It's the last Friday of the month so you know what that means . . . Fractured Fryday Hairy Tails! This month we are telling stories that have the words "Just when I thought things couldn't get worse . . ." appearing somewhere in the story. Write your story (or poem or whatever) and join us for the fun!
Now this is a VERY true story and it happened exactly like I am going to tell you. Everybody knows that I am an expert ball player. BUTT what you may not know is that I like balls of all kinds. So when our pawrents take me and Stanley to watch the grand peeps play soccer, it is one of my favorite things. The moment the game starts I am right there along the side of the field focusing intensely on the action. I love watching the ball getting kicked and flying through the air. My dream is that ONE DAY the coach will notice me and tell me to go in!
Just 2 weeks ago we went to watch our grand peep girl play soccer. We went to the boy's games before but the girl just started playing. When we got there, I couldn't wait for the game to start. I love the excitement of a REAL game! As usual, I was sitting on the side, ready to spring into action! The game was delayed in starting and I asked mom what the holdup was. She said the team was short a player and they were trying to decide if they should forfeit. "Short a player!" I exclaimed. "This is my chance." So I ran over to the coach and with a look of desperation I asked, "You wanna put me in coach?"
He thought about it for a second and then said, "Sure, why not?" WOW! I could NOT believe I was actually going to play a REAL soccer game! So I joined the team in the huddle. The coach was giving us our instructions. I couldn't help but notice that one of my teammates was just jabbering away to another, not really paying attention. I think they were talking about nail polish! I couldn't believe such insubordination! "Pay attention to the coach", I whispered loudly. So when the coach was ready to break the huddle everyone put their hand in and I put my paw in. As the coach counted down " "3-2-1 . . ." I realized I didn't know our team name! Shoot, what was I gonna say? I thought maybe it was something really pawfessional sounding like Sharks. Or maybe really intimidating like Tigers. To my total dismay the team shouted "Grasshoppers".
What?? Grasshoppers? How threatening is a grasshopper? Can a grasshopper even growl? Then I heard the other team getting ready to break their huddle, "3-2-1 Red Barrettes!" Red Barrettes? That is a hair accessory NOT a team name! Suddenly I felt pretty good about being a Grasshopper!
Within moments my dreams were coming true! I was on the field and the ball was in sight. I kept trying to get over to give it a paw BUTT my own Grasshoppers kept blocking me! What the heck?
Did they even know the rules? I tried once again to get in a bicycle kick. (I'd been practicing in in my back yard.) I finally got over to the ball and was ready to kick when one of my Grasshoppers squealed, "My mom is gonna let me wear makeup to school!" At that point the Grasshopper I was trying to pass to was distracted by this startling news and the ball went right past her to a Red Barrett! I charged at the Red Barrett and tried for a Block Tackle. Success! I was on the way to make a goal. I shouted to my Grasshoppers and made a breakaway for the Goalie. The Goalie was tying her shoelace and I pawed the ball hard as I could and I scored! Yes I did! I couldn't help it, I danced! I heard the crowd applauding and shouting. I heard my mom loud and proud, "Way to go Murphy!" Stanley was barking up a storm with his special "Woo-woo-woo-woo" bark. In that moment it was great being a Grasshopper!
So the game went back and forth between me and this other player on the Red Barrettes. Mostly, I was finding that the team members on both sides were easily distracted by things like dress up, hair ribbons, nail polish, and glitter.
Finally, we were in the final quarter and there were only 45 seconds left on the clock. Believe it or not, in these final moments we were tied! Yes we were, 86 to 86. (I was surprised that it was such a high scoring game but these goalies were very easily distracted.) I was maneuvering so one of the Grasshoppers could pass the ball to me and I could make the final goal that would push us into victory. I was dead-eye focused on the ball and just hoping against all odds that the Grasshoppers understood how crucial it was to remain focused and make this last pass. I quickly eyed the Red Barrett goalie. She was staring at me. I curled my top lip a bit just so she knew I was serious.
I scanned my Grasshoppers. They were all over the place. I'm not sure they even knew the game was still going! I was shouting for the Grasshopper in possession to pass me the ball so I could make that final victory goal. She was ready to kick it to me. Then, just when I thought things couldn't get worse, one of the Grasshoppers screeched, "My mom is letting me have a princess party!" At that very moment, the Grasshopper had just kicked the ball. It was mid-air, and every girl on the field from BOTH teams was running towards the Grasshopper Princess Party girl.
I bounced the ball off my head and scored the final victory goal! The crowd went crazy! There was screaming, shouting, and the coach came running out. We were giving each other high-fives as the Grasshoppers and Red Barrettes huddled together to talk about the princess party. And that is the story of how I finally played a REAL soccer game.
Murphy & Stanley
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