Michel: Basketball mishaps

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 29, 2021

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The warmer weather during the Christmas break provided more time outside. My granddaughter Adeline taught me how to play four square. We didn’t have a four square ball, so we used a basketball.

We tried to play volleyball. Our search for that ball ended when we discovered Adeline’s mom had run over the ball. We quickly agreed the basketball wouldn’t work for volleyball.

Finally, we just played basketball. I decided to teach Adeline how to play Horse – or what I thought was Horse. In my version, spelling horse is a good thing, and you earn a letter by shooting from five designated spots in the arc around the goal. Adeline said if we spelled Elf she could win faster. (My husband and son later spoiled our fun by saying I had mixed up the game with Around the World and changed the objective.)

I then decided to teach Adeline how to dribble between her legs while walking. Soon into the lesson I realized I didn’t know how. (I don’t even know how to play Horse.) A moment later, the ball bounced, hit the edge of my thumbnail, and bent it back. I wanted to cry. When I looked down, the top of my nailbed was already dark.

“You need to pierce it with a needle to relieve the pressure,” my husband said.

“No, I don’t,” I said.

“Let me do it.”

“Our marriage isn’t strong enough to survive that.”

I quickly discovered how often I rely on my right thumb and winced every time I picked up a pen, unlocked my car, and pulled a credit card from my wallet.

As soon as my thumb heals, I will teach Adeline how to play Liverpool Rummy. I know the rules, it doesn’t require a basketball, and we can stay indoors.


Ronny Michel can be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.