Friday, October 20, 2006

Know your role

“Did you score?” asked Jim.
“Nope, but I had a lot of assists,” I replied proudly.
Have I mentioned my company knows how to have fun?

Last night about 50 of us played Whirlyball – a fast-paced and fun game involving whiffle balls and bumper cars.

It’s cool because the bumper cars level the playing field so you really don’t need to be in great shape to play; it’s more about hand-eye coordination and teamwork.

And I can say this without a hint of hubris: I am the Queen of Whirlyball.
You can learn a lot about people by watching them play games.

There’s the egomaniac dude who hogs the ball all the way down the court without looking to see if anyone else might be open, only to whip it as hard as he can at the net without ever coming close to scoring. I suspect these guys are eternally frustrated with virtually every aspect of their lives and are the main reason why Viagra is so popular.

Then you’ve got the people who always seem surprised when the ball finds its way into their scoopy racquet thing and immediately toss it away without a moment of thought to where or whom they might be throwing it. These people are the delightful combination of nervous and generous – they can never give away enough and always sacrifice their own comfort for others.

There are the timid players who really aren’t into the game so much as riding around in the cool bumper cars. These are your otherwise quiet and unassuming neighbors who always and inexplicably seem to have the latest, hottest car in their garage.

Then you have the Professionals. They’re really, really Into It and will leave the court frustrated and pissed off even though it’s just a silly game. These are the guys whose athletic careers peaked in high school and were seriously pissed off to learn they were not quite good enough to play college ball. They are now middle-aged wanna-bes who embarrass their wives and families by heckling professional ball players and dialing in to sports radio shows to tell the coaches what they really shoulda done in last night’s game.

There are cheaters, too. Both men and women who will do whatever it takes to steal the ball from you, including whacking you on the head/hands with their plastic racquet. These folks devote their lives to keeping up with the Joneses, are always looking for sneaky ways to get ahead, and will never be satisfied with what they have.
So what type are you, Queenie?

I know my role. And that’s what makes me so goddamn good.

I can throw. I’m always aware of who’s around me and where the ball is. I’m not afraid to get in the middle of things to steal the ball, but I don’t need to be a superstar. There are others who are better at getting it in the net, so I’m perfectly happy passing the ball to them whenever I can.

Knowing your role makes life less challenging and more fun. It makes you a more valuable member of your team.

Or in my case, the Queen.
I am listening to: Garbage – You Look So Fine
I am reading: The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene
And I am: Bruised