Sunday, March 12, 2006

(B)Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon

Yesterday was gorgeous. Nary a cloud in the sky, it would have been downright picturesque had the leaves been green – or even existent for that matter. Sure, we’ve had a few strings of nice days already in 2006, but nothing quite like this. And as such, it was only natural that my friends and I wanted to spend the bulk of our time outside, away from the heat of Clay’s apartment (you know, one of those complexes where the heat is centrally controlled, so it’s on regardless of the weather). Problem was, he didn’t have the tools of the trade – a whiffle bat and ball, a frisbee, a baseball, gloves…absolutely nothing.

After playing guitar on his stoop for a half-hour didn’t yield us much of an audience – and no females, which is the whole point – we decided that CVS would be our next destination. A football, whiffle bat, anything would do at this point. After a 20 minute walk there and back (what would be the point of a nice day if we drove?), we returned with our sporting apparatus – whiffle ball and bat, and a frisbee (plus batteries for Clay’s electronic dart board).

Twenty minutes later, we were down to the darts. Ten minutes into darts, we were down one, forced to play with two darts. Maybe it was the beer muscles, maybe it was the fact that we’re too old to be playing with $3 frisbees and whiffle bats. In any case, we managed to break everything we had bought.

First came the frisbee. None of us are particularly skilled in the way of the disc, and as such we had plenty of wild throws. We were so bad that we couldn’t even intentionally overthrow in the direction of a cute blonde wearing lowcut jeans. Naturally, we improved over the course of the 10 minutes we were throwing the thing, but things took a turn for the worse as we attempted to showboat. Showboat for whom? Well, no one really – except the cute blonde, who we found out has a cute blonde roommate, though they were nowhere to be seen at this point.

My buddy Sam became frustrated with this showboating effort, since it usually ended up with him chasing an errant throw. When a flurry of low throws came his way, he began attempting to kick the frisbee up to himself. Two kicks later, our frisbee had shattered into three nearly equal pieces. Our $3 had netted us roughly 15 minutes of entertainment. For comparison, $15 for bleacher seats at Yankee Stadium promises 2 ½ hours of entertainment. We got ripped off.

Never ones to waste time (that’s a complete lie), we didn’t hesitate to pick up the whiffle bat and begin an epic game of “Ghost Man on First” (which, coincidentally, was our band name for all of a week). The problem with this became evident right from the start; we all have an “alpha male” complex, leading us to swing feverishly at the slow moving whiffle ball. Everyone knows that you don’t need to swing at full capacity when you’re dealing with a plastic ball and bat – especially when neither of them is wrapped in duct tape.

Fast-forward about six minutes. I had already taken my swings, which mainly resulted in non-solid contact, mostly pull shots off the handle of the whiffle bat. I should have known we were in for trouble, since the handle of the bat is harder than the sweet spot, thus causing more damage to our whiffle ball. A few handle shots from Clay, and it was an inevitability. Sure enough, he made solid contact on a pitch, which tore our ball apart at the seams. Game off. Roughly 10 minutes of entertainment (if that) for our buck fiddy. Yes, Yankee Stadium still provides more efficient entertainment.

If anything positive can be taken from this, it’s that 1) we discovered that Clay lives very close to two cute blondes and 2) it was nearing dark, so we could justify moving the party inside for some darts action. Unfortunately, the beer muscles did not rescind, nor did our collective “alpha male” complex. A few minutes into a game of Cricket (we hadn’t even opened up any scoring yet), I took a few ill-advised throws, resulting in a shattered dart tip. And that’s what we get for playing with plastic tip darts on an electronic dartboard; a miss is a quick recipe for shattered darts. I mean, he could have bought and actual dart board, but I’m sure he values his rented walls (and his security deposit).

A few minutes more, and we were pretty sick of playing with the two remaining darts. Another trip to CVS was contemplated, but we decided that the rate at which we were breaking shit simply couldn’t justify a further investment in entertainment. And, as many of our nights end, we settled on marijuana and a movie (Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, which was an hour and 15 minutes of eye candy).

Note to everyone my age: sports are a wonderful thing. They fill hours upon hours with pure enjoyment. However, we need to realize our means. If you’re playing whiffle ball, substitue the flimsly plastic thingy with a tennis ball, and duct tape the bat. Not only will the ball go further, but you won’t break the damn thing within 15 minutes. And if you’re throwing a frisbee, don’t showboat unless you can actually throw the thing. And for the love of God, don’t kick it. We now know how that can end up.

Was there a real point to this post? Not really. It’s just what I thought was an interesting sports story on the nicest day thus far in 2006. Happy amateur sports season, everyone!