Playing "Hut-Hut" - 04.03.98

When I was in about third grade, I was just starting my big obsession with sports phase. If people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd tell them that I would play professional basketball and if that didn't work out, I'd play professional baseball, if that didn't work out, I could fall back on professional football. The fact that I was as scrawny as a kid could be didn't matter to me any, I began to learn as many different sports that I could.

While there was little-league basketball and baseball, you couldn't actually play little-league football until you were in the fifth grade. It was considered too rough of a sport for kids that age and it would have been too much of a hassle for anyone to expect a kid that little to put on all the pads and protection connected with the sport. It was simply too much of a hassle to try and get kids our age involved with it.

Even though this was the accepted norm for the sport, it didn't stop a bunch of friends of mine and I from liking it. We watched football on television and talked about our favorite teams when we really had no clue what was going on. One day while we were playing outside during our morning recess, a couple of us got a great idea; we would start our own game of football.

Although we didn't know any plays or rules of the game, it didn't stop us from adopting a rudimentary form of the game for ourselves. We simply named our new sport "hut-hut" and started playing it, while the rest of the class was involved in a game of "Red-Rover" or something else. There was no real object to the game, but it didn't stop us from having fun. Two people would stand about a yard apart from one another with our arms crossed over our chests. When the two were ready, they would simply say the words, "hut-hut" (mimicing the sounds we had heard on television) and then we would slam into each other. A couple times, people got knocked down and the teacher scolded us, but we kept playing anyway.

One day, we got a little bit of crazy-ness in our heads (ala Lord Of The Flies) and decided that the game was no longer fun just being played among our group of 6 or so. Before I knew what was happening, all six of us were storming down the playground hill, repeatedly yelling "HUT-HUT" at the top of our lungs. There was a large group of people there playing "Red Rover" and we plowed through them as if they were part of our game. Kids were yelling everywhere and I tripped and fell after smashing into someone I had just broad-sided.

Just as I was getting ready to get back onto my feet, a firm grip grasped the back of my arm and pulled me up onto my feet. I protested a bit, but knew I was in trouble and followed diligently to the principals office. My friends were all there and soon the door was shut behind us. The principal came in after talking with the recess teachers and just sort of looked us over for a few moments. A silence shuddered over the room as we wondered how bad of trouble we were in.

Without warning, our principal slammed both his fists down on his desk and started into us. Everyone jumped at the same moment and soon settled in and fearfully listened as he spoke in sort of a controlled yell. His red face contrasted with his white hair and although he looked a little funny, I didn't dare laugh. He started walking around the room and once behind me slammed his hand down on the back of my chair. I knew that I jumped and I could again see that all of my friends echoed my reaction. After the lecture stopped, he told us that we were to be banned from recess for a week and at this time we would instead be cleaning classrooms. He then dismissed us and our teacher came to the office and led us back to our classroom.

We spent the next week exiled to the classrooms, wiping down the chalkboards and sweeping the floor. The weather was beautiful on every day and we watched the rest of the kids through the windows in spare moments of cleaning. Eventually, we finished our duties and were allowed outside again, but we never went back to our game for fear of greater punishment and the words "hut-hut" became a sort of folklore for the six involved.