When I was in fifth grade , I went to an inner city school and our playground was a parking lot. And our playground was “the playground the school board forgot.” Our main games were “Pick up the Needles” , “Hide the Ripple from Shakes” and ” See how much skin you can take off by diving for a pass”
Oh, I am sure that they discussed our playground every now and then at School Board meeting.
Here is what the conversation went like between the three key board members (BM).
BM 1: ” We have a request for a tether ball pole from Inner School 666.”
BM2: ” What does that involve?”
BM1: ” We dig a hole in the parking lot, put a pole in the hole, tie a ball to the top of the pole with some rope….”
BM3: “Whoa!! Did you say a BALL? I don’t see that anywhere in the request. And a ROPE? What are those little bastards going to do – hang each other?”
BM1: ” Well the request does just ask for a pole, maybe we can put the pole in the ground this year, and if next year’s budget permits, we can buy the ball and rope.”
BM2 and BM3: ” That sounds fair. Does Inner City School 666 want anything else?”
BM1: “Well they want a four square court.”
BM2: “What does that involved?”
BM1: “We just have someone go and paint four squares on the parking lot and then the kids take a ball…”
BM3: “Balls? Where are all these damn balls coming from? Why don’t those kids just go out and steal one, never stopped them before…”
BM2: “And did you say PAINT?… those damn kids just want something to sniff.”
BM1: “And there is an additional problem, we would have to hire someone to paint the squares. “
BM3: ” Couldn’t Shakes the Janitor do that?”
BM1: ” Shakes? Are you kidding. He can’t even walk in a straight line, let alone paint one.”
BM2 ” And I think Shakes has a union contract and he is a janitor not a painter. That will piss off the Painting Guild.”
BM3: “So for Four Square, we need a ball, paint, and someone who can draw a straight line?”
BM1: ” So we will just table that idea and revisit it next year…”
We did get that pole and it was a fine iron pole. We used to send this kid called Concussion out for long passes and he would hit that iron pole every time. Yep, that pole provided us with hours of entertainment. And I think Concussion grew up and got elected to Congress.