Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Man With the Golden Gun

"You're getting soft," Eli 15.5 said. We were looking at standing water on the only tennis court in town that still had a net up in winter.

It was 40F.

"It's not the temperature," I said. "That's not even a little bit of standing water. It's a lot. And it's so foggy that it's not going to dry."

"Soft," Eli said, laughing.

We started walking back to the car.

"I bet you can't throw a tennis ball from here into that trash can," I said. "I'll give you ten-to-one odds for a dollar." That was a terrible offer--I should have given him at least twenty-to-one, because it was a long throw.

"It's on," he said, and missed badly.

"Let me try," I said. I missed.

We both looked at the trash can for a few seconds.

"First one to put it in the can for ten dollars," I said.

"Yesssss," he said. "Let's go."

My first throw hit the can, but didn't go in.

Eli can throw the ball about thirty yards further than I can, but he's not as accurate. He kept throwing a few feet to the right, even though his distance was usually perfect.

"Wait, aim at me," I said, standing a few feet left of the trash can. "At me, at me," I said, as he started to throw.

It landed in exactly the same place, and he burst out laughing.

"That was not at me," I said.

We threw for almost fifteen minutes, probably twenty times each, and finally my arm gave out. Plus, my fingers were going numb.

"All right," I said. "I've got one more throw in me. One more each, then the can wins."

Eli took his throw first, and as I watched his motion, I realized why my throws had been just a little off. His throws were going to the right because he was throwing three-quarters instead of straight overhead.

After he missed, I picked up the ball and reminded myself to throw straight overhead.

I did.

"That's it!" Eli shouted, when the ball was halfway to the can. And it was, because it went right in.

"We are such idiots," he said when he got to the car.

"Agreed," I said.

"It was so much fun, though," he said, and laughed.

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