BOOCHIE! Our family tradition of “Boochie” was imported from an episode of the Perfect Strangers sitcom from the late-1980s. Balki, a sheepherder, moved from Mypos (a Mediterranean island) to live with his cousin, Larry, in Chicago. (Balki doesn’t call himself a “shepherd,” he is a “sheepherder,” which is uttered in Balki’s inimitable Myposian accent.)

One of the Mypos games Balki taught Larry was “Boochie,” which is a form of tag. Instead of saying “Tag, you’re it,” a player says, “Boochie!” and the chase begins. Players never know when a game begins or ends and players can be ambushed at any time.

When we adopted Boochie at our house, even the dog got into the act and could “boochie” a player with her tail. Our family has refined Boochie over the years with countless variations and rules. Rules such as, Dad can’t Boochie our son when the child is being tucked into bed — there has to be a “safe zone” somewhere! Just to keep the peace, I seldom play. Someone has to referee.

I bought the Perfect Strangers DVD for Christmas and was surprised how short the actual Boochie episode was, yet it provided our family with many fun and happy memories. It’s amazing how something so insignificant can do so much toward family bonding.

Boochie is still alive and well at our house. Celebrate your family traditions — no matter how oddball they may seem to others. Families grow up, but memories will always remain. What are some of yours?

Just so you know . . . because you read this post . . . Boochie!

(And if you’re interested, there is even a Perfect Strangers fan page on Facebook!)

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