Wouldn’t it be nice if we could still have recess in our lives, now that we aren’t in school anymore?
And wouldn’t it be great to have recess without being picked last for every team? And wouldn’t it be fantastic to have recess without breaking your collarbone?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that yes, in fact, you can have recess now that you’re an adult (I’m assuming here).
The bad news is: recess is in Calgary.
I happened to be in Cowtown this week and I was going nowhere fast in a typical Deerfoot Trail traffic jam, watching the snails, sloths and turtles slithering, creeping and meandering by on the road past my car.
So I turned on the radio, hoping for some delta blues slide guitar tunes to improve my day, and I heard this guy talking about how adults need to bring back recess into the busy mayhem of their crazy modern lives.
In fact this fellow, Coach Tyson, has started an actual community group called Recess Calgary.It works like this: once a week, on Wednesday evenings, you can join the recess community for fun and games at a local gymnasium for an hour or so.
Coach Tyson organizes three or four games each recess, such as Capture the Flag, tag, and what the Coach likes to call a “safer version” of dodge ball.
Who wants a broken nose from a “friendly” game of dodge ball? And will that wonky knee hold up to a spirited session of Frisbee? I mean, we aren’t kids anymore, right?
And that’s the point, really.
The slogan on the Recess Calgary website is: “Take a Break from Adulting,” and the goal is to bring together adults who “want more play in their lives.”
Oh, and yes, it will cost you nine bucks every time, but, hey, sometimes you get to play around with a 20-foot parachute. A steal of a deal, really, especially since, as their website also exclaims: “No Playground Bullies This Time!”
Which, at this point, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that you’re thinking of your own recess memories, stored away wherever you keep your fading former good times and bad times. Because recess could certainly be, as Charlie Dickens said, the best of times and the worst of times.
I can remember good, old epic snowball fights at South School (snowball fights were illegal), and all-weather, full-tilt soccer games (kicking the ball over the school fence was illegal), and intense springtime marble tournaments (legal).
And our most favourite recess activity: dog piling. We’d be noodling around out there in front of the school and someone would tackle someone else and somebody would scream “dog pile,” and everybody within piling distance would leap on top of everybody else.
Unfortunately, the girls didn’t bother to participate for some reason, but boy, there was nothing quite like a big honkin’ dog pile (also illegal).
And speaking of girls, there was the legendary episode where skinny Ricky and big Fred hatched an incredibly ambitious (and stupid) plan to impress a bevy of girls by Fred tackling Ricky right in front of them.
This resulted in a disastrous crash and a broken collarbone, which, as Ricky found out, hurts a lot and causes you to cry in front of girls.
So the next Recess Calgary session is on Wednesday, and if you’re going down there, just be careful not to break your collarbone showing off for the other adult kids.
You can always play Safety Dodge Ball.
Harley Hay is a Red Deer writer and filmmaker.