Monday, October 23, 2006

But What About the Polyester Shorts?

Okay, I've come up with an awesome idea:

Adult P.E.

No, I'm not talking about Pilates, weight training, or distance running. I'm talking about kick, dodgeball, touch football, softball, freeze tag, and playing with a really big parachute. I'm talking about the world of elementary school, updated for people who are old enough to have forgotten the petty humiliations of childhood. I'm talking about big red balls flying at your face. Not like that.

I'm talking about fun.

This is such a good idea that I was sure someone had already come up with it. However, when I googled "Adult PE," I only got information on spinning classes and something called "cardio pump," which sounded both painful and vaguely sexual. I saw no mention of tetherball or HORSE, or all the other fun things that we did when I was a kid. Maybe I wasn't searching in the right places, but I'm starting to think that nobody's doing this.

Of course, there are tons of physical education activities out there, but so few of them offer the community aspect of P.E. For that matter, most of them seem gender-separated. Women take spinning, dancing, and so forth while men take martial arts and golf (Very few women take martial arts. Those are defense classes, and, no, kicking the shit out of a guy in an H.R. Pufinstuff suit doesn't do much to stimulate good cross-gender relations). Even team sports are usually segregated.

P.E. would be about fun, not self-development, competition, or any of that other crap. This wouldn't involve learning a new skill or playing for the best Rugby team in the division. This would involve relearning how to knock someone out in dodgeball or flip a parachute. This would be, by definition, a total, glorious, waste of time. With cardio.

Think about it: for a few bucks a week, you could take classes with people in the same shape as you, so there's no problem with picking people for teams. We'd hire retired P.E. teachers to recreate the vague lesbian tinge that most of us remember from our childhoods. We could have P.E. for committed couples, P.E. for singles, P.E. for Hasidic Jews, and so on. It would be a great place to meet significant others while getting into better shape.

I'm a genius...and the world's best "Simon Says" player.


  • Can I just watch from the sidelines and punch the cute guys in the arm?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 23, 2006 at 1:17 PM  

  • I look adorable in PE shorts. However, I do not like the idea of lining up with my squad when the whistle blows. Also, my self-esteem cannot stand the shame of being picked last for four square.

    By Blogger mist1, At October 23, 2006 at 4:30 PM  

  • Just D-
    You're reminding me of all the cute girls in my high school. Of course, it was a Catholic high school, so they could all kick my ass.

    I guess we'll just have to appoint you four square team captain for life.

    The job comes with a big military hat and a pair of mirrored shades.

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 23, 2006 at 7:06 PM  

  • I could seriously go for some dodgeball. :)

    By Blogger misanthropster, At October 23, 2006 at 9:28 PM  

  • when I was a kid we used to play this game called "dodge the pin" which was a real misnomer. It was like a modified version of dodgeball where you had to protect a few small plastic cones on your side of the court. The first team to either lose all of it's members (via dodgeball rules) or have all it's cones knocked over (by opponents ball) lost.

    ...then the losers were flogged.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 23, 2006 at 11:57 PM  

  • I harbor dismal memories of being chosen last for everything because I was small. And I also sucked at team sports. When I was exiled (again. Do you sense a theme here?) to the outfield, if the ball actually traveled that far, I had to run about a half mile infield to throw it because there was no way I could do so from Out There. Humiliating. In volleyball, I couldn't get the ball over the net.

    I suffered. But I love your idea -- for Other People. The ones who got chosen first, and are now extremely FAT.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At October 24, 2006 at 10:15 PM  

  • Holtet-
    Did we go to the same school? Bearded nuns? Whips? A lot of kneeling? I never played pin dodgeball, but it sounds psychotic.

    Another justification for my idea--sweet, sweet revenge. Thanks!

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 24, 2006 at 11:12 PM  

  • Like Mist1 and Hearts, my fondest memories of P.E. involved the bone-crushing humiliation of being picked last for every team. An even nicer memory was being yelled at by the P.E. teacher for being a big sissy for crying over a little blood. We couldn't help it we were delicate little adorable flowers!

    On a lighter note, I hear that their are adult kickball teams in DC now. I'm up for the beer drinking afterwards!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 25, 2006 at 11:14 AM  

  • Lee-
    I think the key element here is the fact that you're paying the teacher's salary. If you don't enjoy it, she's toast. Join me in recapturing the joie de vivre that childhood P.E. stole from you!

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 25, 2006 at 7:12 PM  

  • You know something kind of funny?

    Every single person I know personally has these horrific memories of being picked last for teams in PE in elementary school.

    This suggests a few things:

    1. Everybody I know with is a geek or a nerd with absolutely no athletic ability.
    2. Everybody I know is sharing some sort of collective memory, where even if they weren't picked last for a team, they felt shame for those who were, and have internalized the experience.
    3. Everybody was picked last for a team at least once and it has scarred their psyches forever.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At October 25, 2006 at 8:07 PM  

  • I always found the parachute thing to be rather lame, but if there's no-holds-barred dodge ball, I'm in.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 30, 2006 at 12:15 PM  

  • Fair deal. Are you thinking about using a spiked ball?

    By Blogger Crankster, At October 30, 2006 at 12:18 PM  

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