Ghost Runner on Third


High atop the lofty monkey bars sits a 6th grader decked out in a pair of Chopard sunglasses and a felt pork pie. He speaks tersely into the telephone, chewing on candy cigarettes, as a fifth grader timidly approaches him.

"Its all I can do to keep this team in contention. We have a huge series against Creekside Elementary coming up and all I have is kindergarteners to roll the ball, they can barely get it to the plate."

"Quit being a spaz…Its kickball goddamnit, they've been playing it since preschool. Has something changed in the way the game is played? Theres a reason these kindergarteners are playing in the bigs, they have talent, baby, and we have the best kickball rolling coach in the district…he'll get the most out of these stinkers. Its sink or float and if they sink they know they'll go back to raisins at fruit break. No more Ding-Dong's and Ho-Ho's, if that isn't motivation, I am not sure what is."

"You want me to have lil' Richie roll against the like's of the Gooch and Mad Max this weekend? He doesn't stand a chance, he still wets his bed for chrissake."

Unfortunately, lil' Richie was listening from the tire swing and ran away crying, "Your MOM!"

"Look what you did, now he has no confidence, LOL."

"Knock, Knock"

"Who's there?"

"My dick."


"I know you are but what am I? Look you're gonna have to mish-mash together a patchwork of kindergarteners and you're gonna hafta make it work. If you don't like it, up your nose with a rubber hose."

"I'll do what I can but I wouldn't expect anything. I'll pitch that kid that looks like a 3rd grader, the thumbsucker. All that spit on his fingers gives him some gnarly spin."

"Biff? He's isn't ready and besides I'm working a deal to get Zack Attack from Pullman and Biff might be involved."

"We don't have enough to get Zack Attack do we? Besides, we can't give up a bunch of kindergartners for a guy who is going to 7th grade next year…you have to think about the future of Pulaski kickball and dipping into Kindergarten isn't going to help any."

"Look, you're the one saying all our kindergarteners and 1st graders are poopoo. Kevie's latest district K-2 talent report card have us even below St. Thomas. I'm trying to make a dollar out of a fifty cent allowance and all the kids in school are spending their money on video games and candy instead of Pulaski Kickball. I can't make a dollar out of a fifty-cent allowance. If we hafta mortgage the future for a championship I'm willing to do it. Besides, we might be able to convince Zack Attack to fail Social Studies so he can repeat the 6th grade. Our fifth graders aren't getting any younger, we need to strike while the bottle rocket is hot."

"You're kicking the can down the road, you'll be in middle school soon and some other kid is going to have to clean up your mess. Need I remind you of all the kindergarteners you traded who would be in 4th grade right now, in the prime of their careers and the people you got in return are getting to 2nd base at freshman dances already! Zack Attack doesn't eat funsize Snickers, he eats king size."

"Gimme your lunch money and I won't punch you in the face."

"I'm telling!"

"C'mon, Robbie…I've got Ricky, that kid who skipped the 2nd grade because he would write 'America' in sursiv, the kid who takes the short bus to junior high for Pre-Algebra after school, working on the math of it all. He looks up to me, he'll figure it all out. You need to go take a nap or something, I don't know why you're worrying so much because anything you can do I can do better."


"So lil' Richie it is then…for now?"

"Friday is lil' Richie, Saturday is Donnie and Sunday is Benny, atleast until further notice."

"Donnie has the mumps and Benny has chickenpox…we are so screwed, this is going to tax our bullpen, Matty can only do so much and he's been complaining of growing pains, I mean, he has armpit hair and he looks at Playboys…I don't think he can focus."

"I'll go check out the kids playing tetherball and jumping rope, I'm sure Charlie can bleed some talent out of them."

"Lets see… I'd rather have a 5th grade tetherball player over the kindergarteners on our roster...NOT!"

"Your momma is so fat…?"

"Shut up."

"I don't shut up, I grow up and when I look at you I throw up."

"and your momma licks it up."

"Look, we all need to be pulling from the same tug 'o' war rope…all these childish insults aren't going to get us anywhere. We score the most runs in the district, lets keep crossing our fingers behind our back and hope our 5th and 6th graders can kick the ball far enough so our kindergarteners can feel comfortable enough to roll the ball until I can find a way to get some wholesale candy so we can pay someone who can help us win. Why are you looking at me like that, it looks like you got hit with a sack of buttholes and some of them stuck?"

"I'm rubber, you're glue, everything you say sticks back to you."

"Guess what?"


"Chicken butt…kickball ain't tiddlywinks, let the big boys handle this"

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