Friday, October 10, 2008

Ball-slinging Oafs

Bizarro is brought to you today by Firehouse Beast Adult Novelties and Gifts.

When I was a kid I loved sports, games, and just about everything about recess. Except dodgeball. I felt compelled to play because not doing so would have singled me out, but the game made me as nervous as an Arab in Alabama.

My virtues as an athlete were dexterity, agility and speed, so in activities like footraces, baseball, soccer, football, jungle gym, etc., I excelled. But even though I had a full beard at the age of 9, strength was not my forte as a grade-schooler so I was no good at slinging that giant rubber ball at high speed, the way some of my bigger, more oafish classmates were. The speed thing helped me get out of the way, but when Todd Wesley (6 ft. tall, 185 lbs in the sixth grade) would take that ball into his frying-pan hand and hurl it at the line of terrified children squirming against the wall, if my name was on it, there was little I could do to get out of the way.

Apart from the tattoo-inducing sting of Todd's missile (I think I read that line in a porn novel), once hit, you stayed "it" until you hit someone else. And there was my problem. To Todd, the ball was the size of a cantaloupe. To my much more age-appropriately-sized body, it was the size and weight of a beachball made of solid clay, so getting any velocity on it or aiming it accurately was virtually impossible. I stayed "it" longer than the bigger kids and nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to sling a winner.

As an adult, I'm still on the smaller side of average here in the U.S. Which is one of the many reasons I love visiting Central America. The average height of adults in Guatemala, for instance, is about 5 feet, so I tower over them like a Swahili in Japan. I love it. I've even managed to talk a few of them into playing dodgeball with me and it's awesome. I've tattooed many a Guatemalan with my stunning strength and accuracy. In some neighborhoods of Antigua, I am known as "El Gringo Grande."

Yeah, baby.

21 comments:

Lorie said...

Dodgeball was so cool. They don't allow it anymore in schools, because like everything else, it damages the children's "self-esteem". George Carlin summed this up pretty well in his routine about our current overindulgence of children's feelings. "Don't cry little Johnny. You're not a loser, you’re the last winner."

Jeremy said...

Well, the dodgeball you described was different from my West coast played version. In our school there was a line between two areas and about 10 dodgeballs are released on the line and people from each side f the line try to hit a player on the other side of the line. If they were hit and the ball hit the ground, they were out. If the ball was caught then that team got one previously hit player release from 'out.'

I think your agility and speed would have helped you in the version we played. I certainly loved it, but I am myself a large oaf at 6'3" and 275Lbs (By the last measurement on Wii Fit).

But won't worry Dan, you're the man!

Penny said...

I had my right index finger broken during dodgeball in 6th grade. The ball winged off the tip of my finger and snapped it, after being blasted at me by THE GYM TEACHER. I guess the fact that I had just thumbed my nose at him had something to do with it. He had NO sense of humor.

thedanmancan said...

"The tattoo-inducing sting of Todd's missile" made me laugh harder than the comic.

fran said...

Who came up with the idea for this Bizarro, Dan?

Jezzka said...

oh, i hated dodge ball. i usually would be the last to be hit, only because i would hide behind all the big foots, but when i was the last one, and it was just me and the kid with the red ball, i would run away out of the dodge ball circle screaming because the tension was too much.

i hate dodge ball. whoever invented the game should be shot.

shipping troll said...

Try being a slow moving fat kid who just laughed at all the other idiots. I didn't put up a fight, I stuck my ass out and got hit as soon as possible so I could sit down and watch the mayhem. Our game was similar to the one Jeremy describes, except that by catching the thrown ball you could eliminate the opposing player. We played to last side with players left.

leigh said...

I don't think there was much of an east/west coast difference in dodgeball. I suspect this is more a case of Dan's fuzzy memory.

Robert Finis said...

I had shipping troll's version too, as a kid. We played in an open area, and yeah, catching the ball got the thrower out, so the best thing you could do was a) throw at the feet or face of the other player and b) be good at jumping over balls flying at your shins. Speed was pretty important, more so than throwing strength because the field was big enough that no one could throw the ball all the way from one end to the other quickly enough that it wouldn't be caught, so the way people played was to take solace at one end of the field, then make a mad dash for the line, jumping over incoming balls the whole way, then throw at the last second and run like hell for their own end again.
Btw, the pointy nipples on the dominatrix make me think of African statues- intentional?

Penny said...

The only thing worse than dodge ball were those CURSED ROPES. Has anyone, ever, in the history of the universe, actually been able to climb those damn things?

Since I don't have kids I don't know: do they even have those things in grade school gyms anymore? I should think the liability issues would be massive. Not to mention the possible damage to Snotleigh's self image.

shipping troll said...

My high school had the ropes and I actually could climb them all the way to the ceiling then across the beam and down the next one. I did it first on a bet, then all my buddies had to prove that they could do anything I could do. ( I was also a pudgy teenager)
If their still there depends on the school, I know that they are still in my old school.

doug nicodemus said...

i think that is pretty funny...

HAHAHA

derekamalo said...

yes funny but potato rubber wrap rules...


kind of offthe topic im really dissapointed in the new degrassi casrt for seaon 9 ....no jimmy,paige,ellie,marco,alex....wtf ellie was prettiet girl ever on there

derekamalo said...

HAHAHAHA I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING I DID NOT BRIN G MY VISOR ALL THE WAY DOWN WITH THE ARROW ON THAT CARTOON OF MR POTATO HEAD ..

I DID not KNOW THERE WAS A CAPTION


WHEN I LOOKED AT IT I THOUGHT DAN WAS SHOWING A MR POTATO HEAD WAITING TO GET LAID AND THE ALUMINUM FOIL WAS THE RUBBER..



LOL ...WHAT I THOUGHT IS ACTUALLY FUNNIER THAN THE CAPTION ....BUT THAT WOULD TAKE A CLEVER PERSON TO PUT THAT TOGETHER ...

A SHOT AT READERS OF COURSE NOT DAN

IVE PAID FOR SEX SEVERAL TIMES ESPECIALLY IN MONTREAL WHEN OUR DOLLA RWAS VERY STORONG IT WAS LIKE FULL SEX AT ONE POINT FOR $34 AMERICAN 55 CANADIAN

marin_explorer said...

This brings back painful childhood memories, now replaced by laughter.

PIRARO said...

Questions answered:
The dodgeball I played was in the mid-sixties. Maybe the rules you guys are describing came about later, but we hadn't heard of that version. I'd have enjoyed that game and been much better at it. We just lined up against a wall and were shot at from about 15 feet away by whomever was "it". Also, the ball we used was bigger than what is now shown in pics of modern dodgeball. We were using one of those rubber playground balls, which are very hard to throw with velocity unless you're huge.

fran: This gag was my idea. I write 90% of them or more, and mention the contributor on the blog when I don't.

Robert Finis: Yes, the pointy nips were fashioned after African art, but not for any good reason. Just liked the way it looked with the character.

Penny: I loved the rope and could climb it without using my legs, just hand-over-hand. We didn't have two ropes, though, so scurrying across the rafters like a monkey wasn't an option. I would have loved that, though. Like most, our gym was two stories tall, so it was scary once you got up there.

Shortcake said...

penny-- my gym teacher was a prick too... absolutely no sense of humor.. and he broke my finger too! except i was in the 4th grade and was tossing a football with my friend. we had gym pretty early, like around 10am. the sun caught my eye just right and the football landed right on the joint of my left pinky finger. i remember jumping up and down in pain and shaking my hand, and laughing at myself. we continued tossing and the football hit it again! i knew by then that i was at least worthy of receiving an ice-pack, so i went to my gym teacher and asked to go to the nurse. i said "i hurt my finger, i think i need to go to the nurse." he said "which finger?" i held up my hand, he grabbed my finger, and wagged it back and forth saying "does this hurt?" i said "yes!" he said "you'll be fine." so after class i was still in pain and asked my REAL teacher to go to the nurse. found out later after spending the rest of the evening at the doctor's office and eventually the hospital for x-rays, i had a hair-line fracture and had to wear a cast for 6 weeks. you would imagine the look on my gym teacher's face the next time we had class. i had to sit out for most of the activies, one of which was dodgeball. that gym teacher eventually became the track coach for my high school, and every time i passed him in the hallway i wanted to grab his little head, wag it around, and yell at him "does this hurt?! don't worry, you'll be fine!!!"

needless to say, that was quite a traumatic experience.

Penny said...

Shortcake, I don't know that I would have been able to spend my high school years not showing him a certain finger every time I saw him. What a tool!!!!

leigh said...

Dan - the game you are describing is "suicide," not dodgeball. Although just as traumatic, if not worse, it is a completely different game.

marin_explorer said...

"Relax: we haven't been able to afford real ammo in months"

--if we never get out of Iraq, our troops will someday be armed only with dodge-balls.

XxChapinaPridexX said...

lol cool, I'm a vegan(7 yrs vegetarian 3 vegan) Guatemalan girl and I love Antigua as well :D...and I'm 5'2...