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Just Zoogling Around
Saturday, 2005 June 25 - 11:34 pm
Hmm, I think I feel myself turning into a mass of jelly.

I was pretty much a useless lump today. With this leg injury, I'm hobbling around like a peg-legged pirate. It's a good thing I have my Zoogle to use as a walking stick.

What, you've never heard of a Zoogle? I'm not surprised. Way back in 1978, my sister and I were outside playing. A guy approached us and said he had invented a new toy called the Zoogle. It was essentially a padded plastic stick, covered in nylon, with rubber stops on each end. He gave one to each of us, for free.

The instructions that came with it described some sort of game, where you were supposed to throw the Zoogle and the other person would try to catch it on the black part. I think, though, that the game idea wasn't real. The inventor was just trying to cash in on phenomena like the Slinky and the Pet Rock. You know, take an ordinary item and turn it into hip new toy. And, he didn't just want to call it "Stick".

Well, Zoogle never made it big, but for me, that thing has served as a toy sword, a lightsaber, a practice golf club, a TV remote control, a bug-squashing implement ... and most importantly this weekend, a crutch. So thank you, Zoogle guy, wherever you are.

Anyway, I spent most of the day watching Michelle Wie kick ass at the U.S. Women's Open. (Or is it the Women's U.S. Open? The U.S Open's Women?) I'm noticing that my web site is being besieged with Google hits for people trying to find Michelle Wie's picture. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks she's hot.

And hey, there are two other cute teenagers at the top of the leaderboard: Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer. Since when did women's golf become a game full of underage hotties?

I spent a bit of time working on web site improvements, though you won't see any of the results until I'm done. The reason I mention this is because while I was sitting at the computer in my second-floor office, I heard my cell phone ringing downstairs. I tried to dash downstairs on one leg to answer it, and I nearly killed myself in the process (partly because, in my haste, I left the Zoogle behind). This is why I hate phones.

In the evening, I watched "Reservoir Dogs" again, on IFC. I remember thinking how cool it was when I first saw it, but now all I can think of is how Quentin Tarantino keeps using pieces of it in all his other movies.

I wrapped up the day by reading the newspaper. In the paper, I found out that my favorite store, Organized Living, is going out of business. That makes me VERY VERY SAD. The only good news is, they'll be spending the next few weeks or months liquidating their inventory. I'll have to go down there and buy a bunch of stuff. I wonder how many boxes I'll need over the next twenty years?
Permalink  26 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: lifesports


Comment #1 from Julie (Guest)
2005 Jun 26 - 8:10 am : #
ooh, i LOVED reservoir dogs. much like with clerks, it was all downhill from there. despite what pulp fiction proponents may have you believe.
Comment #2 from Timothy Ross (Guest)
2005 Jun 26 - 8:28 am : #
What is with IFC. A week ago I had never heard of it and now I see it everywhere I turn.
Comment #3 from Crouching Hamster (Guest)
2005 Jun 26 - 1:25 pm : #
IFC is probably on a big marketing campaign. Last weekend they opened their first theater in the West Village (the old Waverly). I walked past it but haven't been there yet.
Comment #4 from Sonja (Guest)
2005 Jun 26 - 8:56 pm : #
Yeah, I hate to burst your bubble, but we went to Organized Living yesterday, and it looked like it had been ransacked already by every borderline-neurotic organizer person in the greater Raleigh area. Good like finding anything left to liquidate. (We came away with a shower caddy and a laundry basket, but not the desk organizers I was hoping for. Oh well.)
Comment #5 from Ken (realkato)
2005 Jun 26 - 10:11 pm : #
Oh, that sucks. :o(
Comment #6 from Brian R (Guest)
2006 Feb 10 - 11:04 pm : #
Dude, I played zoogle and also met the zoogle man. He was a guy that had one leg shorter than the other and could not play normal sports so he inventend this game that involved no movement of the legs. The rules were you had to keep both feet planted on the ground. In the game you play to 7. The first throw he threw at me hit me in the chest and arm and rebounded to my head. He killed me in one throw. That dude was crazy.
Comment #7 from lea governale (Guest)
2006 Aug 31 - 10:10 pm : #
Do you really have a zoogle! My ex husband was a partner in the company Zoogle and it really was a game that they promoted all around the country. He is dead now and I have been searching to find one. The game was indeed invented by a carnie who was handicapped and my husband's good friend John Powers had them manufactured by hadicapped people in the midwest somewhere. We lived in New Jersey and spent much of our time in the late seventies promoting the game in parks and events all around the northeast. They never sold the game to a major toy manufaturer and the thing just fizzled out but they innvested a lot of money in it, in fact all that they had in the game hoping that it would catch on. Unfortunatley video games were just beginning to make hit with toy manufaturers at that time.
Comment #8 from Ken (realkato)
2006 Sep 1 - 10:02 am : #
Wow. I'm stunned that other people had Zoogles. My sister and I thought we were probably the only people in the world who had them.
Comment #9 from Chad (Guest)
2006 Oct 20 - 2:22 pm : #
Zoogle rocks! We had a visit from the 'zoogle man' back in 1993 at a YMCA camp in southern missouri. All the kids bought them and the counselors would have tournaments. I googled zoogle (say that 10 times fast) to see if I could find one somewhere. Oh the memories...
Comment #10 from josh (Guest)
2006 Oct 23 - 12:12 pm : #
I love the zoogle, i have been trying to find one to buy! I want to play again. i think the last time i played was 8yrs ago when mying broke! If anyone has one for sale or knows of any that still are for sale let me know!

- Josh
Comment #11 from Bill Wilson (Guest)
2006 Oct 24 - 6:43 pm : #
I met the Zoogle guys back in 1978 at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. My friend and I played all the time on the Lake Erie beach and always attracted lots of attention. We moved up to Boston in 1979 and played all the time at the Boston Commons. We became quite good at the game and always attracted crowds any time that we played. Great game of eye/hand coordination. If you hit the opponent in the arm or leg they lost the use of that limb. You would literally have to play on one leg. The idea was that handicapped individuals would be able to lose their good arm or leg twice to allow a level playing field. Also all Zoogles were made by handicapped individuals as mentioned by Lea. I thought they made a smaller version called a Zookie???
Comment #12 from Kate (Guest)
2007 Jan 3 - 1:50 pm : #
Hi. My sister bought all the nieces and nephews zoogle sticks for Christmas this year. I have been searching for rules and have had no luck. I see Lea and Bill explained some of the rules. Can someone email me the rules? I would love to get the kids away from that Playstation for awhile. Thanks.
Comment #13 from Ken (Guest)
2007 Jan 6 - 1:20 am : #
My kids ended up with some Zoogles this year too. Mr. Will Caudill, the very same man with one short leg, visited our school.

For those insterested, here's contact info for the Zoogle Man (taken from an order sheet sent home from the school):

7214 Highland Rd.
Indianapolis, IN 46268-2214

Each stick is $10. Child and adult sizes are available. Color choices are Orange, Green, Blue, Red, Purple, and Pink.
Comment #14 from Kris (Guest)
2008 Mar 15 - 12:20 pm : #
I have a zoogle. The Zoogle Man had polio as a child and invented the zoogle so that kids with disabilities could play an active game as well. Mine is purple! I got it when I was 10 or i'm 27!
Comment #15 from Charles (Guest)
2009 Feb 17 - 10:56 am : #
Pay for a Zoogle stick? Rediculous. Hehe. I've always made mine out of nice piece of wood/bamboo, whatever. Although a burning piece of wood pulled out of a fire always worked nicely. :]
Comment #16 from Jeff (Guest)
2009 Mar 5 - 8:02 am : #
The Zoogle man was at my School yesterday. The kid's went wild over this Zoogle stick. I have had over two hundred kids want an order form, I even had some kid's already pay for theirs.
Comment #17 from Stadiem (Guest)
2009 Mar 30 - 7:18 pm : #
The Zoogle man is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and Zoogle is really fun. It was actually a fully endorsed sport on one of the ESPN networks for a while. I'd love to get another Zoogle stick. It's a shame they didn't make it to mass production. I hope that that guy is happy where ever he is.
Comment #18 from Lee Caudill (Guest)
2009 May 1 - 12:18 pm : #
Willie Caudill is my uncle. I'm surprised too that this many people remember it/know it. Here is a cool picture I just scanned in with Arnold Schwarzenegger (sp?!) playing zoogle. Anywho, if anyone would like the original 1979 instructions, I was getting ready to scan them in for one of my buddies if anyone else would like to see them, just email me at or the email I entered above.
Comment #19 from Joe (Guest)
2009 May 13 - 3:59 pm : #
The zoogle guy was at the primary school yesterday trying to sell them for $10 each. How lame! Who the hell pays that much for a stick?
Comment #20 from mary (Guest)
2009 Jun 16 - 10:30 pm : #
I have a zoogle that belongs to my son who is 22 years old . I am glad that I saved it as of today I am using it for pt on my arms to help me get use of them again
Comment #21 from Leah (Guest)
2009 Jul 13 - 9:43 am : #
My bestest friend LOVES the zoogle. He tried to teach me this past winter, but it was kinda in a cramped space. i've gotta get him outside to play with me again. "dude! i lost my leg!"
Comment #22 from G. Bills (Guest)
2009 Aug 3 - 8:51 am : #
The Zoogle lives on. It showed up at my sons camp in P.A. this summer. One of the counslers there ( Will Armond) played it as a kid somewhere in the mid west. He somehow got in touch with the Zoogle guy and got about 100 of them shipped to camp. The camp has a website with daily pictures and a Today show video Blog. They viewed how Zoogle was taking over the camp. Major competition was going on at camp Canadensis this summer. On visiting day my son was only interested in when 1pm. was because they had 100 Zoogles to sell to the first come. $8 or $10 later my kid got one. He's loving it and has some amazing nija style of playing the game.
Great hand eye game for ball players to increase reaction time.
Bring back Zoogle in 2009. It's the perfect time.
Comment #23 from Hailee (Guest)
2009 Dec 2 - 7:16 pm : #
The Zoogle Man came to my high school today. My friend and I had a lot of fun with it. It seems like a sorta kiddie toy, but us sophomores, and the freshman, had a blast. I don't know if he was selling them or not, but if he was I didn't get a chance to buy one. I really really want one! Can anyone tell me where to get one? E-mail me at

Greatly appreciated,
Comment #24 from randy timmons (Guest)
2010 Nov 22 - 5:34 pm : #
Ive often wondered what ever happened to willie.Iam the fist winner of the zoogle competition,held by Pizza King,&ball State.I won a schwinn bicycle&1,000 dollers.THANKS WILLIE.RANDY TIMMONS
Comment #25 from Tara (Guest)
2010 Nov 29 - 9:31 pm : #
Well, Zoogle has made it bigger than you think. I have no earthly idea what they are but my son (a 1st grader) just brought home a form today for me to get him a Zoogle. They are $10 each. I decided to Google it to see what it is before I sent the money in to school. They are selling them in the gym.
Comment #26 from Craig Swag (Guest)
2011 Jun 17 - 2:29 pm : #
Zoogle is an old, Native American game

Comments are closed for this post.

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