Picture it. A nerdy, effervescent, 9 year old Australian boy, bubbling, "well, you see, me mum, she started me Stacking as a wee one, sittin' in me high chair, I was. But she always used yella cups, and so now I can only stack with yella cups, ya see, it's a mental thing."
Folks, some things in this life, you gotta see to believe. But occasionally, you can imagine it from a friend's description, even halfway across the globe . . .and you not only get to believe it, but you become part of it by adding your imagination.
So I was Instant Messaging with a friend who's working in New Zealand right now, and she's got the telly on in her hotel room while we're IMing. She begins to type something like, "you won't believe what's on the tv right now. I think this passes for a sport here. It's called Stacking."
Now, I'm sitting in my chair in the good ole US of A, imagining that Stacking is some sort of game like oh, say, cricket . . .so I say "oh? Stacking? What are they stacking?" And this appears before me on my screen, "Plastic cups. Into pyramids."
"Seriously?" I type, while simultaneously laughing so hard I almost fall off my chair.
"yes, and they are seriously interviewing these kids like sportscasters would interview World Series winners," she answers.
So she tells me about the kid with the mental yellow cup handicap, and then I start quoting the announcers, even though I can't see this Stacking Match, and have never seen one. Yes, oh yes, this is one of those times when imagination takes flight. Where one can practice Australian, putting words in the mouths of Stackers . . .
Kid: well, yanno, it's all in the concentration. It's such a mental game.
Announcer: What is your training regime like?
Kid: Well, I stack for 'round an hour in the early morning, before I walk to school. Then mum helps me practice again after school for an hour. Weekends, I've got a 2 hour practice with the rest of the team, over to the park, when the weather's nice."
Announcer: This obviously takes a good deal of dedication, then?
Kid: Only if ya wanna be the best Stacker, and blimey, I do!
Then there's Announcer Banter as the announcers comment on the match, in hushed, golf-game announcer voices . . .
Announcer 1: Oh no, that's a bad spot of luck, little Petunia lost her grip on that last cup there.
Announcer 2: Oh, you're right, Donovan. She's got to be upset about that one. That puts Team Blue into second place in the rankings now. Oh, now it's young Christopher on the next round . . .and he's doing very well, lots of skill and concentration from this up and coming Stacker . . .and Yes! A new individual record!
After Stacking was over, there was competitive Scrabble. Uh-huh.
Ah well. Perhaps the world would be a better place if there were more Stacking and Competitive Scrabble and less . . .oh, say, football? Besides, Stacking and Scrabble are humorous, and we do need more laughter in this world. yes.
I can dream, can't I?