Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Monday, May 25, 2015

The game

On Memorial Day, a bunch of us used to get together and play softball..  Now, re-arrange your mental picture a bit.

 First of all, this is in Portland, Oregon, so you have to realize that the sky is overcast and most of us are wearing sweat pants and rain jackets with hoods. No sun, no babes in shorts or tube tops.

Second, realize that we were mostly nerds - the people picked last for any team sport.  The ones who couldn't run hit, pitch, catch or throw.  The ones who didn't excel in PE. The choir and chess club contingent.

Because of this, third, we changed the rules.

a. You get as many swings as it takes to hit the ball. (We made sure to have at least one person on each team who could actually get the ball across the plate.)

b. If you knock over someone's beer, you're out.

c. If someone is actually lucky enough to actually catch the ball you hit, you gotta give them the out because it's so unlikely to happen.

d. If you insist on keeping score, we send you back to the house for more beer and don't tell you what happened while you were gone.

If my team was not up at bat, I frequently played right field, because there was less dog poo out there,  and less chance of anyone actually hitting things in my direction.

When one team had been up at bat till everyone got a chance to hit, it was then legal to put your beer in the base path where someone could knock it over.  Some of us would save a bottle with just a sip left in the bottom for this very purpose.  There was the drinking' bottle, and the base path bottle.

One year, our raffish crew included an exchange student from HongKong who had never played softball before.  When she hit the ball, she ran left instead of right.  We let her run the bases backward because she was from a different hemisphere.

And then there was the year that Jason brought a gallon cooler full of toxic waste margaritas.  We were never the same again.

But it was good times and Lord we had fun!  Potluck picnic, and back to the house when the rain started, then hours of talk and laughter, and maybe a few games of Botticelli.

Jason's gone now.  Dennis, our best pitcher is gone as well.  He was the one who could, (and would) actually throw the ball at the bat to give the clumsiest of us a chance to actually connect.  And when the ball came dribbling his way, he would dance around top of it to give the runner a chance to make it to first. He was such a kind man!

Oh, the joy and the glory of actually hitting the ball!  The exhilaration of running to first.  The feral cunning of sneaking out and stealing second. (We all looked alike in our sweats and rain jackets.  Just mosey casually . . .)  One young lady who was visually impaired even managed a home-run because left field was smoking dope, then over-threw second base, and the infielder knocked over his own beer and while he was snatching it up, she made it home.  She made a home run!  We all cheered her and all day long she reveled in the glory.

Kids who aren't good at sports will never get better at sports because it's no fun to be the detriment to the team.  Because no one wants you to play, so how are you going to improve? Because it's no fun to do something you aren't good at.  But we figured out how to PLAY the game, and we all had such fun.  Too bad more kids don't get a chance to PLAY the games.  I still can't throw, but I can sometimes catch something tossed in my direction, and if the ball comes straight over the plate and not too fast, I can connect more times than not.  I improved with practice. Everyone can improve with practice.


  • At 11:05 AM , Blogger Timothy Young said...

    You should coach kids on how to PLAY. Someone always tries to go by the rules and they need help learning to break them properly.

  • At 11:16 AM , Blogger Delighted Hands said...

    I would love to try out for your teams! It sounds like a great group of people.

  • At 5:05 AM , Blogger Donna Lee said...

    While at my brother's for our Annual Memorial Day Charring of the Flesh, we were remembering joining a bowling league. It was supposed to be a FUN league. Turns out it was as competetive as all get out.
    We were the Weebles (because the pins wobbled but didn't fall down) and everyone asked when we were going to really play.

    Um, guys? This IS us really playing. We got large handicaps and had a good time but were not encouraged to come back.....

  • At 5:17 AM , Blogger Saren Johnson said...

    That sounds like a baseball game.

  • At 9:00 PM , Anonymous tlbw said...

    Ah,yes, I remember it well... thanks for the walk down memory lane.


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