Playing `Kick the Can'
I HAVE to say it: If you haven't played ``Kick Can'' you haven't lived. You don't have to call it that. In some places it's called ``Kick the Can'' or ``Kick the Tin.'' In Sydney, Australia, there are kids who know it as ``I-acky.'' It's played all over the world in slightly different forms, in Germany, France, Holland. In Britain (where I live) it has been given all kinds of local names - things like ``Tin Can Tommy'' and ``Kicky-Off-Choff-Choff'' and ``Tin in t' Ring.''Skip to next paragraph
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I'd be surprised if you don't know the basic rules. But to remind you (if you're a 104 and it's slipped your memory for a moment):
You need ...
(1) An empty tin can.
(2) As many players as you can get together.
(3) A fine long summer evening.
(4) Bags of energy.
It also helps, if you happen to be the unfortunate Keeper of the Can or ``seeker'' (or ``canner,'' ``den keeper,'' ``slave,'' or just plain ``it'') to have a good loud voice, eyes on four sides of your head and a v-e-r-y sus-pi-cious na-ture. Also it's quite useful if you are not inclined to despair too easily, because your job is absolutely impossible. Well, difficult, anyway.
First you put your can in the middle of the largest open space you can find. You could draw a chalk circle around it. That's where it belongs. Next you put your right foot on it, close your eyes, and count a hundred. This is to give time for all the other players to disappear off the face of the earth. Depending on where you are playing, this means they hide behind garbage containers, cars, down alleyways, the other side of doors or walls, in the bushes, behind fat tree trunks, at the back of the house.
Now everybody is against the poor ``it.'' Your job is to tentatively see if you can't spy any one of the hidden enemies. But beware! - you mustn't stray too far from your can. Your opponents are maneuvering. They are plotting and planning. They can see you even if you can't see them .... Then, suddenly, you see one of them! You must yell out ``Seen you, Froggy!'' (or whatever the name is) and rush back to the tin, put your foot on it and count ``One, Two, Three'' before Froggy can belt out of her/his hiding place and kick the can. If Froggy gets there first, you have to go and fetch your can (which Froggy, being a first-class footballer, has kicked three streets away) return with it to the original spot and count 100 again, allowing Froggy and his invisible friends to hide or rearrange their hiding places.
If, however, you get to the can first, Froggy is your first Prisoner. He now has to stand by the can looking pathetic and ill- treated, and can only be released if one of the other players manages to break cover and rush and kick the can before you spot them and beat them to it. If you get there first, and count three, you have another Prisoner.