I’m in a kickball league. It lets us Gen X and Y people go back in time for an hour a week. And it lets those of us who always knew we were athletes, way deep inside, get some back. And it lets those who actually are athletes show off because it’s really not that hard.

Today I made a catch. I was in the outfield, and it was a fly ball. I went back, reached up, caught the ball, and fell flat on my back. And I mean flat, man, not some kind of rolling fall preliminary to a backward somersault. No, I just kind of toppled in a way where if some kind of sharp object had been in my way I would surely have been impaled. Impaled!

It kind of hurt, and it scared me because I didn’t really expect that to happen. I don’t think I tried it, it just followed after the catch. Thank God I held on to the ball.

I don’t work out much, so after that my back was all stiff, and my neck was cracking and all that sort of thing.

I still have all these habits from playing baseball when I was a teenager. Backing people up when a play is in motion and such, which makes you run all over the field in case the ball gets away from people. But my body is not in any way ready for it, so I’m putting it through these paces it plain don’t like, Jack.

And I skinned my knee. AGAIN. The same knee as last week! (BTW I skinned my knee last week playing kickball.) Not as bad this time though, but on NEITHER occasion did I make the play. Skinned knee, no catch, not even a good throw back to the infield.

Kickball isn’t as much fun when it becomes just another occasion to ruminate on your shortcomings. Still a *little* fun though. There are girls. I’m too old for almost all of them, but I can make them laugh, and that’s nice for an old man born way back in ’72. That’s before Star Wars, man. The first Star Wars. Old old old.



  1. Ah yes, kickball. The fat and/or otherwise un-athletic kid’s reprieve from, say, the dreaded track and field or, gulp, wrestling. Even if you can’t hit a slowly-thrown softball or keep a volleyball off the gym floor, you’re probably not pathetic enough to miss the kickball entirely.*

    * It’s a pretty safe bet that I missed the kickball entirely once or twice.

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