#344 – For Children of All Ages

This may sound a tad hypocritical coming from me, but my twenty-six-year-old nephew needs to grow up.  And based on the story he told last night, he also needs to retain a top-notch lawyer.

Jack is college educated and hasn’t lived at home since he graduated.  He’s also held a good job all his post-school years, serving as the I.T. department for an accounting firm.  Unfortunately, those facts represent the sum total of his adult behavior.

Overall, my nephew acts as if he’s still a frat denizen.  He’s neither married nor has a steady girlfriend, and his idea of a good time continues to revolve around booze and “the boys.”  On a weekly basis, he hangs out with the same group of guys to drink and relive their college days.

I already thought Jack’s party mentality raised warning flags of stunted maturity; and that was before he disclosed his favored participation sports: dodgeball and kickball!  When he mentioned them yesterday, I admitted to some confusion: “The only dodgeball and kickball I’ve heard of are grade-school playground games.”

Who would’ve thought?  Apparently, some “adults” play dodgeball and kickball too!  There’re even organized leagues for these “sports.”  Jack knows, because he participates in both.

“Why?” I asked; the obvious question, so I thought.

“First, the leagues are coed, so they’re great ways to meet chicks.  And second, the teams hit a bar after each game, and everyone gets hammered!”

“Jesus,” I begged.  “Please tell me you’re not in a “Tag” or “Marco Polo” league too!”

Sighing, he responded: “No.  Not those; ‘Jacks,’ which may’ve been a mistake, in hindsight.” 

“Jacks?!” I fairly shouted.  “As in the kids’ game with the pointy metal thingamajigs you pick up while bouncing a rubber ball?”

“That’s right.  One of the guys thought a Jacks’ league’d be cool, especially if we held the games at a bar and combined them with heavy drinking.  But I’m beginning to think mixing a bunch of pointy metal objects with alcohol wasn’t the brightest idea.”

As he proceeded to explain, he’d caught an opposing player cheating in a late-round contest the other night. The man refused to admit his failure at “foursies,” instead calling his accuser, Jack, a liar … whereupon my inebriated nephew lost his temper, grabbed several of the small metal spikes and flung them violently.

As he now agrees, the trouble my nephew faces as a result of his alcohol-induced lapse in judgment reveals the unbridled truth of a cliché every boy has heard from his mother at least once: “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye!”

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