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It’s been  about 30 years, but I do remember saying to my children in a light, airy, melodious singsong voice, “Time to eat – please put away the Atari.”  Then, a few years later, a little louder and without the song and dance: “Dinner’s ready NOW – please put away the Nintendo.”  Finally, after 10 years or so, the neighbor’s across the street could hear, “God damn it, if I see that Pac-Man or Mario or WHAT EVER THE HELL it is, one more time …” 

Eventually  the kids moved out, the games wound up in a yard sale or the Goodwill store, and I vowed never to have TV/computer games in the house again.

Until  I discovered that HIDDEN OBJECT GAMES are on-line.  

I love those seek-n-find games – I always have.  I remember squinting at the clouds, grass, and trees in a children’s magazine  at the dentist’s office.  Jack and Jill is still around and even on-line now.  I’m a little too old for it today but thrilled I can spot the elephant in clouds in a blink of my bi-focal bespectacled eyes.

Back in the “paper” day,  you’d be staring at a landscape, seascape, maybe even a living room full of items chock-a-block, (boy, you don’t get to use that word often), and cleverly concealed in the drawing.  Next to the picture there’d be a list of the objects you had to find – easy huh?

The hard part  was that the objects would be skillfully disguised to be part of another object – maybe a baseball bat as a chair leg.  Sometimes they’d be a little trickier; a stamp  might show up as a postage stamp or the rubber-brick kind that marks bills PAID.  I loved it!  I still do.

Here’s one site  I visit  Hidden Objects.  There are about a dozen individual games to choose from on this site alone.  Make sure you choose an on-line game – unless you really want to buy the game or download a free trial for an hour.  

After choosing   a game, waiting through some elevator music, staring at  “Getting your on-line game,” in a few moments you’ll see, “Your on-line game is ready – click here to play.”  You click and begin.

A clue – keep a magnifying glass next to the computer – it does help, even with the bifocals.

My latest  HO find is SCRUFFS  I say “my,” because every time I visit the site, there are about 300,000 other players on-line. 

The Scruffs  are a family with what looks like a city-dump in their front yard.  The kicker in this HO game is their barking dog – who helps you find the hard-to-spot items.  Very cool!

You could even play these games with your grandchildren. 

I wouldn’t play  with my grandkids, ‘cause I don’t want to suffer the humiliation of having them find the hidden objects before I even have a chance to lift the magnifying glass.  

Enjoy – and don’t forget to come up for air – or coffee.