The Bad Kind of Good Clean Fun
equipment: small cocktail-size pickles, two lengths of wire, some clips and a battery.
instructions: My good friend Alex invented this one, and it is always a crowd-pleaser. To my untrained eye, it looks like he just sticks some wires into a procession of pickles, hooks it all to a battery, turns out the lights and waits for the sparks to fly. In due course, the pickles will glow!
special warnings: Of course, there might be other steps that I’ve ignored in my excitement about the electric pickles, so, ahem, proceed with caution.
Scented Marker Tattoos
equipment: smelly-markers, your body (or the body of a friend).
instructions: Grab your (friend’s) forearm and start drawing! Then enjoy the one-two punch of scratch-and-sniff tattoos.
special warnings: Remember those stinky inkers from elementary school? Some kid would always get too close to their nostril and end up with a ring of magenta (mmmm black cherry) until their mom really got up there with a cloth and scrubbed it away. Consider that a warning. Also, if you aren’t careful you can mix your colours and create previously unknown horrors of stink. You might think twice before sprucing up a “black licorice” skull-and-crossbones with a “coconut-popcorn” snake.
equipment: one hill, everything with wheels, everything good for tying things together (ordinary rope, skipping rope, garden hose, chains from the swings out back), passengers who aren’t too chicken to hop aboard.
instructions: Join everything with wheels into a long train, connect with the rope etc, and ride downhill at top speed. Brakes count as cheating. Jumping off before the end of the ride counts and cheating. Dragging your shoes counts as “brakes”, which counts as cheating. The only acceptable ways for Convoy to end are (a) in a heap at the bottom of the hill, or (b) in a heap at the curb after steering an emergency left to avoid shooting into traffic.
special warnings: “Convoy” and “thinking ahead” might sound like forces never destined to meet, but you will thank yourself later for taking a moment to consider the exact order of your vehicles. Banana-skateboard before or after red wagon, for instance? Likewise, posting a lookout at the bottom of the hill, someone to shout, “car!” never hurts.
Repeat After Me
equipment: you and someone else.
instructions: This is an easy one! Show off what an expert listener you are by saying everything…EVERYTHING…exactly like the other person. Bonus move: demonstrate your incredible attention to detail by perfectly mimicking their inflections and tone.
special warnings: You might want to make sure you can take the other person in hand-to-hand combat. Also, consider whether they will tattle, have the authority to suspend privileges, etc.
Ruining Dinner with Ice Cream
equipment: an ice cream parlour, $3 (make it $6 if you’re treating a friend), an approaching dinnertime.
optional: Call a buddy and agree to meet on the ice cream parlour steps (skip this step if you are Ruining Dinner Alone).
instructions: Leave the office (or school, if you’re still learning). Notice that it’s a sunny day. Also notice that dinnertime is pretty soon. Walk to the ice cream parlour anyhow, and order a double scoop. Maybe there are nuts and raisins in there–those are practically vitamins! Maybe you go to a gelateria–bonus–now you can pretend that gelato is made mostly from real fruit! That’s practically vegetables! Which is damn near dinner! No matter which flavour you choose or the ethnicity of your ice cream shop, the important part is to eat so much that by the time you get home, the very idea of eating dinner makes you feel ralfy. Skip dinner.
special warnings: Psssst! Ice cream with nuts isn’t really vitamins. It’s best to limit ruining dinner to no more than once a month.
Miscellaneous Good Bad Fun
Eat so much cookie dough you don’t want the cookies once they’re baked, because now you feel barfy in your belly!
Move all the stuff in the china cabinet just a tiny bit, not enough to get caught, just enough that it doesn’t quite look right!
Stay awake latest at the sleepover! For this, you will need supplies–coffee, if you can get it, cola will do in a pinch.
Build a peanut butter sandwich twenty layers tall, just like in the old Skippy advertisement! Try to stack it and bite it without tipping it over!
And of course, if you can lay your hands on a set of darts, there’s always this classic…