Anatomy of a Gulley-Gulley
As a child, my paternal grandmother used to play a game with me that she called Gulley-Gulley.
And we played it all. the. time.
Just about the time I out grew it, my sister came along. So it was a staple at my house for about 10 years and something that was near and dear to my heart.
As with many unused memories, I packed it away into that section of the brain that acts like a storage spot for items you never use, but can't bring yourself to throw away. And there the memory stayed, somewhere between my 8-track player and toughskin jeans, until my grandmother passed away, nearly a decade ago.
Then I opened that hall closet of my mind and, after getting hit on the head with my set of Sock’em Boppers, I rediscover the Gulley-Gulley game.
There it was, a piece of my childhood that had been all but forgotten, lying at my feet. I picked it up, shook it off and tried it on for size.
Apparently I’ve put on a few pounds. What’s more, I’d forgotten a couple of lines.
At the time I was living in LA and I figured if anyone knew the Gulley-Gulley game, it’d be an Angeleno (yeah, I should have started with my parents… I’m not that bright).
So I started with my friends; neither of them knew the game.
Fresh out of ideas, I started asking people on the street; it’s surprising how well people in LA can completely ignore you. I imagine it felt a lot like Patrick Swayze in "Ghost", but without Whoopie Goldberg.
Dejected and told to stay off of Brand Blvd. by the Glendale PD, I returned to my apartment.
That evening, my subconscious gave me the answer; I dreamed of my grandmother and she showed me Gulley-Gulley game. Again.
Now I pass the game along to anyone under the age of four. Until recently, Gunslinger was the biggest player of the game, but The Squeaker has taken up the sport.
I started her out early; by her first month, she was playing twice a day. Today, we’re up to at least a half a dozen times a day and she just keeps getting better at it. In fact, during my mother’s visit last week, she saw us playing and was shocked at how good Squeaker was.
In a year or two, who knows… we could go pro.
Here are the rules so you can play Gulley-Gulley at home
(It’s a variation on the nursery rhyme, Eye Winker):
Start facing the other person
(works best with a child under 5, but you make the call)
Move to the left eye (touching the eyebrow, not the eyeball) and say “Eye Winker’
On the right eye (again - the eyebrow area) and say “Tom Tinker’
(start going a little faster)
Tap the nose with ‘Noseblower’
Then the lips with a ‘Mouth Eater’
The chin gets a ‘Chin Chopper,’ and finally‘Gulley! Gulley! Gulley!’ in a tickling motion under the chin.
It’ll be their favorite game in no time.