I Remember JFK Logo

Cootie

A cootie, according to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, is defined as a louse, especially one affecting humans, as the body louse or head louse. So if you were a soldier in either world war, cooties were extremely undesirable.

However, if you were a kid born after the conclusion of the second conflict, the term had a much more pleasant definition. It referred to a game involving big plastic bugs and lucky rolls of the dice.

Cootie originated with Herb Schaper, a letter carrier for the U.S. Post Office. He envisioned a game that would be fun, educational, and profitable.

He carved the first COOTIE out of wood in 1948. In the first years, Schaper built, by hand, 40,000 wooden COOTIE games. Within three years, more than 1,200,000 were produced with the aid of machinery.

By the time I came along, the parts were made of plastic. I never had a Cootie game myself, but I had friends who did. When I would visit their homes, it was a blast playing with the bugs. Sometimes we would play the game, which required rolling a one to get started. Other times we would just build the critters and play with them.

Of course, like any game involving small plastic parts, legs, antennae, and other appendages would soon disappear down heating ducts, under furniture, and sometimes in the digestive systems of puppies. So the games would often only allow competition with less than the intended four players.

Schaper's company remained independent until 1987, when it was acquired by Milton Bradley. They continue to crank out the game, creating memories for a new generation, and stirring them in the minds of the parents and grandparents who recall how much fun it was to create big bugs with fortunate rolls of the dice.

There's a great virtual Cootie game at http://www.2flashgames.com/f/f-392.htm if you'd like to relive the excitement of rolling that first one on the die.

Recommend I Remember JFK to your friends!

Search I Remember JFK
Loading


Note to those who would use my images
You may use any images you find on my site on your own personal site. However, I request that you include a link back to I Remember JFK. Fair enough?

My Policy on Advertisements
You will never see a Flash ad, a popup ad, or a banner ad at I Remember JFK. What you will see are unobtrusive, friendly text ads. If you get popups here, the problem is that you have adware or spyware on Microsoft Windows. I recomment you download and install Ubuntu Linux and enjoy safe, adware-free surfing. Barring that, install Spybot and Ad-Aware to kill the bugs.

With that, if you have ad-disabling software such as AdBlock Plus, I respectfully request that you make an allowance for my website in its settings. You have my personal guarantee that there is no intrusive advertising here

Main Page | Books, Magazines, Comics | Boomer Reviews | Cars | Clothing, Shoes, Etc. | Food and Drink | Gadgets | Movies | Music | People | Places | Podcasts | School | Sports | The Home | The News | Things that Disappeared When You Weren't Looking | Toys | TV