What I Did For Fun as a Kid

Still on vacation so this post is gonna be quick. Going for a bike ride with my kiddos.

After the last 2 days of posting you’re probably wondering if I ever had an ounce of fun as a kid.

I did. And here’s what I remember…

Backyard football – Tackle the man with the ball was fun when you didn’t have enough for a full game. I loved being Official QB, because I felt like I was impartial enough to root for both teams and I had twice the chance of winning game MVP.

Crank Calling – Caller ID has ruined this, of course, but back in the late 80s there was nothing more fun that dialing random local numbers and spouting off all the toilet talk you ever knew. Or better yet, go with the “guess who this is?” and hope the other person was dumb enough to play along.

Living Room Hand Hockey – My brother Josh and I had some of the most intense games of hand hockey ever. We played on our knees with a pretty dense cloth ball. He tried to score by hitting the couch, I tried to shoot it under the antique chest. Years later we moved from a cloth ball to an air-filled purple ball. It was the juiced ball era of hand hockey, and it ended in tragedy when we knocked over a lamp or something and my mom stabbed the purple ball with a knife.

Nintendo – The late 80s were all about The Legend of Zelda. There was nothing greater than popping that gold-plated disc into your nintendo and picking up right where you left off. Even though he was two years younger than me, Josh was always the one with the controller while I had the maps, strategy guides, and master plans. From there it was Mario, Dragon Warrior, the Madden franchise, and every other game we read about in Nintendo Power.

The Woods – We had some woods across the street from our house, so we’d go back there and follow the stream and pretend to be protecting something valuable from bad people who wanted to take it from us. Fun in the woods usually ended with someone twisting an ankle, getting ripped up by prickers, or getting bitten to death by mosquitoes.

Baseball Cards – Hours and hours of fun were had sorting baseball cards, trading baseball cards, organizing baseball cards, and reading the newest Beckett monthly like it was the bible. Then in 11th grade I sold all my cards to a friend for $80 because I realized they were just pieces of cardboard with pictures of dudes on them.

Coding – I got grounded for 2 weeks in high school. I don’t remember for what, but I remember loving it because I just stayed in my room and created a computer program with the PASCAL language I was learning on our crappy little 8 MHz computer. I actually created an awesome basketball game that read like the GameCast updates you’d get on ESPN.com these days. Whether a guy made or missed his shot and who got the rebound was based on random number generation,and the game even kept stats and picked an MVP based on an algorithm I created to weigh each stat differently. (If I’m ever on trial for being a nerd, that last paragraph will be the sum total of the prosecution’s case.)

Neighborhood Competitions – We had a great group of friends that lived in our neighborhood, and we did everything together. Football, basketball, baseball, ride bikes, and manhunt (which i hated). And depending on whose house we were at, we might watch 3 straight hours of MTV too.

So yeah, my childhood wasn’t all that bad. A lot of fun actually.

Was there anything nerdy, dorky, or a little embarrassing that you loved as a kid?