Traveling to Hickville is like tumbling down a rabbit hole into a Twilight Zone of inbred absurdity. How anyone could drag the kids there and force them to live there is beyond me: we are not talking merely a small town, but a small-minded, backward, group-think wad of detestable humanoids and walking stereotypes hell-bent on making sure their unfortunate offspring don’t ever escape the wasteland of Hickville either. No wonder certain individuals are so comfortable there.
Gary and I went to Hickville over the weekend to watch Sunflower’s last soccer game of the season. I love that the kids want to be involved in sports, but as with anything in Hickville, they are offered only a toned-down, cheapened version of what they would have if they still lived in another town. No matter the sport, the kids are dealt worthless “coaches” who don’t know the sport themselves, or if they do, have no interest in imparting any knowledge or skill to the team they are supposed to be coaching. I have seen grossly overweight soccer coaches who can’t amble one length of the miniature, kiddie-sized soccer field, and basketball coaches who wouldn’t know what to do with a basketball if it jumped up and bit them. This is the norm in Hickville.
Sunflower’s team, after an entire season, didn’t know how to kick the ball. No effort was made all season to teach them what to do when the other team has the ball, how to maneuever the ball, anything. If the coaches don’t want to be bothered to actually teach the children anything, I don’t know why they are even there.
It is not a reflection on the kids at all. At their age, they are only doing what their coach has taught them to do. In this case, it was absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, that is typically the case in Hickville.
The kids will start basketball next month, and we have already seen how that goes as well. They aren’t allowed to play with the school teams, presumably so that they can be brainwashed with the church basketball league, which consists of forcing Bible verses and lectures down their throats with an occasional basketball tossed in to call it a sport instead of a cult. The kids aren’t taught how to dribble, shoot, or even fundamental rules of the game. As long as they can spit out Bible verses on command, then the season is considered successful. Kids didn’t learn anything about basketball? Oh, well. The whole point was religious brainwashing anyway, so no harm done.
The so-called trophy ceremony after Sunflower’s last soccer game was illustrative of the attitude of the coaches and parents in Hickville. It was a go-through-the-motions joke. No one even attempted to plan the event. Everyone was instructed to gather at McDonald’s after the game so the players could be awarded a Happy Meal, but the fact that the game ended at 10 AM and lunch isn’t served until 11 seemed to go right over the brainiacs’ heads. Given the ample girth of the majority of the people in Hickville, it is obvious the entire bunch of them is well aware of the service hours at McDonald’s. They just didn’t have two brain cells collectively to rub together to think it through.
So we sat. And sat some more. Finally someone said, “Why don’t we hand out the trophies while we wait?”
We expected the children to be called by name, one-by-one, in front of the team and family members, and presented their little plastic trophy while everyone applauded, so that each child could feel special and proud as they collected their trophy. When, instead, the coach impatiently snatched the cardboard box holding the flimsy trophies and unceremoniously plunked one down in front of each player, with no announcements, no congratulations, no attempt whatsoever to make it special, my jaw literally dropped. That was it? That was the best they could do? Why not just toss the trophies to the moving cars as the kids left the soccer field? Why bother pretending they gave a damn?
I couldn’t stop shaking my head, even after Gary and I said good-bye to Sunflower and left. It is shameful and disgusting that the kids have been sold short and have had opportunities and experiences cut off, just so Crow can mooch off her daddy and remain firmly planted in a fantasy world instead of the real world. After visiting the kids’ schools or their sporting events, it hits me again that the kids are paying the price by having the lowest quality experiences handed to them and being forced to accept it as normal.
Schools with roaches crawling on the walls, teachers chomping gum and slapping around in flip-flops, school websites with misspelled words (I wish I was kidding about that), school marquee signs with incorrect grammar, sport coaches who don’t give a damn and have no idea how to play the game, a church that teaches them to never think for themselves, people with no ability or desire to imagine a world with independent thought or ambition to be better…this is the world the kids live in. This is what they have come to believe is normal and right. This is the level to which their standards have been forcibly lowered, and this is the limit of what they will ever be offered.
No good parent would keep them there. No good parent could have watched the pathetic, “whatever” attitude of the so-called coaches tossing cheap trophies at the team and calling that an awards ceremony and could have actually smiled like a dingbat about it. No good parent would force the children to accept a backward, limited way of life just to please herself.
But…then again…we were talking about good parents, weren’t we?