Throughout all of my memories of elementary school, nothing sticks out in my mind quite as much as the old monkey bars that used to be there. You could, for example, crawl across the top, as this was the type of playground set that was still wooden; fall from them the wrong way, and get a mouthful of sand, instead of woodchips. But I digress...

To assert one's dominance in the particular playground I remember, one had to be good at two things: Tag and chicken fights. With tag, one just had to be fast and be able to anticipate where their quarry would be headed. The chicken fight, of course, required a wholly different set of skills. One had to be strong in both arm and leg, and have a reasonably high tolerance for pain. Speed wasn't necessarily an important attribute for the developing chicken fighter, but it could help in certain cases. But, the kind reader asks, how is this game played?

The opponents are placed on opposing sides of a set of monkey bars. At a predetermined start signal, both players make their way towards the other. Upon the eventual meeting of the two players, a battle is waged with kicks and whatever else is needed to try and have the other player drop first. One could, for example, wrap their legs around their opponent and try and pull them off that way. (Of course, there was a sort of playground honor code followed by all that guaranteed that no participant would get hit in any tender areas.) Once the loser fell to the sand (usually feet first, thanks to the nature of the game), the winner was allowed a brief gloating period before the next challenger stepped up to the plate.

Simple? Sure. Us kids were so much easier placated back in the good ol' days.