Tag Archives: games

Life Be In It

life be in it

I guess in the late 70s the public health and fitness people could see the writing on the wall, what with video arcades, hand-held Mattel sports games, Atari, 12 channels of t.v., beanbag chairs. The plumping of America was at hand. So the campaign–Life. Be in it.

But seriously, how sweet were those Mattel games. We spent hours pushing those three buttons as fast as we could. When I was in middle school, the boys gathered on the stage before school, and among the general jostling and nonsense talk there was the constant playing and passing of a few of these games. And when a new one was brought, like the version that included passing and not just running, that guy was the most popular kid on the stage for a week.


I guess these games had a short life span, as they aren’t part of my high school memories. Then it was mostly the big arcade games that we played, but not a lot. Except for Steve. He had an article written about him and all the time and money he spent on Asteroids.

Bump in the Night

I like this one.  I think it’s creepy and fun and maybe says something about fear.  I sent it to a few places, but no one was interested.

Bump in the Night

“Tim, your roll,” said Mike.  Tim picked up the dice and shot them across the board.

“Six.”  Tim moved his counter.  “One, two, three, four, five, six.  That does it.  Enough of wandering around the village; I’m moving in to the dungeon.”

“Who wants a Dr. Pepper?” Brett shouted from the kitchen.

“Pepper me!” shouted back Mike.

“Me too,” said Tim.

Brett returned from the kitchen with a 2-liter of pop and and three stadium cups, all hugged to his chest.  “What’d I miss?” he asked as he set the cups and pop on the table.

“I’m tired of messing around,” Tim said.  “I’m going in.”

“Sweet,” said Brett.

Mike smiled and took a cup and the bottle. “You are going to get eaten alive.”

Tim reached for a cup.  “Whatever.  When is Jon going to be here?”

“I thought he’d be here by now,” said Brett.  “I figured we’d start the movie about nine.”

Slasher Man IV.  This is going to be sweet!” said Mike.

Brett looked out the window.  “Gets dark early this time of year,” he said.  “I wonder where Jon is?”


The discussion was interrupted by a loud bang on the front door.

The boys were quiet for a few seconds after the noise, listening.  Tim glared at the door.  “What the crap was that?”

They listened a bit longer, then Brett got up and went to the door, stopped, and waited.

“Well, open the dang thing,” said Mike.  “What are you acting so scared about?  You’re freaking me out.”

Brett opened the front door and peered out into the darkness.  “Windy,” he said.  “Probably a branch or something.”  Then he looked down.  “Or a rock.”  He bent over and picked up a large gray rock.  The rock was roughly the size and shape of a human foot.  He looked at the front door and found a small scratch in the paint.  “Mom’s not going to like this.”  He looked at the scratch again and closed the door.

“What is that?” said Mike.  “A bone?”

“It’s a rock,” said Brett.  “Somebody threw a big honkin’ rock at my house.  What the heck?”

“Probably Jon,” said Tim.  “He’s out there waiting for you, hoping you’ll come investigate so he can scare you.”  Tim took a drink of his pop then turned back to the board.  “Let’s go.  Who’s turn is it?”

“Look at this thing.”  Brett brought the rock over to the dinning room table where the boys had the game set up.  There he dumped it on the table.  It shook the pieces on the game board.

“Dude!” said Tim.

“That thing looks like a foot!” said Mike.

“You said that already,” said Tim.

“I said ‘bone’ before.  Now I say foot,” said Mike. “Foot bone.”

“Who would do that?” said Brett.

“Jon,” said Tim.

“It is windy out,” said Brett.

“The wind blew that rock?” said Mike.  “From where?”

“Let’s go.  Let’s go!”  It was Tim.  “I’ve got monsters to kill, treasure to plunder.  Whose turn is it!”

The boys gathered around the table.  Brett took the dice.  “I think it’s my go.”

While Brett took his turn, Mike picked up the rock and military pressed it over his head again and again with his right arm.  “I am He-Man!” Mike announced.

Then, Thump!  The boys stopped.  This time it was on the roof.  The boys remained frozen, quiet, listening.

“Dude!” said Brett.  The other boys shushed him.  They listened again.  This time they heard the sound of what seemed to be something scuttling across the roof.  They exchanged glances.  “Tell me that was a branch in the wind,” said Brett.

“Didn’t really sound like a branch,” said Tim.  He paused.  “Bet it was Jon.”

“A kid running across the roof would go bump, bump, bump.  That sounded like something else.”

“Yeah.  Kinda did,” said Mike.

Tim dropped the dice, walked to the front door, opened it, and stepped into the windy night.  “Jon!” he shouted into the darkness.  And the wind blew the door shut.

Mike and Brett stared at the door, not realizing that they were holding their breath.  Seconds passed.  Then suddenly the door flew open with a bang and a shriek as Tim leaped into the house, screaming and holding his throat as though he were being tortured.  The boys both jumped.  Brett slammed into the table, knocking pop and ice onto the game board.  Mike dropped the rock that he forgot he was holding and it bounced off his foot and onto the floor.  Tim finished his scream and then began to laugh.  “Scared much, ladies?” he chuckled.

“Jerk!” said Brett.

Mike rubbed his foot. “Ouch,” he said, still a little pale from the scare.

“Dude, you wrecked the game,” said Tim.

You made me,” said Brett.

“Guess I win,” said Tim as he picked up wet cards from the table and attempted to dry them on his shirt.

The other boys were silent.

Tim slid the rest of the game into it’s box, doing his best to avoid the spilled soda.

“Let’s get the movie going,” Mike finally said.

“What about Jon?” said Brett.

Tim looked out the window into the night.  “Guess he’ll be here or he won’t.  Maybe he found something else to do.” The boys moved into the living room and toward the T.V. set, leaving the foot shaped rock and the spilled soda behind.