After recess today, I returned to the school office and loudly told a few teachers that I did not want to become a thief. Yes, I sometimes make strange statements to shock the teachers; however, there is always something genuine stuck in there.
The fourth graders spotted me on the playground and forced me into their game of kei-doro (警泥). It is not uncommon for me to be inserted into whatever play activity is going on. I’m not sure if it is because I am a foreigner or if it’s because I’m the only adult at school who will join them. (Sometimes the adults at school take themselves a little too seriously.)
Anyhow, kei-doro is a combination of keisatsu or keikan (警察/警官) – being a police officer – and dorobo (泥棒) – being a thief or burglar. Let’s just call it ‘cops and robbers’. Basically this is a variant of tag in which the cops chase after the thieves and tag them. Thieves are then obliged to head to a holding cell where they can make a run for it if a not yet captured thief tags them.
Because of my popularity, any game of tag includes me being continually chased by all of the ‘it’ players. While I still have enough speed and endurance to outrun an elementary school kid, there are always a couple students who have caught their breath and rejoined the chase so, ultimately I succumb to the pounding in my lungs. This is clearly why the fox always loses to the hounds in a hunt.
After capturing me, they kept me under guard of four officers, making escape almost futile and of horrible risk to my would be rescuers. I did make one jailbreak and after getting a strong lead, made use of the chaos of a dodge ball game to mask my squatting body. To slow the police down a bit, I also injected some realism into the game, requiring them to escort the prisoner to the cell.
Anyhow, my lesson for the teachers was a two parter:
- The thief is always on the run and in jeopardy
- If caught, it is horribly boring sitting in a cell
Two of the teachers laughed. One just looked at me like I was nuts, but that’s not a new look.