Monday, May 01, 2006

Hopscotch, this strange religious experience.....It's a secret, religious, weird, ceremonial rite of passage for girls that women know. Hopscotch was bizarre for boys because boys never played.

Eddie Izzard

For the first time in almost twenty years I played hopscotch.

I woke up yesterday with the burning desire to show a guy how to play, to divulge the secrets of femininity. Leaping out of bed yesterday, I was as ready to go as a malamute with rabies at a daycare.

But first, chalk.

We must have chalk somewhere in the domicile - surely we did not use it all up twenty years ago? Everyone has chalk lying around. No chalk.

Hours later, a 25-cent chunk of blue chalk in my hand, I am as ready as the malamute with rabies again. Grr! Up with hopscotch already!

Then, Jesus! What does a hopscotch game look like? I find a picture of a girl playing in New York - close enough - it's on the continent.

Hopscotch is played all over the world, from here to Nepal, Ghana, Russia and China; no one knows where the game started, though the oldest known hopscotch diagram is etched into the floor of Rome's Forum. Despite the overwhelming similarities, hopscotch has had many tweakings: in San Francisco, one researcher found twenty varieties.

So what version was I playing? I hopped onto the square with the stone, picked it up and hopped back. I remember something about jumping over the space occupied by the stone. Then there is the version where you pick up the stone and toss it back to home instead of carrying it back as you hop your way through the squares. Or do you first hop your way through each stone to the end, turn around, hop back to the stoned square, pick up the stone and finish?

No wonder boys had no idea how to play.


I always played hopscotch that last way you described. My evil horoscope says I am no good at sports, and hopscotch is about all I could work myself up to as a kid. That and the swings.

Thanks for the memories.
I sucked at sports too (except for archery). I liked the swings too.
Well, I'm a boy, and therefore suspect, but when we played you hopped on one foot in the single squares, one foot each in the two side by side squares, except for those occupied by the stone. You had to hop past the stone, balance on one foot, reach behind you, and toss the stone back home before finishing.

Yeah, I liked kickball better.
Toss the stone back home? Backwards? As if there's a slake moth behind you?
Hopscotch rocks! Perhaps you could refresh your skills by joining a league!
There are hopscotch leagues?
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