Sunday, October 19, 2014

How to play with your friends balls...

As with any new invention, technology giveth and technology taketh-away. Kids these days have grown up never knowing what it is to be lost or what it means to be out of reach. The entire world has been mapped out, connected, shrunk down and put in their pockets. The world is literally in their pockets and at their fingertips. There are obvious advantages to this relatively-recent revision of reality but there have been some unforeseen and unexpected consequences. I'm not referring to the usual suspects of poor communication skill, poor grammar, complete spelling incompetence,  illiteracy, social awkwardness and such. I consider those positive repercussions; my generation can claim the apex of civilized culture. All future generations will be on the long, downward slope to complete and utter stupidity while we rule their pathetically confused and horribly misspelled lives.  The biggest problem I have noticed as of late is that many people have forgotten how to play cooperatively especially with others' balls. Specifically, how to play with friends' balls. Confused? You are not alone. I think it will make much more sense if I lay out the main ground rules. I'm sure you will realize how many violations of these precious and, until now, unspoken rules have been occurring with accelerating frequency these days.

1. When invited to play with your friend's ball/balls, do not assume their balls are now your balls and take them home. If a friend throws you their balls, it is most likely an initiation of a game in which you generally throw the balls back or continue to play with their balls together. There are some exceptions to this rule, but they are quite rare and infrequent. If in doubt, throw the balls back.
2. If the balls are connected to your friend, don't play with them. There are also rare exceptions to this rule: (a.) you are threatened with un-defendable violence and perform a thorough cost-benefit analysis (b.) the money is right, (c.) you and your friend are mutually cool with it.

3. You must abide by the rules of the game as detailed by the owner of the balls. If your friend has a specific way he/she wants his or her balls to be played with, you are contractually obliged to play with them in that fashion once you commence the playing. If you do not accept the conditions set forth by your friend, do not play with your friend's balls.

4. It is understood that the playing will cease when your friend decides to take their balls home. This rule applies whether you agree with your friend's decision to retire their balls for the day or not. Do not forget that they are not your balls. You can not force someone to play with their own balls. It is illegal in most countries. And keep in mind, if you play nice with their balls today, they are more likely to invite you to play with their balls again tomorrow!

5. Some balls are more delicate than others, but all balls need to be treated with respect. This is true not only regarding your friends' balls but your own balls as well. Take care of all the worlds balls so that they can be enjoyed and played with for years to come.

Never make fun of your friends balls unless yours are better and you'd rather play with those. But remember, if you disrespect your friends' balls, you may just have to play with your own balls all alone.

It is unfortunate that we have allowed society to come to this. When I was younger, my friends and I knew how to play with our balls. The rules were unspoken but universally understood. It is a sad day, indeed, but with a little patience and a whole lot of guidance, I'm confident future generations of this world will be able to enjoy playing with each others' balls with no tears, no hard-feelings, and no lawsuits.

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