Infield Fly

I understand the infield fly rule, though I doubt my knowledge will ever come into play at a cocktail hour or any other

Social event. Hey, I’d say, Did you know that if there are fewer than two outs, and runners on first and second, or first,

Second, and third, and a fly ball is hit that can easily be fielded by any member of the infield, the batter is out even

If the ball is not caught? What kind of nonsense is that? My partner in conversation will ask. Exactly, I’ll say!

Furthermore, runners advance at their own risk! With age I’ve come to realize that the rule protects the team on offense,

Even though it results in one out. What genius devised the infield fly rule? Surely he deserves a statue or a drink in his honor.

Try as I might I cannot figure a way to make this rule pertinent to my life, as I swing and miss one more time.

I Failed Cheerleading

In Texas every little girl dreams of being a cheerleader, queen of the school, envy of all. Even I aspired to that loftiest of positions and at the end of sixth grade I signed up to compete in the junior high tryouts. 

Now, picture me at age twelve. At 5’6″, I was easily the tallest girl in my class, and at 90 pounds, one of the skinniest. I was all elbows and knees, and not very attractive, and that’s putting it mildly. 

Perhaps if I’d had even a modicum of grace, my geekiness might’ve been endearing, but I walked like a long-legged baby bird. In fact, one of my nicknames back then was Ostrich. Nevertheless I had the gumption to place my name in the cheerleading competition, along with most of the other girls in my sixth grade class.

For several weeks my friends and I met after school every day to work on learning the cheers and the movements that went with them. The reigning junior high cheerleaders provided coaching and inspiration, and for one very brief and shining moment I thought that maybe, just maybe I had a shot at earning a spot on the squad.

Then on the eve of competition I overheard our sixth grade teachers bemoaning our chances. “They’re just all so uncoordinated,” laughed one. 

“Well, crap,” I remember thinking. I didn’t tell any of my friends what I’d heard, and I still practiced my moves, but with little hope. 

Tryouts were a big deal. It wasn’t a popularity contest back then, and as I recall, cheerleaders from Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas, came to judge our competition. This was the big time! 

Our teachers reminded us to smile as we went before the team of judges. I’m pretty sure my smile looked as if rigor mortis had set in. I was petrified. In my mind I can picture my awkward skinny ass trying to execute a perfect cheer followed by the mandatory celebratory jump, and I know I most likely looked like a baby stork trying to leave the nest for the first time and failing miserably. 

When the results were read, only one girl from my elementary school made the team, and we all half heartedly celebrated her rise to stardom. I never tried out again, and I don’t regret that decision. Now, if I had to do it all over again, I’d go for it. And my sassy ass might not get picked, but they’d never forget me either. Oh, to be young again for one brief and shining moment!

Rah, rah, and peace, people.

Mastering the Art of Conversation

Awkward is my middle name and composure a foreign concept.

I sometimes imagine carrying on sparkling conversations at dinner parties, but in reality I end up chatting with the hostess’s puppy, to the puppy’s great annoyance.

It isn’t that I have nothing to contribute to a conversation, but that the topics I enjoy (zombies, the Star Wars universe, the undeniable cuteness of my grandchildren and their considerable accomplishments) don’t seem to be of great interest to the folks in our social circle. So next time we are invited to a social event I’m trying a new gambit: Listening.

It won’t be easy. I’m a naturally chatty person. I just hope the hostess’s dog has some snappy chatter.

Peace, people.