The burn in the palms of your hands, the excited yells of your classmates around you, and the sounds of shoes squeaking on the gym floor. It may not be a traditional sport, but Kajabe Can Can, or The Trash Can Game, is a fun activity that combines hanging on for dear life with attempting to pull the rope out of your neighbors hands or push them into a trash can. It’s a thrilling, fast paced game.
By the fifth round, your fingers have begun to ache, and the circle of people has become smaller. Some people choose to rush the center, dragging reluctant players behind them, all attempting to dodge or jump past the trash can sitting forebodingly in the center. Another rope is ripped savagely from its owners hands, and they slink away, defeated. You adjust your grip and try to ignore the screaming pain in your fingers when you flex them. You will not give in.
The ropes used for Kajabe Can Can are soft, and about a foot long with knots tied on either end. They are comfortable in theory, but after having them be yanked against the sides of your hands for a few minutes, you’re wishing they were one hundred times softer.
Finally, it’s down to you and your opponent. You stand on opposite sides of the trash can, staring each other down. There are only a few inches of space between you and the rim of the can. The whistle blows, and you are yanked off your feet, leaping to the side to avoid the trash can. You immediately counter, planting your feet and yanking to the side. Your opponent stumbles off balance but catches themselves and pulls on the rope. This continues on for some minutes, the encouraging shouts of your classmates creating background noise to the battle raging on in the center of the court. As each of you tries to outsmart the other or catch them off balance, your arms burn, and sweat collects on your forehead.
And then, disaster. For your opponent, that is. Their guard goes down for a split second, but that’s enough. Your rip the rope out of their hands, crying out in victory. As the adrenaline fades and you walk away from the trash can, and your fingers throb and refuse to flex, you wonder… ‘was this even worth it? Geez.’