April 18, 2007

Pole Position

Ah, hindsight, my trustworthy friend—tell me what game wasted more of your time growing up...

What's that you say? Tetherball? Oh yes, tetherball. The game of champions. A game where only the nimble, strong and crafty survive!

Tetherball was a great game to pass the long lunch recess hours and a fantastic spectator sport, but I have to tell you: tetherball is not as cool as I remember.

First off, you could NOT play a game of tetherball for more than 30 seconds without your hands getting absolutely filthy. It was like you just tossed a clay pot on the potter's wheel, plus this was well before Purel hand sanitizer was invented. Also, if you took just one semi-flat tetherball to the face, you might as well have been hit by a truck. The worst part of tetherball, however, was the neverending litany of rules. There were usually no less than 20 rules for each game which usually sounded like this: "Alright, first one to officially 'tether' the ball to the steel pole wins...BUT, there will be none of the following: ropies, fruit loops, helicopter spins, airplane dizzies, hand-jives, around-the-worlds, striking the ball with an open palm, roundhouse kicks etc..." The game was FREAKING TETHERBALL! The sole purpose of this game should've been to not strangle yourself with the nylon cord!

Then the cheaters came. Most tetherball games were so fraught with infractions that the outcome was violently disputed. The most agregious cheaters (besides those that used roundhouse kicks) would enlist a chum who would give them a boost so they could "jack up" the cord to the top of the pole, thus making it too hard to defend against a tether by those of average elementary school height (2'6")

All told, tetherball was a decent way to mix things up from the usual recess routine of chasing girls, throwing rocks and silently crying in the music room...but as far as sports go it was lame—unless you play with NO RULES WHATSOEVER...cuz that's how I roll.

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