The most fun you can have (when you don’t have a clue)

Saturday night found me at Ricoh Coliseum, a venue I was hitherto unaware of, watching the realization of a legend of yore.  The Harlem Globetrotters were in town and while a ubiquitous presence in my cherished land of Saturday morning cartoons as a child a phenomenon I had never seen live.

It was a load of fun despite the fact (or perhaps because of it) that I had not the vaguest idea what was going on at any point in time.  I went with Kim who has seen them once in the golden era of “Curly”, “Meadowlark” and “Sweetwater” (names I recall easily even now).  We sat court side and watched it all unfold.  To my surprise they were not overwhelmingly tall – the tallest tapped out at about 6’4″ which I understand to be relatively short by NBA standards – but they had their schtick down.  The “MC” was a guy who looked rather like Cee Lo Green

and the game itself was punctuated by silly games, trick shots and audience challenges all rather loosely tied to the corporate sponsors.  (eg:  Several kids were invited on to the court for a race.  They had to run the length of the court, stopping to put on a jersey and a nightcap and tuck themselves into an inflatable bed, courtesy of Howard Johnson’s.).  The action was being narrated by a guy who sounded like he should be shilling Ginsu knives on late night television but he was SO distorted that while his enthusiasm was evident he was utterly unintelligible.

Kim and I represented perhaps the only two adults unescorted by children and we decided that keeping in the spirit of things we should act like kids ourselves.  We ate chicken fingers and fries and pulled pork poutine and topped it off later with cake because we are adults and we can.  We also felt slightly ill, but it passed.

The whole show was a bit of an anachronism – there were jokes that pushed the boundaries of political correctness that is the standard now.  There were fat jokes, short jokes, jokes about women, slightly racist  jokes.  It was like we were in 1972 all over again. One of the players was remarkable small – possibly shorter than me – and he bore the brunt of the ribbing.  (See below – the coach is in the foreground and was obviously a player himself in the past.  “Too Tall” is on the right, standing by a gentleman called “Hawk” who dances like a dream and was the object of some ogling on my part)

They also had a terrifying mascot named “Globie” who appeared in both traditional and inflatable versions, replete with an electric blue afro and the ability to haunt my nightmares for weeks to come.

The game itself was a mystery to me but there is no shock there as I have never seen a proper basketball game in my life, either in person on on TV.  My sports exposure (and interest) is severely limited.  I have been to one professional baseball game and I think I left early and I have never watched a televised one.  I have never attended or watched a football game either.  I have watched hockey because my brother is a good Canadian boy and was devoted and my parents took us to see the Marlies a few times but I doubt I have seen a game in decades and I STILL have not the foggiest idea of what certain terms means (Icing, off side etc).  This boggles Kim’s mind.  She was a cheerleader in high school and attended all the games of everything, plus was a gymnast and knew how to do all the awesome looking stuff that I lump under the general category of “Boingy things”.

I wish now I had learned to do “boingy things” but it was not the path of a cynical, large breasted shy girl.  Many things were not, but I am making up for it now.  Next up?  Perhaps the archery lessons?  Or the stunt driving class?  Or the jet fighter pilot simulation?  Being an adult is good.  I am going to eat popcorn for dinner and consider it in depth.

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