Rookie Error

April 4, 1998
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This A&J strip first appeared about the time my sister-in-law talked me into sponsoring a team of her friends and co-workers in a municipal women’s softball league. Team “Arlo & Janis” was embarrassingly awful, but everyone was having fun one evening a week. Because we were so terrible, I suppose, we began to attract a few talented players who could see that our line-up obviously needed bolstering. Before long, we were competitive in the municipal league. The next thing I know, I’m spending my weekends traversing two states with a women’s softball team and paying to enter tournaments where we usually discovered we weren’t as good as we thought we were. I still don’t have the courage to talk about the experience. Maybe someday. At least I got a few gags out of it all.


17 thoughts on “Rookie Error”

  1. That reminds me of a famous Sportscaster that used to kind of make fun of horse racing. A listener/horse owner invited him to the track to see it for himself and the next thing you know he had a share in a horse. The horse did well and he bought a few more. Eventually he had a horse running in the Kentucky Derby.

    Does it make money? I guess it depends on who’s books you look at. Can he afford it? Yes. But he also gets a lot of enjoyment from it.

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    • emb, age doesn’t have anything to do with the need for glasses, although I guess you know that. I was discovered to need them in the 4th grade and have worn them ever since.

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  2. The problem with recreational sports is that competitiveness always starts to dominate activities that are supposed to be fun for the participants. Mr. Johnson is a master of reflecting the human condition through A & J.

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  3. Mark: So did Elaine and I, and ever since. But, au contraire, age has lots to do w/ vision, in “normal” [a non-PC term] 20/20 people. Humans focus, for close vision, by bending the shape of their lenses. Lenses harden [and also thicken] with age, and bending their shape becomes harder and eventually impossible. Hence, both of my elderly parents became “far-sighted” and needed glasses to read. JJ has pictured Janis, I believe, holding the newspaper out at arms-length to read it.
    But little emb inherited a recessive gene for myopia from each parent [each was Aa], and so was 20/400[courtesy; actually worse] by his teens. Elaine inherited that same gene from each parent and was almost as near-sighted as emb. Since we are/were both aa, guess what? Our 3 kids are all aa. My students all learned this, + our Landsteiner blood types [both ii] and the implications of Elaine’s being Rh- [hh] and my being H? in the spring quarter of General and Introductory Biology in the ’60s-’94. There will be a short quiz next time. Peace,

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  4. #truestory
    A male friend of mine was an umpire for a “girls’ softball” church league. One of the league’s rules covered (no pun intended) how short the players’ shorts could be. The official decree was that the legs of the shorts had to be no less in length than “a palm’s width”. (That still seems pretty short to me, but what do I know about ladies’ shorts, hmm?)
    So naturally, there came a time when one coach (whose team happened to be getting slaughtered) protested that several players on the opposing team were wearing too-short shorts. The all-male umpiring crew huddled, and despite my friend volunteering to measure the length of the putatively offending shorts in the obvious (and prescribed) way, they decided they looked plenty long enough to them.

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  5. Ruth Anne, I was holding 18 eggs in one hand just this morning. Of course, they were still in the carton at the time. 😀

    TR, apparently the width of the player’s palm. Assuming a three-inch palm width, I googled “women’s shorts three-inch inseam” and found that is indeed a thing in athletic and workout shorts…short but not indecently so, even for most church teams, I suppose. Guess that’s something else for which I can start “doing the math”. 🙂

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  6. In horses a “Hand” (palm width) is standardized at 4 inches
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    Kind of short if measured on the outside of the leg. 🙂
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    Some longer if measured finger tip to wrist.

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