January 2006


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Ack, PE!

My Roomie posted an email from Spud that was really well thought-out. So well thought-out that it got me remembering the sports we played in PE back in Podunk when I was a kid.

Basketball: not so much. We were all VERY white and we all sucked. Sure, we had a school team and all, but man, what a bunch of no-talents. Come to think of it, that described all of our “official” teams – with the exception of our footbal Defense squad. It seems that bailing hay all summer sets a guy up pretty well for throwing around other guys his age.

Baseball: I never really played; I became a Little League Umpire instead. I was the one in the sleeveless shirt with the ponytail. We did play a little softball for a while though. The one time I can remember, Coach Bradshaw was pitching to give everyone a “fair pitch”. (I think he just liked to pitch.) I remarked off-hand to one of my chums as I walked up to bat “watch me hit him.” First pitch came in low, and I let it go by. The second pitch, though, that pitch was perfect. That aluminum bat sang as it connected with the ball.

Coach grunted as the ball connected with his leg, just a couple inches lower than the jewels. You should have seen the look on his face as I took my bases.

Wrestling: what the football D-squad did off-season. The rest of us stayed the hell away.

Football: In PE we played flag with a 5-aligator rush. This means the when the ball is snapped, you chant ‘one-aligator, two-aligator…up to 5 ‘gators before you can rush the quarterback. We did this because the 6th-grader with the least talent invariably got made center, and there was no way he was going to stop an 8th-grade nose tackle.

Jarrod and I were the only 8th-graders in that class one day, and we of course appointed ourselves QB and Nose Tackle. I’m only so-so at tossing the ball, but I had an absolute talent for counting 5 gators in about 1/10th of a second, running a few steps and launching myself into the air. There would be poor Jarrod, trying to find an open receiver with Da Wolfie hanging in the air over his head like the hammer of Thor.

The funny bit came when Jarrod tried a running play and I ended up chasing him. He could run just the slightest bit faster than me, and he was pulling away when I just leapt for him. Somehow I managed to get both of his flags in hand as I fell back to the turf, and things got a wee bit embarrassing for Jarrod. See, Jarrod had a habit of crushing the Velcro tabs of his flags as much as he could so they wouldn’t come off – and when I hit the dirt, so did his flags, his flag belt,…and his shorts, which immediatley tripped him onto his face.

So there’s poor Jarrod, faceplanted, with his bare ass in the air. And 20 6th graders laughing their ass off.

It’s a good thing I never liked Jarrod, or I’d have felt guilty about it :)

Winter was when PE really got to be fun. Podunk Oregon, like any other stretch West of the Cascades, is bloody wet from October through April, which means we were largely confined indoors. This equated to a lot of co-ed games like volleyball and badminton. This of course meant we had a fair number of girls bouncing around in skimpy shorts and worn-out t-shirts.

And my chums all wondered why I liked PE ;)

One girl I can remember to this day. Julie wasn’t one of the pretty girls – she was unfortunate enough to have the eyes of a bat, and wore true coke-bottle specs that did nothing to improve her appearance. She did have, however, a spectacular body to offset the glasses.

She came into PE one day with the best shirt ever: a picture of Garfield with the caption “You might as well take all of me, because the parts you want won’t come off!” spelled out across her chest. I almost fell over laughing.

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