On the Auntie-I-Over injured list

Auntie-I-Over* can be a physically punishing game.  Most of the injuries that I’ve seen in my long Auntie-I-Over career were purple bruises from being beaned with a sponge ball.  Perhaps the most memorable was the time my big brother Marv was literally knocked to the ground by a hornet sting to the forehead while rounding the back of our old house at Shell Lake.  None of us had noticed the big nest under the eaves.  Of course being Marv he didn’t cry, but we could all tell that he was in pain.  (I was secretly glad because of the purple welt he had recently given me).

My most recent Auntie-I-Over injury happened yesterday, when my middle-aged body rounded the corner of the garage under a full head of steam, chased by a nimble kid with a ball in her hand, and my feet contacted a patch of wet muddy grass and my backside was suddenly lower than my feet.  I probably should have just let my soft bottom take the impact, but I tried to break my fall with my right hand, almost dislocating my shoulder as a result.

Luckily I have Ibuprofen.

I won’t be playing Auntie-I-Over again till this athletic injury heals.


For the uninitiated, Auntie-I-Over is a game dating back to before the invention of the T.V.  It is played with two teams who stand on opposite sides of a low building and toss a ball over the roof.  A throw is signalled by calling “Auntie-I-Over”.  A failed throw (roll-back) is signalled by calling “Pig’s Tail”.  If the ball is caught before hitting the ground, the members of the receiving team run around the building and try to tag members of the other team with the ball.  If everyone keeps their hands behind their backs, the victims need to make a snap decision on which way to run – who has the ball?  Throwing the ball is permitted, but head shots aren’t.  Tagged members switch teams, and play continues until a team has been completely decimated.

A quick Google search reveals that the game has other names, including Annie-I-Over, Annie-Annie, and Auntie-Auntie, and that some variants signal unsuccessful throws with “Auntie Come Back” or other phrases that probably make more sense than “Pig’s Tail”.

4 Responses to “On the Auntie-I-Over injured list”

  1. Jennifer says:

    hahaha yeah ive often wondered who in the world came up with the phrase Pigs Tail. and the neigbours probably think we’re all insane!

  2. deb says:

    Sorry Phil, but I did have to chuckle at your injuries as I find I chew ibruprofin as much as vitamins!!! I have never heard of this game….perhaps you can teach us at the branch meeting. Have you ever broken any windows???? Remember play safe.

  3. SharonK says:

    We used to play that game with a tennis ball. I hated it when it landed in the gutter and a “designated person” had to get a ladder and go fishing in the eaves trough amongst the various spiders and worms and water beetles!!!! Although it did make the game a little more interesting…as the designate would come down the ladder, creatures in hand, to scare all the girls…me being one of them.

    To this day, I admitedly fear spiders….and worms….

  4. Linea says:

    A failed throw was occasionally called a broken window. I wonder where the ” pig’s tail” term came from too. We used to play this all the time as kids.