'My Mama Short And Fine': 11 Black Hand Games And Rhymes From Childhood We Had No Business Reciting
Dang, we were fresh. SMH.
May 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm
When our mamas would send us outside so we could stop soaking up her AC as kids, we were still set on finding ways to have fun.
Some kids picked up a ball, while others played tag. But many of us did something that has been passed down through generations: hand games.
If you've ever played them, you have your favorite. While many of them are uber problematic in retrospect, they're still a quintessential part of black childhood.
1. Double This, Double ThatIf you didn't have hand-eye coordination, this game was the bane of your existence. The whole point is to speed it up until someone gives up or gets slapped in the face, whichever came first. Either way, it was fun.
2. Miss Mary Mack
This is one of the few hand games you could do in front of your grandma without getting smacked upside your head. It leaves some unanswered questions, though: Why were the elephants jumping? Where did they go when they reached the sky? The world may never know.
3. Down, Down Baby
This is the most interesting retelling of a doctor's appointment I've ever heard. We hope we never get sick enough for our heads to go ding-dong. Nelly sampled this one for his single "Country Grammar."
4. Rockin' Robin
This one was a team effort. If you were the one to break the chain, you had hell to pay. This is a PG version, but depending on the group, the remixes could get…interesting.
Momma's in the kitchen, cookin' rice
Daddy's on the corner, shootin' dice
Brother's in jail, raisin' hell
Sister's on the corner selling fruit cocktail
The dirty versions of this game were responsible for more ass whoopins than saying lie instead of telling stories.
5. Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky
This is another one that has a few remixes, but what can you expect when the song has hanky panky in the title?
"down by the river from hank to pank (??),
where the bulls fall down from bank to bank
say e, i ,o, u, filling(?? lol) with the ding-dong
see that house on top of the hill, that's where me and my boyfriend live,
smell that chicken, smell that rice,
c'mon baby, let's shoot some dice"
We know good and dang well we weren't old enough for shooting dice or boyfriends.
6. Shame, Shame, Shame
Even when we wore pigtails and beads, we knew to watch out for the police. Nothing against Mexico, though.
This is the game you and your friends played when you wanted to get away with twerkin'. It was also a great way to show off your dance moves and see if your friend's stanky leg was better than yours.
Similar to jig-a-low, punchanella gave you a chance to show off your moves and twerk a lil somethin' if you wanted.
We have a feeling someone came up with this after they got tired of drinking from the water hose while they were outside…
Slide didn't really have words because you had to CONCENTRATE or you would lose. If your hands weren't stinging and your wrists weren't tired, you didn't do it right.
11. My Momma Short And Fine
She got a butt (or hair) like mine!
What were your favorite hand games? How did you and your friends remix them?