I missed out on this. I was sitting around the campfire when they took off. A new sport in the making By Aaron Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday, May 28, 2006 10:13 PM EDT My family has a rich tradition of togetherness. I'm closer to more of my cousins than I am with the best friends I claim in life. And I like it that way.
Something we've always done is the famous adage: "The family that works together, plays together." And we do our share of both.
We've baled hay with Grandpa Jim since we were wagon-wheel high, or so it seemed.
We've shown hogs at the 4-H Fair together, and done most things together.
Well, for Memorial Day Weekend, we got together.
Grandpa has a campsite hollowed out in his woods in rural Lagro, and this has always been a gathering spot.
This weekend was no exception.
Now "The Woods," as we know it, lives in legend for all of us. It's a place of solitude, a place of story telling, a place for campfires and s'mores.
It's also, usually, the starting point for most of the trouble we, the cousins, get into.
I'll not deny that we get into our share without it, but usually it stems from some idea cultivated in the wooded wonderland.
Saturday, my wife (Kristi) and son (Baden) stopped by there after visiting Heather Fox's open house.
Now Baden is on breathing treatments because of bad cold he's been fighting, so without electricity, we couldn't camp as is the normal custom.
But what time we were there, was worth it.
It started out just like any other visit. Baden didn't last too long in either of our arms before being picked up and carried away.
We had beef and pork, thanks to leftovers from Jeremy Warnock's graduation. His brother, Jason, made the mistake of marrying into our family.
Anyway, after dinner, some of my cousins and I took a walk to check out the newest acquisition - a pellet gun.
For some reason, I had an empty can with me, so I was the thrower in the clay-pigeon-like endeavor.
Two hit it, several didn't.
After that, we started up the hill for one of the hay fields, waist-high on my 6-4 frame.
It was there that the game began.
One of us had an empty dip can.
So my cousin Todd tossed it at my nephew, Levi, which struck with a surprising “tink.”
From there, the game evolved.
Now Levi, even though he's nine, promptly picked it up and rifled it back at someone else.
And so it went with snuff can getting thrown around a hay field by a bunch of idiots.
Levi was there just because he tagged along, and played because we were.
And Neil (Bever) was there, and was, I'd say, probably the favorite target.
Neil's a soon-to-be sophomore.
The rest were relatively grown men, ages 21-29.
Eventually it became sort of dodgeball-like, where if you caught the dashing dip can, you were rewarded with a free throw at the one who tossed it at you.
As weird as it sounds, it was pretty fun.
Even though not one of us walked back to the campsite without welts, it was a blast, and by far the most exercise I've had in quite a while.
I can't recommend this game to anyone, due to liability reasons. You just have to be a bunch of half-crazy hillbillies with a knock of picking up pain-inflicting games.
Aaron Turner is the sports editor for The Plain Dealer. His views do not necessarily reflect those of this newspaper. He can be reached for comment at email@example.com.