But Jimmy didn't know these things my Dad liked to say. He was too busy eating far too much ice cream for one boy. At the rate he was going, he would soon be an ice cream!
We wandered round the streets for a while, slurping like we'd never slurped before, until we were both totally satisfied. Then Jimmy saw some kids playing marbles. He jumped the low fence that goes round the park and headed over to his mates. I followed him, of course.
As soon as Les, Brian, and Garry saw us, they waved.
"Want a game?" they asked.
Jimmy showed his hands.
"No marbles," he said. "You'll have to loan me some!"
"How many?" asked Garry.
They'd done this before. Knowing Jimmy's luck, they'd cleaned him out every time. He'd lost three bags to Garry, and heaps to the other kids.
"What happens when you lose?" asked Brian. It never occurred to him that Jimmy might not lose.
"A dollar a marble!" said Jimmy.
"OK," said Jimmy. "If you lose you can pay me a dollar a marble, or a bunch of new marbles!"
"Deal!" said Garry, striking hands.
Les scratched a new circle in the dust and placed a marble in the center. Brian had first shot. He missed. Garry tried, nicked and rolled to a stop inside the circle. Brian tried a soft flick but rolled short.
Jimmy took careful aim and flicked. His marble ricocheted off all the other marbles and ended up spinning in the center.
"Far out!" said Garry.
"Want another round?" asked Jimmy, picking Garry's best marble up as his winnings.
Garry looked at the shiny, red marble in Jimmy's hand.