The Corner

Re: Conkers

This is a classic email from Poppa Goldberg (I don’t think he intended publication):

Of course Americans knew what conkers are; we just never called it by that name. We called it, simply, “chestnuts.” In my set, we didn’t drill holes through the chestnuts (too dangerous) but simply tied the chestnut with string and then smashed it against our foe’s chestnut, trying to split it. I won several times and have been basking in the glory all these years. The chestnut “season” lasted a couple of weeks or so in the fall. It went hand in h and with a game called “Land,” in which you mark off a square and drop a pen knife into it, demarking your territory and then letting your competitor drop his pen knife and taking away part of your land, until you have nothing left. This is how we occupied our time, foregoing pouring lighter fluid on homeless people and setting them on fire.

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