John (my brother-in-law and director of the sports programs for our school district): Hey, so I think we have an opening on the basketball team for five year olds at your elementary school. Do you want me to put Jonas on it?
Me: Yeah! That would be great. It’s probably unfairly inflating of his expectations of both potential growth and coordination, but what the hell. The kid has more energy than 5 rugrats. I’ll take any excuse to tire him out.
John: Great. I’ll give the team mom your contact info and you can get with her about the details.
Me (in email to the team mom): Hey! I’m Jonas’s mom. Can you tell me who I need to pay, how much, how I get a jersey for my kid and what size ball he needs to bring to practice? Thanks!!
Team Mom (in verbatim email reply):
I was wondering when you would be contacting us about paying. You need to pay Kirk at the Saturday game. $200 in cash, make sure you clearly mark the envelope BASKETBALL. Then, in a separate envelope, you will need to pay the $75 late fee, just mark that LATE. If you want a jersey, put $25 in a third envelope marked JERSEY. Please make sure all of this is cash. If you follow all of these instructions, we will get him a jersey prior to the game.
He should also bring 3 basketballs to each game and practice all of the 27.5 inch size. 2 will be donated to the team at the conclusion of this session.
Also, please abide by all team curfews and have your entire family in bed by 8:00 on all days preceding game and practice days.
Thanks for signing Jonas up. We’ll see you on Saturday.
Me (to myself after reading the email): OK… what is she saying now? I should bring cash?? And that seems kind of expensive… Damn it. We just paid $1200 for the effing GOV to get fixed two days ago and now this? Sports are stupid. Why would they need THREE basketballs? I mean I guess I don’t totally understand the game, so I can’t really say they don’t need three each. Plus we ALL need to be in bed by 8PM? He’s FIVE. Sports parents are so intense. Why did I get involved in this?
Me (to John in text): Hey, I don’t mean to be a pain in the ass, but do you think there’s any way we can get the ‘late fee’ waived? It’s like $75 and it’s been a rough money week…
John (on the phone, immediately after getting my text): You’re off your game.
Me: Excuse me?
John: I know you’re gullible, but please. She’s fucking with you.
Me: What??!! She IS?? I’ve never met this woman!
John: Cash in envelopes? 8PM bedtimes for the whole family? Why would that make any sense at all? I told her you’re a smartass and that you don’t know anything about sports, so she’s screwing with you. It’s pathetic you didn’t pick up on that AT ALL.
Me: Oh goddamnit, that IS pathetic. In my defense, I always just assume all you sports people are completely insane. Well this team mom is going to be fun to meet.
John: Oh you’ll love her. She’s sassy.
Me (in email response after talking to John):
OK, so when do I get the drugs for this cash? Like the first game? or the next practice? I was told the quality would be extremely high. Can you verify?
And when you say the ‘entire family’ should be in bed, does that mean the cats and tortoise, too? because I might need you to recommend some good animal tranquilizers (but I’m sure you can do that because you’ve got the good hookups, right?)…
Clearly I need to hone my bullshit radar. And figure out how to pay my brother-in-law back for that stunt.