Monday, January 12, 2009

Wild Thing

I have decided to elaborate on my erratic throwing ability. I briefly touched on this in Sports: a novel. but I was just reminded of a second incident and thus deem it necessary to go into some detail.

For whatever reason, I have very inconsistent aim. I don't understand it because I can recall instances where I'm spot-on. For example: I used to be able to make several baskets in a row when shooting a basketball. Similarly, in Jr High i was always throwing wadded up paper in the far away corner trash can in class and very often made it in. Even now, I'm not so bad at that. Yet there have been these moments in my life, quite embarrassing ones, where I could not have been more off. It's shocking, really. It's so off, one watching might ask if I had thrown it there on purpose, having spotted some invisible monster or thing that needed destroying. Because what the hey??

My first instance is when I was playing church softball when i was about 15. As mentioned in the other post, this game was a compilation of all things that could go bad in a game. To humor you, allow me to veer a bit and i'll tell you about it.

First: I couldn't hit the freaking ball to save my life. And the one time I did hit it, I swung with all the mighty force of Hercules only to barely tap/gently brush the ball. It bounced pathetically about 2 feet away from home plate and as I set off to run to first base, I somehow slipped on the dirt and fell on my face, after which i was immediately tagged out. Right now, I laugh out loud at the absurdity of this situation and I seriously can't believe I survived the embarrassment. Fortunately I love to laugh at myself, but still. This should have been a sign to just feign injury and sit out the rest of the game. But no. Oh no.

Second: I was the first baseman in the outfield and could not catch to save my life. Now, keep in mind: I don't suck at sports!! I used to be able to hit the ball pretty well and I normally can catch quite well. I'm not trying to validate myself, but I give you some contrast so you understand the depth of suckage I exhibited that day. It's very important that the first baseman catch the ball. This is the first base the runner runs to. I remember one moment when a grounder came speeding toward me--hey Jen, you don't have to catch this one! Just put your mitt to the ground and hold still. You can do it-- and weirdly, I was victim to the classic mysterious "hole-in-my mitt" phenomenon and the ball zoomed right through my legs. I mean, it was all getting to the point where people had stopped laughing and were just staring at me like, really? really jen?

Third: This one is the best and shows my outstanding lack of aim that day. After all of this had happened, and I had for some reason decided I hadn't done a proper job of making myself to look a fool, I somehow got my hand on the ball. A quick play had to be made. A runner was headed toward 3rd base and i had plenty of time. My sister Ashley was the 3rd baseman and I wound up to get the ball to her as fast as I could. What I did was rocket launch the ball exactly in-between 3rd base and home plate. It was so unbelievably far off. It was like, at the last minute I was so paralyzed with indecision, unable to decide which base to throw it to, so to compromise I threw it in the middle which is completely pointless and nonsensical. Or perhaps the earth suddenly tilted inexplicably? Or Highland, Utah had become a sort of Bermuda Triangle and the magnetic force was all askew, or whatever the hey. OR, like i said, as if I suddenly saw a killer mole poke its head out of the ground and I heroically abandoned the game to destroy it with my torpedo ball, saving my team and all of mankind from a horrible demise. Really, it has to be one of those 3. I think I just stood, shook my head in disbelief and laughed and Ashley just stared in wonder and bewilderment. Ohhhh, it was awesome.

And that's the first story of how you might call me Wild Thing.

The second is a goodie.

This takes place several years later in my college years. I was 21 or 22 and my friends and I visited the local Walmart to purchase an N64 game (Mario Kart, of course--wow, how have i not written a post on that?) which was locked in a case. It being around midnight or so, it was difficult to find someone to help us. We called for assistance and while we waited, my friend and I played catch in the aisle with this red apple stress ball i got from the dentist, for some reason. Well, i guess for a good reason. The most high-stress place I know. Anyway, i brought it in and we began to play catch.

First we'd just toss it back and forth. Then we turned it into the game where, if you catch it, you take a step back. And the goal is to not let it hit the ground. We had a pretty good run going with a fair amount of distance between us. Pretty soon we had to sort of fastpitch it since it was rather light and spongy. Soon, a gentleman shopper stopped by our aisle and watched. At first i thought he wanted to pass and I was apologetic but then he said that no no, he was just watching and was very impressed. I felt cool to have an onlooker & fan. Then, after a few more throws, I don't know what happened. The clock struck midnight and I turned lame? After so many throws of the soft apple ball, my arm finally gave out? I suddenly went blind? I don't know, but something went horribly wrong. I wound up, pitched the ball, and instead of throwing it in a straight line like I had just done 400 times, I turned and smacked the guy squarely in the chest with my apple ball, with so much force it seriously--i mean, seriously looked like i'd done it on purpose. The manner in which I threw was so deliberate.

I was mortified. "OHHH MY GOOOSH, i am sooo sorry!!" Busted up laughing. Everyone is dying. The guy just looked down and stood there in surprise. He calmly said something like, "wow, you were doing so well..." He was very kind and no harm was done except my pride came crashing to the floor, and I was reminded once again, that i can never be too careful. I never know when I'll have another bout of complete inability to aim. So i should probably just not throw anything ever.

These are fond, fond memories of mine, and I've had a good laugh writing about them. I hope you've enjoyed them too, for if you don't, it is all for naught.

4 comments:

The Pedersen Posse said...

Thanks for the laugh. Are you sure you didn't imagine these events? I can see them happening, but, at the same time, I'm a bit baffled (like you) because I know your athletic ability. ;)

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness. I'm SO glad I was there to witness both of these events, but reading them here was almost as good as being there. So funny... "Rocket launch" was the perfect description.

And let's not forget that Rene also tripped on her way to first base, so you weren't the only one who sucked. (Just kidding, Rene. :D I hope we can still be friends.)

Joel said...

The only thing I'm good at throwing is "up." Ha! Just kidding. I was just in the mood to make a lame pun.

Jen said...

I know, i'm so athletic--so what went wrong?? I'm as baffled as you. ;)

That's TRUE! Rene fell too. So it was definitely a haunted baseball diamond. that's what it was! mystery solved.

lame puns are always welcome.