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.