Backstops

Posted: May 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Adults used to ask me what my favorite subject in school was. I would say “Recess!” with a big smile on my face. This was cute until I was in college and it was my advisor asking me this question. But really, what was better than recess? You could play football with a soccer ball because they didn’t allow footballs, you could watch a kid get pushed off a slide then see a helicopter lift him off to the hospital, and you could break your own leg imitating the American Gladiators. My favorite thing about recess through all of the horrors was finding something new. The best place to do it, the baseball backstop.

 

 

(I don’t think my elementary school playground had nearly this much grass. Must have been salted over during war)

 

The baseball backstop was located as far away from authority as possible. I don’t remember when I started hanging out there a lot during recess. Sometime around when I realized I was too slow for things like hop scotch or sitting on the swings. Luckily my friends enjoyed hanging out there too. If we knew what drugs were we would have been doing them. But we didn’t know what drugs were. We’d have to make do with talking to the dog that lived on the other side of the fence. Someone named him “Doggy” and it stuck. It was simple enough to remember. Doggy’s probably long dead now. I like to think he still haunts the playground and occasionally eats a kid.

 

One game we’d play back there was called “Bench Wars.” At least that’s what I call it now. It involved standing on the tiny wooden, splinters poking out like Vietcong bamboo spikes, bench alongside the field. If you sat on the bench it could fit maybe 5 asses. Easily a safety hazard. The most memorable game of Bench Wars took place when I helped my friend Rob (I’m just going to name you from now on so you become some sort of underground legend here) win by hitting him. His opponent, our friend Matt, was twice his size. I knew Rob would lose due to the size difference and his incredible ability to never win a thing in his life. To this day he’s kept it up. I couldn’t be more ashamed. Anyway, my hitting Matt got him disqualified. That meant that Rob won. We paraded around the baseball field chanting “Rob is the Champion” to the tune of “We are the Champions.” This got Matt very angry. He started to whine saying it wasn’t fair. We had cheated. Matt calmed down then showed us how he could take kicks to the nuts without feeling any pain. I bet he’s gotten a few free drinks out of that.

 

 

(Matt is a multiple winner on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Golf club to the nads version 781-9783 was him)

 

One of the strangest things I have ever seen was the inside of a mouse. I was at my babysitter’s and a kid cut a dead mouse open with a stick. Even stranger than that was when I was at the backstop and saw the insides of an animal all sprawled out. Organs were everywhere. One of my nerdy friends said that a cat cut open a rabbit and put them there. I am still shocked how he could have come up with such a logical statement about dead animal parts on the grass while I was standing there thinking it was food. Being curious and hoping to impress girls by being as sadistic as possible, I picked up a large rock and dropped it on what was either the heart or stomach. I was hoping for a huge explosion. Instead it kind of fizzled out the way an air mattress is properly deflated. I would have to live another day to show girls that I could destroy things with rocks.

 

My favorite find ever at the backstop was a beer can. Like every fifth grader would do, I picked it up. I knew this would make me popular, at least for the day. I decided that I wanted to see something explode. Not having access to dynamite or large rocks above rabbit stomachs, I started to shake the beer can. Stealing the idea from the April Fool’s episode of The Simpsons, I would cause a massive beer can explosion. I shook and shook and wondered what the aides on duty thought I was doing. Finally time came. I opened the beer can slightly then tossed it up into the air. I made a run for it to clear ground zero of the explosion. The beer can hit the ground and shot beer out all over the place. It was epic. If you were a grasshopper, it would have been like it was raining Budweiser. Since were merely boys, it was just kind of cool. My hands smelt like beer and I cleaned them out in a puddle of water. This made them smell really bad, but at least I didn’t smell like beer. A classmate came up to me and said “that was cool.” Finally I was popular for a moment.

 

 

(The Holy Grail of backstop finds. I don’t think it was a Pabst either. Teenagers in my town were not quite sophisticated for a beer which has earned the right to call itself Blue Ribbon worthy)

 

The last time I went to the backstop was around 3 years ago. I was bored one night so Rob and I went there. I had heard that an Indian kid we went to school with went there a few months earlier and peed on the slide. I did no peeing. Instead we joined in on one last lap around the baseball field chanting about how he was the champion. I drove him back to the Retarded Person Daycare he lives at. He thanked me and I told the doctor to kill him afterwards. I know wherever he is (probably reading this) he’s wondering why I killed him off and made him retarded. Needed a closer, that’s why.

Comments
  1. Great post. I remember recess like it was yesterday. Elementary school was all jump rope, hopscotch, four square, and sometimes chasing boys and kicking them. Middle school was little social clusters sitting on a grassy knoll waiting for the bell to ring and High School was… well, we didn’t actually have a “recess” in high school. We would spend our free time in the cafeteria drinking herb tea, discussing music and thinking we were so so cool.
    But yeah, recess was my favorite, too.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Recess was everyone’s favorite! Middle school for me was more about trying to be athletic and whatnot. Rob and I wouldn’t talk to Michael Barbera for a week because he played soccer with the cool kids one time. I think everyone’s high school lunch was pretty much the same. Thinking your table was cooler than anybody else’s. But I swear, 11th grade lunch table I had could not have been made up of the coolest bunch of dweebs. We had half the aides in the room with their eyes on us and even caught the principal’s attention. He was a busy man who never took the time to learn our names. It took a pretzel war to get him off his computer.

      • A pretzel war! haha! We were idiotic, to say the least. I would be horrified if I ever had to sit and watch a movie reel re-cap of my life in high school. Good thing we didn’t have the technology back then. phew.

      • Mooselicker says:

        Ugh I know what you mean. I’d be timid enough to watch myself earlier today. Eek!

  2. Addie says:

    I wasn’t fond of recess, I preferred History and Reading, although I did enjoy hopscotch and the swings (with our dresses tightly tucked under our legs lest the boys see panties) and jacks. I didn’t like Red Rover or tag, as both were dangerous on the asphalt top we played upon. Girls didn’t go to the backstop. Not that we didn’t want to, it simply wasn’t done, sadly enough.

    • Mooselicker says:

      The only girl I ever saw anywhere near the backstop was a lesbian I had a crush on. Almost a girl but not quite. The only time girls talked to me during recess was when I was in a wheelchair for my broken leg. They loved pushing me around. Something about control I’m sure.

      • Addie says:

        Control is a great thing–add to it some leather, bad writing and characters who make you wince, and you have ’50 Shades of Grey’ and a huge amount of money in the bank.

      • Mooselicker says:

        I think I had the original 50 Shades of Grey idea. I was writing up a completely vulgar version of The Great Gatsby. I was rewriting it sentence by sentence with the most vulgar verbs and adjectives I could come up with. If I only knew how sick people were I could have been that English mess.

  3. Smaktakula says:

    I too have fond memories of the backstop. As teens, we used to get real liquored up and hurl Mickey’s big mouths at the backstop from the mound.

    • Mooselicker says:

      From the mound? You kids had some nice arms on ya. Seems to me like you had more potential than you really knew. I never had a good throwing arm. I’m more of a step on it to smash it person.

  4. We used to hang out under the bleachers in junior high school. On the other team’s side. To keep ourselves entertained, we would remove nuts and bolts. They never caved in, but then again, I haven’t been back for a while.
    There was an executive who worked for Pabst beer flying on an airplane. When it landed, the stewardess had him kicked off the flight. It turned out that he had kept asking her if she had a Pabst beer. But because of the noise of the plane, she thought he was asking her if she’d had a pap smear… oh, how they laughed.

    • Mooselicker says:

      I think that’s how I know Pabst beer!

      The only back thing I ever did with bleachers was flip them over one night. It was supposed to be our senior prank. We completely tore apart the baseball field. Probably should have done it before baseball season ended. Nobody noticed. It was still fun. The janitor who lived in the school almost caught us.

  5. Lily says:

    Recess was seriously the best. I laughed about the college advisor thing. So true though. When they’re like, What’s your favorite subject? What are you most interested in? I would always hope that “Nothing?” would suffice. My recess would always be spend doing flips on the bars. There was a row of single metal bars and we would do flips on them the whole time. Or do handclap songs or whatever. Girls are dumb.

    • Mooselicker says:

      I think 2nd grade was my flipping phase. Every child needs to learn how to flip. It helps remind us about gravity. That way we don’t dive off of buildings.

      I told my college advisor that I liked to write. She said “How about an Advanced English class?” I needed one more credit. She said I’d get to read a lot of classics in the class. I settled on a really easy history course. She can burn for trying to make me work hard.

  6. renxkyoko says:

    You’re so mean to Rob, but for some reason, I felt the loooooove between you two. Loooooove …..

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