- Combine 9 cousins ranging from about 7 up to 12 years old
- Mix with 1 large, steep hill covered with trees
- Add 2 old car tires (one preferable a snow tire) and a wheel barrow
- Simmer with way too much free time, imagination and stupidity...and voila!
If you are anything like me, the Fall air just does something that brings out the kid in you. I'm brought back to autumn days out at our Wisconsin cottage (or lake home as the Minnesotans say) that was jointly owned by our very fertile Italian side of the family.
When you get that many people all in one place there just has to be some activity to burn off the energy that builds up. And this, my friends, is how Rollers, Runners and Stoogies was born.
Here's how you play:
- Two kid stand at the top of a steep, tree-lined hill armed with old tires (Rollers)
- Two more kids stand directly in front of those tires (Runners)
- Two unfortunate kids crouch behind a wheel barrow tipped on its side at the bottom of the steep, tree-lined hill (Stoogies)
The object of the game is for the Rollers to roll the old tires down the hill at the Runners with as much force as they can possibly manage. The Runners must then run their asses off in an attempt to avoid being bowled over by said tires. They are only allowed to run to the side and dodge the tires after they pass two trees at the very bottom of the hill.
Alas the Stoogies main purpose it to catch the careening tires before they make it into the swamp and lake just beyond the wheel barrow of terror.
Here's a little hint from my cousin Mark - Only chase the tires after they pass the wheel barrow. Do not, I repeat, do not peek over the top of the wheel barrow to see if they are coming. Oh yes, and don't wear your good shoes.
I never did get run over by the dreaded snow tire but the faint whisper of tread marks on the back of my thigh proves how close I came. If Nintendo game systems had come along years ago I may never have had the memories, and the scars to prove I had a fun childhood.