LG recently signed up for her third year of basketball with a local church league. The sponsors of the league are very conservative, evangelical denominations, although the players are from various churches, or none at all. The league stresses sportsmanship as well as basic skills.
We learned this week that not only are none of LG’s friends on her team, but her team practices on Friday nights (yuck) and worst of all, from LG’s perspective, her team is called “The Fever.” I happen to share at least a smidge of her disappointment about these three realities. We discussed this as we drove to see Nana last night.
“The FEVER? I hate that. I liked the Leopards . . . or even the Beagles . . . but the FEVER?” LG complained.
“Yea, I don’t care for it either. I mean, how can I make scrunchies for the girls’ ponytails? Last year, I could use leopard print fabric . . . but what could I do for The Fever? I guess I could find fabric with flames on it . . . no, that wouldn’t look like The Fever . . . that would look like . . . The HELL!”
Here, we both begin to giggle out of control.
“Yea, THE HELL!” (She says that, even though she’s not allowed to say that. Except that I just did, and it’s funny.)
“Yea, THE HELL! That’s what I’ll call your team. When you come on the court . . . ‘Here comes THE HELL!'”
“Yea, and we can make a cheer out of it. People who hear you say that will go, ‘What?’ And you can go, ‘The HELL!’ and ‘WHAT?’ and ‘THE HELL!’ so that soon everyone in the church gym is yelling, ‘WHAT THE HELL!'” My kid is cracking me up, here.
“Well, I agree, it’s an unfortunate name,” I said, when I stopped laughing enough to catch my breath.
“What’s unfortunate?” she asked, “The Fever or The Hell?”
“Uh . . . both, but I meant ‘The Fever.'”
After a couple of rounds of “What the hell!” and the determination that “The Fresh Hell” would be a cool name, we move on to other reasons why “The Fever” is not good.
“It’s just not a real mascot, it’s more of a . . . it’s a SYMPTOM!” says my girl, who is much too familiar with symptoms, of late.
“You’re right! I wonder what the other team names are . . . like maybe someone is . . . The Rash . . .” Serious giggling starts again, and LG picks up the ball from there:
“Let’s see, we could have . . . The Chronic Cough . . . The Diarrhea . . . ”
“The Festering Boil . . . ”
“The Eczema . . . ”
“The Heartbreak of Psoriasis . . . ”
“HUH? . . . How about The Athlete’s Foot? The Pink Eye? The Swollen Glands?”
I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a rainy rush hour road trip so much. In fact, by the time we were done calling out team names, I had laughed so hard (The Gout, The Goiter, The Ringing in the Ears) and for so long (The Inflammation, and my personal favorite, The Suspicious Lump), I’m pretty sure I could have been team captain of “The Mild Incontinence.”