Now I'm as big a fan of kickball as the next guy, but in sixth grade it became less of a game and more of a security blanket which the boys used to avoid our mysterious female classmates. At least a red rubber ball with "Voit" printed on it was a familiar object. Even having it hurled at our head as we slid for second base was more pleasant and stable than trying to contend with those girls. Enigmas and changes abounded with them: breasts were forming, using the restroom became a social event with handbag accessories, and just what film strip would they be seeing in health class?

Instead of trying to find a way to socialize with these blossoming young adults, we chose to ignore them and feed our insecurities. Frustration lead to aggression, resulting in inflated spheres being punted over school yard fences. Somehow the chant of "We want a pitcher, not a belly-itcher. We want a catcher, not a belly-scratcher" was a way to cling to a simpler time of childhood. Okay, so inbetween innings I would hesitate a glance to the girls huddled together giggling and whispering near the monkey bars. Nothing new there, but one day they each held a folded piece of paper that oscillated in their hands. I soon learned these were "Fortune Tellers", and they became my first passport into the world of adolescent girls.

Fortune Tellers - A Refresher

The basic premise is that after you make a Fortune Teller (see side bar) you write four colors on the outside squares and eight numbers within on the triangles. If you lift up the flaps that the numbers are written on, you have a small space to write a short fortune ("You will have twins") or a thought-provoking, witty insult ("You smell"). Now for the fun. You would approach another in your peer group and ask them to pick a color. You would then spell the color out, opening the Fortune Teller in different directions for each letter. Next, you would ask them to choose one of the exposed numbers. Count out the number the same manner you spelled the color. Ask your friend to pick another number and repeat the counting process. Finally, they would choose one last number and the fortune under that number was their fate - written in elementary school stone.

Now, if you wanted to be fair, (and keep friends playing) you would make half of the fortunes good and half bad. This made sense in the philosophical world of an 11-year-old, and you therefore would chance everyone knowing "You love Lynn Lewis" if "You will live in a mansion" was an equal bet. After getting "You will marry Justin Lemay" too many times, I wanted to devise a way to get even and to impress the young ladies who wielded the magic tools of prophecy.

For more information on how to rig your fortune teller, and more advanced options SUBSCRIBE to Aquatulle!

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