Hello-hello, all. The Consort here striding confidently mikeside while The (lovely and extremely talented) Princess gets a much deserved spa day. Today we will focus on a July 4th tradition here at The Prepatorium: The Family Kickball Game. This is not your average grade school level playground athletic event. This is a full-contact, take no prisoners family rebellion. It is something I highly recommend for your family get-together this holiday. But no matter how unruly the game might appear to the innocent, there are rules. Now is a good time to review them.
1. The bases are laid out the same way they have been since 1952. First base is the front porch, second base is the dog, third base is the elm tree and home plate is the dog’s frisbee. Doesn’t matter if the dog moves – he is always second base no matter where he ends up.
2. There are three outs for each team batting. The batter becomes a baserunner after kicking the ball and is not obligated to run the bases in any particular order; whichever base appears unoccupied and attractive is fine. The baserunner is out if the kicked ball is caught in the air or if the baserunner is not standing on a base and is hit by the ball thrown by a defender. If the baserunner is hit in the head by the ball thrown by a defender then the baserunner, and the next batter, are both out. However, if the ball misses then the baserunner is awarded two bases and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
3. Disputes are settled by the drunken cousin who will be parked in his traditional position in the Adirondack chair on the porch. When he falls into a stupor (likely around 4pm) all rulings will come from Grandma, provided she hasn’t thrown her hip out again and gone inside.
4. There is no out-of-bounds. The ball is in play no matter where it goes. Unless it goes in the neighbor’s swimming pool. In that case the batter is awarded a home run and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
5. The pitcher must roll the ball in the general direction of the batter to better allow the ball to be kicked. The ball may be rolled with authority and pouring a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer on the ball prior to rolling is not only allowed, it is recommended.
6. Random sauntering on the base paths is always appreciated. If a baserunner is wearing seersucker and carrying a gin and tonic that player’s team is awarded one bonus style point.
7. Teams will be selected by drawing names. Unless they are not. In either case trades during the game should be expected.
8. The game is over when someone is knocked down or knocked out. Or Dad completes his magic at the grill and it’s time to eat.
Before I go I want to share something The Princess and I found while antiquing this past weekend.
This chair was made out of 70 old baseball bats and the cushions were two bases. I was stunned and amazed. Very clever work. The Princess dragged me away when I began whining ” I want it, I want it”.
Have fun this holiday weekend. Let’s not forget why we are celebrating.
Be careful out there – it’s going to be crazy. Don’t forget to take care of your waitperson tonight because they’re working hard for you. The Princess will be back before you know it. Good night, everyone!