Chapter Four: Hide and Seek

WARNING! Most of the information presented in this book is simply not true and, in fact, is a complete pack of lies. It is therefore highly recommended that you do not use any of its contents as part of a book report, a school project or as an answer to a question in a surprise test. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED!

Hide and Seek

The Sad Origins of the Game

Hide and Seek wasn’t always a fun game. For centuries, it was just a simple way for parents to take a holiday from their children without having to deal with all the crying and pouting. “Close your eyes and count,” a parent might say while packing a suitcase, “and when you hear the car driving off, open your eyes again and try to find me.”

Perhaps, because Hide and Seek grew out of such inconsiderate behaviour, the game often goes wrong. It’s a wonder that it is still played at all. No other game has brought on so much misery and distress, with the exception of Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Snakes & Ladders, back when real donkeys and snakes were used.

General Rules

A. – Two or more players are required to play Hide and Seek, but the numbers should never be too large because, well, people have lives and, you know, things to do. Just saying.

B. – One player is chosen to be the “seeker”. The “seeker” must count out loud up to a predetermined number, but with their eyes shielded from view (see illust. 4a).

(Illust. 4a The six steps in avoiding temptation)

(Illust. 4a According to medieval manuscripts, St. Anthony [the patron saint of lost things] is quoted as saying “The Seeker shall not becometh the Peeker”. Six instructions were afterwards given. Before counting, the seeker must close their eyes, then cover their eyes with their hands, then face a tree trunk, then wrap their face in bandages or duct tape, then be put into a sack and finally the sack is to be put in a dumpster.)

C. – In order that the “seeker” doesn’t count too fast, the following method is used: “One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi …” and so on (see Illust. 4b).

(Illust. 4b)

D. – While the “seeker” is counting, the other players run off and hide anywhere within a designated area, such as a backyard or a playground or the lion’s section at a zoo.

E. – When the seeker has stopped counting, they yell out, “Ready or not, here I come!” and begin searching for the hiders. Blood hounds are not permitted in the search nor the use of any electronic tracking devices or drones (see illust. 4c ).

(Illust. 4c)

F. – A hider’s goal is to reach the spot where the seeker was counting before being spotted. If spotted, the seeker yells out “One, two three on ____ ” naming that hider. If not spotted, the hider is allowed to do a victory dance and tease the seeker by saying things like “In your face, Seeker!” and other obnoxious stuff until they realize that they’re acting like a jackass and sit quietly.

G. – The first hider caught must now become the seeker. If no one is caught, the same player remains the seeker for the next round, but usually they say, “this stinks, I’m outta here” and goes home to watch television.

Things can go bad (they often do)

Getting the balance right is so important when playing Hide and Seek. Having the right number of players, being the correct age, avoiding active volcanos – all of this matters. Here are just a few examples of when the game took a turn for the worst:

“Okay guys, this isn’t funny anymore.”

(Illust. 4d In 1973, Eric Spaller was chosen as “seeker” and when he closed his eyes and counted, the whole population of Chicago went and hid in Hoboken, New Jersey for over a week. Although everyone eventually returned to the city, Mr. Spaller’s friends claim that he has never closed his eyes since.

Sixty years later

(Illust. 4f In Kale Corners, British Columbia, nine-year-old player, Astra Thwump, thought it would be clever to hide in a box. However, that box was suddenly sealed and taken to a post office where it was mailed to New Zealand. Many days later, the girl arrived at a home of a Wellington family who were expecting a package of yoga pants. The family assumed the girl ate their yoga pants and forced her to run a lemonade stand until she made back the money to pay for them and to fly her back home.)

In the next chapter, we will look at two similar games: Red Rover and British Bulldog.

Quiz Questions

  • How many lies or misinformation were you able to spot in this chapter?
  • What were some of the ways you figured out that they were not true?
  • Were there any bits that were true or that maybe sounded believable?
  • Have you visited or plan to visit Kale Corners, BC?

Tips for Truth-seekers

The organization, Common Sense, has put out a short YouTube video with a bunch of good information. Click below to check it out:

5 Ways to Spot Fake News

Chapter Five: Red Rover and British Bulldog

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