Monday, October 22, 2007

New Thing #211: Happy Fun Ball

Today's New Thing came from one of my favorite suggesters: My mom. In what I consider an ode to her particular brand of joy and nostalgia, I played jacks. It was hard to find a set that actually had plan, old-timey metal jacks instead of neon or light-up or noise-making, but I finally found an authentic, antique-looking set at a place called Penny Whistle Toys on the Upper West Side (I cold-called and essentially told them that they carry regular, old-fashioned jacks. With a name like that, how can you not?) Then Kevin and I had to look up instructions on WikiHow. It's simple in theory: You toss the ball up with one hand, let it bounce, and catch it in the same hand. Meanwhile, depending on the progressive round, you're picking up anywhere from one to all the jacks with that same hand. It's not simple in practice: The ball goes every which way, the jacks bounce out of your hand when you catch it, or you panic and pick up the wrong number of jacks. Then you get really good at it and get a little cocky. Then you beat the game, start beaning each other with the ball, and trying to see how long you can keep all the jacks spinning like tops at the same time. (Kevin is still doing that as I write this.)


Melinda said...

Okay, so how about Paddleball or a yo-yo?

Oh, and I had another suggestion: How about going 4 hours without touching anybody else at all? I would suggest all day, but 4 hours is pretty long if you can't even shake hands.


Anonymous said...

Jacks are fun. I used to play it when I was a kid, but we did more after beating "Round 1". "Round 2" involved tossing the ball, pick up the jack(s), and go around the ball before you catch it. Sort of like drawing an "O" around the ball in mid air then catching it. You can come up with more complexities in the further rounds. :-)