It all started as an innocent conversation about backyard games. Before we knew it many callers were participating by throwing out their favorite lawn games past and present.

Many of them hadn’t played since their childhood. Some were old favorites and some we had never heard of. Before we knew it, a disturbing theme began to emerge among New Jersey‘s favorites: A lot had names that sounded, well, sordid. Or to use a more accurate adjective, dirty.

They’re perfectly respectable games, don’t get me wrong. But when put together in a list…well, see if you get what I’m saying.

Is it just me? Do I have a filthy mind?

No one knows exactly how this game emerged as a favorite, and no one knows why anyone would give it such a horrendous name. But there you have it. It sounds dirty to me.

Slip 'N Slide
Are yes, I’m talking about the long vinyl sheet that, when wet, is the prefect surface upon which to slide, zooming perilously fast after a running start. The ubiquitous summer delight for every child actually has a name that sounds kind of adult.

Capture the Flag
One team steals another team’s flag and the other team tries to steal it back. Sounds pretty innocent, right?
Not sure why it makes my mind wander so.

Monkey Balls
It’s a made up game, but one that people in the Pennsylvania area are quite familiar with. Monkey balls are actually the fruit of a tree called Osage orange and these hideous balls are as big as baseballs. Monkey Balls was played with this bumpy, creepy-looking alien fruit known as Monkey Balls, and hence the dirty-sounding name.

Hot Peas and Butter
A pretty simple childhood game where one person hides a belt and the others lead people to it by saying “hot” if they’re near it and “cold” if they’re further away. You get the concept right? So simple and childlike! Then why the dirty sounding name?

Mother May I?
You stand in a line and ask whoever is designated the mother for permission to move forward in the line. This one doesn’t only SOUND dirty, it feels like an adorable little lesson in domination and submission.

Johnny on the Pony
A very popular game that many remember from childhood. It’s played with one group of players climbing on the backs of a second group in order to build as large a pile as possible or to cause the whole darn thing to collapse in a huge heap of bodies. I mean, who came up with this stuff? Sounds dirty and no good can come of it.

Buck Buck
See Johnny on the Pony above. Same game, different dirty-sounding name.

This game is really just glorified lawn darts. Beloved by my generation, it was not only extremely dangerous, but also unfortunately named.

Kubb is a lawn game that has you knocking over wooden blocks by throwing strange wooden batons at them. It’s actually a Swedish game and some people say it’s kind of a combination of bowling and horseshoes. Not quite sure

why, but it sounds dirty to me.

On second thought, I think I DO just have a dirty mind after all.

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