Kickball in the City

Monday, May 14, 2007

Taking the "Adult" out of Adult Kickball

Now that I am no longer a child there are lots of cool things that I no longer have to worry about. No one tells me not to eat Oreos right before dinner because it might spoil my appetite. If I have money and want something I can just buy it without clearing ti through mom and dad. And most people treat me as an adult, meaning that I am responsible for myself and my own actions. Most people, that is.

About 10 days ago I received an email from one of the Kash Guys' representatives, Michelle Vaccaro (whom I have quoted before):

Hi Kickballers,

It has come to our attention that conduct at the Irish Times needs to be addressed with all WAKA players. For the safety of all players and other patrons of the Times as well as the Times staff there are some issues that have happened that are inappropriate and will no longer be tolerated at the Times or with WAKA.

Any and ALL disregard to the Irish Times property and staff including tearing down soap dispensers, kicking in doors, speaking with disrespect to any staff member, throwing beer or other beverages, running across tables, standing on tables, swan dives on tables, OUTSIDE BEVERAGES being brought in, the list goes on and on, will result in that person or person’s being asked to leave the premises. WAKA and the Irish Times are not trying to spoil your fun, but when people’s safety and well being are at stake, something needs to be done and it will be done.

The Irish Times is one of, if not the most, lenient bar that works with WAKA in regard to allowing all WAKA players free reign to have fun and games in the bar. Please have fun, drink and be merry, but do so with respect for yourself and others around you.

Yours in Kickball,
Michelle Vaccaro WAKA
Kickball - The World Adult Kickball Association
The New American Pastime TM Celebrate 10 years of WAKA
Kickball New Kickball Games, New Friends, New Parties Get it all now at!

In sending this email out, Michelle cc'd 5 WAKA divisions and three other reps. Obviously the offending "person or person's" are in one of Michelle's divisions, yet she chose to send this to a number of us that have nothing to do with whatever took place at the Times. My first questions is why didn't she just email whomever was the responsible party?

This is yet another way of showing disrespect for paying customers by the Kash guys and their staff. Shouldn't the offending players be dealt with and the rest of us left alone? It is called ADULT kickball after all. Doing things in this manner has lead to speculation and gossip on several division message boards about who the responsible parties are. And I wonder if it has led to the problem being dealt with.

I also want to take a moment to address the idea that all of the above behavior is worthy of being admonished. The bar and the Kash guys make their living from kickballers consuming vast quantities of beer in a relatively short period of time. Occasionally someone will throw a beer or run across a table. Gee, I am mortified! I thought that drinking all of that beer would make people act like they were at dinner with the Queen.

Poor treatment? Too bad no backtalk from you!

Additionally, the idea that the Times (one of the worst kickball bars in DC) is among the "most lenient" is a complete lie. This is a bar that lies to its patrons by telling them that they cannot buy pitchers of beer from the bar because it is illegal (you see, you have to order them from staff so it can take longer and they get tips). This is also a bar that regularly treats the kickballers like they are an inconvenience and who the staff treats with disrespect. Yet according to Michelle, the paying customers should take the verbal abuse and attitude with no recourse.

Other leagues I play in have either made it clear to the bars or the bars understand that they want us to drink - a lot. As such they allow for stupid behavior like swan diving on tables, dancing on the bar, and the like. Of course damaged property is not tolerated, but those individuals are dealt with, rather than all of us receiving emails like the one above. I guess some people have respect for their customers.

And what's wrong with this?

So, just so we are all clear: the Kash guys and the Times will take kickballers money and encourage all of us to drink until we can barely stand. They want us to tip well, keep coming back, and take whatever treatment we get. Then they want us to behave like we are good little boys and girls. Otherwise Michelle will send out another nasty note, and we may have to have this one signed by our parents before we are allowed back in.

I have my permission slip, Michelle, can I play with the other kids now?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Drinking gets even better!

Just a quick note to say get out and drink tomorrow (Tuesday) to help raise money to rebuild Eastern Market. A group of DCers put together an idea to raise money from bars in the area tomorrow by having them donate a portion of their proceeds. I am happy to say that a couple of my kickball sponsor bars are participating tomorrow night.

Good job NAKID, will the Kash guys follow?

Also, I have to give props to NAKID for agreeing to match, up to a certain dollar amount, whatever My Brother's Place donates from their proceeds. It would be nice to see the other leagues I play in do the same (hint, hint). In any event, get out to My Brother's Place (or somewhere else on the list) tomorrow and drink for a really good cause - rebuilding a landmark in DC.

Doing the right thing, so let's all drink there tomorrow