Columns

The perils of volley-balloon 2016.02.17

on . Posted in By The Way

By DAVID GREEN

It’s not just the water in Morenci; it must be the air, also. Or maybe it’s my wife’s mind and the effect that Morenci’s elements have on it.

Here’s a report from February 1986. I’m sure it could be updated with new oddities.

My wife, you may remember, is from the Big City. Growing up there can do strange things to your mind. It makes you think weird thoughts. It stretches the brain’s gray matter in peculiar ways.

Let me give you an example. Colleen thinks there’s something in the air or water of Morenci that causes elastic to die an untimely death. Every item she owns with an elastic waist band, she claims, loses its strength rapidly in Morenci.

Now don’t think you have a simple solution to this dilemma of the great waistband. She made the observation long before she began to stretch into month number eight of pregnancy. That, too, would kill elastic, but this is something different.

Now that I think about it, I noticed something strange with Ben last week that might be related to the issue. It happened when we were playing volleyballoon. I’m sure you’ve played it before. You keep hitting a balloon so it doesn’t touch the floor. You count the number of hits and try to establish new family records.

I wasn’t doing really well since it was lunch time and I was playing and eating at the same time. But at least I was holding up my end of the game.

Ben, on the other hand, kept having to hold up his long underwear (that’s a standard uniform for volleyballoon). Every time we approached 14, which would have been a new record, he had to reach down and pull up his pants. He’d miss his turn and we never made it into the record books.

Some of you are undoubtedly saying to yourselves, “Fourteen hits is certainly no record where I come from.” I agree, it’s not much. But I was playing with a 3-1/2-year-old in a cluttered room.

Ben once fell over a magazine rack and into a pile of books. He lay suspended across the rack, unable to right himself. No one’s going to make 25 hits in those conditions.

Another time he fell into a plant and came up with leaves stuck to his face due to a runny nose. These are harsh playing conditions. We should receive some credit for the playing field that we choose.

But I’ve digressed. Back to the elastic conspiracy. It doesn’t end here, and I’m honestly not stretching the truth in any of this.

Colleen also insists that pencil erasers grow hard and brittle and unusable prematurely. They’re pronounced dead long before the pencil becomes short.

Only here in Morenci, that is.

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