once in a while they would bike to school but they didn’t bike on the street so I don’t know how they ever learned. Perhaps when there is only one child they do more scheduled things. Enjoy your book and your beautiful porch!

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    1. Kate, these kids around here all make me laugh. They are everywhere around us. I usually just let the noise drift over me, but when this little voice became adamant… I had to know what was up.

      Good guess, btw. I had no idea what they were going on about.

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    1. Zen-Den, I wonder if the newer version of this game, which includes LIZARD. SPOCK., is what confused this group. All I know is that there was complete silence, which is most unusual. Then an adult intervention, which is also unusual. Then me laughing, which is normal.

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  2. So glad to know that kids still play outside. All the gadgets they have keep a lot of them inside. I miss the sounds of our kids playing outside. They always had something going on; a band or parade or riding bikes. Fun times.

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    1. Beth, we have three different gangs of kids who goof off outside. Plus, being so close to horses and pools, we see kids coming and going all over the place. I enjoy hearing them, no matter what they’re up to.

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  3. I did not pick up the rock paper scissors. If I could, I would screen in the bottom deck – and perhaps the upper deck, too. Would be great to make them three season rooms. So I’m a little jealous of you!

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    1. Zazzy, I didn’t pick up on it either! But I could tell that it was important to the group dynamic.

      The screened-in porch has been one of the best features of this house. If you get the opportunity to create one where you live, I’d say go for it. We use ours day and afternoon and evening and night.

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  4. When kids get words wrong, the combos they make up are hilarious. They do the same thing in French when they mishear something. Occasionally they end up saying a sentence that they really wouldn’t want to translate. I usually end up choking with laughter too.

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    1. Margaret, I agree. These kids were so close, but not quite. And the adult over across the way laughing before he explained it to them, made me laugh even more.

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  5. We never played this game when I was a kid, and I almost feel left out because of it. I’ve only learned within the last 10 years or so how to play it and what beats what. I guess we just were not allowed to play with scissors when I was a kid… even if they were imaginary.

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    1. evilsquirrel13, those imaginary scissors will get you every time. Glad that you’ve learned about this valuable way to determine who’s right.

      [You do know that now there’s an advanced version, right? It’s called: Rock. Paper. Scissors. Lizard. Spock. I can’t remember what beats what unless I have a cheat sheet with me, but it’s even more fun to play.]

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  6. My favorite example of “kids invent a game that seems based in a misunderstanding — but sounds nonetheless AWESOME” comes from many years ago:

    I was walking by a playground where a couple of little kids were playing by a large jungle gym (made of metal = told you it was a long time ago!). One of them grabbed the other in a giant bear hug around the waist and reared back, lifting him off his feet. Once back on the ground, the having-been-lifted kid admonished his friend on a baseline rule of the game: “Remember! You can’t hurt me! I HAVE AN IRON HERNIA!!”

    Meaning?? NO CLUE. But I love that concept — the inviolability that an iron hernia gives to its possessor…

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