"Fun Weighs Nothing"
Modern entertainment is all based
on expensive computer consoles
or board games that cost $50 a box
but there was a time when
fun weighed nothing
and didn't cost either.
Kids ran around outside
playing tag and red rover
and blind man's bluff.
They made snowball forts
and fought epic battles,
built sand castles and mud slides.
There were no cell phones then,
no helicopter parents, and
neighbors actually knew each other.
Today most of the kids are fixated
on toys that blink and beep
and run out of batteries
but some of them still remember
that fun weighs nothing and
twilight isn't really dark
until Mom drags you indoors by the wrist.
* * *
The title is a riff on the premise that "Knowledge Weighs Nothing" and refers to games that can be played without special equipment, as long as you have someone who knows the rules.
These are some traditional games.
This is a vital life skill. You don't have to be able to do everything, just know how to get everything done. Schools don't teach it, parents these days are often unavailable, so people may not learn it. There are usually a lot of different ways to accomplish things. I could just as easily have asked my partner, who was three feet away chopping peppers. But I'm proud of myself for knowing how to figure out these little everyday puzzles -- the stuff that ordinary people actually need math for, only a lot of time, you don't need the numbers. You need an amount of something. That can usually be obtained through practical methods, faster and more accurately if you are not good with numbers. I'm good with string.
The other thing is that a friend of ours was practicing with his longbow out in our yard, and let us try it. This is the first time I've gotten to fire a longbow in this life -- the others were compounds. It was way too heavy a draw for me, but I did manage to launch an arrow with it, and not smack my boobs or elbow with the string. I remember how to do it, even if this body won't really go there. Close enough is ... not good enough to put a rabbit in the pot, but good enough to put a smile on my face for sheer nostalgia.
WARNING: This poem features cultural tensions, rude language, arguments, natural disasters, minor character death, and some other challenging topics. The overall tone is hopeful, though. Sensitive readers should aim for viewing this while in a steady state of mind.
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WARNING: This poem deals with some intense and controversial issues. Some of the warnings are spoilers; highlight to read. It talks about historic suicides, possible murder, assisted suicide in battlefield conditions, homosexuality, kink, vulgar and derogatory language, discrimination against smart people, homophobia, despair caused by social pressure, and other cultural ills. Please think carefully about whether or not this is something you want to read.
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WARNING: This poem contains true stories of genius abuse and neglect. If that's sensitive territory for you, think carefully about whether you want to read onward.
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This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by discussion with dialecticdreamer about her character Aidan. It also fills the "Wild Card: Daily Rituals" square in my 6-1-14 card for the genprompt_bingo fest. It has been selected in an audience poll for the general fund. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.
The following is a morning/evening prayer that Aidan uses, from his childhood, which is thousands of years ago. It's bilingual in a version of Proto-Indo-European and English. The cool thing about PIE is that it's primarily a set of word bones with a few grammatical guesses. So if you want to extrapolate what a historic tribe might have been speaking, you can pick and choose among the variables until you get something you like. Several linguists have done this for our world; listen to an example here. (I can actually parse words out of that.) Here's one for Terramagne.