A page of my life will come to a close this week. After ten seasons as a dugout coach (actually, nine as dugout coach, one as head coach), my last regular season little league game is this Friday. I admit: I'm greatly looking forward to it. I honestly don't think I have a shred of nostalgia or other fond sorrow. I'm glad I've been there for my four boys (and three of my nephews) and I think it's great that boys get a chance to participate in something like this and I've got to spend time with fellow coaches whose company I enjoy, but other than those things, I've pretty much hated every minute of it. The hyper-competitiveness; the crying that used to be scorned among boys that age but has now become shamefully common place, due to a populace of adults too intellectually compromised to take a stand for masculinity; the arid infields that coated my sweaty face and arms with dirty; the shear time commitment. Yes, I say unequivocally: "So long, little league. I"m glad you exist, but I'm glad you will henceforth exist without me."
But irony of ironies: This year has been my most pleasant dugout experience. The head coach is great. He knows he's molding young men and puts up with no crying, pouting, tantrums, etc. And the group of boys is great. Not a bad apple in the bunch. I haven't once been able to use my comedic dialogue with boys who start crying after something goes wrong: Me: "You know, there's only one reason to cry in baseball." Boy: "Sniff, sniff." Me: "It's if you hurt your vagina." Boy: "Sniff, reluctant snicker." Me: "So if you cry, everyone's going to think you hurt your vagina." Four times out of five, that gets a smile and the kid stops crying. Surprisingly, no parents have complained. Maybe they discern I speak the truth.
I'm 50 years old, but sometimes the juvenile is brought out in me to a shameful degree. I saw this link headline on Reddit: "I think I may have found the world's smallest penis." I clicked on the link: http://i.imgur.com/sJZqPv1.jpg. It slayed me.