Monday, February 8, 2010

Knock, Knock, Ditch It

Why do you suppose many of us as kids were so brave?

Or is the word really stupid? I’ve often said there is a fine line between courage and stupidity, and at first it might be difficult to tell the difference. Entering into a relationship, for example.

Did we have too much time in our youth with not enough work and few responsibilities? It seems summertime was filled with fun, friends, and finding creative things to do.

When I was 14, I spent the summer with my aunt, uncle, and their four kids on Trump Lake in Wisconsin. During the day we’d ski or hang out with the next-door neighbors who had a large summer home for their family with 14 kids. Yes, fourteen. I don’t think they owned a television or condoms.

After it got dark, we’d walk the lake road and try to scare each other with ferocious-animal stories, running into the woods to rouse the fierce beasts, scaring ourselves as much as the others.

Sometimes we’d play knock, knock, ditch it—a game invented to scare and irritate home dwellers who were otherwise relaxed and happy and enjoying their evening brandy. We’d bravely tiptoe up to the door and take turns being the knocker. Then, like antelope scattering at the rush of a lion or a bird flying into a window, we’d dart and hide or crash and slide.

At least one of those was the plan. But night plans without night-vision goggles present unseen challenges—nocturnal creatures with thick fur, sharp claws, and spiked projections.

“Ahhhhh! Help! Scott! Where are you?!” I whisper screamed. “Something’s got me! Help!”

Just then, the homeowner turned on his light and poked a shotgun out his door. “Who’s there?” he coarsely grumbled.

I pictured my peppered ass as I wriggled and ripped to get free.

And I did.

Released now from the barbed-wire fence, I quietly moved my stupid, wounded flesh back where it belonged…and never played knock, knock, ditch it again.


  1. Where I come from this was called "ring and run", but most houses had doorbells. Plus we didn't have to worry about someone coming after us with a shotgun. If someone got caught it was just a bit of verbal abuse from the homeowner.

  2. I think it is time to go play knock, knock, ditch....never to old to play. I am proud to say a friend and I went tp'ing in our mid to late thirties! little harmless fun and payback to horrible neighbors. Anybody game?

  3. Ola, what's up amigos? :)
    I will be glad to get any help at the start.
    Thanks in advance and good luck! :)


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