#799 It takes a Jack-Ass… 8-8-18

My natural depth-perception
is non-existant
due to monocular vision
caused by a medical mishap
during pre-mature birth.

So, when I was a kid,
any small-ball sport was totally
beyond my ability.
So,
recess was a crucible of embarrassment.
Because,
we always played Punch-Ball,
“The Sport of Kings”
in urban school yards.
It was simple:
Bounce the ball,
swing your arm,
contact the ball with your fist,
run like hell to first.
Simple.

Yeah, right.

I was terrible at it.
The ball was an evil-spinning-space-shifter
in my depthless universe.
“Kenny the strike out King”!

But my class mates were,
generally,
tolerant of my spastic gyrations,
until,
one day….

I suppose he was showing off,
taking advantage of my handicap,
(He was no great-shakes-athlete himself),
Eddie,
a classmate,
but on that day, on the opposing team,
ran in from his infield position
when it was my turn to miss,
squat like Yogi Berra,
but in front of home plate
and taunted me.
“Come-on, Kenny-one-Eye! Punch the ball!”

Like Lambert when the wolf gripped
his Momma in his jaws,
anger,
murderous rage,
red revenge
flashed through my eight year old brain.
I remember saying,
quite calmly,
“Ok, Eddie.”

I bounced the pink Spauldeen,
reared back AND…

made contact.

Yankee-All-Star-Third-Baseman,
Clete Boyer
couldn’t have handled that scorching line drive.
But,
Ol’ Clete
wouldn’t have been positioned
to take a crap
right in front
of the batters box.

The ball bashed Eddie square on his nose
with all the power my body could generate.

Wow!
Noses really bleed when bashed like that!

I remember Eddie crying out,
then writhing on the concrete,
trying to staunch the blood flow,
then trying to scramble to his feet
to chase the ball which had
ric-o-shayed off his face
and was rolling back behind home plate,
all while wiping the blood from his face,
crying,
as his teammates screamed at him,
as they caught up to,
not the ball,
but to Eddie,
not to help him,
but to punch him out
for being such an ass-hole,
while I,
delirious with my new found
athletic prowess,
raced around to third
and as the ball rolled under the fence,
just out of reach of the grasping
but short armed third graders,
I danced the Twist from third to home.

I remember calling to Eddie,
then caught in a maelstrom of punches,
“Hay!
Eddie!
Thanks!
I ain’t never hit a home run before!”

Ah!

Childhoods accidental triumphs
trickling through life!

Unless,
of course,
you’re

Eddie.

About Ken Greenman

Married and Happy. Retired and busy. Living in NC. 71 and counting. December 12, 2020 and it's 72! ... I would love some written comments, critiques, adulation or kind suggestions.... If you have the time and or inclination, please feel free! Not in fear but by faith. We will see. See you later! If you ever want to talk for real, email me and I will send you my cell number.... I am enjoying this!
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