May 16, 2014

[friday]: How to dodge, for grownups

The great thing about being grown up is that you can play dodgeball and nobody’s going to stop you by saying it’s unsafe.

Nobody has to acknowledge that the more grown up someone is, the more unsafe dodgeball gets. There are ways of getting around that.

At 20, you can still use the high-density Nerf balls that young guys turn into bullets. Sure, they leave a mark. At that age, it heals in about 20 minutes – just in time for the next round in the dodgeball tournament.

But by 30 years old, you’re a little more concerned about long-term goals, such as not breaking any bones and seeing your kids graduate from high school. But you’re not wimpy yet (so you tell yourself), so you settle for a compromise: Dodgeball with soft foam balls.

For your 40th birthday, you don’t want to admit that you’re “over the hill.” A massive dodgeball standoff pitting your work buddies against the church softball league is just the thing to remind everyone that you’re still as energetic as you were at 20. But this time, you arm everyone with …. spitballs.

Google will even tell you “How to Make Spitballs: 10 Steps.” Just in case you’ve erased middle school from your memory.

Honestly, dodgeball never dies. You might catch a group of 50-year-olds barricaded behind their office desks, lobbing paper wads at one another. What else did you think happened to the recycle bin?

And it’s too close to retirement for 60-year-olds. They’re thinking of all the blankets they’ll have time to knit for their grandbabies. They start throwing balls of yarn at each other when they realize that it’s still three years away. Last one standing gets an early pension!

Once you’ve been retired a while, though, you realize how much yarn you’ve wasted on dodgeball. So at 70 years old, you switch to the ultimate in white elephant gift exchange booty: Shower loofas.

By 80, you run out of shower loofas and realize a perfect use for all the cutesy throw pillows people have given you because they can’t think of anything you want that you don’t already have.

And at 90 years old… well, let’s be honest. The injury you could stand at 20 might have dire consequences 70 years later.

So you use cotton balls.

– Sarah Einselen

Friday columnist / I be ballin’

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