Team Building Exercise

After I bounced the kids out of the basement yesterday, they continued their rowdy game of Blind Man’s Bluff in the backyard.

Basically, the game was about who could yell loudest while cheating all without getting caught by a blind person.  And when it wasn’t about that, it was about who could wear their bandana blindfold on their head in the most intimidating Bloods and Crips way.

You know what all that reminded me of?  A team building exercise I was subjected to back when I had a job.  And no, I don’t have another one yet, but thanks for asking!  stink eye, stink eye

We had meetings all morning long.  Then in the afternoon, we were told to change into sneakers and hightail it to a rendezvous place in the woods located somewhere on the “campus” of Company HQ.  [For those who don’t know, “Rendezvous place in the woods” is French for, “Does anyone else hear ‘Dueling Banjos’ playing in their head?!”]

All scary movies aside, thanks for the awesome tip about the sneakers.  How do you think my black pantsuit looks out here amongst the July humidity?  And aaaaaccck!  Was that a spider or a trickle of sweat?!??  Phew!  Just sweat.

Upon arrival in the woods, we were met by a representative of our own company whose JOB it was to conduct team building exercises!  This is an actual JOB?  And you roll up under the Fitness Center hierarchy??  What exactly is this “exercise” going to involve?!  If we have to do a ropes course or fall back into eachother’s arms, I’m out.  Also?  If we have to change into swimsuits for some wicky-wacky canoe races in the company pool, I’ve already done that – and I’m not EVEN joking about that – so I’m out as out can be.  A person should only be required to do that “swimsuit in front of co-workers” thing once in their life…if at all.

But no swimsuits required for this mission.  Instead, we split into two teams and after some verbal warm-ups (ex: “Two Truths and a Lie” where you tell the group two truths about yourself and one lie and they have to guess which is which – ugh) we move into more physical Three Stooges territory with activities like “Which team can pass the rubber chicken through everyone’s hands the fastest.”  And I’m not even joking about that one.  Hint: Have someone hold the rubber chicken at the top of a “tunnel” of hands formed by the rest of the team, then let it go.  As gravity does its work, it passes through everyone’s hands and is caught at the bottom by some poor, crouching co-worker.  Fast, right?  Winner, winner (rubber) chicken dinner!

Finally the adventure culminates with all of us having to move further into the woods and out of sight-distance from each other while one team member is left behind to be blindfolded, given a cigarette and shot by a firing squad.  Kidding.  Totally kidding.  Well, at least about the cigarette and firing squad.  But there is a blindfolded co-worker.  And then we have to regroup at the site of the blindfolded co-worker without using any verbal clues.  Clapping!  CLAPPING!!  Clap, clap, clapclapclap!  But the OTHER team is drawn to OUR team’s clapping.  Oh, ho, ho.  Isn’t that a gas?!??  Soooo fun and team build-ish. 

Eventually we’re all reunited with our assigned blindfolded person who then has to put us in order-of-birth-month I’m not even joking about that.  But since they can’t SEE, and we can’t TALK, we have to press Helen Keller symbols into their hand.  W-A-T-E-R.

Once we’re all lined up like a bunch of sweaty January-through-December schmucks, it’s all over and we’re allowed to go eating and drinking together.  Now THAT?  That eating and drinking thing??  THAT’S my idea of team building.  And I’m not even joking about that.

Take me out to the softball game!

Oh, goodygoodygoody!  It’s softball season time again!!


I can’t get enough of dramatic enactments performed by 6th grade girls, so that’s where my daughter’s softball team comes in; It’s the perfect forum in which to get my fill.  Yay, softball!!  Also?  There’s mucho, mucho accidental hi-jinx, so there’s that as well.  Good times all the way around.

But first?  A word to the wise: eye black runs.  So if you think you’re intimidating your opponent by wearing eyeblack, then don’t start crying halfway through the game, because then you just look like a sweaty clown wearing really bad mascara.

And I KNOW that they’re only 11-and-12-year-olds trying to find themselves, but most of these lil’ cuties (did you know that they have a pony-tail “channel” built inside the hot pink batting helmets?  Love it!) could win BIG awards if they ever went into acting.

Consider this one-girl-play performed at the last softball tournament I witnessed.  A girl on the opposing team was bustin’ to first base, when the ball that she JUST BATTED hit her in the leg.  Or it could have been an accidental underthrow from the catcher.  Who’s to say, really?  Because that’s the nature of The Three Stooges, Softball Version.  The girl goes DOWN like she just stepped on a landmine.  Then she starts marine crawling to first base, all the while dragging her lifeless legs behind her.  I’m comin’, Sarge.  I’m gonna make it! 

Uh.  Ok.  But you’re still out.  Because while you were doing Full Metal Jacket Saves Private Ryan, the first baseman who happens to be my daughter, picked up the ball and tagged you, then tagged the base, then walked back and tagged you again for good measure.  So thanks for playing.

And let’s not forget the part of the softball shenanigans where one of the other mothers on the softball team confided to me years ago – when that Showtime series, Weeds, was still airing – that she thought I looked just like the lead actress.  (The lead actress is Mary-Louise Parker.  And yes, I look JUST like her…if you live in BIZARRO WORLD!!) 

Anyway, in the show, Ms. Parker is a pot dealer.  [This is more of a viable career opportunity than one might think, especially here in Colorado.  But I’m not one.  And that’s really where my resemblance to Mary-Louise ends – she’s got a high-paying job any way you slice it, I don’t.  THANKS FOR BRINGING IT UP!  Stink eye, stink eye.] 

But naturally, every time I see this other mother, I have to offer to sell her pot.  Then we laugh uproariously while the other mothers look at us aghast.  But also like they might want to buy some.  Right now.  Before the next game starts.  Now!  IT’S STARTING!!!  SELL. ME. THE POT…NOW!!!!! 

Awwww, softball!  What’s not to love?!?