"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Friday, January 9, 2009

Why Do They Even Call It "Dodge" Ball?

It turns out that the last words you hear before you're pulled inexorably into the light of eternal paradise are "Aim for the old bald one!" Evidently, God still has something planned for my life because he brought me back and caused me to survive what was perhaps the scariest 30 minutes of my adult life.

Not surprisingly, the scariest 30 minutes of my adult life were exactly like the scariest 300 minutes of my childhood.

I don't know why they called it "dodge" ball when "hit" ball or "inflict pain" ball was more accurate. The only thing I had going for me at gym/recess was that I didn't bruise. My skin might turn a subtly yellower shade after a particularly harrowing game of dodgeball or jumprope, but at least there wouldn't be the big black and blue welts that a lot of my friends had.
To this day, I don't know that I've ever had a real classic bruise. The closest I came was giving plasma in college. When they started pumping the blood back into my veins one time, the needle had jiggled loose [my fault], so the blood was just being squirted randomly outside the vein and under my skin puffing up like a balloon. Even then, just a bigger yellow spot. Maybe I'm an alien.
Anyway, last night was a test as I faced my childhood fear of being pummeled to death by large rubber balls. Everyone was all friendly and nice...until the whistle blew to start the match. I was suddenly nine years old and had no place to hide. I was the oldest player on both teams, I believe; I also doubled as the weakest and least-coordinated. I'm not humble, just honest.

In case you wondered, this was organized like a real sport and everything. Did you know there were RULES in dodgeball besides "1. Hurt people" and "2. Make them cry"? A lady who knew way too much about dodgeball ran through the rules with all the teams.

I quickly learned that, since the goal was to win games, it was best for me to either sit out or hand off any balls I got to the players who could throw worth squat. I tried my hardest to give the other team the impression that I was no threat, that I wasn't worth aiming for. And they STILL hit me. Good strategy is to aim low. If you throw high, the ball can get caught and the thrower is out.

This explains why my legs were numb when I left the game. And why they still feel wobbly today. And why I nearly fell down the stairs.

And why my wife doesn't think I should play any more dodgeball until I grow up.

At least someone thinks I'm young.


Tammy said...

Almost every single afternoon, I sit in my car and watch as my kids and their friends play this game on the playground.

It's a wonder the ACLU still allows this to be played on playgrounds today.

My son has a humungo kid in his class named B.J. (short for Big Joker) who throws the ball harder than grown men. I almost had to go Postal Mom on him the day he hit my sweet string bean son and laid him out on the ground!

I do remember how fun it was to play though.

HootieMama said...

Apparently, at Summit, they have tried to take the fear and dread out of the game by renaming it "Duck Sphere". Pain is still pain, no matter what you name the game. The only game I hated worse in school was kick ball. Only because Eric Frederick kicked a dent in my shin -- literally.

Does your AARP plan cover sports injuries? ;-)


gopmom2 said...

Jeff & I dodge missles everyday! I am glad some people still get to play a fun game...at least until January 20th!

Becca and Adam said...

hahahahaha :-)

MLW said...

Sounds like a kick...I can't remember the last time I played.