Archive for January 2nd, 2019

Slaps

I wonder if anyone remembers the game of “slaps”. Or indeed, if anyone has encountered it at all. I’m sure mine wasn’t the only school in which boys – and it was only boys, girls being presumably too sensible – who played this game. But when I was about 11 or 12, and possibly even older, this game was all the rage. Let me explain.

Two boys would stand facing each other, their hands held out, palms joined as if in prayer. One boy is nominated the slapper, and the other – I suppose – the slappee. That is, one does the slapping, and the other gets slapped. The slapper then gets to slap the hands of the slappee as often as he likes, and as hard as he likes. However, if the slappee moves his hands away I n time, and the slapper misses, then roles change: the slappee becomes the slapper, and the boy who had been the slapper now has to take the slaps.

There are further complications. The slapper can make false moves, that is, make out he is going to slap, but keep his palms in contact with each other. And if the slappee moves his hands away while the slapper still has his palms together, then the slapper gets a “free slap” – that is, the slapper gets to slap the slappee’s hands, and this time, the slappee does not have the option of moving his hands away: he has to stand there and take it.

And so the game continued, indefinitely, free slaps and all, roles changing with every missed slap.

I’m not sure what the attraction was of this game, but we played it anyway, despite strict instructions from our teachers not to. And after the breaks, we would return to class, our hands red and raw with being slapped, but determined nonetheless to continue as soon as class finished.

Presumably, you are probably thinking, I am leading up to finding some sort of parallel with this game that will throw some light on some aspect of our lives. Sadly, no. I did think long and hard to find some way to metaphorise this – that is, to find something for which the game of slaps could serve as a metaphor – but I couldn’t really come across anything too convincing. The only reason I mention this game of slaps at all is because, reminiscing on the past (as one tends to do at New Year), memories of this long-forgotten game suddenly emerged out of nowhere and flooded my mind, and made me laugh quite immoderately.

So, a pointless post, I suppose. As pointless as the game itself. Possibly, as I slip into old age, there will be many more such pointless posts. Well, why not? It gets so tiresome trying to make points all the time.

So here’s to another new year, where, hopefully, I may try, at least, to mingle at least a few pointful posts with all the pointless. Happy New Year, everyone!

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