I'm not really sure what prompted this other than the fact that the origin of the game Marco Polo is rather unclear.
Marco Polo ya say? I reckon I've heard of 'em. Weren't he the feller that invented spaghetti?Funny thing fer food don't ya think? Long noodles that slither of the plate like Mississippi mud snakes, covered in a bloody sauce. Not that I can complain, what with my steady diet of possum, squirrel and the occasional nutria, spaghetti sounds downright gourmet.
There's a game called Marco Polo isn't there? I seen kids playing that game along the river banks. Yelling their fool heads off; MARCO! POLO! MARCO! POLO!
Ever wonder why they call it that? Why they call it Marco Polo and not Thomas Jefferson or Lewis and Clark?
Truth be told I done hadn't a clue until one night this fancy rapscallion shows up in my neck of the woods wearing city clothes and looking to off load some fancy New York baubles. Not that folk 'round here got much use for fancy baubles, but I reckon the ol' Widow Douglas' eyes was as big as tea saucers when she seen 'em.
I'm getting off the subject again aren't I?
So after a few glasses of Miss Watson's "medicinal" sherry, this ol' city slicker starts telling me the story about ol' Marco Polo.
See here, before his spaghetti days ol' Marco, much like yours truly, liked to have himself some river adventures. 'Cept that ol' Marco wasn't stuck in some boggy ol' Mississippi like I am, he had the gumption to river raft himself all the way to China! I figure that's at least a million miles from Missouri, maybe a little less from New York, which is where this Marco Polo feller was from.
Marco Polo spent a fair deal of time in China, lighting off fireworks and fighting karate style with them dragons. Eventually though he must have grown tired of the orient, or maybe he done come up with his spaghetti idea and wanted to get back to New York to write it down. Either way, Marco Polo got back on his raft and pushed himself back into the ocean with the rest of his buddies.
This is when the tragedy strikes.
One night, the ocean let loose with a thunderstorm the likes of which you ain't never seen. Threw Marco Polo clean of the raft and into the ocean. Ol' Marco tried to swim for it, but the wind was pushing the rafts away from him. He swam like he never swam before but just couldn't make it to the rafts. That's when he began to drown.
Meanwhile Marco's buddies tried to paddle back to where he was but the wind was just too much and they couldn't see worth a lick what for the rain and all. So they started yelling:
So about this time ol' Marco Polo reckons he's dyin'. He has water in this ears, water in his mouth, he's even lost a shoe and there's sharks circling. Just when it looks like ol' Marco's gonna die, he hears a faint sound.
By this time Marco is so delirious, that all he can think to yell back is his own damned name.
Well I'll be a son of a snake oil salesman if they didn't find him just as one o' them sharks was fixin' to swallow him whole. They pulled Marco Polo back onto the raft (but not before the shark got his leg, all the way to the knee) and high tailed it back to safety.
After that ol' Marco Polo spent the rest of his days inventing spaghetti, which was a hit.He became something of a hero for it. He was given a gold plated peg leg and I heard he even married the Mayor's prettiest daughter.
I still don't reckon that explains why the kids are yelling ol' Marco Polo's name, but I reckon kids don't have much sense anyway now do they?