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Monday, July 01, 2013
Boston Globe Connections: What Wiffle Ball Reveals
My latest contribution to the Boston Globe Magazine came in the Connections column on Sunday June 23, 2013 begins this way:
A 70-YEAR-OLD MAN IS BLOCKING THE BASE PATH. He’s clearly in the wrong here, so I shove him forward, and as he stumbles, I race toward second base.
Wiffle ball is not to be trifled with at our house. Each year when the weather warms, we invite my wife’s family over for a midday meal. Cousins bring their kids, aunts and uncles arrive from out of state, and invariably someone brings a college roommate. We shake hands and politely ask how retirement is treating them, how the job hunt is going, ask for updates on the sibling who didn’t make it this year. After lunch, before satiety turns to somnolence, my wife announces: “Time for the game! Only winners get dessert!”
We trudge out to the backyard where my son is practicing his swing while an older cousin pitches. The teams are formed like this: Some people head out to the field while the laggards wait their turn at bat. In other words, the enthusiastic people end up on one team while the people who are just hoping for cake and coffee shuffle onto the other.