I looked around frantically with tears in my eyes. There was no one around to help me. I was going to have to do this alone. I looked in front of me. I begged them not to do it. It was to no avail. They pulled back their arm and let the ball fly. I hate dodgeball.
My college fitness class had been the bane of my existence all semester. From the beginning, my professor had been promising my class a day where we could take out our anger on one another in a “friendly” game of dodgeball. I knew this game of dodgeball was going to be painful from the beginning.
Because I’d been expecting this death game, I’d been preparing for it. Not in the usual “if-you-can-dodge-a-wrench-you-can-dodge-a-ball” sort of way, but in the way a small girl maps out which beefcakes in her fitness class would make perfect human shields. I had taken note of everyone’s height, width, ball-throwing capability, level of excitement for dodgeball, and, most importantly, amount of repressed rage.
There was one kid in particular who I knew had to be on my team, or it could result in my literal death. Wrestler-type. Mentally unhinged. Arms the size of cannons. I decided it didn’t matter who was on my team, as long as he was among my teammates. Every time he found out that the day’s activity was not going to be dodgeball, he complained about how he NEEDED to play dodgeball. He was such an angry individual, I knew he was capable of inducing a coma in a small girl. He was dodgeball teammate prospect #1.
If I was going to make it out of this class alive, I needed a plan. I figured a simple plan would be best and easiest to execute. Besides, I couldn’t count on anyone else to be on board with my plan, mostly because it was selfish. Basically, I just wanted a wall of men to stand between me and my impending doom. My plan had a few flaws:
- If you hide behind everyone, you will be the last player in the game. I forgot to factor this into my ultimate Surviving Dodgeball plan. Whoops. Basically, my plan worked, and the human shield method of dodgeball was effective, but once the human shields were taken out, I had to play dodgeball the firing squad way and with an audience. Not only did I have to win for my team, but I had to avoid being humiliated while doing it. And that’s impossible. Anyway, I waited for a slow ball to float my way before I “tried to catch it” and was out of the game. Sorry, team.
- If you make your way to the front, only for second, Cannon Arms may accidentally launch a ball to the back of your head. And you may die. And everyone would be grateful to you for being the reason for ending the fitness class early, you would become the most popular girl in the college. But you wouldn’t be around to see it. Instead, you’d be six feet under on some grassy knoll. Or maybe it’d just hurt a lot and your professor would tell you to run it off.
- If you don’t look like you’re doing anything, your professor may fail you. And if he gives you preferential treatment and tells you to get back on the court to help out a teammate, and you refuse, he may give you a perplexed look. How DARE you defy his wishes?! How DARE you be so unwilling to help out your team?! Just WHERE do your loyalties lie?! Well, dear professor, they aren’t about to lie six feet under with me in the cold ground. I refuse to die for a person I’m never going to see again after this semester is over.
So I kind of threw a wrench in my own plans. And because I can’t dodge balls, it goes without saying that I can’t dodge wrenches, either. If I am ever forced into playing a game of dodgeball again, I’m not sure I’ll make it out alive. I’ve had too many close calls, my number may be up. I hope my epitaph is funny, at least.