The Lady of the House and I were in the feed store picking up some wheat straw for this year’s garden.
We couldn’t miss the lively, energetic conversation between a customer and one of the feed store dudes about the recent college basketball playoffs.
They were smiling and talking about Kansas and some other team. (Was it Memphis?) I don’t know, it was all a foreign language to me.
Those two were about as excited as me and my buddy Kent, Bard of the Pecos, get when we talk about music by Willie Nelson, Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys or Alvin Crow and The Pleasant Valley Boys.
I don’t know why I never cottoned to basketball. It could be something as simple as I never learned how to dribble.
My mom, who usually had infinite patience, tried and tried to teach me but I couldn’t get the hang of it. She finally gave up, but not before giving me a mysterious clue as to the source of the problem: “You’re thinking about it too much.”
When I tried to dribble and play basketball I was always running into trouble with “traveling,” taking too many steps without dribbling the ball. Now how am I supposed to concentrate on dribbling a basketball and worrying about traveling? Not only that, but while you’re dribbling and worrying about traveling some other guy is trying to take the basketball from you. Now what’s that about?
In phys ed class my missing basketball gene really showed itself. I’d be out on the court with guys who picked up dribbling from somewhere. (I guess I didn’t get the newsletter.) Anyway, I was so lousy at the game the coach thought I was goofing off so he made me run laps around the gym. Maybe I should’ve gone out for track.
In college I was frequently asked if I played high school basketball.
“No,” I said. “Why?”
“Because you’re so tall,” these words would be uttered by some wide-eyed young lady at some Saturday night university function.
“No, I was in Boy Scouts, I’m an Eagle Scout, I hiked and camped a lot.”
For some reason this did not win points with girls.
Maybe I should’ve lied and said I played basketball.
But what if she suddenly whipped out a basketball and asked me to dribble?
Then there was the time I visited a pal who was teaching a class full of developmentally disabled kids in Roswell. My buddy had the kids out for recess and they were on the basketball court. These kids may have had trouble with math, language and social skills but they ripped up the basketball court. They were dribbling, they were passing and it seemed like every shot they made went through the hoop.
I stood there with my mouth open.
“What?” asked my pal.
“I can’t even dribble a basketball,” I said.
“Dude,” he said. “You’re thinking about it too much.”
Hey, I can appreciate a good, fun basketball game. I can dig donkey basketball or the Harlem Globetrotters or something like the fun time that is promised at Saturday night’s game between Hank Baskett III’s football pals from the Philadelphia Eagles and the Clovis High alumni.
See, I’m not knocking basketball, I just never got the hang of dribbling the ball.
The Lady of the House has promised she’ll teach me.
She says it’s easy, I’m just thinking about it too much.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: email@example.com