Remember we used to play tag? And by we, I mean you and me, and everyone we knew. Tag was free. It was arguably fun, that is unless you were “it,” but even then that was half of the game. Do you run after the young weakling, or puff your chest and go for the speedy neighbor? Hide in wait amongst the trees for a gorilla-tag, or hop on your bike for a drive-by-tag? Tag, simply timeless.
Let’s face it, tag was and still is awesome. However, and there is always a “however” when I rant, it seems the rules of tag have changed.
|Lockers are safe, you can’t
tag me here Winny! Or can you…
It seems that when you go out and have a good time with your family and friends, you are actually playing tag. You drink a little, you play a few games of shuffle puck, and perhaps (hypothetically) at the moment just before the lights come on, you dance a little bit. Okay, maybe a lot. Seems fun, and at the surface all seems fair. But, you see, the rules of tag have changed. The game has been sent into overtime.
Now, you are playing tag when you don’t even know it. Street lights on? Doesn’t matter, you are not violating curfew and the game is still on. Oh yea, another thing is that there is certainly no “safe,” and there sure as hell is no doorknob that you can hold onto to make you invisible or otherwise exempt from the enemy hand. Someone can tag you any time of day or night, from anywhere. You my friend (and by you, I mean me) are playing the game even though the bar is closed and the hangover has been cured.
I have exited stage right, insofar as that little hypothetical dance session is concerned. Nonetheless, I have been tagged. And now I am it. I am it, because I hypothetically danced like I owned the joint.
Being “it” is causing terrible redness in my face, even now almost a month beyond the hypothetical dance-a-thon. Unlike the old game of tag, I just can’t go out and tag someone else to rid myself of my it-ness. And I confess, I always went for the easy target. I never went after the speedy neighbor, I chose the kid who was only half playing, half eating his ice-cream. I tagged the hell out of him, and then finished his Thrifty’s triple cone.
And now I am paying the piper for my misgivings. There was nowhere to hide and in this dangerous microcosm that we live in (i.e., family and friends), I’m it and from now on I’ll always be it. At least as it relates to that hypothetical video where I danced terribly, in abstract of course.
|Your cool, but I’m not playing anymore!|
I take minor solace in the fact that the rules have changed in both directions. Now you can untag yourself. Back in the day, there was no such thing as an untag (let’s leave double-dog-dare analogies aside, for the time being). True, untagging yourself is like saying “I’m not playing anymore,” and equally true the media that you were tagged in is absolutely still out there. Untagging is not cool. But, hypothetically, I have done it. Even so, I must come to grips with the fact that the fictional video of me dancing like a wild man at Judge Roy Beans is here to stay.
But I have news for you all, I don’t want to play anymore! So untag, I’m a nit.