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Friday, December 4, 2009

International Hopscotch Society

In my ongoing quest for fun fitness options, I decided we should all play hopscotch.

Sometimes my brilliant ideas just hit me all at once, for no logical reason. This is one of those ideas. Probably.

Although maybe reading the word hopscotch (randomly) on the Internet today caused my synapses to fire up and think: "Hey, hopscotch is fun. It's aerobic. There is hopping involved, and Scotch, maybe."

So I said "Who's in?"online, and my cousin Amy, who was super busy at work, apparently, answered back "I am!" so the deal was sealed. She's heading up the Portland, Oregon chapter. And then someone from Florida said yes, then some guy from Idaho, and, well, you know...

Amy is a good sport

One thing lead to another, and within 45 minutes, I had managed to talk my husband into driving me downtown because I had a strong memory of hopscotch courts (are they called courts?) being down there by the City Hall swing sets, but when we got there, lo and behold, there were none.

In fact, there wasn't even much pavement, just grass and some sand. And swings. But I'm not starting a swinger's club. Trust me on this.

"I distinctly remember hopscotch, near an old brick building...I swear it!" I said.

"Maybe that was in a different city?" He offered helpfully, but I knew he was exasperated already. "And why are we doing this again? And how long will this take? I have some programming to finish. I'm almost done. I want to finish my project today..." blah blah blah.

"Shh," I said. "There's gotta be a school around here somewhere. We just need a few pictures...for my new blog. And Twitter. And Facebook. I'll be quick, promise."

"I'm not going to a school playground with a camera to take pictures while kids are at recess," he growled, "I don't think we're allowed."

"But we can just tell them this is for the International Hopscotch Society! It will be fine!"

And then he started driving home. Which made me sigh with exasperation, and think of phrases like "You never help me. Every thing's always about you. You're no fun. You never let me do what I want..." but of course none of these things are true. At all. And I know it, and he knows it.

Because I actually have a vintage mannequin with customized steel rods in her legs and a rolling stand that weighs 50 pounds, which he has personally loaded in and out of the car and driven to the airport so I could take her to Las Vegas to see a concert, standing in our living room right this second, and she happens to be dressed in the Star Trek shirt he got when he was a kid in the 1970's, the beloved shirt his mom saved for him all these years, and when she found it in a box after she moved, and brought it over, he handed it to me and said "Francine should wear this."

Because, you know, he thought it'd be funny. Because it is.

I think he heard my unspoken thoughts right there in the car, because he said "can't you just go to our kid's school after school? They have hopscotch there, and then, you know, you wouldn't embarrass him...he'd be home."

"No." I pouted. "I have a meeting this afternoon and the light will be all wrong by 4:00 for pictures. Just take me home, I'll try to come back, somewhere, and take pictures of myself doing hopscotch. Somehow."

So then he did roll his eyes and turned the car around, and we drove slowly by two of the closest school playgrounds to see if they had hopscotch, but they didn't. And luckily, all the kids were safely back in their rooms, so we did not attract any playground stalker attention. Because that would be bad PR for the newly formed International Hopscotch Society.

"Wait!" I said with a burst of inspiration. "We have chalk at home. I'll just draw my own hopscotch on the sidewalk! Sheesh, why didn't I think of that before?"

And so we did drive home, and I found some lavender chalk, which doesn't show up on light gray very well, but beggars can't be choosers.

So, now there is a blog and all kinds of social media promoting this new International Hopscotch Society, which means it's real, and all of you should join.

And if you don't have a court, draw one. And if you don't have chalk, or it's too cold outside, get some masking tape and make one inside. Invite your friends and neighbors, and hop around together. And then send me the pictures and videos at julie anderson at hotmail dot com or post them on the Facebook page, and we will appreciate each other and celebrate hopping and scotching.

It is sort of sexy, really, if you think about it, all that hopping around and drinking scotch...but please don't send naked Hopscotch photos or videos. I don't think they're allowed. I'll check the rules.


Anonymous said...

I really like this story, and your good idea about international hopscotch. But as I read it, I kept thinking, hey, I bet that Francine would look really good (hot!) in the Washington State Patrol shirt hanging in a closet I know of. If you want to borrow it some time, just let me know. I think I have an in. BTW, I am easy to find, my name is Anon. K. :>)

mizinformation said...

Wait, there's scotch drinking in hopscotch? I'm definitely in.

juliejulie said...

Is it against the law for a Mannequin to impersonate a Washington State Patrol Officer? She would not want to break the law. Also, do you have a squad car? That'd be hot.

Amy said...

i can't believe i said i'd be in before i even thought of the actual scotch connection, but then i don't actually like scotch, so can portland be a hop-rum chapter or hop-vodka? cuz i like those better. who makes the rules on the int'l hopscotch society anyway? i think i should have a vote or two, because i really should be considered a founding member and all...

juliejulie said...

Amy - HopVodka has my vote. As a founding member, you get to help come up with the guidelines. I think I need to take a trip up to Portland for research and a board meeting, asap.

Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!

juliejulie said...

Dear Anonymous who is not my sister: I have been paid to write for newspapers in the past, so I think, technically, I could be considered a journalist, and I wouldn't mind writing a nice Chubby Mommy Running Club column in the New York Times, The Washington Post or the SF Chronicle, or any other paper, for that matter, but I get the feeling newspapers aren't hiring at the moment...alas. I'll probably have to stick to blogging.

pfmartin said...

I am vaguely sure that I was the hopscotch ultimate champion of McKay Creek Elementary School in Pendleton,Oregon during the years of 1974 to 1976, when I left my title to attend John Murray Junior High. I had a very special marker to throw that would hit the mark each and every time. I was invincible. I was hot. I would like to become a member of the International Hopschotch Society. I don't drink scotch but I almost bought some gin today, until I added up the money I had already spent today and drove home instead. Would there be cash prizes involved?

juliejulie said...

Dear Pfmartin: I think we could convince some people to give booze as prizes, for those interested, which could be a great membership incentive, and maybe figure out a way to get cash prizes. Because then the people who don't drink would win, and drive everyone else home.

You're now in charge of Terrebonne and possibly Pendleton, since you have such good connections there, obviously. And also you have to help me with the entire Central Oregon league.

Lydia said...

HopMartini! I'm totally in. Like, if you step on the whatever square you have to drink. Or something.


Greg said...

If it's about hops, and scotch, it sounds like good fun.

I just wish I knew the rules. Draw a court with numbers in it, hop on all the squares EXCEPT the one with your hunk of whatever (a rock?) in it?

What's this about hitting a mark? You have to hit a target first? Does the target need to be moving? And will they be also drinking something made with hops or scotch?

If you can clarify the rules, I can provide a picture.