News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Friday, 19 September 2008

Return of the Hacky Sack

While wandering through Cotham Gardens at lunchtime, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a huddle of well-scrubbed-but-trying-to-look-grungy youths engaged in a more profitable pastime than spraying "9-11 inside job" onto phone boxes or garden walls.

The assembly were practicing the ancient Californian art of Hacky Sack - keeping a small leather bean bag in the air by using one's feet, legs, chest and head.

Introduced to the art while studying for a year at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1984, I like to feel that I made a modest contribution to the introduction of Hacky Sack to these isles back in the days before CDs.

Having not seen it practiced for several years, I was heartened to discover that the game may be on the brink of a resurrgence, with Bristol youth at the cusp of this cultural wave.

For the record, when us old foggies used to play hacky sack (a game, incidentally, created originally in Oregon to assist with the rehabilitation of a knee surgery patient) there were four golden rules:
  1. Don't use your hands or arms
  2. Don't step on the bag
  3. Don't serve to yourself
  4. Don't say sorry
Transgressing any of these rules would permit other members of the group to throw the sack at the offender at high speed, unless the guilty party could grab the bag first and fling it to the ground in an act of contrition.

I saw no such rituals in evidence at lunchtime.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ancient Portlandian Art ;)

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