It’s Wednesday; I’m sitting here looking at my teacher, Miss Kent. She is so beautiful to look at. I know that she is going over our history lesson but I’m not paying attention to what she is saying. All of a sudden she caught me by surprise when she said. “Pepino, can you tell the class when did George Washington cross the Delaware?” I said “Huh, The Delaware?” I think that she shot a question at me because she could see that I was daydreaming. My mind went blank and the whole class started to laugh at me because of the stupid look on my face. Miss Kent did not wait for an answer. She just moved on to ask another student the same question. So I went back to my daydreaming and hoping that the school will let out soon because I am looking forward to seeing the Yo-Yo man this afternoon. It seem like it took forever for the three o’clock bell to ring. I got my books together and ran down the stairs to exit the school building, I practically ran over Mike Tomato who was in front of me.
He yells out. “Wahoo, take it easy shithead you’re gonna run me over.” I pushed him aside and rushed over to the Candy Store across the street. I see about twenty kids at the Candy Store trying to push their way in. The next thing I see is the store owner comes out, raise his hand and shout to the kids waiting that the Yo-Yo man will come outside. He will stand in front of the store and do his Yo-Yo tricks on the sidewalk so that everyone can see him. Then I see the Yo-Yo man come out of the store. He looks a lot younger than I thought he would be. He’s a tall good looking guy with long dirty blond hair. There are a bunch of teenage girls here too and I don’t think that they’re much interested in just seeing the Yo-Yo man do his tricks. Wow! He started to twirl a couple of Yo-Yo’s, one in each hand, all at the same time. I am amazed because the Yo-Yo’s look like they are an extension of his arms. All the kids watching are cheering him on and clapping after each trick. I think that Duncan will sell a hundred Yo-Yo’s today. The show was over in fifteen minutes so that the kids could line up to buy their own Yo-Yo. I have my orange Yo-Yo so I don’t have to buy one today.
I see Joanie come out of the Candy Store holding a bright pink Yo-Yo. She walked up to me and said. “Wow! Wasn’t that something? The Yo-Yo guy has a lot of talent and he’s good looking too.” She paused for a minute to look at the Yo-Yo guy again, then she turned to me and said. “Hey Pepino, Jenny and Frances are meeting me after dinner to play the Hot Potato game. We need two or three more players; can you come over with Jimmy Pizza to play this game with us?” I said.. “Okay, but what in the hell is a Hot Potato game?” To tell the truth I didn’t care what the game was all about as long as I get a chance to hang out with Jenny’s friend Frances any game is okay with me. Frances is so pretty to look at and when she laughs, I don’t know why, it just makes me feel good.
I went home, I had dinner with my family, finished my homework and then I ran down stairs like a bat out of hell to meet up with Joanie. First I went over to call Jimmy Pizza and Nunzio Superman to ask them to join us for the “Hot Potato” game. Joanie and her friends, Jenny, Frances and Jeanette were on Joanie’s stoop waiting for us. I walked over and said. ”Hey Joanie, I got some of my friends to come over with me to play the game you told me about. Can you tell us how to play your stupid game?” I only called the game stupid so that Frances would notice me. Joanie wrinkled her nose and said. “It’s not a stupid game. Jenny told me about this game the other day and I think it will be fun to learn something new.” I wasn’t listening to Joanie because my eyes were on Frances, she has such a glow around her. Then I turned to Joanie and said. “Okay, Okay, please tell us the rules of the game.” Then Jenney chimed in. “Listen the rules are not that complicated. Hot Potato is a little like musical chairs. I brought this potato with me to start the game. We throw the potato from one player to another until the leader or caller says “stop”. The player who is left holding the hot potato at that time is “out” . Then the leader will say “start”, we start throwing the potato to each other again until we hear “stop”. You guessed it, the one holding the “Hot Potato” is out. We keep moving the game along until the only player left in the circle is declared the winner. Then we start a new game with all the winners and losers. It’s possible for the winner of the first round to win several rounds. Now we first have to pick the leader or caller who will call out the “start” and “stop” commands.
Okay all the players get in a circle now, the leader will stand over there with his or her back to the group so that they can’t see who is holding the “Hot Potato” as it goes around the circle. I will be the first leader or caller. When we finish playing this game six times we then gather the winner of each game for a playoff to find who will be the champion of the Hot Potato game. Do you have any questions?” Frances raised her hand and said. “Jenny, if you’re call out the commands for each game when will you get a chance to play in the circle?” Jenny opened her eyes wide and smacked her forehead with her open hand and said. “You’re right, I forgot to say that when the first round is over and the first player out will replace me as the caller. Then I will have my chance to join you in the circle. Every time we start a new game the caller will be replaced by the first player or loser that has to step out of the circle. We keep playing until we get three different winners from the games played.
When that happens we can then start the playoff game to se who is the “Champion”. I looked at Jenny and said. “I thought you said that this game was not complicated. I don’t know how I can remember all these friggin rules.” Everybody started laughing until Jenny raised her hand way up high and said.”STOP!” You will see how easy it is once we get started.” We finally calmed down and formed a circle with Joanie hold the potato in her hand. Jenny was right, once we got into playing the “Hot Potato” game; we were having a lot of fun. As we throw the potato from one player to another we started to laugh louder and louder. If a player dropped a potato and it hit the concrete sidewalk hard it would break into a million pieces, that’s when we started to laugh like crazy people and we rolled on the floor because we couldn’t stand up any longer. At that point we had to stop playing so that Joanie could ask her Mom for some new potatoes for us to play with. Even though we smashed three potatoes on the sidewalk we managed to finish three games. I won the first game, Jenny won the second game and Frances won the third game. The three winners then got into a mini circle to start the playoff game. Joanie called out the commands for the playoff.
Jenny was out first and it was between Frances and me for the championship round. I could not keep a straight face and neither could Frances. We looked at each other and started laughing again. The last championship round seemed to go on forever. I think that Joanie did it on purpose. After five or six minutes Joanie finally said. “Stop!” And I was left holding the “Hot Potato” I stood there with a big grin on my face as I watched Frances do her victory dance. Wow! That was great. Then we all sat down on the sidewalk, laughing and talking about all the screw-up’s. We are all wiped out. I never thought that the “Hot Potato” game would have so much action. I left the gang sitting there and I went home to crash on my cot for the night.