Five Questionable Playground Debate Positions from when I was a kid

Playgrounds were a tough place when I was a kid and we often had to use our limited resources to stand up for our rights. Here’s five examples of Playground Debate Positions that were questionable in their results.

1. You have Cooties:

Example:

Sally: Will you kiss me under the Monkey Bars?
Billy: Gross! I’m not going to kiss you under the Monkey Bars. You have Cooties!
Sally: Well, I guess I’ll have to kiss all the other boys under the Monkey Bars.

Why this is a questionable playground debate position:

The Centers for Disease Control have no actual documentation of the disease Cooties, what pathogen might cause it and what the signs and symptoms might be. But the similarity to the words Cootch or it’s derivative Cootchie Mama, leads many researchers to believe that it is a form of Sexually Transmitted Disease associated with girl parts.

Analysis:

Like any Sexually Transmitted Disease, the odds of someone Sally’s age having Cooties is very slim. As children grow into adults and become more sexually active the chances of being exposed to a disease like Cooties becomes much more prevalent. If Billy had been more caring to Sally on the playground and not worried so much about catching Cooties, perhaps Sally would not have grown up and exposed Billy to a real STD when he slept with her in the back of his Ford Mustang.

2. I’m rubber and you’re glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you:

Sally: Billy, you’re a dumb jerk!
Billy: I’m rubber and you’re glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

Why this is a questionable playground debate position:

Anyone that has ever tried to glue something that wasn’t on a flat surface understands that if a person was actually made of glue, the odds of something sticking and not immediately falling off is very slim.

Analysis:

Billy has not figured out that Sally calling him a “dumb jerk” is actually her way of showing affection for him and that she is likely interested in a romantic relationship. Billy’s response, alluding to the fact that everything people say to him bounces off, is indicative of a serious self-esteem issue, his avoidance of conflict and personal contact and an inability to stand up for himself in any productive way. In addition, Billy describing himself as “rubber” suggests he has been labeled with terminology such as “bouncy” or “bouncing off the walls” which leads us to believe there are more serious, untreated hyperactivity disorders.

3. I know you are but what am I?:

Example:

Billy: Sally, you’re a dumb jerk!
Sally: I know you are but what am I?
Billy: You’re a moron!
Sally: I know you are but what am I?
Billy: YOU’RE A STUPID HO AND SO IS YOUR MOTHER!
Sally: I know you are but what am I?
And on and on…

Why this is a questionable playground debate position:

On the surface this seems like a “can’t lose” debate position for Sally. She is subtly throwing the insult back at Billy each time (“I know you are…). But she is also continually asking Billy to come up with another, even more horrible insult (…but what am I?).

Analysis:

After an hour or so of this back and forth, Sally will have been called at the very least, a DUMB JERK MORON STUPID HO AND SO IS YOUR MOTHER, while offering nothing back in the way of any defensible position for herself.

4. Up Your Nose with a Rubber Hose:

Example:
Billy: Sally would you like to go the 1st grade dance with me?
Sally: No Billy, you have Cooties!
Billy: Up your nose with a rubber hose.

Why this is a questionable playground debate position:

Billy’s response offers nothing of value to the conversation. Had Billy just responded honestly and declared himself “Cootie free” he may have secured a date to the 1st grade dance.

Analysis:

Although Billy’s statement may sound somewhat aggressive, in reality it’s his way of reiterating that he really likes Sally and that he hopes she will reconsider going to the 1st grade dance with him. From Sally’s viewpoint, however, such a non-sensical statement only reinforces her belief that all men are ignorant, it offers nothing productive in the way of continuing the conversation and it certainly doesn’t spark her interest in going to the dance.

5. Boys go to Mars and get more Candy Bars, Girls go to Jupiter and get more stupider:

Example:

Sally: Girls are better than boys!
Billy: Boys go to Mars and get more Candy Bars, Girls go to Jupiter and get more stupider.

Why this is a questionable debate position:

Certainly going to Mars would be preferable to going to Jupiter. Mars offers a much more hospitable, although mostly deadly climate than Jupiter and is the one planet that humans are continually researching as the next frontier of space travel. However, there is really no supporting documentation that going to Mars would result in getting ANY candy bars, let alone MORE candy bars and that going to Jupiter would make someone stupider.

Analysis:

Whereas Sally makes a very simple, concise and well thought out statement, “Girls are better than boys”, Billy’s response reeks of the desperation of a boy who has romantic feelings for Sally, panics when spoken to and responds with another completely nonsensical statement. Billy also uses the word Stupider which clearly proves he is remedial at best and falls on the lower end of the educational spectrum.

In conclusion:

Billy and Sally were sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First came love, then came marriage, then came a baby in a baby carriage. The end.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Five Questionable Playground Debate Positions from when I was a kid

  1. Astute analysis. I now understand why my default thrust (“Oh, yeah??!!”) was so easily parried (“YEAH!”) Also, his mother DID wear army boots so that didn’t work either.

  2. Where were you when I was a kid???

  3. Ha! These are so American, we had our own playground taunts of course along similar lines, only I can’t remember them right now. Just one question though, what part of the body is the monkey bars? Damn it, I wish I could remember our ones to share! My son said that the other day at school a friend said to him “Do you want to know what a beached whale looks like?” and my son said he did, and the friend was obviously meant to say “Look in the mirror”, but got it wrong and said “You’re looking at one!” Hehe. Nope, I still can’t remember our ones…

  4. I’m pretty sure that only boys have cooties.

  5. It all comes back to Cooties, doesn’t it?

  6. Freakin’ Hilarious. Totally made me laugh, cough, laugh, cough, sneeze, laugh. I should have gotten that cootie shot!

  7. You have presented a most persuasive case, counselor. The Mars / Jupiter Fallacy is one that I don’t think I’ve heard, but I kind of like it.

    I’ve generally found it to be the case that there’s a bit of circular reasoning to the assertion “You’re not the boss of me.” Amirite?

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