Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yay! Your Daughter Just Got a Crushed Trachea!

Thanks to Mickey for giving me the Blog of Distinction Award. Honestly, I 'm a little shocked. For all of you coming here because of his recommendation, I apologize. I'm going through a bit of a slump this week, but keep slogging through because it seems every time I skip a day it makes starting back up twice as hard. I've also got that whole self-imposed 365 days of blogging thing going on.

Starting in the next few days, I'm planning on putting up a short story I'm working on in several installments. I've just got to work up the nerve to put it up and find some time to polish up part one and get part two written. It's odd that I feel more trepidation about putting up a work of fiction than I do about some of the personal stuff I fill this space with.

Now, on to today's post.

I was watching a tennis match today as I'm want to do, and the team I was rooting for was down to the final, deciding match. Our side wins, and the whole team wins. Our side loses, and the whole team loses. The situation is tense. It's the last match of the night and everyone is clustered around the chain link fence cheering their team on to a region championship. Our opponents won the first set while our pair picked up the second. They're playing the third set close. Every point receives huge applause and groans. The mood is electric, and I, possessing a bit of that herd mentality, am starting to get pumped. This is all fine and good until one fateful slam from one of my girls. The girl from the other team botches a lob that floats down right to the girl at the net who raises her racket and slams it down hard.

Of course I cheer and start clapping loudly. It was a great shot, perfectly placed and hit hard. Nearly unreturnable for a girl playing at this level. The only thing is that as I still stupidly applaud loudly, I blurt out, "Right in the throat."

That's right. The net person for the other pair had taken the ball right to the side of her throat. A direct hit. And for all intents and purposes, I was cheering her injury. Honestly, I was just stating the obvious having only realized exactly what I had just seen after I'd already begun clapping. Of course, in my excitement at an important point having been won, the comment lacked the hushed and gasping tone appropriate for witnessing a teenage girl taking a hard-hit tennis ball to the throat. In fact, I may have sounded a little pumped at the prospect of the poor girl dying from the impact of rubber and felt. Of course that's not the way I intended for it to come across, but one of the other team's parents was sitting right behind me and she didn't seem to take my commentary and applause of our crowd the same way that I did and voiced her opinion loudly and repetitiously to no one in particular. (I wasn't the only one cheering.)

The embarrassing part is that deep down inside, I actually did take a bit of pleasure from watching the incident. I've admitted a fondness for violence as entertainment in the past, and besides, I know the girl who delivered the slam. She couldn't hit hard enough to do any actual damage and just from looking at how the other girl reacted you could tell that her pride was hurt more than her neck. The only problem is that while I had that little flash of Yay! at seeing the girl get hit, I also have an unusually large capacity for empathy, which means as soon as I realized that I was clapping for my team slamming a ball into a poor girl's throat that I immediately feel insanely guilty. The woman's comments just added to the guilt. I mean, I on occasion still have flashbacks to tactless comments I made 10 years ago, stuff that I'm sure the person I hurt didn't remember past the end of the week.

So I may die one day in a car accident caused by my going into a guilt flashback-induced cringing seizure at the memory of cheering this girl's throat being crushed, but man that was a great shot.


sid said...

You blurted that out? Ha ha ha.

Mickey said...

I really don't think I have that much pull. At least I rarely click on links from people's "award"-type posts.

This was a good post, though. Sports really can bring out the barbaric in all of us. It may have been a better story, in fact, if the girl had needed medical attention. Then you'd really feel bad.

JustinS said...

I think you did better than I would have. I probably would have started chanting "Kumite! Kumite!" until someone tapped out...

Or not. Ever since my daughter was born a few years ago, my blood lust has subsided quite a bit.

Unless, of course, we're talking about some other little shit making fun of my princess. Then it's on.

Chris said...

How funny. I would have felt insanely guilty about that, too.

Courtney said...

You missed a day! Where is the Friday post? WHERE?

Jacob said...

Didn't really miss the day, just didn't get an opportunity to post. We came over to Brunswick to visit some friends. I didn't have time to read over the day's post and submit before we had to hit the road and by the time we finished with the party and headed upstairs for bed, I was too exhausted to do anything (and it was well after midnight).

I don't feel I've betrayed myself, though. The post was written already, and that fits within the rules.

Feel free to mock me as a cheater if you wish. I'll just silently plot your character assassination.

Julie said...

If she's really a sports fan, she will appreciate how awesome that shot was and, once she's over the embarrassment, she will agree that it was cool.

Also, I'm kinda surprised because I thought I was the only one who would go over and over things I've done wrong in the past and beat myself up over it. Even years after, why can't I get over it? I don't know if it's good to know there's someone else out there who understands or if I just feel sad for you.

Jacob said...

I'm not even sure you'll see the response, Julie, but I think being that way is the sign of being a good person. I think someone who doesn't have their own conscience nagging them about stupid things they've said or done (or in my case worrying if someone I thought was worthwhile took something the wrong way and didn't tell me) is basically a sociopath who doesn't take joy in the pain of others. They just don't care, which is just as bad, just not as bloody.