Do you remember when you were a little kid and your parent would give you a five minute warning to stop playing and come in for dinner/bed/homework and you would try to eek out a little bit longer just to play by either forgetting about time or using your negotiation skills to say just one more minute? Do you remember when it would start to get dark and you would keep playing even if it meant not being able to see the ball in flight? Do you remember when the weather would turn too cold or wet and it was a battle of your own will and gently coaxing others to stay and tough it out?
Welcome to Fall Kickball!!!
Last night ushered in the first night of the fall season and Double Deuce was once again back on the mound. This is the first foray for Double Deuce into the short fall season, and according to the coach we could be a contender.
A muggy, hazy night with the threat of rain did not stop us from showing up and jumping out to an early lead even with an umpire who was more concerned with talking on his cell phone than making calls. With the Deuce up by several runs and looking like we might actually mercy a team that was playing its very first game together, I was standing on third after sliding into second (note: very stupid...wearing shorts, still pretty hard ground...now sporting bum left wrist) when the clouds opened up and a torrential downpour began.
Within thirty seconds, the portly ump had called the game, waddled over to his gas guzzling Caddy (@ $11 bucks per game to ump, how many games would one have to officiate to purchase said Caddy?) and stomped on the gas like he was chasing the neon light of Krispy Kreme indicating some fresh donuts were ready. After about 2 minutes, the rain had subsided and a group of soggy, beer infused adults looked around confused and without direction. Soon, the chants of "Let them play, let them play" arose to a feverish level and amicably it was decided that we would finish the game without the portly ump and Coach W. would call the game.
We had already one, but at this point it didn't matter. Looking around, I could see the gleam, even if they were slightly impaired at the joy in the others eyes that we were just gonna play, just like when we were kids. And so with a sloppy field and a slick ball, we played. Our fun was almost derailed by the evil park supervisor who pulled up in the standard Crown Vic to support his ample weight and asked where our ump was. When Coach W. told him that he had run like a fat man to an all you can eat buffet, and we were gonna finish the game, the sup opened the door, placed his hands on the door jam to get a swinging start and hoisted his jiggly self out to start giving Coach W. the business. Luckily, Finkelstein who even with several cowboy pops was able to recall his CPI training to diffuse the situation and the sup agreed to let us play for 15 more minutes and stating that " I am only doing it because (pointing to Finkelstein) that you asked nicely", but then turning his attention and Coach W stated "and you, i don't know about you."
In the end, it didn't matter that we mercied them and the game was over after 5 innings. What was more important that we had fun. Isn't that in the end what it really is about? Just like when we were kids. We weren't playing to see who was the winner or loser because that would all be forgotten about even before the next game, but that we where out there on a rainy, muddy field just playing for the sake of play itself.