Tuesday, August 08, 2006

How many five-year-olds?

I know some of you may have already seen this before but I wanted to post about it here now because P and I were talking about it last night. A good friend and former colleague of mine showed me this thread on a forum last year, and I found it extremely fascinating and hilarious. It is a hypothetical question about a hypothetical scenario, and the thread has lasted for well over a year! The first post in the thread was made in January 2005, and the latest post was just two days ago...which means it's still active! That's how brilliant the question is. So let's discuss this here. (I would, however, like to make a disclaimer up front that I do not mean to offend anyone who might be reading this who might have children, and, in particular, a five-year-old. This is all done in jest, and in fact you might be able to offer us some more insight on the matter! However, if you get easily offended by things, please do not read any further.)

Source: 2+2 Forums

The question: How many five-year-olds could you take on at once?

The specifics:

- You are in an enclosed area, roughly the size of a basketball court. There are no foreign objects.
- You are not allowed to touch a wall.
- When you are knocked unconscious, you lose. When they are all knocked unconscious, they lose. Once a kid is knocked unconscious, that kid is "out."
- I (or someone else intent on seeing to it you fail) get to choose the kids from a pool that is twice the size of your magic number. The pool will be 50/50 in terms of gender and will have no discernable abnormalities in terms of demographics, other than they are all healthy Americans (or in this case, Kuwaitis, which could be frightening!).
- The kids receive one day of training from hand-to-hand combat experts who will train them specifically to team up to take down one adult. You will receive one hour of "counter-tactics" training.
- There is no protective padding for any combatant other than the standard-issue cup.
* The kids are motivated enough to not get scared, regardless of the bloodshed. Even the very last one will give it his/her best to take you down.

So P and I seriously discussed this last night. He instinctively first put his number at around 100, but then after thinking about it realistically and looking over the rules he estimated about 25-35. I'm not quite sure. Considering your average 5-year-old weighs about 40 lbs (well, if we're talking non-Kuwaiti at least), that could be dangerous! But then, as people in the forum said, chances are the kids will forget most of their combat training within a few hours. Also, it'll be hard to get them to really work together to bring you down. After all, they're only five years old and most of them probably have A.D.D. But then again, one swift coupe de boule à la Zidane could knock the wind out of you if the kid came towards you running - especially since its head would reach about to your gut. Ugh. Oh, but actually, to hit your gut you'd have to be facing the kid so you'd see it coming, and so you'd have time to stick your knee out to do some serious damage.

So, yeah, I'm not sure where I'd put my number. I think I have to see/test a five-year-old first before I can decide. Does anybody know how I can get my hands on one to try it out? Like P suggested, we could go around the different kindergartens in Kuwait (you know those ones they have in villas in residential neighbourhoods) and tell the parents we are conducting a sociological experiment and we'd pay them KD 500 to use their kid for the day. Then we could charge KD 1000 to each adult who wanted to try it out so that we could break even.

I think I could handle somewhere between 10 and 20 kids.

I love what one person in this forum suggested about knocking out one kid and then using him/her to knock out the other kids as a kind of sword; I envision holding the kid by the feet and spinning round and round in circles and using the head to knock out the rest. Hmmm. I think out of all the tactics, that's the one I'd go for. If I could do that successfully, then I'd go much higher than 20. Hell, then the sky's the limit!

OK I just did a google image search for "five year olds" and they're really not that big. Also, many of them were quite cute and it's starting to soften me and take the fun out of this, so don't really think about what this all means. Don't picture the kids as pretty, cute, charming children. Picture those really bratty, whiney, sweaty terrors we see running around in restaurants here while we're trying to enjoy a decent meal, and think about how many of those you'd want to take out.


  • You know I've been in that situation already more than enough times.

    The last time it occurred was when I was 17-18 and I believe there were about 12 kids with ages ranging from 4-12 that were all attacking me in my grandparents basement.

    So if I could handle that age group I can safely say I can handle about 25-30 of those kids.

    My strategy then was like P said grab and toss. To directly concentrate on one of them would be suicide since they would all gang up on you. I would grab the first attack and twist him/her and toss them against another kid or kids (which ever was closest) and just keep at them. This is good since sometimes they come behind you and you are able to get the ones from behind.

    Oh and another thing dont bend over what ever you do. Makes it easier to get on your back.

    By Blogger nibaq, at 8/08/2006 2:26 pm  

  • P's strategy, if I'm not mistaken, was to just keep kicking and punching them out one by one. He's quite strong so I think he could handle that. But I'm a wuss and would freak out if they all started running towards me, so I'd go for the spinning sword technique. But I like the idea of knocking one out then picking it up and throwing it to knock out more...

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/08/2006 2:44 pm  

  • I like the sword bit, just grabbing one runt and swinging him/her against the rest of the bunch.
    Personally, I would put my legs to good use since my arms are not as powerful. This is going to sound really strange but a good hard kick under the jaw would send a kid flying into unconsciousness. So I'd be doing the Russian dance with about...max ten kids.

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 8/08/2006 10:46 pm  

  • LOL the Russian dance! Nice one.

    Keep in mind guys, little girls have long hair too...

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/09/2006 1:21 am  

  • I used to teach 6 year old kids..

    Believe me, they can bring you to tears without laying a hand on you!!

    Trust me.. don't even think about it :D

    By Anonymous moayad, at 8/09/2006 3:59 am  

  • LOL!!! i hate 5 year olds... brats and whiny... the cute ones get devoured by bratty ones and lose the last shred of cuteness they had hanging...

    my grandmother's house is FULL of 5 year olds who just love to play madrasat il majaneen when I'm around.. ugh... there's one kid in particular who's five but looks and weighs like a 12 year old (mashalla)... and he'd deafen me with just his voice...

    but if ur talking about the average 5 year old who refuses to eat to attract his mother's attention (another reason why i hate them)... then i'd say i'd take about 15 down... before 3azoz would find a way to have my ear for lunch...

    most kids don't use what they learn... they'd just go back to screaming and hitting... their hits might be lucky and land on a sensitive spot... so that's tricky... so with the tactics i learn in an hour i'd probably be able to get some down...

    i'd like to use the caber toss method... (but use a lighter kid.. :P) or divide and conquer with their soldiers... like get to bribe one kid to ur side and recruit..

    klieo, girls tend to lose ability to feel pain in a while with continuous hair pulling :P i had a childhood friend who pulled out heaps of her hair i swear it was freaky...

    but u might be on to something... maybe use the girls as nun-chucks and kazaaaam!! they're down :P

    By Anonymous badlydrawnwoman, at 8/09/2006 9:34 am  

  • Moayad - My sister teaches six year olds too and when I asked her about this she immediately said she could take out her whole class. Hmm, I better get her to comment so you guys can discuss it. :)

    BDW: Yes, definitely the average five year old, not the Kuwaiti ones who are the size of a barrel. I'm imagining little blonde American ones, or the normal sized Kuwaiti ones - SMACK! POP! POW! But, if they were those frighteningly big brats, I'm not sure what I would do. If one knocks you down and then sits on your chest, it's over.

    The other thing to watch out for is biting. And that's hilarious about the hair pulling thing! But I'm thinking less for pain and more for convenience, because if you grab a bunch of some little girl's golden locks, you could probably pick her up with it, spin her around a bit, and then chuck her in the direction of a group of at least 5 other kids and take them out too. No?

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/09/2006 12:05 pm  

  • Oh and after reading these comments, how about grabbing two girls by their hair - they would preferably be the same weight - and swing them both around simultaneously? By doing that and perfecting one's balance, you can knock everyone out.

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 8/11/2006 6:24 am  

  • "My sister teaches six year olds too and when I asked her about this she immediately said she could take out her whole class. "
    I deny all allegations.
    This is slander.

    Having said that, I could take out about 20, I think... But NOT Kuwaitis... Not only are most of them HUGE, but violence is their prime playtime activity at home. For every book a non-Kuwaiti reads, a Kuwaiti has taken out a sibling or neighbor. Beware.

    By Blogger Raine, at 8/12/2006 10:43 am  

  • Erzulie: Excellent! Somebody's really been using their head. :) Great tactic - don't think anyone on the forum came up with that one!

    Raine: Ahem, not a great way to start a new school year, now is it? ;) And using Kuwaiti kids has its pros and cons. The major pro is that you will be much more inclined to hurt them (well, in most cases - not counting the rare breed of cute ones, like my close friend A's). But the down side is that, yeah, they could probably do a lot of damage to you. *shudder*

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/12/2006 12:41 pm  

  • Off-topic and kind of at Raine:

    You know, I was at my little brother's fourth grade class at ASK last Xmas; they had some sort of party and I could not believe how fat and chubby the Kuwaiti kids were! They're huge!

    When I was a kid, I had a fruit, a baloney sandwich, and KDD juice (or RAUCH grape juice) in my lunchbox and the only snack I was excited about was the occasional fruit roll-up. And this time, I took a peek at what the kids have now in their bags...sheesh! It's just chips, sweet treats like cake and cookies, and other really unhealthy and fatty foods! No wonder they're huge...and hyper for that matter!

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 8/12/2006 8:52 pm  

  • We had baloney, or peanut butter and jelly, or Kraft cheese sandwiches on white bread with the crusts cut off, with a piece of fruit, and usually Tang in the Thermos or KDD orange juice. Once in a while our little snack would be something like those little crackers with spreadable cheese.

    In ASK in the 80s, we had something called "the milk bucket". At the beginning of the year you chose which KDD milk or juice you wanted with your lunch (for the year) and then everyday each class' milk/juice boxes would get put in a bucket, and one kid would go to collect the bucket for the class. I always had chocolate milk, and in those days KDD milk came in the traditional small milk boxes with the trianglular top (where you fold back the corners to open it). The milk bucket was magical.

    Nowadays, kids that age are drinking grande-double-caramel-mocha-frapuccinos- with-whipped-cream-and-extra-caramel. No wonder they're so fat and hyper.

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/13/2006 12:47 am  

  • erzulie - It is scary... I had to write an article about it in my class newsletter to the parents, explaining why kids should not be given only junk in their lunchboxes!! I also told the kids, who, believe it or not, jump at the chance to show how they can eat healthy... Since I started the ban, when they get candy, etc. they simply do not eat it. Then they go home and tell their nannies (who a lot of the time have full reign over the lunchbox since the parents aren't bothered) never to put junk again. I monitor their food and sleep a lot. I even called one kid's parents to come and take him home one day, as it was clear from his nodding off that he had had barely any sleep the night before. I had warned them before, and I was fed up. His mom is very young and it shows - when she comes to conferences she is so nervous, like she is the student! She has 2 or 3 little ones already and a bun in the oven. Meanwhile, her son in my class is so skinny he is practically skin and bones -- I have to make him eat in front of me or he will just eat a bag of chips and that's it. His teeth are a wreck. He is sleep deprived. His younger more burly brother beats him up. He is very behind in his work as a result of all this... And his parents keep having more kids. Why? They can't even take care of the ones they have! This is what I contend with eveyday. And so much more. I feel so bad for some of these kids. Then there are those parents who actually had kids knowing what it meant and are involved in their lives -- it is amazing to see how these kids shine.

    Next time you are in ASK, come to my classroom!!! :)

    kleio - I will never forget our lunchboxes. Yum! Some of the kids' lunchboxes have that lunchbox smell... It is amazing!

    Disclaimer: I do not condone violence or child abuse ;) Seriously, though, I love all the little runts in my class! And now they have all left me and gone into second grade!!! Boohoo! Wonder what this year will hold...

    By Blogger Raine, at 8/14/2006 7:03 pm  

  • kleio - New post please! I finally got my act together and posted -- your turn!

    By Blogger Raine, at 8/17/2006 10:28 am  

  • HMMMMM ...
    find the nearest two girls, tie up their hari together push them over some other kids, and simple just swing around knocking the life out them ...

    By Anonymous fractal00, at 8/19/2006 11:29 am  

  • fractal00: I'd love to see you doing that...with that innocent look of yours on your face, knocking the kids about. What an image. Do you think Converse are the best footwear for the occasion? Or Doc Martens, maybe.

    Raine: Come back tomorrow. :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/20/2006 1:37 am  

  • Those pudgy Kuwaiti bombs you guys are talking about could knock out bridges. We need to make sure Israel doesn't get a hold of them. They would do serious damage dropped from about five thousand feet. One alone could knock out a neighborhood or two and that would bring an abrupt end to the already fragile cease fire. At our club, when five of these specimen are in the swimming pool, the water overflows out and cascades down into the sea. It's a serious problem, as is children's diabetes in Kuwait, obviously.

    As for the tackling of European-sized five-year-olds, I would take on about fifteen. They can be strong little buggers and if one of them clamps herself to your legs, it's game over. My strategy would be to stand stock-still against a wall, taunt them into running toward me full-tilt, then, just before we make contact, I would duck down suddenly and take off in the opposite direction. With any luck, they would not have time to react and would all just splat into the wall like a swarm of hapless mosquitoes. What do you think?

    By Anonymous red, at 8/20/2006 12:52 pm  

  • red - I think you did not read the directions... You cannot touch the walls! I guess if you stand in front of it without touching it you may pull it off...


    By Blogger Raine, at 8/20/2006 9:15 pm  

  • Red: Like those little terrors we sometimes see swimming near our chalet, playing with garbage in the sea. Ugh.

    Last night we were at dinner and there was a table with two kids, one about five and the other about three. They were screaming non-stop and were driving us insane and of course the parents were just sitting there encouraging it. I envisioned taking those kids out with two swift kicks towards the window, and the thought was actually quite entertaining. They were so loud - at one point I was trying to talk and couldn't think over them and so just turned towards their table and went "SSSHHHHHH!!" really loudly, much to the shocked amusement of everyone at my table, but with absolutely no reaction from the kids or their parents. At that moment I would've taken the parents out too.

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/21/2006 1:53 pm  

  • i know this is toooooo late to comment on but i wanted to share this never the less lol having children at home and throughout the years with cousins and children of cousins i believe i can confidently say this, the way to handle ANY number of children between 4 to 6 year old is the following:- do not fight back in the beginning, theyll get bored soon enough if they get no reaction from you (without doing any major harm) and eventually turn to find other means of "entertainments", thats when u gather some of them and "allure" them with the idea that it would be fun getting the other children, all you do after that is to watch. It will be chaos youll end up watching them getting creative in the field of "getting each other" at the end of the day you'd end up 1) having a great time watching the different ways they all handled the situation -they tend to be funny - 2) a group of hungry 5 years old.
    That’s my 2 cents or 5! Enjoy the thought

    By Anonymous little almond, at 9/11/2006 10:13 am  

  • Revenge of a Mother of 2

    May God give you the gift of having 5 kids (ALL of you especially MO).

    By that time I would have 2 adults to deal with while you poor people are just starting:)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/13/2006 9:38 am  

  • little almond: The last point in the rules says: "The kids are motivated enough to not get scared, regardless of the bloodshed. Even the very last one will give it his/her best to take you down." I'm assuming that means they're motivated enough not to get bored either. :) Nyahaha you're goin' down!

    Anonymous: But see your kids don't count - I even mentioned them in one of my comments above. They're calm and cute and smart. But I like the idea of Mo having 5 children. Especially since he's the one who sent this to me in the first place! Big bratty typical Kuwaiti children who scream all the time, like those ones from the restaurant that night. Hehehehe :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 9/13/2006 1:29 pm  

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