Lemonade

by Bernard De Koven on June 13, 2010

There are two teams. The teams are on a playing field of indeterminate measure. Suffice it to say that the teams are standing opposite each other, a relatively good run apart, between eleven and seventy-eight meters in most cases. Behind each team is a line. Behind that line is an unspecified area which functions as a base for that team. It is one of your more basic bases—a safe zone, as it were.

Now, one team, which we shall call Alpha for the sake of clarity, has previously met within their safe zone, and decided on a profession of some sort—trolley-car conductors, educators, streetwalkers, or something of like likeness. Alpha begins the game by marching forward, towards the opposition, several steps in unison, while chanting, “Here we come!” The other team, which I shall call Beta, responds by marching forward, presenting a common front, while declaiming, “Where from?” Whereupon Alpha takes a few more strides forward, still in unison, stating, with rather undue severity, “Philadelphia!” (Actually, they could lay claim to any town or area as place of origin. I have seen much latitude as well as longitude taken in this part of the game without any perceivably ill effect. Suffice it to say that “Walla Walla!” could be deemed equally appropriate.) Beta responds to Alpha’s statement of origin by asking the eternal question: “What’s your trade?” while taking several more steps forward.

By this time, as you can well imagine, both teams have drawn closer to each other. And now the Alpha team says a most unusual thing. Had I not seen this game in print as well as in play, I might have concluded as a naive observer that their statement had no purpose at all. However, after several years of rigorous observation and self-examination, I have been able to determine that the response, “Lemonade,” is, in fact, total nonsense. Total nonsense, as I will say elsewhere, does have its function. And, insofar as the name of the game is in truth “Lemonade,” the Lemonade Response is not completely out of context. Suffice it to say that the word “Lemonade” is used, invariably, whenever the game of Lemonade is played. At any rate, the utterance of this word is accompanied by similar strides forward.

And now Beta makes the final statement of the game. I have been always struck by the rather overt hostility seemingly embedded in this phrase. The game seems to be played in such good spirits, generally, that such a strong statement as the one I am about to reveal to you seems quite out of context. I would recommend, were anyone interested, an in-depth study of this phenomenon and related effect, to wit, “Show us some, if you’re not afraid!” A bit on the threatening side, think you not? A bit of a taunt as it were. Now, we must leave the text of the game, as the actual textual portion of it has been exhausted, and attend to the physical manifestation: At this point in the game, Alpha and Beta are approximately one arm’s length apart (the actual distance varying according to such random factors as arm size, finger-length, glovedness). Precisely at the moment at which this distance is reached—it being accomplished upon Beta’s final foray, accompanied by that mystifyingly confrontational statement, “Show us some, if you’re not afraid”—the Alpha team commences to pantomime the chosen profession—that being the one determined upon at the beginning of the game, as you doubtless recall. They pantomime individually, in small groups, or as a whole, simultaneously. As they are doing so, members of the Beta team call out the names of various professions which, according to their individual and collective judgment, would be pursued in the manner that is being pantomimed before them by Alpha. As soon as any member of the Beta team voices, correctly, the profession that has been agreed upon and is being performed by Alpha—that is to say, at the moment that any member of the Alpha team hears from any member of the Beta team, the correct profession—the Alpha team turns about and sprints with great alacrity toward their base line. As soon as they begin to run, the Beta team takes this as evidence that someone has guessed correctly, whereupon the Beta team commences hot pursuit, their objective being to tag, by causing touchage anywhere upon the person of a member of the opposite team, before said member, or any member of said member, has traversed the demarcation line of that team’s safe zone. After issues are resolved, all those from the Alpha team who have acknowledged their condition of taggedhood join the Beta team, whereupon the Beta team convenes, in their own safe area, to select the next profession.

from The Well-Played Game

This game is also known as Pretty Girl Station. It’s played as follows:

The game begins with a group of kids dividing themselves into teams. Each team makes a long line. The lines face each other-leaving a good distance between each other.

Each group huddles up-and decides on an occupation which they want to portray. A line is picked to go first before hand-then the line chosen marches towards the other while singing: Bum bum bum here we come all the way from Washington.

The marching singing line stops short just in front of the other line. The other line yells out a series of questions and the marching singing line answers:

Where’re you from?
Pretty Girl Station

What your occupation?
Doing things.

Well get to work!

The marching singing group begins to act out their chosen occupation- sorta like the game of charades. The other line tries to figure out what they are doing by yelling out guesses. If the right guess is screamed out-the marching singing group takes off running with the guessing group giving chase. The marching singing group tries to make it back to their side of the field without being caught-if a person is caught-they must join the other group.

The game continues with each side taking turns acting out a chosen occupation.


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