Even when we played Red Rover there was always one kid who just didn’t get it.
That kid would half heartedly run at the line, then suddenly stop and sort of look at the sky for a bit while everyone yelled at them to RUN ALREADY! Eventually the kid would meander to an end of the line and link up without even trying to bust through.
Dodge Ball. Anyone could play Dodge Ball, even the tards. Don’t get hit, right? Except that one kid– he’d just stand around looking lost until someone nailed him. Usually a head shot.Then he’d cry.
As we grew up and the games became more complex and organized – backyard football on Thanksgiving, pick-up games after school on the local diamond, soccer for Pete’s sake – these were the kids that were always picked last, and then only with the firm and fast (though customarily unspoken) rule that whatever team took that kid could also have at least one more ‘good’ kid to make up for all the havoc nerdo was going to wreck.
By junior high these were the kids you’d ditch.
If you and the guys were going swimming ‘cause Kay (and her new ‘buds’) and her friends were going to be at the pool, you’d let these guys think you were gonna be pounding ground strokes on the Plaza courts. If the guys were gonna catch a Saturday matinee you’d tell these kids you had to do chores all day. Hell, sometimes, just hanging out? You’d look at your buddies and the group of you would just start running away as fast as you could. You’d flat out ditch those kids.
It was cruel but necessary. These kids weren’t just clueless, they weren’t just always gonna be clueless, they also insisted on ruining everyone else’s fun. They were the kids who’d threaten to tell on their older siblings unless they got their way, which would force everyone to include them or to play nice or to otherwise so water down the rules of a particular game it wasn’t even the same game anymore so what was the point? 1
It was these kids’ moms who were always calling your mom to let her know that you ditched her son and how she didn’t understand it because young spaz so looked up to and admired you and your friends, thereby earning you at least a severe talking to with a hard thump on the noggin from the ol’ man.
By high school you didn’t have to ditch them – not only were they aware they just didn’t fit, they had found others like themselves and hung out together. But that turned out to be for protection because suddenly some of the other guys were actively picking 2 on them. Which made them an even bigger pain in your ass because you couldn’t just let that happen, right? So you had to step in and protect these damn dweebs, which put you at loggerheads with some of the guys, not to mention a few of the girls. And the coaches.
It was a complete no-win situation.
It was like no matter what you did these kids were always gonna get you, ya know? In some damnable way you’d never be able to completely ditch them. Hell, you might have to move away!
In point of fact, that’s what happened. You moved away, joined the service, ran away and followed the circus 3, went to college or just up’d and got on with your life and friends and didn’t think twice about those kids.
Until, out of the blue, with no warning much less ominous omens that would cause you to move out of the area like the neighbor’s wife giving birth to a double headed lamb, they showed up in your neighborhood, cruising down the street in the back seat of your realtor’s Lexus. Your realtor! Your neighborhood!!!
Sure, they’re adults now, but they’re also those kids: they still don’t have the moves, no chops at all; they don’t quite have the wetherall to be in the neighborhood but – and they’re very frank about this – they heard you lived here so they want to; they’re still clueless yet think they should immediately ascend to be the neighborhood association board president; they’re now arrogant and needy all at once and they drive you crazy.
The neighborhood will never be the same.
It is at that precise moment you truly understood the nature of the Universe: cold, indifferent and certainly not ‘fair’. The concept of a god is at last revealed as a cruel hoax, for surely no sane god would allow this to happen.
How, you ask yourself. How did this come about? And whom do I have to kill to rid myself of these leeches? You know what I’m talking about.
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- I mean, no head shots in Dodge Ball? Really? We’d have rather skipped rope. Well, not really. But you know what I mean. ↩
- And by “picking” I mean “beating the absolute snot out of them without actual permanent damage.” ↩
- Or the Grateful Dead – it amounted to the same thing. ↩
- Though if I’m honest there is a certain laughable irony in the situation. At least, looking in from the outside there is. Perhaps it’s not quite as humorous to K-State, Iowa State, KU and MU, huh? But, like I say, from my perspective, no matter which conferences cherry pick the current Bevo
XIX to death, it will be amusing to watch the gnashing of teeth, rending of breasts, pulling of hair and mea culpa wailing from afar. I haven’t laughed this hard in some time and don’t foresee an end any time soon. ↩
- Well, that is the Golden Buff’s can win at least 6 games during this rebuilding year. If not…well, I’ll empty that bourbon bottle when the time comes. ↩