Kickball! Now there's a sport I can get on board with!
For the last three nights the baseball fields at the park have been taken over by a much merrier band of athletes who play Kickball. At first I couldn't quite believe it so Duncan and I stopped and watched. I looked around to see if perhaps someone was filming something, if maybe I was part of an elaborate prank, but it turned out to be the real thing. I hadn't thought of kickball since the sixth grade and didn't even know people actually played it.
The fields at Clement Park have been overrun with baseball players since before we moved in July and that part of me that was traumatized by sports decades ago always appears and feels small and inadequate whenever we walk past the quad of baseball diamonds. The players are exactly as I remember them from high school, jockish, brutish, sometimes older and a little wider around the middle and most unappealing in their ridiculous baseball pants, but others–the young ones–look as if they've stepped right out of my worst PE flashbacks, circa 1986.
But not the kickballers! They're wonderful! Saturday night two different games were going on in the same baseball diamond and Duncan and I had to stop and watch them. Duncan normally doesn't like to stand too long in one place, unless it's to choose the location on which he wants to do his business, and even then he doesn't really stand so much as turn in slow circles, nose to the ground looking for that single, perfect 4" X 4" spot in all the world that's good enough. But even Duncan seemed entranced by the games going on. Or maybe it was just the big red, rubber balls bouncy willy-nilly before his eyes. I myself couldn't look away from the players, who were tall and short, fat and skinny, young and old, jock-types and nerd types. It was the true American Melting Pot, and even better was the fact that they all wore goofy hats and costumes–enormous yellow afro wigs and hats with wings and horns, cowboy hats, hockey masks, clown hats, cat-in-the-hat hats, capes and boots. It was like a league of bizarre super heroes at a company picnic. And they all cheered for each other, even the opposing team. It was brilliant and even though it probably won't happen, I really want to sign up next year. I'd ask if Duncan could join too, but I imagine they might have rules about slobbering on the ball, or running away with it and not coming back.
We'll have to see.