On Monday Dan and I packed up our child, a Tupperware of homemade potato salad and a six pack and drove to the next city over for a cookout and pirate kickball. When we were first invited both Dan and I remembered being picked last and the humility of getting tagged out between first and second and walking away with the imprint of rubber waffle kickball on one’s cheek, Dan said “Why are we subjecting ourselves to this again?” I assured him that our friend Andy who during fourth grade kickball team drafts was often left standing beside me as the second to last picked for a team, would not be inviting anyone named Chaz who would guffaw when the fly ball I am trying to catch hits me in the top of the head instead.
The party started with making uniforms. Dan and I made stencils and Andy spray painted the designs on red and white tee shirts. Our teams filled with Andy asking people to pick a card to indicate which team – alleviating any anxiety about popularity. We donned our freshly painted shirts; the Scurvy Dogs wearing a dog skull with a leg bone in its mouth on their chests and the Crimson Tide team with a giant wave emblazoned on the chest and some even painted the words “Out for blood!” on the back. I was right, no one laughed too hard when I missed that fly ball and it bounced off the top of my head and when I was up at bat and kicked so hard my right shoe flew into the infield I didn’t hear any whispering and snickering coming from the pretty girls behind me. Instead they said next year “Cannon Ball Jenny” would have to become “Shoeless Jenny” while I ran to first base with one bare foot.
I cringed in the 5th inning when my dearest “Dan-ger” missed a kick tripping on the ball and garnering the first strike in the history of pirate kickball, but to my relief the following two men on the Scurvy Dogs missed also whiffing their leg out into empty space as the ball rolled past. Apparently the 5th inning is when the beer starts to impair one’s depth perception. Luckily the beer handy cap allowed to the Crimson Tide to catch up bringing the score from 2-13 to 9-13. The Scurvy Dogs took the win in the end but not before many cries of “That’s it?! We’re done already?” Afterwards, we retreated to Andy’s deck to eat and socialize. I am happy to say I now look forward to kickball. Thanks for the do-over Andy.