They’re Not Giving You High Fives

, , , , , | Learning | May 30, 2019

(I work for a high school whose soccer team is competing in a regional match. Earlier in the day, the athletic director came to me in a panic asking if I could take money at the entrance since there was no one else available. A few extra dollars never hurt, so I agree. I pull up to the field and start putting on the money belt.)

Athletic Director: “The way this works is that everyone, and I mean everyone, is $5.”

Me: “Including young children?”

Athletic Director: “Absolutely. They could have a baby that came out of the womb yesterday, $5. A guy in his 90s, $5. Students, whether they are ours or theirs, pay the same. The only exceptions are individuals on the pass list.”

Me: “Okay, so we are charging the same for anyone regardless of age, height, weight, race, sexual orientation, etc.”

Athletic Director: “Exactly.”

Me: “This is going to be interesting.”

(I station myself at the entrance to the park. The first car goes through with no issues. Car number two, however…)

Woman: “What is this?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Woman: “What are you doing here?”

Me: “Oh, I’m the gatekeeper.”

Woman: “We have to pay to see our own kids play?!”

Me: “Yep. $5.”

Woman: “I’m out of here!” *starts backing out* “No wonder people are parking over there!”

(She points at a lot for an entirely different venue some distance away. I don’t have an opportunity to protest as she’s pulled far enough away and another car has come into the line. I handle a few more cars before she walks back up, now with a dog on a leash.)

Me: “It’s still $5.”

Woman: “FOR WHAT?!” *points to dog* “HIM?!”

Me: “No, you.”

Woman: “UGH!”

(She walks back to her car. A few more come through with no issues. Then, she’s back holding out a bill.)

Woman: “I am going to report you! You could have told me that before I went over there!”

(So, what was the implication here? That she didn’t know she would have to pay because this was the first game of her child’s she had ever been to, despite it being the end of the season, or that after already footing the bill towards a five-figures-a-year private school tuition, $5 was stretching it just a little too far? Anyway, the AD’s response to me telling him this event? “Seriously?!” Still waiting on that report!)

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You Made A Mistake And I CAN Put My Finger On It

, , , , | Learning | May 26, 2019

(I’m running a martial arts tournament. Before we start the tournament, we have a kids’ activity time where kids can break boards and play games. My sister is holding boards for an eight-year-old doing a kick. He misses and hits her fingers.)

Sister: “Next time, kick in the middle!”

Kid: “I did.”

Sister: “No, you did not.”

Kid: “Are you sure?”

Sister: “Yes, I’m very sure.”

Kid: “I could have sworn I hit in the middle!”

Sister: “The pain radiating through my fingers says otherwise.”

Kid: “Oh.”

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A Merciless Mercy Rule

, , , , , | Learning | May 24, 2019

(In the late 2000s, I am playing for my school’s baseball team. During a heated game at home against our rival school, we fall behind by 12 runs in the top of the first inning with nobody out. The umpire suddenly calls time.)

Umpire: “Okay, break it up, everyone! Game’s over. [Rival School] wins by mercy rule.”

Coach: “Hey, wait! You can’t do that! You cannot call the mercy rule so early!”

Umpire: “I’m the umpire here, buddy, and what I say goes.”

Coach: “We didn’t play long enough for the mercy rule to be called! H***, our team didn’t even get a chance to bat!”

Umpire: “You know what? If your team of pansies didn’t suck, you’d have gotten that chance! Instead, you give up a dozen runs without an out, so guess what? You don’t get that chance! Game’s over, moron! You lose! Pack it up, now!”

(Incredibly, the game actually was officially recorded as a 12-0 victory for [Rival School]. It didn’t last long, however; the next day, the league fired the umpire for intentionally violating league rules and forfeited the game to us. It didn’t end there; an investigation revealed that the coach of [Rival School] had paid several umpires under the table to call games in their favor. That one umpire’s fatal decision to call the game against us in the top of the first inning exposed everything. [Rival School]’s coach and four other umpires were fired and bribery charges were pressed against everyone involved in the scandal. In addition, [Rival School] was forced to forfeit all the games they had already played and their remaining schedule, and was banned from postseason play for three seasons.)

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Came Out Of The Left Field

, , , , | Related | May 1, 2019

(My grandmother and I are watching my youngest sisters’ softball game.)

Grandma: “I used to play baseball, you know.”

Me: “You did?”

Grandma: “Yup!”

(She imitates hitting the ball. I notice she is batting left.)

Me: “Aren’t you right-handed?”

Grandma: “Yes. But I always hit things left on sports.”

Me: “Why?”

Grandma: “When I was little, we had a tetherball at my school. I was shorter than the other girls, so they always, always made me hit left even though I was right-handed. Then, I got good at it, and I could hit hard with my left and my right.”

(She smirks.)

Grandma: “Idiots got their butts kicked every time.”

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Son, Just Don’t

, , , | Learning | April 17, 2019

(When my brother is sixteen he is just starting to fill out, but still looks gangly and breakable. However, having been into sports since he was three and having two older siblings who are rough on him, he’s a lot tougher than he looks. He’s playing soccer, and one of the guys on the other team is being an absolute terror but is good enough to hide his cheating from the referees. This frustrates everyone on my brother’s team, as well as the refs since they can’t kick him out if they can’t catch him. Eventually, my brother’s coach decides to place my brother opposite him. To the surprise of absolutely no one — we are all very involved in the soccer community, and all of the refs and a majority of the players and coaches in our age range know us, at least by reputation, if not personally — the first time that kid tries this with my brother, he is laid out flat. My brother doesn’t bother to hide what he is doing and is given a yellow card. The opposing coach pulls his player. Standing near the team benches, my mom is in a good position to hear the player and the coach talking about it. For context, a yellow card is a warning and a red card is an ejection from the game. Two yellows automatically add up to a red.)

Player: “I’m fine, Coach! I can still play!”

Coach: “You’re not going back out this game.”

Player: “C’mon, he’s already got a yellow. I’ll be fine.”

Coach: *exasperated* “Exactly! He’s already got a yellow! On the next hit, he’s leaving the field, anyway. He has no more reason to hold back! If I put you back on that field, you’re leaving it on a stretcher!”

(Exactly right, Coach. Exactly right. The player sat out the rest of the game and my brother carried the record of his yellow with pride. The player was a lot less vicious after that, now that the idea for how to be rid of him for good was planted. My brother was far from the only one willing to sit out two games if it came to it.)

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