Comedy is a retort to oppression, corruption, and even death. It saved me when I was alone at home, at school, and every lonely, destitute place I’ve ever been in since. And now, when everything is actually OK and I still get down, comedy reminds me how silly I am, how silly it all is.
Sometimes when I’m on the precipice, when I feel, even now, that I am that unselectable little boy, a joke comes, and humour sweeps me into its gangly arms and saves me.
As I sat waiting at platform 9 for my Belgrave train, I listened to the loud voice informing everyone on the station the next train departing from platform 13. Perhaps he doesn’t know I thought how awfully loud the speakers are, and it would do no harm at all if he didn’t shout into the…
When I was in grade 5 my year level played a game called spy catcher, to this day, 9 years later, I still think it is the best game I have ever played.
There are two teams reds, and blacks, you use one deck of cards and remove the joker cards, and jacks. And also remove one red and one black king and queen, then depending on the number of people remove one of each card number except two and ace . The cards remaining get given to the aligning team colour. Each person in the team gets a card, with the king, queen, twos and aces being assigned first, if there are left over card numbers give them to the player holding the ‘queen’ card.
The rules are simple, each team wants to win the game, there are three ways in doing so, they are;
One, get the opposite teams king card.
Two, get their two aces
Three, get their two twos
How you do this, is my favourite part, you can play anywhere outdoors, or a big indoor space, imagine like a basketball court, on each end there is one safe zone the blacks safe on one side and the reds on the other. Everywhere in between the players walk around or run, and when you meet someone of the opposite side you, or they can choose to challenge you, in which the card you have been hiding must be revelled (secretly) with this person, who ever has the highest card ‘wins’ and takes the card back to their ‘king’
The king can beat everyone, but the twos the twos beat no one but the king, ace beats everyone but the king and queen and the queen beats everyone but the king.
As the game progresses the ‘safe’ area where no one can challenge you becomes smaller so it becomes a very strategic team game, which also values speed of athletic players.
The reason the game is called Spy Catcher is because once you lose your card the queen runs out you become a ‘spy’ you can run around and watch other challenges find out who is the king and the twos and help your team win.
When I played this game I was given a ten i was pretty happy i can beat almost everyone. The first person I challenged was also a ten so we shook hands and went our separate ways their ace challenged me right after. The Queen then gave me a four, I was heart broken, I wanted to be a better card fortunately, I had made quiet a commotion about being a ten so when I ran around daring people to challenge me the choose not to, they did not want to risk being uninformed. When I was waiting on the sidelines pondering how my four could be of use, I thought I would challenge the members of the other team who where remaining silent players, I found one, he was pretending to chase people as I was but had not yet challenged anyone. I walked up behind him, and said “i challenge you”
He was distraught, he was a two. I was a hero. I can’t remember if we won the game, I assume we did, but it didn’t matter, for me I was the best four ever.
I can not fathom the words to describe the feeling. So i will try to describe everything around it and perhaps the empty piece will fill itself.
I was born in Sydney an English speaking city, i lived there and went to a pre-school until I was about 15months old. I don’t recall any of those 15 months to be honest. however when i moved to Catalunya I am told I spoke in English to my older sister and mother. within a few months my older sister who could already speak Catalan and Spanish (4 years old) and my mother began to mostly converse with me in Catalan, at the new pre-school they spoke to me in Catalan and I quickly grasped it. For many reasons, I did not speak English during the five years I lived in Catalunya, the main reason being everyones preferred language was Catalan or Spanish. It became an unused skill, i ‘forgot’ i had.
When I was almost 6 years old and I moved to Melbourne. I was not, surprised I could understand people, I didn’t give it a second thought, I couldn’t understand everything that was said but I grasped enough to be surprised when they had no idea what i was saying in Catalan. I had made the assumption understanding what someone was saying and speaking that language where two separate uncorrelating things. It took me years to realise, the english I had learnt in the first 15months of my life had misguided the 6 year old Brenda who thought she knew no English. As I could understand things, I thought UNDERSTANDING was universal.
The feeling of something being completely new (for me hearing English being spoken) in conjunction with the feeling of complete comprehension?
does this feeling have a word. I am sure people have felt it before me, and people will feel it after, is there a word out there that i dont know exists? I would like to use it, sometime..