Sunday, June 19, 2005

kickin' it old school

In my second kickball foray this week (I don't know what the fascination is, but it's strangely compelling), I went to a pickup game at Jamaica Pond this afternoon. The game took a while to get going, but once enough people got there, it was a pretty good time. Usually I get intimidated by team sports of any kind, but this was pretty casual; the pitcher didn't even bother to put down his cigarette for something so trivial as actually pitching the ball, and nobody seemed to be keeping track of strikes or fouls. It was definitely the most informal game I've ever been a part of, which is good, because when it comes to sports, I have all the dexterity and coordination of a near-sighted water buffalo. The game was so informal, in fact, that we didn't actually stick to the main rule of kickball - namely, kicking a ball. Instead, it was more of a choice-oriented game; when you were up at the plate, you could go the traditional route and kick a rolling ball, or you could opt to bat a wiffle ball instead. Either way; it was all fine. I always went for the kickball myself (figuring the bigger the target, the better my chances), and actually got on base a few times, thus exorcising the demons of my athletically-impaired adolescence. I even caught some balls as a fielder, which is so statistically improbable that I'd need a PhD in mathematics to even try to explain it. Where I really shone, though, was in the noise department. It seems I have a talent for shouting random praise at people, and it was really, really fun. Our team was so extraordinarily bad that it became necessary to get creative with the positive reinforcement after a while ("Nice try! And I like your shirt!"), but I kept doggedly at it for the whole time.

All in all, it was a pretty entertaining way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and to meet some new people as well. And if you were out trying to have a peaceful walk around Jamaica Pond this afternoon, I hope all that yelling didn't interfere too much.


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