* Steven Wright has a joke where he says, " you know that feeling where you're leaning back in a chair...and you go a little too far and you start to tip over...and at the last minute you recover ?.....I feel like that all the time"
I just had that feeling after twice punching in the wrong security code for mac-card with one of the old ATMs where the card goes inside the machine and then eats it on the third mistake.
Of course the first millimeter where your ass was supposed to touch the toilet seat that was left up in the middle of the night always qualifies as well.
* I had a great discussion with a guy about the evolution of the nerf basketball hoops. Somehow, without the benefit of the internet, coaching, playgroups, or classroom aides, kids all across America figured out how to play basketball in their bedrooms. Amazingly enough the natural evolution of the game seemed to have occurred regardless of geographical location or economic background.
- It started with a half opened door making a space between the door itself and the wall of the closet, with any round object slightly smaller than the triangle formed would work.
- The upgrade was the coat hanger shaped in the form of a hoop, with a balled up pair of socks serving as the ball. The catch here was the attempt to affix the coat hanger to something, usually a doortop. Duct tape was the universal choice, but still then, with the weight of the socks always exceeding the tensile strength of the wire hangar, the rim needed constant attention.
- Eventually, that Christmas, someones Aunt would breakdown and you'd find yourself in the big time with a full on Nerf hoop-set. For the life of me I don't know why, but I have the guttural feeling of love for the nerf basketball that is evenly balanced by my disdain for the nerf rim. There must have been something about that rim suppressed that might necessitate hypno-therapy. Then again, maybe some things are left well enough alone.
Some people played standing up, others on knees. Acceptable forms of dribbling include both the palms up flat handed tap as well as holding the ball palms down with a simulated dribble. In either dribble case, a flinch or a pause meant that you lost your dribble and had to shoot or pass.....passing of course was achieve by throwing the ball against any wall and inciting a scrum.
There usually always was some sort of line of demarcation, sometimes officially enumerated, sometimes through loose, unspoken agreement, where the offensive player could take an uncontested shot. If Princeton funded a study of my childhood bedroom, I suspect they'd find that the universal shooting for shots taken at the far end of the second curtain rod was exactly 50% uncontested. That might go slightly up for kids over 11, but could be easily regulated by feinted punches to the groin or the random barking of incoherent insults.
* That nerf/hoop conversation lead the the curious case of how "Jingle Bells Batman Smells" made it East Coast to West Coast, North and South...with consistent lyrics, in just 10 short years from the TV series inception until my first recollection of the song in the winter of 1976. But perhaps that a blog post for another time.