Sunday, July 08, 2007

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)

Touching the child’s forehead and say ‘Forehead Bender’
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.

5 Comments:

Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

Sounds like fun. I've got the little one by myself tonight - I'll have to torture her with it.

And, hopefully, I'll get her favorite request, "Do it again, daddy!"

7/09/2007 5:40 PM  
Blogger Librarina said...

Sounds like fun!

7/09/2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger Mir said...

Nose dropper (hence the chin chopper). I never liked this when I was little....my kids love it though.

7/10/2007 7:51 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Hah, you were on Brand, that's why no one knew. Shoulda walked down to Central then you coulda found the crazies.

I am going to play this with my grand daughter this weekend. She/I will love it!

7/10/2007 8:37 AM  
Blogger honglien123 said...

That sounds very similar to a Vietnamese game I've played with my kids since they were babies. We clap our hands and say a little rhyme that roughly translated goes something like this:

Clap your hands, I'll give you a treat
Don't clap your hands, and I'll take my pole and wack you on the...(pat baby's and name body part) head, shoulder, toes, hands, nose, ear...

Um, yeah, typing that out it sounds much cuter and less violent in Viet.

7/14/2007 4:28 AM  

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