Monday, July 13, 2009

Pop Pop

This morning the boys introduced me to the wonderful new game they created, pop pop. Played in the living room of course, so it can only be played when T is at the grocery or otherwise occupied, so as not to defend her curio cabinet. We needed a second base, what can I say. First base was the kitchen table, the blue chair was third. Home was the couch of course, which led to dramatic belly flop slides. As the game went along I discovered the rules of pop pop...

1. A member of Team A throws the ball and runs the bases, while Team B retrieves the ball and tries to tag the runner.

2. You must touch all bases. Bases may randomly change without prior notice, at the whim of the umpire.

3. If a member of the opposing team tries to tag you with the ball, you can steal it from them and carry it with you as you continue to run the bases.

4. The umpire may randomly yell "pause". Everyone should freeze unless the umpire tells you specifically you can still move. This will generally only happen if the team the umpire is rooting for is losing.

5. These rules can and will be modified regularly through out the game, when it is believed that you have actually figured out how to play the game.

6. If your name is Cole you automatically get 9 turns at plate before you can get out. The umpire will then bat for your team. (conspiracy, definitely.)

Sometimes life feels exactly like a game of pop pop. Just when you think you have it all figured out, you are running from first to second and realise the base is not even in the direction you are heading. There are times life leaves you scratching your head, searching for the directions.

Things don't always go the way we think they should. Change happens. Bad things happen to good people. Life is not fair, at least where everyone gets the same opportunities or resources. Cliches we hate to acknowledge, as our attempts to maintain control slip through our fingers like a sieve. More often than not, on the other side of unexpected changes, I am glad they didn't go the way I thought they should.

Nothing is random, unless of course you play with my boys. Personally, I think my boys have been reading the credit card offers that come in the junk mail again. These rules sound amazingly familiar.

36 comments:

Kate Hanley said...

Wow! Great post. There is so much in there. Have you thought about submitting it as an essay for a mag? Love the correlation between pop pop and life and credit cards.

♥ Braja said...

I just came to tell you that you I put you on the Diamond Post on my sidebar with the Guerilla post, but now I see this and think you need two days running :)
Brilliant. Again. Reminds me of a post I wrote recently which I might dig up....

Nancy said...

How true it is... just when you think you have figured out the rules - they change. Great metaphor.

Kathleen said...

All I seem to hear and play right now is "Pop Pop" . . . I certainly appreciate the enlightenment.

You're writing, voice, and point of view are extraordinary. So glad I found your blog.

Cheers!

otin said...

I remember that time when we would make up games and change the rules to suit our needs, now we call it government!

Daniel said...

Hmmm. It all makes sense now. How deliciously evil.

Van Wynsberg said...

Great post - love how creative your boys are. :0)

willow said...

Yes, just when you think you know all the rules and follow them, you find out the rules don't apply. Wise post, Brian.

Wings said...

Hah! So true, so true. Life is, at least, unpredictable.

My son invented a game of his own, too. He calls it "Rug Ball". :)

Eternally Distracted said...

I am off to work now to play a game of pop pop.

Eternally Distracted said...

I am off to work now to play a game of pop pop.

Pastor Sharon said...

That game sounds totally great! We would have played that game when my Mom was out shopping! And the metaphor of life, you are right about that!

Ronda Laveen said...

Someday I'll teach you my made up game of frisbee pool. The rules are similar.

Cinnamon said...

Great post! Interesting to see how children judge fairness. We learn conventions and rules as we grow- but I wonder how life would be sometimes if we dispensed with those conventions and made up our own rules too?

Candie Bracci said...

Ha!!Nice one Brian!Yes banks and co do play "pop pop" during the day!Have a nice day with your family :)

Lorraine said...

Oh Man, I love this, the parallel is incredible lol thanks for the chuckles, I really needed that lol

Goofball said...

I love this post

Brian Miller said...

@kate - ha. maybe i will have to check with a few mags. enjoyed the nap today at your blog. smiles.

@braja - thanks for the honor. you give me smiles.

@nancy - i just wish the change would slow down sometimes...

@kathleen - those seasons help us appreciate the down times, i think. thanks for the warm regards.

@otin - ha. thats what happens when we grow up to be in charge, eh?

@daniel - why do i envious pinky and the brain?

@melanie - they are a blast.

@willow - maybe if we just wrote them down in a manual. but i guess it would be outdated too quickly.

@wings - ok, need to know how to play rug ball...great poem today!

@eternally - ha. yes it seems.

@pastor sharon - yeah, its all fun and games until something gets broke...and mom comes home. smiles.

@ronda - can't wait. ha.

@cinnamon - fairness is not all having the same but having what we need in the moment? i think the innoscent heart of the young says a lot about their sense of fairness.

@candie - pop pop seems to show up in more places...have a great day!

@lorraine - too true. hope you have a wonderful day! big smiles!

@goof ball - ty.

subtorp77 said...

Brian, HA! We did this as well, when we were kids. Also, obscure reference; Calvin-ball! from the Calvin&Hobbs strips!

Poetikat said...

So many things to love about this: you can steal the ball from the runner - GREAT! The bases keep changing: GREAT! Belly slides: GREAT! "If your name is Cole"-hilarious!

I love how you tied the game into life, Brian. Fun and illuminating all at once!

Kat

cheshire wife said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Games were so much simpler when I was a child. I am totally confused.

Madame DeFarge said...

I think I may need to check these rules one more time. I wouldn't want to find myself on the wrong side of the umpire

Valerie said...

Rules, what rules? At Logan and Cole's age they get the freedom of self expression ... learning life's real rules will come gradually and later. If only we could all play make believe. Sigh.
Another great post, Brian.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

Sounds like a lot of funny although I would not want to challenge anyone on that game...especally not your kids!
I would be horrible at that game:-)

Thank you for the visit.
By the way, I really like what you wrote on your "About Me" profile.

Brian Miller said...

@sub - this so reminded me of Calvin ball!

@poetikat - smiles. they are nuts.

@chashire - glad i am not the only one. thanks for dropping by.

@madame - yeah, he's pretty ruthless. ha.

@val - you don't still play make believe? smiles.

@girl - ty. thanks for the return visit. as their dad i guess i am obligated to play, and lose frewuently.

Baino said...

You will be in SUCH trouble if she catches you throwing balls in the living room! And yep the bases change the rules change, even the team you bat for changes . . .I'm not adverse to change but it's time for a good one! Nice post Brian.Oh one thing that rarely changes . .the balance on my credit cards and the interest charged! GAH!

Brian Miller said...

@baino - caught me at my computer. good change is on the way. maybe even those cc bills. smiles. thanks for the note today. enjoyed the exercise on your post, gave it a link in my post tonight.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Haha...so much fun!
Those credit card offers...well, better read the super fine prints!

Verily I go. said...

It's so much fun to play here. Wonderful posting again Brian. I see so clear from your stories, love them. Thanks.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Wonderful post! I can just imagine that playing with your boys never contains a dull moment. Funny, my family plays Monopoly the same way - rules always changing, although I call it cheating (not a conspiracy).

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

I meant a lot of "fun", not "funny".
The latter sounded really retarded!
But I'm just you got the drift. :-)

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

"Sure" I meant, not "just".
(but I'm sure you got the drift).

You know I don't know what's wrong with me today.
Perhaps I haven't been blogging or typing a lot recently...that I noticed the words are just not right.
So I will refrain from "typing" more...

Megan said...

I'd love to play Pop Pop right about now.

Deb said...

You are an incredible thinker, writer, human being! I am never disappointed when I come over for a visit. Thank you for your words of wisdom. When life starts feeling crazy and all of the rules seem to have changed without warning I will just remind myself that this is pop pop and I had better get my game face on! Enjoy each day!

Valerie said...

Oh yes! These days it goes under the heading of creative writing... grins

The Retired One said...

Tooooo funny.
I am going to have to play the senior version of POP POP, which of course is the "TOO POOPED to pop".
Again, the rules change constantly and if one whines enough that something hurts too much, you get a sacrifice rule....