“Heads down, thumbs down…”
A few minutes later: “7-up, heads up!”
A favorite classroom distraction during elementary school was “7-Up,” a simple game that got kids to be quiet, but also allowed those same kids a respite from learning their multiplication tables.
In 7-Up, seven students would stand at the head of the classroom. The remaining students put their heads down on their desk and made a fist with one hand, except for an upwards-pointing thumb. The seven standing students would then make their way around the room, each touching one person’s thumb. The person that was touched then put their thumb down, so as not to be picked twice.
When the seven students were done and were back standing at the front of the room, the seven students whose thumbs had been touched, stood beside their desk and tried to guess who the toucher was. If they were correct, they’d replace the toucher at the front of the room. And if a toucher managed to not get picked by the student he touched, the toucher stayed in the game for another round.
Some kids cheated. With their heads down, they’d try to sneak a peek at the toucher’s shoes. You could always tell the kids that tried this, as they’d crane their heads to see what kinds of shoes everyone was wearing.
Other kids didn’t cheat, they used their brains. For instance, a soft hand touching you was likely a female, while a large, rough hand likely belonged to the kid in the Beer Power t-shirt.
From the toucher’s perspective, there was a little psychology involved. Often, boys would try to touch someone’s thumb as lightly as possible, to confuse the touchee into thinking they were touched by a girl (sometimes this backfired and the person wouldn’t even realize they had been touched, which just caused mayhem). Of course, some didn’t care and would practically jam the thumbs of the poor students with their heads down.
Some touchers would use 7-Up as their opportunities to sneak a touch of the girl they had a crush on. Stop laughing. Hey, come on, now… I only did it because I really liked her…
I think we all need to take a break today and play a game of 7-Up. Who’s with me?
Posted in Childhood Memories