Bonkers for Conkers

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We may not call it “Fall” over here, but I felt all Chicken Licken this week when sharp prickly objects started dropping out of the sky in high winds. Yep, it’s Conker season.


This is the first time I’ve made a big deal out of conkers with my little one, and holey moley I wish I hadn’t bothered … it turned into a major hissy fit when he thought he could take possession of each and every one of the little brown blighters! Ahem.


It’s his first week at big school so maybe we haven’t got to the lesson on SHARING yet, so I had to cut him a little slack … unlike his big brother who fixed him in a half Nelson and called him a freak. (I am so sorry, dear neighbor who stopped by for a chat at that precise moment. My children should be a warning to you with that precious baby on your hip—one is definitely a good time to stop.)


My own big brother was, I recall, an expert in the art of stealth-sibling-torture, especially at Conker time. Thou shalt get only the crappy little ones whilst I take the monster brown globes and poke you with the tree-smashing stick.


The torture would continue at home when Mr. Competitive, aged nine and a half, would actually BAKE his Conkers (pardon the expression) in the oven, in order to achieve maximum smashing intensity. Once hard and fully strung (pardon my expression again) me and my knuckles would get a reprieve as the Conker would travel to school to become a champion in Conker tournaments. One win equals a ‘one-er’, ten wins equals a ‘ten-er’ etc. The latter is pure assumption on my part since I never won a match as far as I can recall.


Childhood memories of torture and bruised knuckles, yet still I find myself recreating these events for my own kids …  Perhaps it wasn’t so bad after all, and perhaps the nostalgia of lost childhood is enough to merit it’s resurrection.


My kids are boys. No doubt they will find someone to torture with Conkers. I hope to God it isn’t me. But then, I suppose I will have brought it upon myself …


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