A New Hope
After a year without a post, I have decided to try something new. This blog is still here because of obscure posts that still turn up in searches and still send people my way. I was trying to keep it alive with topical, timely entries. See how that worked...
So my new idea: Even more obscurity! I am going to write about things nobody has thought of for decades. I embrace my obsolescence. Exhibit 1: Chaskilenkey.
Chaskalengey: A game for daring youth.
This game was invented by the juvenile residents of Upquarters, Agric Quarters, Zuarungu in the 1980s. It was played briefly, usually for a period of days or even hours, before being banned again. The name is onomatopoeic: Chas for the sound a can makes when it's been struck by a knobbed stick, and kelaynkay for the sound it makes as it rolls over the ground as it bounces away rapidly.
Equipment: One car tire; enough small cans (evaporated milk cans are best) and knobbed sticks (two to three feet long) that each player has one of each item.
Objective: Get your can in the tire.
Mode of play: Players begin by lining up a certain distance from the tire and attempt to throw their cans into the tire. The distance should be far enough that it's difficult to get the can into the tire. Anyone who gets his or her can to stay in the tire (not bounce out) becomes a "keeper" or defender of the tire.
If your can doesn't make it into the tire, you must go to where it landed, pick it up, and try to toss it into the tire from there. If it's very far, you can throw it, run and pick it up, and throw it a second time.
If a keeper gets to your can first, he or she can hit it with the stick, as hard as he or she can, in whichever direction it feels natural to hit it. The keeper is also permitted, nay encouraged, to stand guard over the tire and swing for the cans like a baseball player.
It's a good idea to yell "Tschas-kay-layn-gay!" when hitting a can.
Every player who manages to get his or her can past the keeper becomes a keeper too. At the beginning of the game, it's easy to slip a can past the one or two keepers. Toward the end of the game, when there are five or six keepers and only one or two throwers, it's nearly impossible to get in. At this point, it's a question of how much punishment those one or two throwers will take before quitting. The game is over when everybody still playing the game is a keeper.
At the height of the game, with two or three keepers and three or four throwers, it's important to keep an eye out for flying cans. They can come out of nowhere, at great speed. After they've been hit by the knobbed sticks a dozen times or so, the cans can get dented and develop sharp points. These points can gouge and cause cuts, scrapes, and scratches in the skin of the players. If you've got this far, you might understand why the game was banned, sometimes after a parent heard only the initial tossing of the cans. Sometimes it took long enough for the injured to start filtering in for treatment. Good times!