Wholesome Summer Past-times For The Youth

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Wholesome Summer Past-times For The Youth

It has been brought to my attention that the Republic's children are dismissed from school for the summer, making them vulnerable to indulgence, sloth, gluttony, and the enticements of various confidence tricksters.

Some, I've even been told, have lately been pre-occupied with bizarre games of skill contained in boxes no bigger than their hands and fired with the electrical power. The perverse object of these electrical challenges is to shoot pretend bullets at moon-men and their traveling vessels, subduing them as though they were the Spanish or some other enemy of the Republic. I am very much opposed to the use of mechanical objects for pleasure, and call for these electrical games to be disassembled.

But I realize that a boy needs to play. My own boy-hood was one of the best any American could have had, for I was a plucky young shaver who engaged in nothing but the most wholesome and vigorous activities! How fondly I recall the merry sports my manly little chums and I would play. Our days were boisterous and full as we played endless games of Mumblety-Peg, Blind-Man's Bluff and Slap-the-Quaker!

My favorite game was called "Cromwell's Siege." It required 10 players, with one player assuming the part of Cromwell (usually myself), who would then choose eight others as his army. The game began with Cromwell crying:

Jig, jig, jig,
My fat greasy pig,
Please to fetch the butcher
Zig, zig, zig!

Cromwell and his army then approached a crude barricade of sod, behind which the remaining player, bound tightly with rope, hid. Kerosene would be poured over the barricade and the whole thing set aflame. As the opponent desperately tried to wriggle away from the swirling conflagration, Cromwell and his men would pelt him with offal. Finally, the opponent was loosed, stripped naked and hung upside-down from a cottonwood-tree.

O for the lost glories of boy-hood! If only the youth of today engaged in such activities, our Republic's future would be safe for generations to come!