A lunchbreak walk on a pleasant December day suggests Peter Pan is not the only one who never grew up.  Caught myself playing StinkFish and avoiding the sidewalk squares stamped with paving company names and dates. 
Like a snipe hunt, StinkFish was a game where the first-graders could lord it over the gullible new kindergartners walking to school.  When the little kids unknowingly stepped on the square with the stamped name, the big kids called them "StinkFish".  That's a name no little kid wants! 
Searching the internet has yielded little information about "StinkFish".  At least I didn't dream it, as Jamie Gilson's chapter book, Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub, has a description of the game.  Somebody called BlueDemon posted a question on a fantasy football forum about StinkFish:
When I talk of playing StinkFish everyone looks at me like I'm nuts. The object of the game was to walk side by side on city sidewalks and avoid the squares where the utility company had stamped their logo into the cement. If you stepped on that square you were called a stink fish. Does anyone remember?

Kicky Kevin was the biggest big kid who walked our way to Eastridge Elementary on L Street.  He would know about StinkFish.  Kicky Kevin had earned his name by wearing untied shoes too large for his feet.  When he kicked, his shoe usually flew into the air and crashed down on some kindergartner.

Two's company.
Three's a crowd.
Four on the sidewalk
Is never allowed.

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

I first learned about it as a grownup, among the kid set in Chicago. Or adults who had been kids in Chicago, and were now raising kids in Chicago.

Unknown said...

I remember playing that game as a little kid growing up in Stevens Point, Wisconsin in the late 1940s.


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