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For those of you who by some extremely unlikely set of circumstances happened to stumble upon this page, I apologize to you. For those of you who intentionally came to this page - yikes! As the title of the weblog indicates, these are my Ramblings About Whatever. There is a chance that I will ramble about just about anything (as I am in this introduction), but only a select few topics will actually make this site. Enjoy! (I guess...)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kickball and the Summer of 1996

Alright, back to non-political stuff. I would like to relate to you a brief story from my youth that still makes me smile to this day. And this story happens to be 100% true, in case you are wondering.

Back in the summer of 1996, my younger brother and I had the misfortune of working as counselors at a summer camp. Well if it was such a misfortune, you might ask, then why does this story bring a smile to my face? That's a very good question, and I certainly will answer it before long.

This was a miserable summer because the pay was incredibly low; we were basically indentured servants. And we were not happy to be there - in fact we hated being there. And I'm pretty sure most of the kids hated being there as well. Who could blame them really? Though I was eighteen at the time, I knew for a fact that all of the activities that they had the kids doing sucked. I mean seriously, they had these children dancing to that stupid Macarena song, they had them doing arts and craft, and a whole host of other stupid activities that an eighteen-year-old certainly would not enjoy, and six to twelve-year-olds should not enjoy either. Six to twelve-year-olds should be more interested in winning foot races and solving complex mathematical problems and not these sort of trite activities that should be reserved for four and five-year-olds.

Now since I hated these activities, and believed that deep within themselves all of the children did so as well, I didn't feel obligated to force the kids to do any of them. This decision on my part did not necessarily go over so well with my fellow counselors, but I decided that since many of them seemed to have an inability to pronounce my name correctly (one even going so far as to add additional syllables), I was going to be of as little help to them as possible. And I must admit that the children adored me all the more for not making them do stupid, boring stuff.

But alas the goal was not to have the children love me, but to hate me, and in so hating me, love me all the more. So I had to be a jerk to the kids. I know from experience that once kids get to be about ten, eleven, twelve, that's when they start developing jerk-personae. Some of those kids in the camp that year might have been very adept at being jerks for their age, but they could not hope to compete with one such as I who had had several years head start in honing my jerk skills.

But I've kind of been meandering a bit, or rambling, if you will, and have yet to come to the incident that occurred while I was working at that camp that summer that still brings a smile to my face. I was in the midst of a kickball game involving a group of mostly six-year-olds, and I happened to be standing on the portion of asphalt that would be considered left-center field. I believe that there were two runners on base, a boy on third and a girl on second. Well, the ball happened to make it through off the bounce to me and as I scanned the "field" (the blacktop), I could see that somehow there was a mix-up and the boy and girl were both running in close proximity toward home plate. For some reason we playing by a rule that if you hit someone with the ball while they were running off of a base, they were considered out. And so I knew what I had to do.

From my position out in the outfield about 100 feet from home plate, I saw how quickly the children were running and tried to judge the proper trajectory to use to pick off one of them. I knew I had a bit of a margin for error since two of them were running so closely together. I did the almost instantaneous mental calculation and I lofted the ball into the air.

The ball drifted into the air, seemingly taking an eternity to reach its apex. As the ball descended back down toward the ground, the mouths of all were agape as we all slowly tracked the progress of the red round object. The little boy was fortunate to escape the ball's wrath, but the little girl was not so lucky. Bam! She was drilled in the head and sent down to the asphalt.

What happened next? Well, my memory is a bit hazy on this matter. I'm going to guess that we were up by one run prior to the ball coming out to me and that the boy and the girl running the bases represented the tying and winning runs. Since the girl was knocked out before the boy crossed home plate, we won. I think that all of the six-year-olds on my team came and mobbed me and lifted me onto their shoulders as we celebrated our victory. I do kind of wonder what became of that little girl though...

Good times...

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