No joy in Joeyville

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Wiffleball-2“Your pitches are sucky!”

Joey was one angry 9-year-old Saturday as I grooved wiffle balls through his little strike zone. No curves. No swerves. No pitches that started 10 feet out of the zone and suddenly dived back in.

They were practically on a tee.

What sucked was Joey’s ability to hit the #$%& ball.

Every pitch I threw as rain began to pour and moms started to yell “Get inside now!” was fat and right in his wheelhouse. Yet, angry Joey could not put bat to ball. And after umpteen swings and misses in a row, he would yell at me some variation of “you suck.”

I know he’s 9, and I’m 45, but I’m not giving into this kid. I’m a competitor. So I start to throw harder.

He swings…


More you sucks are hurled my way.

His mom is concerned about him being out in the rain, but she doesn’t seem to give a flying duck about the fact he’s disrespectfully yelling at his uncle, who, up until this point, only wants him to hit the ball. Send it to the moon… or least over the trampoline.

So, I keep pitching though the rain. The more Joey yells, the harder I throw. I contemplate hitting him. I’ve done it before.

Relax. It’s only a wiffle ball. The sting doesn’t last long. Ask my son.

But with everyone looking at us, I’m certain it would be obvious I beaned him on purpose. Everyone knows I have Clayton Kershaw-like control with a wiffle ball.

So with no ill intentions, I wind up and let it fly.

All I could hear was the whistling sound of the ball and then the woof from Joey’s desperate swing.

And then… “You suck, Chad,” as he slammed the bat to the ground and stormed away.

I imagine somewhere the sun was shining bright and a band was playing. (It was Panic at the Disco on my daughter’s phone.) And somewhere there were men laughing and children shouting.

But there was no joy in Joeyville. The mighty screamer had struck out!


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