Sunday, November 05, 2006

# Posted 9:28 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THE INNOCENCE OF CHILDREN: The following passage is from a profile [print only] in this week's New Yorker of author Robert Greene:
When Greene was a kid, in Brentwood, he and some of the boys on his street played a game they called Gestapo. Two boys, impersonating prison-camp escapees, would run off separately into the hills, and the others would give chase, with a bloodhound. "It was terrifying," Greene told me. He suspects that, despite being the only Jewish boy in the group, he was the one who came up with the game.
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When I lived in Kaiserslautern, Germany in the 1970's my upsatirs neighbors were a major in the Army Corps of Engineers and his German-born wife and two young kids. The son was out playing soldier one day and his mother caleldhim and asked him what he was doing. He replied, "I'm killing Germans!"

She replied, "But Glenn, I'm German."

He said, "I don't care! I like to kill Germans!"

No word on whetehr or not he was grounded for that . . .
At about the same time, some of the children in my neighborhood in Massachusetts played French Resistance. We also played Cowboys and Indians, but the "in" thing at the time was to be the Indians. (Sometimes it was just Indians and Indians, with no cowboys at all.) I think some variation on this game is more or less inevitable, but I'm interested to see what other people call it.
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