Monday, November 17, 2008

Odd Jobs #2: Volleyball Referee


After going home for the football game on Friday evening, my brother Kevin asked if I wanted to head to Brian's IDK for a few beers. I didn't have anything going on, so I said sure. Brian's IDK ("the place to go when you just don't know") is a bar that hosts outdoor sand volleyball leagues in the summer, and during my second summer of working construction I helped my brother ref games two nights a week. I'm not sure how I got roped into actually doing it. I had played volleyball in gym class before, but I was far from an expert on the sport. However, he said all I'd need to do was blow the whistle, keep track of the score, and judge if the ball goes in or out. Easy enough.

So every Wednesday and Thursday after work I would rush home to shower, put on my usual khaki and shorts and a t-shirt (somethings never change) and we'd ride out to Brian's for ref three games. The leagues were made up of mostly younger people, some fresh out of college, so it was a fun distraction from the usual week night. One of the teams was really good and had been playing together for a few years now, but if they had the 8:00 pm game they were usually too hammered to play very well (which sounds a lot like my summer softball team, now that I think about it). I was only 19 at the time, and I wasn't allowed to drink, so I was almost always the DD for my brother, and invariably dragged him home as early as I could. I first sang karaoke while reffing, including a terribly off-key version of "Guerilla Radio," and it was also the first time I had asked a girl out on a real date. On of the players, Lindsay, was my age, and after getting badgered by Kevin and the other guys on the "young person" team for a few weeks I stumbled over asking her out.

Anyways, it wasn't the most exciting job in the world, but it paid pretty well, let me sit out in the sun and watch people make a fool of themselves, and helped me enjoy sand volleyball all the more.

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