Tossing something from a distance saves you an annoying six-second commute around the kitchen counter or picnic table. Since we humans have evolved the ability to suddenly hear someone scream “Heads up!” before turning into a set of keys flying at our face, it’s good practice to keep the skills fresh. If you’re catching, just remember to start with the basics and move your way up the chain:
Level 1: Apples and oranges. Fruit is a good place to start. If you drop an orange, no worries — it just rolls away, still juicy and delicious. And the apple dent is completely edible. Getting beaned in the forehead with a banana stem could leave a mark, but it’s a sign of of toughness. Next time you’re down at the roller skating rink with the guys just point at the bruise and nod.
Level 2: Keys. There’s a lot to hold onto so this is still the minor leagues of throwing and catching non-ball objects. Fingers stabbing through rings, jingly keys catching on wild fingers, no problem, no problem. Make sure you never underestimate the surprise aerodynamics from a mini-flashlight, garage door opener, or Koosh ball keychain, though. There’s no shame in using two hands.
Level 3: Phones and remotes. Phones and remote controls are the perfect size and weight for an across-the-room toss, but make sure you check what’s surrounding the waiting hands. Cushion-covered couches and shag carpet? Yes! Ceramic-tiled floors and sidewalks? Broken!
Level 4: Unopened cans of soda or bottles of beer. Pulling out that ice-cold can of soda from the bottom of the melted freezing water in the backyard cooler is a good start. Whipping it across the deck is a good finish. Yes, there is some Minor Explosion Risk, but when you’re in the big leagues you gotta toss Cokes and beer bottles or go home, sister. If you’re going to cry about it then go back to clementines.
Level 5: Eggs and water balloons. Company picnics, family reunions, and summer camps are the height of tossing non-ball objects to people. Remember to keep taking a step back and taking a step back until someone ends up a wet salmonelly mess.
Yes, tossing non-ball objects to people is such a great high. It’s a brief second of air-sailing fun in the middle of your living room or backyard deck. You may even score acrobatic catches such as The Beer-Over-The-Campfire Grab, Upstairs-To-Downstairs Drop, or Reverse-Angle Cat Snag.
The important thing is to keep on throwing.
The important thing is to keep on being
“When I was a kid I told my parents I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up. Flash forward a few years to where I’m an undergraduate student in psychology, and one of my courses is in a university research lab. Today, I was talking to one of the grad students and she mentioned that the way she describes her job to little kids is by telling them that she’s a scientist – since saying a “cognitive psychology researcher” would be too hard for them to understand. And that’s when it hit me I was on my way to becoming a “scientist” too. Knowing that your 6-year-old self would be proud of you for making your childhood dream come true is probably one of the most awesome feelings I’ve ever experienced!” – Tammy