Ah, Childhood.


I dont know about you, but there isnt much about my childhood that I remember with any clarity.  A few bright spots here and there (mostly involving my brother who I always found hilarious), but overall, pretty dull.  Yet, for some unfathomable reason, in a corner of my memory resides the wit and wisdom of the playground.  I recall for example, the songs I used to sing doing double-dutch jump rope

not last night but the night before, 24 robbers came knocking at my door…

or the synchronized hand clapping:

Oh Mary Mack, Mack, Mack, all dressed in black, black, black, with silver buttons, buttons, buttons, all down her back, back, back

And for sheer inventiveness, you couldnt beat the name calling:

buttmunch, buttnugget, buttcrust, buttcheese (there’s a theme here I see!) tard, dorktard, tardmuffin, dorkenheimer, jerkwad, fartknocker, and the like.

Heaven help you if you had a name (first or last) that rhymed with a cuss word, or that could be otherwise held against you.  Nicknames were another common occurrence.  I myself had several: Magoo (I wore glasses at an early age) Ducky (my best friend was Froggy) and (thanks to my daughter) Homer.  Yes.  THAT Homer.  Why?  Who knows.  I was insulted at first, but I grew to like it-go figure!  Ive handed out my fair share of nicknames myself:  my best friend is ‘Billious,’  my sister was ‘Janus the Anus,’ and I once crowned another friend and myself with the charming monikers of ‘pustule’ and ‘globule.’  What can I say?  its a talent 🙂  There was one guy in High School, who (for whatever reason) just HAD to make fun of my lack of womanly bosoms, and who said MAS (as in mastectomy) whenever he saw me.  I responded with VAS (as in vasectomy) right back at him.  Considering his REAL name was Udo Poos, you’d think he’d keep an extremely LOW profile, right?  Some folks just have poos-for-brains I guess.

Because I think everyone should be able to join in the fun, for the creatively challenged, I discovered a nice little FUNNY MEAN NAMES GENERATOR.

Some of my most persistent playground memories however are the rhymes.  For example, when my kids were learning jingles on their own playgrounds, I shared one of the classics from MY era:

Im Popeye the sailor man.  I live in the garbage can.  I eat all the worms, and spit out the germs.  Im Popeye the sailor man! (toot toot!)

Another gem:

Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg.  Batmobile lost a wheel and Joker got away!

My girls learned that last one like this:

Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg.  Blow your nose in Cheerios, and eat them twice a day!

Personally, I think my version is more creative, but thats just me.

So, anyway, a co-worker and I were talking, and I was sharing a memory of songs my mother used to sing to me, one of which was ‘Barnacle Bill the Sailor,’ which I said I felt was immortalized by the classic cartoon trio of Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl.  She agreed, saying that Popeye was very big during our (baby boomer) growing up years, which prompted me to share my schoolyard Popeye song above.  She countered with a version of her own:

Im Popeye the sailor man.  Im Popeye the sailor man.  I like to go swimmin’ with bowlegged women.  Im Popeye the sailor man! (toot toot!)

I laughed, because I thought a song about swimming with bowlegged women was just plain silly.  Actually I was the silly one, because I obviously didnt get it.  My friend graciously explained to yours truly, and I dont mind telling you gentle reader, that its true you never stop learning.  Apparently I led (or lead) a sheltered life.  Oh well…I can also confirm I get a kick out of cornball or crude humor.  To wit:

Q:  What do Star Trek and toilet paper have in common?

A:  They both circle Uranus searching for Klingons!

And this VERRRY racy number that always made me feel slightly guilty for telling it:

Q:  What did the battery say to the corn chip?

A:  Im Eveready if you’re Frito-Lay!

I still cringe a little at that one, even at my age.  But what the heck.  Im looking forward to my second (or third or fourth or??) childhood.  Im sure it will be a blur this time around too, but I plan on having fun just the same!

Feel free to share your favorite childhood jingles or jokes, by all means!

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~ by irishgrl on July 27, 2011.

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