Truly Blessed

ALS patient James Martin shares his journey.

Donkey Basketball, Drama, and Unicorn Poop

Print Print
James Martin
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

With a title like this, you really had no choice but to read this essay. And no I do not need to have my medication adjusted, I am not on meds legal or otherwise. But surprisingly, Donkey Basketball, Drama, and Unicorn Poop were all part of my last week.

On Thursday we got a call from our son who is a high school junior. A wish, apparently on his bucket list, was suddenly attainable. Donkey Basketball was coming to BHS and he had made the team. Of course I went for the cheap and easy question, Are you a player or the donkey? He ass-u-me(d) I was joking.

Now for those who do not know, Donkey Basketball is a sport that is strictly mind over matter. The donkeys do not mind anyone and skills do not matter. Each player is assigned a donkey fitted with Air Jordan horseshoes. The rules require the players to ride the donkeys around the court. They may dismount to get the ball, but must be upon the donkey to pass or shoot. Getting the donkeys to do what the players want is what makes this so funny. The players could encourage the donkeys, or push 'em, pull 'em, swat 'em, yell at them, cajole them, beg 'em, drag 'em, or talk nicely, but ultimately they were still donkeys. And to misquote Forrest Gump, donkeys are as donkeys do, and donkeys do what they want; just like teenagers. It was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long while. Now playing Donkey Basketball may not be on your bucket list, but seeing it should be.

Donkey Basketball was on Thursday and Friday was drama; real not metaphorical. One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. In the words of Grandpa the narrator: it has "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles." What more could you ask for? There are great characters along with smart quippy dialogue. And to the great pleasure of the audience, BHS brought the story to life on stage. We saw it Friday night as our own princess was in the cast as a common towns person. There are few things better than seeing your child participate in things they enjoy. She may have been a commoner as a freshman, but not for long. As a dad I am expecting a shout out at the Oscars some day. (Or when she wins a Pulitzer, or Nobel, or Wimbledon, etc. No pressure on my kids, thank you very much.)

Now at Donkey Basketball, there was the mandatory clean-up crew to take care of deposits on the court. Equipped with a big red shovel and a circus broom the crew immediately responded to nature's call. Our youngest daughter found this quizzical, wondering aloud why the donkeys didn't go to the bathroom before the game. Little League coaches, the world round, applauded that question.

And this leads me to nature's call to the unicorn. Our youngest son was tasked in school to document some of the Lenten service projects he had done over the last few weeks. We were discussing them and I emphasized that they should be based in reality, not embellished. Without missing a beat, and with a wry smile, he quipped "Then I shouldn't write that I spent last Saturday cleaning up unicorn poop!" After chuckling I found that to be a great term, significantly more vibrant and descriptive than the over used term bulls*.

So the next time that you are confronted with unbelievable embellishment, exaggeration, or misleading information, don't just take it; call unicorn poop on it. That will not change what they are shoveling, but it will make you smile.

Last updated: 9:24 am Monday, April 29, 2013

James Martin is a former attorney and graduate of Gonzaga University and Marquette Law School. He lives in Spring Prairie near Burlington. He has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. He is married with 6 kids. James is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the Gazette staff or management.

Print Print