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The W - Random - Smear the Queer?
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#1 Posted on
Here's a delicate reference to a game that I played as a child...

http://msn.espn.go.com/page2/s/caple/020626.html


    There is a certain sport that begins with the word "smear," where the object is not to gently "tag" someone, but instead to hunt him down in packs, tackle him to the ground, pile on the bodies and inflict pain until whoever is "it" -- and in this case, I think you could accurately use the term "victim" -- finally lets go of the ball. Or loses consciousness, whichever occurs first. Then someone else picks the ball up and runs away, while the bloodthirsty mob gives chase as if he were carrying an armful of Zotz, Sweet Tarts and Three Musketeers bars. It is an absolutely senseless game. No points are scored, and the only ones who win are those who emerge without a concussion, a cast or a ruptured spleen. It's terrific.


I never really thought about the name as a kid. Is smear the queer supposed to be gay bashing? Does anyone know the origin of the name? This is a game that seems to have been pretty wide spread... I grew up in Northern California. How do kids in different cities all know the same games with the same names?



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Since: 2.1.02

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
What a great column. I agree with everything said there. We are too overprotective. Nobody wants to risk being a "loser" (meant in the literal sense, i.e., a person who loses at something), so we just get rid of competition all together.

Smear the queer was a great game too. Queer doesn't have to mean gay person, though.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 28.6.02 1736)


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Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#3 Posted on
Despite the fact that I couldnt tell you what a 'Queer' was when I was actually playing the game on a regular basis, once I DID learn what 'Queer' was (as a stand-alone noun, not as an adjective) it was certainly always a pejoritive term for a gay person.

However, I agree that kids who play that game dont think of the 'Queer' being 'a Gay Guy' (otherwise why would they pick up the ball). The 'Queer' was simply the guy who had the ball while playing schmear the queer (if our simple minds got that far). It could have been schmear the asjglkagk.

Our alternative name was 'Kill the man with the ball.' Why 'Man' when we were 6 years old, I dont know.



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Since: 11.1.02
From: TX

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#4 Posted on
That was a great article. I agree that kids are being coddled way too much now. I personally think doing away with all of those games we played as kids is ridiculous. The "educators" touting this are certainly the ones that were never any good at these games so they didn't want to play thus they were "left out" and this scarred them emotionally, turning them into a bunch of pansies that are trying to justify their miserable childhoods by creating the thought that they were doing the right thing as a kid by not playing the games and it had nothing to do with them sucking. There is a proper mix when parenting (and teaching)and neither side should be taken to far. And no I don't believe in time outs either.

(edited by TinMan on 28.6.02 1708)


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Since: 11.6.02
From: Loveland, OH

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#5 Posted on
I haven't had any faith left in humanity for a tad over 2 years now where it ran dry, and its a continual downward spiral that appears not to have an end to it. People's stupidity is at a all-time low, common sense is extinct, and kindness towards each other is something only read in books. No tag, because of what? I should punch each kid in the face that didn't play and make them watch Carrot Top commercials for 1 week with no sleep.
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Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

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#6 Posted on
This game, in Mahomet, Illinois, was called either "Kill" or "Kill The Guy That's Got It".

I was frequently killed.



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Since: 17.3.02
From: Queidersbach

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
The alternative name to "smear the queer" in my area was the ever popular "kill the carrier". Both names worked equally well, although I suppose that the second is more p.c. but what 6 year old thinks about being p.c.?



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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#8 Posted on
I know that by a certain age there was a nebulous notion of what a "queer" was, and I seem to recall that game still being a viable part of our lives at that point. I suppose trying to pass it along anecdotally to younger kids just as "smear" or "kill the guy with the ball" would probably satisfy neither the way-too-overprotective folks, or the just as obnoxious, overly militant "dammit I won't change a thing no matter how offensive it is because I'm not PC!" type folks.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
It wouldnt matter what you called it. Eventually someone would come along and claim that the game teaches kids that violence towards the weak is ok. Everything fun = OUTLAWED.



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Since: 1.5.02
From: California.

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#10 Posted on
When I was in Elementary school (all of...6 years ago?), we played rugby.

But we didn't know the rules to rugby. And we didn't have goals. Or a points system. So basically, we'd run around in a giant mob and chase the man with the ball, and try to tackle him so we could take it and summarily be knocked out of our shoes.

And we played on the asphalt, without protection. And didn't bar anything. Girls could play if they wanted: few did. It was the most fun I haad up 'til that point.

We lasted about a month and a half before a kid got hurt and we were forced to stop for fear of having our parents called.

My point? Kids have energy, and they enjoy expending it by running into each other. Such is life: let it be.
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Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#11 Posted on
Now, I'm generally a piece of atheistic pinko meathead tree-hugging hippie crap, but these kids are growing up way too soft, and a lot of it is the fact that they're taking away any sort of even vaguely dangerous fun. Have you been to a playground recently? The whole thing's padded! Where's the fun in that?! When I was a kid, those swingsets were on concrete, we still jumped from the highest point, we did tear the shit out of our legs and we loved every fucking minute of it!

There's also a case to be made that we're not letting these kids get out any agression in a safe environment like that, which could easily be a contributing factor to how damned violent the "Limp Bizkit Generation" is... (I'm 22, I'm the "Nirvana Generation", thank you very much..)

And we called it "Kill The Guy With The Ball". As did Mick Foley, when he mentioned it in his famous sit-down interview with Jim Ross. ("...may even be an Olympic sport by now"). See, folks, FOLEY played it, and he grew up to be god!



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Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

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#12 Posted on
In our 'hood, we alternated between calling it "Tackle the Bum" and "Smear the Queer."

I don't think us kids had any idea of the connotation, however. All we knew was it was a football-type game, and football in Green Bay=good.



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

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#13 Posted on
We just called it Bash Ball.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05

    Originally posted by Merc
    We just called it Bash Ball.


here in the DC area, the kids in my area called it Murder.



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Since: 1.3.02
From: Silicon Valley, California

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#15 Posted on

    Originally posted by rikidozan

      Originally posted by Merc
      We just called it Bash Ball.


    here in the DC area, the kids in my area called it Murder.



I remember there was a kids game called Bloody Murder. Pickle was pretty fun too, and backyard football (one alligator, two alligator....)

smear the queer was like backyard free-for-all rugby and queer just meant you were IT and going down!





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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 9 days
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05

    Originally posted by zoggy1

      Originally posted by rikidozan

        Originally posted by Merc
        We just called it Bash Ball.


      here in the DC area, the kids in my area called it Murder.



    I remember there was a kids game called Bloody Murder. Pickle was pretty fun too, and backyard football (one alligator, two alligator....)

    smear the queer was like backyard free-for-all rugby and queer just meant you were IT and going down!




BLoody murder!!!! that was the name...

[sorry, i just moved back into my childhood home, and my parents buggered off to their retirement place, and man, i'm just getting a flood of old memories]

ahhhh....Bloody murder...


anyone else play Flashlight Tag like we used to do?

tag at night, and you used the flashlight to find people. and they had to make it back to "Base" if you got them with the flashlight, you would have to call out their name. Right and you got them into jail [jail was a location other than base]. if you were wrong, they got a free walk to base.

1 person would be the jailor [like the banker in monopoly] and they would revieve the prisioner] and if one on the hiders tagged a jailed person, they would free and the jailor would yell "John is free!" or whatever.

if the defenders made it all to base, they win, if somehow "it" got everyone, s/he one...

we played it, like, 9 hiders, and 3 people as "it"

geez, i loved that game.



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"Yeah, fuck you E.T. you ungrateful dick." -BigDaddyLoco 5/20/2

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Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

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#17 Posted on
...damn. We played "Baseball" and "Football".

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Since: 3.1.02
From: morro bay ca

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#18 Posted on
STQ was something that was always played at random settings by whoever was there. for orgainzed semi-violence, in scouts we had a thing called an "earth-ball" which was about 6 feet diameter and the goal was to pile on it and try to get on top of it while every else kept rolling it to force you off and even under it.
our kids nowdays are being raised as socially retarded. teenagers were "young adults" back when I was one, now they are being treated like children. I don't know what else to say, but if i did, I'd get flamed for it anyway.



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Northern NJ

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#19 Posted on
I'm 40 years old and Queer did not have the connotation in the late 60's that it does today - at least not down at the Grade School level - it rhymed and that was it.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#20 Posted on

    Originally posted by dunkndollaz
    I'm 40 years old and Queer did not have the connotation in the late 60's that it does today - at least not down at the Grade School level - it rhymed and that was it.
See, that's what I'd always thought, too - it rhymed and that was it. Of course, I can't account for any decade earlier than the 70s. ;-)



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