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42-15350445Was just reading a funny blog on Obama’s recent controversial speech delivered to all the kidlets of America (well at least to the ones whose mommas and poppas didn’t protest and keep them home in the trailer park that day- but ahem-I digress….) It evoked a memory of my own physical scareducation back in the good ole days of high school- circa the 80’s.

 

Our PE teacher was a tall bloke with a head of early-onset silver hair and a startling ginger beard. He’d be called a ranga-face these days- but back then we only had one name for him and that was >insert dramatic pause here< …Mr Blood. 

Well it was appropriate- because, after all, it was his actual name. 

Mr Blood had a penchant for interesting ways of promoting fitness. I was convinced that every night he must have cackled himself to sleep as he thought of another ingenious way to torture us without the aid of traditional evil implements. Under his churlish command orange dimpled basket balls and innocent looking skipping ropes somehow became weapons of mass humiliation. 

The most wicked of all his games was his own special version of Dodge-ball.

To give you a clue- we secretly called it Butt-ball. 

On the day that he introduced this charming game Mr Blood told us to line up around the perimeter of the gym. As we trudged into place he demonstrated a neat waist bend- touching his toes. Pointing to his own trim behind he said loudly “this will be the target”.  He then explained that the student at the other end of the gym had to throw the ball at the ‘target’, then snake back into the line for their turn at bending over. 

Sounds like fun huh? 

After most kids had failed to even get the ball down to the other end of the gym it was my turn to throw. The kid who sauntered into target position gave me one cool look as he slowly touched his toes. I nearly wet my navy bog-catcher-bloomers. My target was the one boy at school who really made my life miserable. For the purpose of this story I shall call him Sean. 

Sean was the master of the snide comment. He had a quick wit and knew no bounds when it came to emotional torment. He was so good at it that he rarely had to say anything at all. The mere thought of a class with him made me break out in a sweat that dripped down into my Berlei-sports-training-bra. 

I picked up the ball without any desire for revenge. My exact wish was just to get it over with as soon as possible. I hurled it across the gym floor –in an ungraceful lob. The class watched its high arc. Time stopped. The ball landed fair and square on his arse. 

Mr Blood applauded loudly as I slunk back into line.  I tried to hide, but Mr Blood had a different idea. He told us that I now had to be Sean’s target. I should have known I wouldn’t get off that easily. Revenge was Mr Blood’s game plan. Sean raced into position bouncing the ball loudly stretching out my agony as long as he could. Bounce. Bounce.     Bounce.           Bounce. I waited, my flaming face resting on my thighs. There was stillness and then the echoes of laughter bouncing off the concrete walls. His throw had landed short. A fitting end to the game. 

 

In case you are wondering- this event didn’t change my days at school.

It didn’t make me feel empowered to stand up to the bully, and it didn’t humble him in any way. We continued on as usual. He pointed out my flaws and I cowered. 

 

But just for the record- Sean was his real name.

You see- you big turd- I’m not scared of you anymore.

 

 

 

Credit where it is due:

This is the great blog I mentioned earlier – his hatred was for the pommel horse- another evil implement of physical education destined to deny generations of men from ever receiving Father’s Day cards…

go ahead read it… I’m sure you’ll love it.

3 Responses to “Butt-ball one of my fabulous memories of PE”

  1. Neil says:

    Do they still play dodgeball in school? Seriously, that was the most violent game ever, and I never understood why they thought it was an appropriate game for kids. It didn’t even require any real EXERCISE. I did enjoy playing it because I was pretty good at it, but in retrospect, I was throwing balls at little girls’ heads.

  2. carladelvex says:

    I asked my daughter if they play dodge ball…she said no. I explained the game to her and she said oh yeah they call that poison ball.
    I think I heard her whimper as she walked away…

  3. [...] writing I had been fumbling my own way through. I was equally inspired and intimidated. I wrote a post and emailed Neil for permission to link back to his blog. Credit where it is due I believe I wrote. [...]

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