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teenagers in the summertime
How were your summers as a teenager?
Were there any absurd things you just delighted in engaging in?
I loved riding my bike. I loved ratting around in the woods. In the summers I loved swimming. I loved the water. In it, there are few as satisfying as a rousing game of tippy canoe!
Tippy canoe is a two person game. Below are the rules as outlined in the Official Handbook of Tippy Canoe Play
Lake with a drop off
Friend to play with
How to play:
Drag canoe into the lake.
Player 1: Executes that running, jump in and let it glide kinda thing?
Player 2: Runs along side and swims after the canoe eventually holding on to the back and kicking their feet with a futile flailing splash.
(Hold mouth open wide in part grimace part smile. Eyes shut. Head tilted back and to the left)
Player 1: Shuffles towards bow of canoe. Canoe tips and wobbles a bit. Giggles
Player 2: Face makes rapid contact with arse end of canoe. Shouts profanity.
Player 1: Giggles begins paddling with one hand then the next at the front of the canoe. Canoe, true to this game’s name, wobbles then tips a bit from side to side.
Player 2: Pushes canoe away with all their might. Swims out past drop off. Catches the boat. Attempts to climb into the boat. Does this in the middle. Must not announce this action to Player 1. Goal is to catch Player 1 unawares and cause them to fall. Ideally without smacking face on way down.
Player 2: If any faces do experience a dull hard surface while moving at a rapid pace, you are not responsible for their face.
Player 1: Take no responsibility for your balance. Though you know the game is afoot, let yourself be surprised. Overcompensate when balance is lost / threatened.
Once both players have found their way into the canoe, both proceed to stand on the gunwales.
Neither player should merely attempt to stand on the gunwales. Every action should at this point is an opportunity to either tip the canoe or throw the other player into the lake.
Once on the gunwales, both players rock the canoe. Tipping it from side to side they shout, swear, scream and generally carry on. Falling is desirable. Jumping in and faking falls is also a good idea. Grabbing the legs of the other player and hauling them into the water is also fair game.
Eventually the canoe fills with water. Flip it. Go underneath and inhabit the small space between the canoe floor and the water.
When both players are thoroughly bruised, coughing up snot and mildly concussed, work as a team to drag the canoe into more shallow water.
Pull the canoe ashore.
Return home exhausted and indulge in rice crispy squares.
What odd, mildly dangerous and remarkably foolish activities did you engage in as a teen?
How could you find a similar level of excitement, contentment and joy today?
What creative projects have the same level of chaotic, reckless joy could you engage in?
How could they liberate your spirit from the soul crushing realities of ‘adulting’?
Calm waters are fine. Rapids are wonderful.
But when things get boring?
Create your own chaos.
Sure, some claim that canoes are about glide, grace and balance. Remarkable fools however prefer the joys that come from a solid game of Tippy Canoe.