Here’s a new free chapter of When Life Hands You Lemons… Throw Them At People!
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS… THROW THEM AT PEOPLE!
A Book About Growing Up, Screwing Up, and Moving Up with Just an Ounce of Maturity
Written By zack peter
When Life Hands You Lemons, Put in Minimal Effort
GROWING UP I was a star athlete… in my dreams. In actuality, I was always nominated for the LVP… Least Valuable Player. I never enjoyed playing sports as a child. Mainly because it was never my choice, so much as it was my mother forcing me to play. From baseball, to basketball, to soccer, to volleyball, to tennis, to football, she made me play it all. Unlike my brother EJ, I hated playing. He enjoyed them. Sports were more of his thing. Staring at the clouds, daydreaming in class, and over-eating were my interests.
I started playing sports at the age of five. It started with baseball. I hated baseball. I didn’t mind games because at the end of each game we got food and we didn’t have to do much unless it was our turn to bat. I really hated practice. I never enjoyed the running part and lacked the skill part. I was uncoordinated and never hit a ball off a tee. I always just hit the tee because it took more effort not to.
I was also always placed in the outfield for some reason, which didn’t help. I would never catch the ball. I either watched it roll right by me or I ran from it. I saw my glove more as a shield versus a catching tool.
Then came basketball. This is where I missed baseball. At least in baseball I didn’t have to move so much. Basketball was non-stop running. My fat ass barely made it half court before I needed an oxygen machine. I wasn’t the only fat kid on the team though. There was a chunky Mexican girl there with nappy hair. She was probably part black. Not because of the nappy hair, but because of her rhythm and moves. Even though she had lots of booty, she could move, and blacks are excellent athletes. She was always throwing her little tricks at me when it came time to pass the ball.
“Hey Tamicka, why can’t you give me a break once in a while?”
“Because, boo, I gotta show my daddy that I’m just as good as his other five kids. They are all boys and they are all fit.”
“Well show me a little sympathy and let me get the ball from you once in a while. I have family too, you know.”
“Fine. Don’t trip. I’ll give you one shot. If you miss it, that’s your fault.”
“I won’t miss it. Trust me.”
Tamicka’s fat ass threw the ball right to me, but she purposely threw it hard… at my face.
“What the hell?”
“Sorry, I thought this would be funnier. And the other kids gave me five bucks.”
“Alright, bring it.” I ended up hiding her lunch one day, which really pissed her off. She cried. It was priceless. Ah, what fat girls will do for their KFC.
After basketball came soccer. Another running sport. I obviously didn’t do well in this goddamn sport either. At least I was “learning my colors,” as my great-grandmother would put it, since I played with all white kids in baseball, all black kids in basketball, and now all Hispanic kids in soccer. And I’m not trying to be racist. I’m being honest. I don’t know how my mother always managed to place me on a team that was dominated by one race, but it never failed. Until football came.
Football was by far the worst. The amount of exercising was too much for my chunky-self. All the running and tackling. When we’d run drills I almost never tackled back. I didn’t know I was allowed to. I just ran toward the other kid and stopped halfway, awaiting yet another painful hit. It was hell for me. I played for two years. But I think I didn’t really enjoy these sports because I never understood how to play them. Part of it was that I never paid attention and the other part was that the coaches only stuck with the players that were the real MVPs.
It always sucked at the end of the season when it came time for the award ceremony because my family was the only group of individuals that clapped when I received the award for being on the team. As if being on the team was a real accomplishment. Everybody was on the fucking team! Never did I win the effort award, or most improved, and God forbid the MVP. One time, one of my awards had LVP written in Sharpie on the bottom left-hand corner. It was awful.
One of the last sports I participated in was track. I was actually on a track team, despite the fact that I hated running, if I haven’t made that clear yet. I was actually pretty damn good at it too. Not the quickest, but definitely the most dedicated player. My english teacher/assistant coach even made an announcement to my english class once.
“The track team is looking pretty good this year. Even Zachary is doing well. And to be honest, I’ve seen him at PE, and I didn’t think he could even run more than a few feet, but he’s not half-bad.”
I didn’t know whether to take it as a compliment or throw my erasable pen at him.
I never finished track because I became a tutor for first graders and it cut into my practice time. Can you believe they allowed me to teach first graders how to read? I was a seventh-grader with my highest grade being a B-, and that was an accomplishment… in art class.
The only sport that I finished willingly was volleyball. I actually enjoyed it and earned myself yet another LVP, but this time it was solely based on the fact that I was truly a lousy player and not because I put in less than minimal effort.
I tried out for the volleyball team twice in high school and never made it. That fact alone should say enough about my athletic capabilities.
Copyright © 2012 by Peter Zachary Gonzalez
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.
The stories in this book are told to the best of the author’s memory. For protection purposes, names, dates, events, and descriptive characteristics and details may have been changed, altered, reordered, and/or compressed. Any resulting resemblance to any persons living or dead is simply coincidental and unintentional. Reader discretion is advised.