“Balls”, said the queen. “If I had them I’d be king.” What an interesting word. Without getting into anatomy 101 let’s contemplate spheroids.
The obvious are sports objects. But when we think of a football it is oblong and not circular. Cogitating even further you forget whether you could be talking about soccer or the USA brand. They all seem to have seams and some even have laces. They spiral. They rotate.
Now baseballs are great but we always want to improve them fresh out of the box. There is some kind of river mud that umpires apply to every shiny new one to make them appear dirty. I’ll accept that but who decides when the ball is too dirty to be used in the game? The same guy who soiled them in the first place. Sounds like job security.
Awhile back Mr Doubleday said they had to be so wide and the seams just so but who had any sort of measuring device to make sure they were all perfect in the early 1900’s? Some clever guys discovered if you loaded them up with saliva they did some strange things and prolonged the pitcher’s career. They banned that idea soon thereafter. Purity of the game.
Then they tried Vaseline which was also the hair tonic that cool guys doused themselves with back in the day. How were they to know that rubbing their hair and balls ( remember we are talking baseballs) at the same time would do anything? Ditto gaping holes created by belt buckles and sand paper. You thought they were all dumb jocks.
In the wonderful world of golf before Bubba Watson, the objet d’art was a thing called a featherie. It was a bunch of feathers sewn into a wad of leather. Next there was the gutta percha which was just a ball of rubber they painted. Then some savant decided there could be a good use for rubber bands and he wound the longest rubber band into the middle of the little white capsule. Of course we as kids could not wait to perform surgery on the good old Spalding Dot and unwind that baby from end to end.
Now tennis balls were a whole other matter. They were white as the driven snow and the country club tennis ensemble. No colors allowed which of course had a lot of connotations in the days of white shoe WASP establishments. Then Jimmy Connors et al decided to shake up the high brow set and we went to orange and the effervescent yellow of today.
One time in a fit of cosmic thinking I tried to imagine how many balls were in the air throughout the world? Just think of all these things defying gravity? Of course they all fell back to earth at some point. This was both in a literal and figurative way. But I digress.
Now we also have balls as in parties. Many are debutante soirees where a young lady is introduced to society. The lovely lass is escorted by her dad usually and a host of whackadoo collegians. The latter’s sole purpose was to drink heavily and be available to dance with some stuffy old lady or the deb herself if they were still able to stand.
I actually attended one of these fetes at the Garden City Hotel. White tie and tail. A couple of my father’s buddies, Art Florence and Bill Dailey, decided I should juice up my act. Bill had a top hat and cape that he added to the pot. Artie wanted me to wear a ribbon sash with a few old war medals but I begged off on that affectation. I do have my standards. Any way I was a big hit with the guy at the Greenvale Diner at 6:00 AM while I was trying to sit steady on the stool all the while popping the top hat in his face.
Now you could say from time to time I am on the ball. Where the hell did this come from? Some people think it refers to being on the ball of your feet. That is the large protuberance from your foot just aft of your big toe and forward of your instep. It’s supposed to give you get up and go power. Not the right answer.
It actually comes from keeping your eye on the ball. In most sports it is a must. You can’t not look at a baseball coming at you at 100 miles per hour. In golf your best excuse for screwing up a shot is “I looked up” thereby avoiding the reality you have a lousy swing. I was playing tennis one time with former Aussie pro Colin Dibley. We had a great game and then your favorite smart ass here started chiding him about his serve. You see he held the world record for fastest serve of 134 mph and he had not displayed it in our match. He told me to stand back in the return court and if I could get a racket on any of the three he whistled at me, he would buy dinner. After the second one I was just standing with my Wilson T whatever protecting my you know whats.
Well I guess if you have gotten this far you realize that I am now balls up. That is really any disastrous situation. The balls referred to are NOT testicles. The term dates from the days of wooden sailing ships when the existence of a shipboard disaster, such as plague, lack of food or water, mutiny, etc. was communicated to the outside world by hoisting largish, brightly painted wooden balls up into the rigging. Balls of different colors represented different disasters and therefore served as either requests for assistance or warnings to stay clear. How do I get out of here?
Now before you start bawling I will go. But just think all of you slugs with minds in the gutter way back in the beginning when I just said the word “balls”. We all let our mind wander this way or that. And honestly it is a good thing. No politics or angst this week. Just fun. I hope Ted’s Head got you into just a little bit of crazy thinking. We need it every now and then.
Ted The Great
Ted’s Head was viewed over 5500 times last year. There are some 300 lost souls that read it from time to time. They actually come from 40 countries and I am sure many are involved in Al Quaeda, Hammas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Tea Party. This is #148 and counting. The post, “Would You Date An Undertaker?” received the most comments.
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I would love to add to our bunch of loonies, not for self-aggrandisement but just to try to get more people thinking. On second thought maybe you should wait a week.