A Quarter Life Crisis

Rants With Atmosphere!!!

It Just Ain't The Same

By accident half day dreaming and half talking to Mailroom boy I stumbled into a memory of late night king ball tournaments. Not sure if you folks out there are familiar with Kingball but when I was younger it was bigger than Pepsi.

This needs some back story. In order to properly forge a king ball tournament all the applicable pieces must be in place. An official court has four equal sized squares chalked in the middle of the street. Each square will contain one of the letters in the word KING. There are four players involved in play. One of the four of course is the King. The King sets all the rules pre game with the object to avoid hitting any of the dividing lines or hitting any space outside of the boxes. It's similar to ping pong minus the paddle. You use your hands to bounce the ball into the opponents square. The first player to spell King based on the rules defined by the King is out. True King Ball connoisseurs play the game with no bobbles or one hit minimums. What this means is you're unable to hold the ball in your hand, ball must remain in motion at all times. You only have one pit pat to move the ball from your box to that of another player.

As players lose new players are rotated in and the only way to win the King box and set the rules is to beat the King. Kingball truly was king the summer of 96 on the eve of my sophomore year in high school.

My friends, we liked to call ourselves the Heartbeats with our matching Chaps jackets of differing colors because we were too cool to be matchy matchy, (also the rage that summer) were champions of the court. This was no small feat given the competition. All summer opposing players from nearby blocks flocked to our street late night (it was too humid during the day to truly play the game so we battled by street light) in feeble attempts to dethrone the Queens of Kingball. No one did it quite like us.

Small celebrities in our own right I guess. It could have just been in our own minds. Teenagers have a way of overstating their positions. Of course we played one hit minimums just like the boys to brandish our chops.

And we would play into the wee hours of the morning until a new neighbor moved onto the block fresh off a divorce and stirring up trouble mid summer. Granted at 2AM hearing a basketball bounce continuously accompanied by waves of laughter and teenage buffoonery might (present day) piss me off too. There's something about the loss of a recent relationship that wipes the fun gene right out of your body and that was so the truth for the new neighbor. Funny this is the same infamous neighbor who allowed her children to steal Wander's water see this post.

We fixed her though, we just raged even louder the rest of the summer with no abandon regardless of the time. Who did she think she was, we had Kingball to play and energy to burn. Man those were the days.

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