Wednesday, January 4, 2017


The kids in the neighborhood would play other modified games that they had heard of, seen elsewhere, or were introduced by Mekkar, Lasse, and others as a result of their overseas travels. Foreign activities such as Truth or Dare and Kick the Can, which is just a version similar to Hide and Seek, were done by as many participants as could have been persuaded to play. The youngsters would also play army too knowing that it was a precursor for real military training and service that would be required of them later on. So, the kids would try to make it as fun as possible.

There was one infrequent activity that Mekkar was involved in and he referred to it as “the dog bowl”. Only a few of the older kids, along with Mekkar, were included in this devious behavior because if they got caught the police would probably show up and possible incarceration could be a consequence. So, the rebellious Mekkar was definitely game! This gathering acquired from one of the regional hospitals: Four flexible 3 meter (9.84 feet) long sections of stretchable rubber tubing, each piece looked like a small clear colored hose, and a large yellow heavy plastic, later on a metal one when it became available, dog bowl. This dog bowl could hold six good sized snowballs. Sometimes they would become an ice ball when it was much colder outside or formed and left overnight to harden. One of the boys cut, or drilled with the metal bowl, holes in the sides of the bowl to put the tubing through. There were two tubes on each side of the bowl.

After that they would pick a launching location by a nearby road or highway. If there was no cover to hide their activity, the small group with Mekkar in tow, would build a snow wall or use some equipment to make a good sized snow mound. The wall or mound had to be at least about 1.85 meters (6.06 feet) high at a minimum to cover them. After completing that task they took a break and drank enough to get buzzed and to summon up some liquid courage to go ahead with their planned activity. The boys would then form about 50 or more snowballs for their ammunition. For the first firing session the four biggest and strongest of them, with two on each side one individual holding each tube, would wrap the end of the clear tube around their hands and put it over their inside shoulder while facing forward toward the target. The tube was wrapped around the hands for grip and to prevent slippage. Mekkar then filled up the dog bowl with six large snowballs that had now become a little harder and icier.

He pulled the bowl back and the tubing stretched, like it was supposed to, a couple of extra feet or more and then when they had reached their limit, Mekkar let his hands go from each side of the bowl. It was just like a big slingshot effect and the snowballs flew a few football field’s distance over a moving automobile on the road. This unidentified flying object appeared to startle the driver of the car, but they didn’t stop. So, the boys had to recalculate their position to get a better fields of fire range for their next target. Fortunately, for the passing motorists that day the boys’ aim was slightly off. Mekkar figured it was due to the effects of the alcohol they had consumed. But, they figured there would be other days to perfect their contraption and hit to miss ratio.