There is this inherent gap in the summer. It is when summer comes to an end, the days get shorter, and then we hit the friggin’ “Fall Back” wall of death that suddenly causes it to get dark at 5 PM. Little kids can no longer play baseball; basketball season has not started; and football season – who knows what the heck is going on there? It was at this point in one particular summer that we decided it was time to invent a ball game that was to change the character of that strange time of year for all eternity. That game was “High Hanger Ball”.
Now you say “what the heck is High Hanger Ball?”. The creation and evolution of the game needs to be recorded here for all humanity, for as you well know, these things tend to get lost in the mysts of historical folklore and thus are forever expounded upon and theorized about. In fact, the origins of baseball are still in question today, as no one really knows who specifically invented it. So let me just make it clear right here, that I invented High Hanger Ball and I pity the fool that contests my claim.
Over in Brigg’s Field, there was this basketball court. In the winter, the fire department would come by and spray water in every direction to create a skating rink. But before that happened, we would jimmy open the light box and switch on these blazing overhead lights. We were then able to run around the asphalt and I could pretend to play basketball. I say pretend, as I was generally not that good at basketball, what with being kind of low to the ground and in full possession of the white man’s disease. It was under these conditions that High Hanger Ball was born.
To play High Hanger Ball you need a football, an outdoor basketball court, a set of very bright street lights that illuminate the court, and a high tension wire that divides the court at about 20 feet above the center line. High Hanger Ball can only be played at night, since that is the time at which you cannot see anything above the glaring street lights. A team of two to four stands on each side of the court and throws or punts the football as high as they can above the lights. The ball inevitably comes down somewhere in the other side of the court. Of course, you can’t see it until it drops below the lights, at which time it is traveling at about mach 17. Hence, catching the ball is a challenge. A miss is a point for the other team.
Now I know what you be thinkin’. Any moron could have thought up that game. Well maybe so, but it is this moron that did think it up, so nyah nyah. Later in my adult life, I would work as a scientist and actually have a few patents. Go ahead, you can look them up. They are all in uspto.gov for your viewing pleasure and amusement. BUT, none of those inventions was as memorable to me as High Hanger Ball. It was an invention that gave primordial joy to a small group of wild indians that lived in the archipelago that was my neighborhood.