As a child in the playground, whoever brought the football got to pick who was “captain” of the opposing team. And then the two “captains” would take turns to pick their teams from the gathered hopefuls. Then the game would begin. And in cases of dispute, whoever had brought the football had the final word. The ultimate sanction was always to pick up their ball and stomp off. No more football.
There was clarity in the playground – and not an adult in sight.
The best and worst bit was “the picking”. How soon you were picked decided your place in the pecking order of popularity. The longer it took, the lower down you were. And as for being the very last one – the one who was “do I have to have him on my team?” – that was “social outcast” territory. But different “captains” meant different pecking orders. You could move from…
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