We had a great time yesterday making our street scooters. Pecker and Reno came early this morning to see what we made; the scooters are a thing of beauty. Jimmy started riding scooter number one and I took number two for a spin. Pecker said “hey you guys, what about us?” “Well OK, I’ll let you have a ride in a couple of minutes.” Jimmy let Reno try number one and I gave Pecker number two. They are having so much fun. Reno pulled up next to me and said “I think that my uncle has an old pair of street skates. If he gives them to me will you help me and Pecker make our own scooters? I could not help thinking that I could be turning into an inventor like Roger the professor. Yes! I’ll help you but you better ask Mike Tomato if you can, borrow the tools you’ll need, in Mr. Pauli’s shed. We kept on taking turns riding the scooters most of the morning.
Reno said, “Let’s park these scooters and play some stoop ball. I fished a Spaldeen ball out of the sewer the other day and I can’t wait to try it out.” I was getting tired with all this scooter riding and by playing stoop ball you don’t have to run a lot. I said “Yeah! It sounds good to me. Nunzio apartment building has a great stoop and we wouldn’t get much traffic on Luquer Street.” Reno went home to get his Spaldeen ball while the rest of us sat on Nunzio’s stoop to wait for him.
If Reno’s ball is a high bouncer we can hit a home run without trying too hard. Stoop ball is a great game; all you need is a ball and a stoop with sharp steps. We will choose sides; let’s say it’s me and Jimmy against Pecker and Reno. The rules are almost like baseball. The team that’s up first will have one player on their team throw the ball as hard as he can against the stoop aiming for the sharp edge of a step. If he hits it right the ball will fly over 200 feet for a home run. If he doesn’t hit a home run the ball maybe caught by the other team for an out. If the other team drops the ball that means there’s a man on base. No ground balls are aloud, you get two turns throwing the ball against the stoop. If you hit two ground balls you’re out. If you hit a home run with a man on base your team gets two points. If your team makes three outs the other team gets a turn. The team that makes fifteen points first wins the game. I see Reno running down the street with a ball in his hand. “Hey guys here’s the ball let’s get started.”
After choosing sides by throwing our hand out with a one finger or two fingers showing (one strike three shoot!) we settled on our teams, me and Pecker against Reno and Jimmy. I was up first and I hit a dinghy, the ball flue across the street about 300 hundred feet right into Mrs. Folly’s open widow. All of a sudden we hear a scream “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT?” We all looked at each and took off running towards Columbia Street. We stopped in front of Nicks Sandwich Shop laughing like crazy. Pecker was out of breath and said “Wow! That was some shot, it’s the longest stoop ball home run I ever seen. Mrs. Folly must have been shocked to see our ball flying through her open window and bounce all around her apartment hitting God knows what.” I turn to Reno and say “you were right, that Spaldeen ball you fished out of the sewer must have been a new ball to fly like that. Are you going to ring Mrs. Folly’s door bell and ask her to give you your ball back?” Reno turned to me with his eyes wide open and said “Hell no! I’ll just have to keep fishing for a new ball. It’s too bad you hit that ball so hard. I don’t think I’ll ever find another Spaldeen ball like that one.”
We were all laughing when I spotted Joanie coming toward us with her farmer jeans and all. But this time it looks like she has a new friend. She looked at us and said “what’s so funny. I’ve never seen you boys laughing so hard.” I turn to her and asked “can you do us a favor and ring Mrs. Folly’s door bell and ask her to return our ball?” She wrinkled her nose and said “it sounds like a trick question. She lives way up there on the third floor why would she have your ball? It sounds like you want to send me into some sort of trap.” She’s to smart for us and I didn’t think she would do it anyway. “Forget it I’m just playing with you. About the ball, well I hit the ball so hard on the stoop that it just flew like a rocket right into Mrs. Folly’s open window.” “Wow, I would have liked to see that.” “I don’t think any of us will see a ball fly like that ever again. Who is your new friend?”
“Doesn’t he look great? His name is Joy he’s my new dog and he is a full Breed Boxer. He is only three months old but if you look at the size of his paws you can see that he has a lot of growing to do. My Mom and Dad gave me Joy for my birthday. What do you think of him?” It was Love at first sight. Joy doesn’t just look great he’s beautiful.
I bent down and started to pet him with both my hands. He was all over me licking and jumping. I think he likes me. Then Joanie went on to say, “when Joy is about six months old my Dad will take him to the Vet to have his ears and tail cut.” She must have seen the look of horror on my face when I said. “Cut, what do you mean? Like cut off? Why would anybody do that to such a beautiful animal?” She tried to calm me down and said. “He’s a Boxer’ All Boxers have that done to them. That’s the Breed.” I thought I was going to throw up. I couldn’t hear this stuff anymore. I just turned and walked away.