Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Iron-On Numbers

A quick note before I start the blog today: a reader from Europe was disappointed that we were not yet being distributed overseas. This is unfortunately true, but those of you across the pond can order the book through our publisher, Creator’s Edge Press.

Also, we would love to be distributed in Europe and Asia, so if you happen to be employed at a publishing house outside the US, let us know and we’ll happily discuss the issue. We’ll be even happier to discuss it if you fly us over for a week or two and pay for our hotel. Hint, hint.

Hope that helps.

And now, on to the blog.

I was in the mall the other day, purchasing comic books, shoe laces, and fried chicken, when I noticed a family walking by. The kids were wearing soccer uniforms, so presumably they were either on their way to or from a game. Though, granted, this is assuming a lot. I mean, I don’t know, maybe the kids hated soccer and were being forced to wear the uniforms as some sort of punishment. Or maybe they were going to some sort of soccer themed party. It’s also possible that they were part of a government assassination squad and their cleats were covered in a deadly neurotoxin made from komodo saliva and ground up Madonna LPs.

But I digress.

Anyway, the kids were wearing full, professional-style soccer uniforms. They had jerseys, those really high socks, and fancy shin guards. Even their shoes matched. I’m assuming this was not a fluke, as both of the kids were dressed identically.
They looked exactly like professional soccer players, save that they were very short and one of them was picking his nose.

NOTE: As far as I know, professional soccer players don’t pick their noses in public. I could be wrong. I am also assuming certain things about the average height of professional soccer players.

Here’s the thing. When I was but a lad, I played Youth Soccer. All the schools in the area had a team and we played each other. I assume there was some sort of trophy for the winner, but I have no idea, seeing as our team always sucked.

Anyway, our uniforms consisted of t-shirts with a number ironed onto the back. Everything else was pretty much left up to us. Half of us didn’t have cleats and the other half didn’t have shin guards, which meant that there was a lot of falling down and writhing in agony, often at the same time.

And the thing was nobody else had anything better. A game consisted of two large mobs of children lunging around the field after the ball, occasionally screaming with delight and/or pain. The ball would bounce along, two sets of kids would converge on it. There would be a frenzy of action and the ball would bounce away. The players would pursue, occasionally leaving a child or two crying on the grass behind them. This, as far as we knew, was normal.

So, half of me is jealous that kids nowadays get all this cool equipment. The other half wonders ‘they’re kids, do they really need all that equipment?’

Yeah, I’m old (and bitter).

It’s just that I think we did pretty well without. Sure, there were some minor injuries and I never did find that tooth, but it was all good. We played (badly) and then we went and had pizza and fought over the Space Invaders game. The uniforms just make it all seem so serious.

At this point, I should probably say something pithy about just letting kids have fun, but honestly, we would have wanted all that cool gear too. While I’m at it, we would have loved to have won a game occasionally as well. I, personally, would have preferred not to get kicked in the face so much (I played goalie). But pretty much, we didn’t care. Soccer would be over in a couple of months and then we’d play Youth Basketball.

And yes, our uniforms were t-shirts with iron-on numbers.



Luis said...

I'm 38 and we had uniforms and shin guards and all kinds of equipment when we played youth soccer. We did win a game or two. I wonder how old you are.

Ehm said...

We did as well. It was a actual youth soccer league but we did have uniforms. You were not allowed onto the field if you didn't have cleats and or shin guards.

And you're not that much older than me. :)

Jason Janicki said...

Okay, you guys went to much nicer schools than I did. I'm just a hair older than you, Luis :)

I'm pretty sure they made us wear cleats and shin guards, Ehm. Sometimes I exaggerate a touch :)

mike said...

Hey, this is a great comic but I've pretty much forgotten the plot points. Are you coming back to actually posting pages soon?