Sorry about the capitals. I was listening to the the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the scouts today and it brought back memories. Yes, my name is Shooting Parrots and I was a scout.

Actually I started on the light stuff. I was a cub for several years. Just experimenting you understand. Then I was lured into the edges of the pack as a seconder, but proving myself I got my own pack and became a sixer. I got high on the power and I was hooked. And I became a scout.

It was good fun really. It gave us something to do pre-WII, cable tv, consoles and the internet. I doubt if my youngest would agree as it entailed sodden camping trips and lots of jingoistic mantras. But also lots of memories:

Bally: Not the most original of names for a good game. Take a reasonably large room and a bunch of competitive lads. Chuck in one of those light plastic footballs (or a basketball if you’re in masochistic mood) and it’s played like this. You all crouch down and hit the ball with clenched fist only. If the ball hits your legs, you’re out. Goals either end as usual/ The trick is to take out the good players.

Wally: Another footie game. Designate a wall as the goal which the first person has to hit while putting the ball in an impossible position. Hit it so it spins round the back of hut or whatever and where it lands, can you clip the angles to put it back in play?

First Aid: My favourite. I can’t believe that we used to compete in saving lives, but we did, once a year in the first aid competition. The end point, usually in a church or school hall was a ‘real’ life scenario.

Ours was like this: a man decides to decorate the kitchen in which his wife is cooking. He skids on the pasted paper and topples off his ladder, crashing into his wife who just happens to be taking the pan of boiling cabbage off the cooker.

Result? He has a broken arm and she has red and swollen legs, enhanced by blusher.

Enter troop of scouts, led by me who quickly assesses the situation as being unreal. My large and enthusiastic sic beams broadly and charges out of the room brandishing the fallen cabbage pan.

Schwartzer-like, we began to bring calm healing, at which point my largesome comrade reappeared with the same pan filled with cold water that he then threw over the ‘scalded’ woman who visablly drew breath.

You had to be there.

Most of the time though it was painful. Looking at my body I have the scar on my ankle where somone swung at me across the stream in which I was standing, large rock in hand, that crashed on my foot; the white bit of skin on my left leg, remnant of a wrestle and where the toggle bits of the scout belt gouged its groove. Not to mention the blisters we earned raising money for good causes.

We will do our best. And WE WILL NOT SUE.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

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