Column: The old man and his basketball | Notice

The squirrels are laughing at me.

What could be causing them to make such a rowdy while I was trying to shoot hoops?

Did I tell you I hate squirrels? They’ve been my # 1 public enemy ever since someone tried to eat my car during Hurricane Irma. Evil creatures have caused all kinds of wiring damage to my Sonata.

I know you’re thinking: you’ve written about this before. To move on.

And if I wouldn’t care so much about providing free cartoon relief for creatures and humans, maybe I would actually do more than 1 in 100 photos.

That’s why I prefer to hit the b-ball courts in the morning: no one in sight, usually.

I recently started solo basketball just for exercise. Being the last of the best inexpensive skateboards, I paid $ 5 for a basketball in a store. The clerk would not give me a senior discount.

I hadn’t shot a basketball in years, maybe a decade. As a friend said on a sailing trip years ago, “Tom couldn’t touch the water if he fell from a boat.”

And I would probably drown in the tub if I filled it more than halfway.

But I exercised because I set the record for launching the most aerial balloons. I can’t tell you how many times I had to chase balls that happily rolled off the field and into the street.

The rims also irritated me, which as we said are unforgiving. The hellish ball often spins around the edges of the rim indefinitely and falls on either side of the structure before trying to escape.

In my late teens I loved playing basketball at my friend’s house. Brad and Mike let me play just so there were enough people to have a game. Or so they can have some comedic relief.

Like many teenagers or men in my early twenties that I knew, I tried every sport imaginable, from table tennis and handball to mat golf, playing for hours and hours.

If I had spent so much time studying that I was trying to prove that there was hope for me to be a professional athlete, I might have been better than the perpetual C student of my years. college years.

My father put it this way: “When Tommy went to community college, he found out he had to buy his books. When he went to the University of Florida, he found out he had to read them.

When I wasn’t playing handball, of course.

Handball succumbed to racquetball at the age of 25. And I played r-ball for about 30 years, eventually giving it up after two foot surgeries, two knee surgeries and other injuries.

I forgot to mention the elbow problems – not drinking beer.

I recently flirted with the idea of ​​playing pickleball until I developed more pain in my feet. I don’t know if I want to have my operation just to make other people laugh.

But I opted for more passive exercises, like walking along the beach and in our beautiful parks. I go to the recreation center treadmill every now and then, but visiting the torture centers becomes monotonous after more than twice a week.

Sooooo, I guess I’ll keep shooting hoops, when no one is looking at me, and chasing after the b-ball when it tries to escape.

As I continued to lift airballs one recent morning, my audience grew larger. The car-eaters had multiplied. And the peaks joined the chorus.

While I was taking a break, I saw a policeman cross the parking lot near the b-ball field. Oh-oh, I hope I wasn’t swearing too hard.

He was probably just there to enjoy the entertainment. Any day now, I expect the word to pass among the emergency services personnel about the old man and the under-inflated basketball.

Har Har. It is not easy to grow old. Guess the least I can do is bring a hydraulic execration tool in my wallet and buy a better basketball.

I bet the common joke among local paramedics is that if you see Tom Germond playing basketball, be prepared to practice CPR on him.

And his basketball.

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