Thursday, April 28, 2005

Foul Play

Spring is in the air, and that means it's time for DC non-profit league softball! Woooo! The Although the National Mall is a pretty neat backdrop for a game of softball, I really don't like playing. I'm no good, and fielding stresses me out, but my boss is the coach so what can you do, really? I try to duck when he's giving out fielding assignments so I can do what I do best: help drink the beer and explain "bases" to the Russian girls. (Tatiana came as "cheerleader" this game. We're all in our jerseys and tennis shoes: Tanya's in oversized Chanel shades and carrying Coach. Her cheers are less than inspiring, "Why he not hit ball? He is man, he should hit.")

Last night we played the Heritage Foundation (their jerseys dubbed them the "Capitalist Tools.") And our asses were? Handed to us. Guh. It seems that every group endeavor I'm involved in features us as the ragtag but plucky underdogs. Unlike in the Disney movies, though, we don't triumph in the end. No Mighty Ducks are we. My feeling is that this is not coincidental, but structural. Progressive, well-meaning group of do-gooders with an unclear command structure versus the standard bearers of Conservative zeitgeist? Sound familiar?

It was ever thus. Even back in college, when the affable-but-stoned Liberal Arts Council took on arch-rivals Business Council each year. BC was there to win, dammit. They had their beef-cakiest ringers step in, and they only allowed the bare minimum of women to play (and those gals were built like tree trunks anyway). We showed up, underfed and fey and probably a little drunk, and we wanted everybody to have a chance to swing the big stick thing! As such, softball is as useful a metaphor for liberal failure as anything.

All in all, Heritage were a pretty friendly group. All except for the one guy. Note to the shortstop in the Israeli Defense Forces t-shirt: look love, it is simply not healthy to get that worked up over non-profit league softball. It is a game, my friend, not your manhood on a stick. Smile! You're winning!


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