Mr. Larynx
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rabbits with no feet
I played this as a child every time I caught the flu and was shipped off to my grandmother's house for the day (while my mom was at work). This was a game that my mom played with her siblings when she was a child and it remained on my grandmother's gaming shelf in her cellar closet long enough for me to try it out as a wee one in the 80s. Of course, grandma wasn't ever that keen on joining me in a game of 'bug assembly' because she had her soaps to watch, but I was fascinated with the alien-ness of the old game and didn't care if I had no one to play with. The image on the front of the Cootie box appeared strange to a child whose eyes had only really taken in the style of the Saturday morning cartoons of the day. The old plastic pieces also held a sort of fascination - ancient relics from a time unknown. Sadly, the game was so old that the glue on the bug bodies had become very brittle and could not withstand the crude manipulations of a small boy trying to insert the eldritch plastic pieces into them. Most of the bodies broke apart. Thinking that the game was of substantial value simply because it was apart of my grandparent's home and also fearing the wrath of my grandfather, who was a judge, I felt a strong sense of terror and guilt for my cootie crimes and hastily placed the corpses of these poor plastic peculiarities back in the box and would sneak back down to the cellar where I could repose the box with impunity.

Every now and then I would return to the game, with each new flu bug I caught, but more and more of the carapaces split in two. Thus, I never had the chance to learn how to play the game properly.

With my grandmother's passing, and my grandfather no longer being capable of taking care of the house, the house has now been sold and the contents have been cleared out at auction. I'm not sure what happened to the game - but I still have a fondness in my heart for it.

Children expand their world in space as they grow.Their awareness of the world increases as they move about and play and eventually travel and learn of the existence of other neighbourhoods, cities, and countries. For me, the game cootie expanded (in small part) my awareness of time. It was a way to connect to a part of my mother's childhood and thus played a role in changing my perception of the world. So it still resonates with me to this day - even though the game is really just a simple affair of imaginary bug assembly.


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