Kiss Catch[ Posted 30 May 2012 in Podcast by Dylan Streep ]
What a peculiar game. The object was unclear. One team, made up one gender, would run around the playground trying to catch members the other team, made up of the opposite gender, to give them a little kiss and then run away again.
The strange thing is that the people being chased around genuinely didn’t want to be kissed. (This is the age where the opposite sex is annoying and repulsive and has ‘germs’.) Until the teams were swapped. Then suddenly the team who was being chased are doing the chasing and they are totally keen! Very strange. There would always be a couple of kids who were a little wiser and more mature than others, who realised that one day they were going to feel affection for this mysterious other gender. Those kids would tend to run a little slower, or deliberately back themselves into a corner shouting, “Oh no! Not a kiss from a girl! Gross!”
Anyway, this chasing around would continue indefinitely until ‘The Boss’ decided it was time for the teams to swap. I loved that role in playground games – The Boss. You would always know who The Boss was when someone new wanted to join the game and yelled out, “Who’s the boss of the game?” and some smug little kid would declare something like, “I am! I am the boss of this game! And if you would like to take part, you will have to beg for my permission!” In reality, The Boss was just the first kid on the playground. He’d put no effort into his finger painting. He wasn’t even thinking about lunch. His whole mission was to jump up and get onto that playground at the sound of the bell.
The whole reason I brought this up is that I heard another name for the game recently. We had singer-songwriter Louise Day in the studio last week and she mentioned Kissing Catches. I have since learnt that some people call it Kiss & Catch. This annoys me. Simon is always trying to convince me that during the classic swimming pool game, Marco Polo, when the player who is on calls out “Fishy?” then everyone else responds “No-one!”. It’s not “No-One”. It’s “No!” As in Marco Polo Fishy No. Why can’t we just have an official name for each game? We don’t call do this with football. It’s not Footing Balls in some places. Or Foot & Ball in others. I guess some people do say soccer. Eh.
I don’t think I played much Kiss Catch back then. I was a bit shy. I was more into On-On - a similar game, without the kissing. And without the girls. They were all too busy playing Kiss Catch.
You can hear the whole interview with Louise, as well as a couple of songs performed live by clicking here.
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