Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bad Volleyball – Extremely Bad Volleyball

I was lounging peacefully on the Florida beach during my recent vacation, when I was startled by a young woman sprinting after an errant volleyball.  The resort had a volleyball net set up on the beach, but this rolling ball was quite a distance away from it.

The volleyball court was a popular attraction and the previous day I had witnessed a very spirited, competitive, game. I took particular interest in several of the bikini-clad players who were able to successfully strike the ball despite the obvious obstructions in front of them.  I greatly admired their athletic prowess and effort as their hot, sweaty, bodies glistened in the afternoon sun.  I imagined being out there with them, running, grunting, and uniting in perfect harmony with them to achieve volleyball greatness.

However there had been no games today due to the extreme heat, but now apparently there was some action.  I watched as the woman, about 20 years old, secured the ball and walked back to the court.  On the other side on the net was a man in his 40’s, which I assumed was her father.  She hit the ball over the net; it hit the ground before dad could get to it.  He picked up the ball and then struck it as hard as he possibly could.  This time it careened far to the right, toward the ocean.   The young woman dutifully ran after ball again.

When she returned, her brother, a very skinny teenager, had joined the contest, teaming up with her against dad. And then this odd match fell into a very predictable pattern:

Dad wallops the ball far over the boy’s head. Boy runs after ball.  Boy trots back to court and tries to hit the ball over the net.  Skinny, wimpy, nerdy, boy is not strong enough to get ball over net.  Ball goes under net. Dad picks up ball and “Pow!” There goes the ball flying down the beach again.  This sequence was unbelievably repeated over and over.

This was bad, awful, disgusting, volleyball.  It was the worst volleyball I have ever witnessed.  It may have been the worst volleyball match in the history of the sport.  It was an outrage. It was a disgrace to the sport.  At one point I
The scene of the "crime" and it was criminal.
wanted to walk out onto the court, raise my hands in the air and scream: “For the dignity of the game of volleyball and for the sake of good volleyball players everywhere (especially if they wear bikinis), please stop!  I implore you: please, please, stop. Please stop it. You are awful at this, you will not get any better. Please stop now. Go play Canasta, Parcheesi even, but not volleyball. You’re bad, oh so #^¢πing bad!"

But I didn’t. Instead I began laughing. Not the “I’m laughing with you, not at you”. Not the “I am so amused”. Not even the “that’s cute”. No, this was a mocking laugh. I mock you, I mock you so very, very, much. Your volleyball is so utterly bad that an overweight, middle-aged, guy lying on the beach is mocking you. Yes, you are that bad.

And I could mock them. Because they were so bad that if you cloned me twice (I know this is a scary thought.  The world can’t handle even one of me, so three would be disastrous. I think that is why my parents stopped having sex after I was born.) and I could play them 3-on-3, I would win 21 to 0, even in my present physical condition.

Yes, I would still beat the tar out of team Goofups every game. I wouldn’t even have to dive like those pro beach volleyball players.  But if I did dive, they might have a chance because I would get sand in my crack and at my age, my crack is huge. Which means it might take a team of trained wipers days to remove the sand and I would have to forfeit the match.  But that is the only way these ne’er-do-wells could defeat me.

Sand in the crack can be a big problem for beach volleyball players. One of the bikini girls experienced this the day before and had to shake vigorously to remedy the situation.  I was very disappointed that her team members did not
I'm always ready to respond to
 situations such as this.
try to help her out.  Rest assured if I was her teammate, I would gladly lend a hand to remedy the situation, because that’s just the type of guy and dedicated teammate that I am.  

Now you might believe that I am an insensitive cad for making fun and laughing at a father and his children sharing a special vacation moment which they will cherish all their lives.  But, but, Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!  Oh excuse me; I was just thinking about that stupid guy wailing aimlessly at that volleyball again.

But even in the midst of this horrible volleyball, something magical, even miraculous happened.  They had a volley where the ball actually cleared the net three times. Three times! And with that, the trio declared victory and mercifully ended the match. I was actually happy for them and glad I could now resume my beach-induced coma, at least until the bikini-oriented matches resumed later that day.       

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