Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dandy Shandy 'Cock Up and Duck' Those Were the Good Ole Days

As I drove along a particular avenue in Kingston I was drawn to a very unusual sight, that of three grown ass women playing 'dandy shandy!!' so amused and intrigued by this gesture I had to stop and watch and where they having fun..oh yes they where and as I looked on it all came back to me.....


15 years ago Dandy Shandy was one of the many so called 'ring games' children played at school, church and just about anywhere they could in Jamaica.  This game only needed three participants, two standing in opposite direction of each other and the third in the middle.  The two on opposite ends would throw a ball (usually made from just about anything that can be stuffed with paper and  shaped as close to ''circular" as possible and firm) at the person (target) at the center, who would in turn show off his/her skills at dodging the ball with an almost choreographed, dance like and dramatic dodges popularly known as cite, sight or site, yup!  To dodge a ball skillfully one had to know how to cock-up, duck and miss or in Jamaican street terms, 'do di tings dem.'  Once the ball hit its target, the individual goes out and another person takes the center.  


Dandy Shandy got even more intense when there is a team.  Members of the team would encourage competing team mates at the 'centre' with cheers.  The great, 'cock up' earns the individual or team 10 points.  A good game of Dandy Shandy can last for hours and drew huge crowds after regular school hours.  Girls good at doing the 'cock up' would seem to flying in the air oh yes!  Dandy Shandy got many kids in trouble, they were either late for school or class, spent hours when sent to run errands and a host of other do not and dont's none of which prevented some kids from participating in a game.


Although Things Have Changed
As I watched the women played, awed at times at how much fun they were having and how I was feeling watching them I found myself comparing how it was then with how it is now.  Kids these days know little or nothing about so called ring games. "What are ring games?" my 13 year old neighbour asked,  ok so I explained but he could not understand why anyone would want to be a target and have people throwing stuff at them and by the time I was through explaining he was already playing his favourite game on his ipod.  Though kids still socialize and probably have more friends in their modern world of social network pages and the likes, they sure have lost some childhood fanatics.  But there are some who have stuck to their roots, like have you ever wonder why Jamaican athletes are so successful? Well maybe its because they continue to do the 'old' things because though things change they remain the same. I like blogging, sending emails, surf the net, find new friends on social network pages.  I like the time we now live in.  What I try to do is incorporate what I learnt then into what I have learned now or is still learning and often times I create. 


As I drove off from watching the women, I felt a tinge in me, yes I felt great! I affirm then that I will never forget the 'Good Ole Days' will you?