Thirteen years old is such a fussy, giggly time.
I was at church camp and one of the counselors had forgotten to bring balls for us to play.
First of all, being thirteen years of age, when the counselor announced that we didn’t have balls for us to play with, we all had to giggle uncontrollably. (You see, that’s the problem with the word “ball.” It has so many meanings that it’s nearly meaningless.)
But anyway, back to my story.
So when it was announced that we were “balless” (hee-hee) we thought that this adult standing in front of us was going to go out and acquire us … balls. (This article is doubling over with double-entendres…)
Anyway, he didn’t.
I don’t know whether he was lazy, or figured there would be some sort of other entertainment for us that wouldn’t require balls. (Oh, my God…)
So in frustration we began a great search across the campgrounds. After about an hour and a half, in a ditch outside of the cafeteria, we found an old basketball that obviously had been discarded, which was about halfway filled with air.
In other words, it was still round, but did not bounce. When we tried to bounce it, it more or less splatted.
But this became our ball for the week.
Since no other circular objects of play were afforded us, we changed the rules of every sport to use what was provided.
So our basketball game, rather than being a dribbling affair, became more like football, where one would run toward the goal, knocking people over, and then shoot it and try to rebound and catch it before it haplessly squatted to the earth.
So by the end of the week, we had discovered that the most logical way to use our hampered ball was to play game after game of kickball.
I cannot tell you how sad we were on Day Four, when the kicked and abused sphere sported a gash and lost its remaining air of life.
As important as it is to have a ball, it is much more important to have air in it.
Somewhere within, there’s a lesson for life, but since I am desperately trying to get out of this awkward column … I will let you draw your own conclusions.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix
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