This is the childhood version of Mr. Fixit.
Whether you’re shooting free throws in the driveway, whipping tennis balls at a wall, or tossing frisbees in the park, it always happens, man. Someone tosses it a bit too high, a bit too wobbly, or a bit too wrong direction, and suddenly your whole game gets lodged in a tight squeeze.
Now, the best way to unjam that ball is of course by using its fellow family members against it. This is the backyard equivalent of putting the hostage taker’s mom on the phone during the tense negotiations.
“Antonio, please. It’s your mother. You don’t have to do this,” the bald, withered tennis ball in the crowded street pleads over the radio to the angry scarred one sitting in the gutter.
“I love you, Antonio.”
Yes, using one ball to rescue another one is a truly great thing. Just make sure you watch out for these potential trip-ups along the way:
1. Double Down. This is when your second ball joins the first ball instead of popping it out. Now you’ve got mom and son in the gutter and you’re running out of things to toss up there. Right now’s the time someone usually heads into the garage to get a ladder, hockey stick, or some long foam swimming pool noodles.
2. It’s Raining Running Shoes. This is the opposite of the double down. In this case the good news is the tennis racquet, garden stones, or running shoes you tossed up there did the job. The bad news is you weren’t ready for both to fall so you took a hard Reebok to the kisser on its way down.
3. The Understudy. The good news is you were able to pop the wedged basketball out from behind the backboard. The bad news is you got your other ball stuck up there. You can almost hear the announcer on the PA system, too. “Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. The role of tightly wedged Spalding will be played by half-deflated volleyball in tonight’s performance.”
4. The Sunset. This is where you take so long to dislodge the football out of the tree that the sun sets and forces you to come back tomorrow. This also happens when you’re the one who got the Frisbee hanging from the tree branches to begin with so your friends just wait till you pass it down and leave you up there.
Now, come on, come on, come on: Let’s not let those dreaded trip-you-ups cool down your buzz. We all know the truth is that another ball generally does the job just fine.
So while you’re out grabbing exercise, running around, and getting those cardio levels burning, just remember when your ball gets lodged and your game hits pause, you can always toss another ball up there to get your search and rescue plan running.
Yes, with a sturdy chin, firm brow, and steely determination, you’ll be just fine out there.
Good luck, driveway warriors.
Check out The Book of Awesome
Photos from: here, here, and here