Sunday, March 18, 2007

Still Life With Basketball

The middle boy had a basketball tournament yesterday, which meant spending nine hours in a school gym on the other end of town. The team went .500 for the weekend, which is consistent with their record for the year. Mine had one not-so-good game and one very good game, scoring a career-high 17 points. Nine of those came on three-point shots that he refuses to stop taking no matter how often I give him the death stare.

"Nice shot," his coach said after one three-pointer early in the season. "Don't do it again." But, he's in sixth grade, the other point guard insists on taking them too (peer pressure's a bitch), and the coach finally decided if they're in the groove, what the hell.

My youngest came to watch. So did a friend of mine, P, and P's son, who's buddies with my youngest. Another neighbor, E, met us there, along with his 14-year-old. It's nice living in a place where people care enough that they'll do something like that.

Besides, when P and I saw E's car on the other side of the parking lot, it gave us the chance to slip an unsigned note under his wipers that said, "Next time don't park so close to my car, fuck face." His son told us later that he spent an hour bitching about the asshole that would do something like that. When E found out we'd done it, he swore at us loudly enough to get some sidelong glances from other spectators. Our wives find us juvenile.

These gyms get noisy during tournaments. It doesn't help that my youngest likes to talk. A lot. And he was angry because his older brother had gotten his birthday present that morning (a TV for his room), leading to a litany of complaints about the unfairness of life. While I don't disagree with the principle, it has no specific application to my children. I sat away from him so he'd stop yapping at me.

About halfway through the second game, the 14-year-old neighbor boy looked at me and asked, "What's wrong with your kid?"

I looked down the sidelines. He was holding a basketball and talking to it, saying, "Dad doesn't like me. Dad hates me. I don't like Dad. He likes my brothers more. I never get anything." The basketball didn't seem to be responding, but I guess you can never be sure.

After the game, I asked him if his brain lesion was acting up again. He looked at me for a second and then asked for money for concessions. I gave it to him, he said, "Thanks," and he walked away, unaware, but for the moment, quiet.

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

"...it gave us the chance to slip an unsigned note under his wipers that said, "Next time don't park so close to my car, fuck face." His son told us later that he spent an hour bitching about the asshole that would do something like that."

I'll respond to the above with your own words...

"It's nice living in a place where people care enough that they'll do something like that."

:)

Snag said...

You've got to be pretty good friends with someone to torment them like that.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

You guys are so 5th grade!

I'm with the wives. Smart group of gals.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

You guys are so 5th grade!

I'm with the wives. Smart group of gals.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Crap! Why did my comments double post? I hate Blogger. I hate it so much I hope that it eats Ann Altmouse's blog before dying a painful death.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Crap! Why did my comments double post? I hate Blogger. I hate it so much I hope that it eats Ann Altmouse's blog before dying a painful death.