PAIGE 64 - HOP SKIP JUMP

Except I didn't buy a phone, because it was Saturday, and Saturday in March means I am refereeing. Today I refereed the hop skip and jump event. It sounds pretty self-explanatory, unfortunately it's not, because it's a sport. What you do is actually run, but take two giant leaps and then one jump with both feet, then total up the distance from the starting point. Apparently hopping refers to the left foot, while skipping refers to the right. So my shoe-phone is skippable, while my sock-foot is hoppable. Just thought to let you know that. This sport is also known as the triple jump, because you don't actually jump three times. It's the same reason they call a rectangle of grass an oval.

Now as they were warming up, I was saying to myself, I don't get why these people don't do something more interesting. Like land rowing. I must have said it out loud, because one of the contestants near to me said because the triple jump (in which you jump once) is part of the traditional Sparrow Falls Triathlon, and has been for years. I said I could make hop skip and jump more interesting if you like. He said you can't improve upon a perfect sport. I said is there a wager. He said my remaining shoe.

So after they had done their boring hop skip and jump slash run and jump, I said now behold Miss Paige's hop skip and jump! The organizers were even kind enough to give me another medallion to award, since they loved my land rowing so much. I said now each contestant needs a rope. The organizers brought them all a length of rope. I said now see that rectoval over there, past it, the food stands with the crowd hanging about? You have to hop all the way to the first rectoval, then skip (with your rope) once around the people having tea and biscuits, then jump all the way back to the line here. One point is awarded to each contestant who can convince a tea-and-biscuiter to join you jumping on the way back. You may not stop at any time during the course, no points are awarded for first to finish. If a contestant's other leg touches the ground during the hop phase, they are disqualificated. If any contestant stops skipping or jumping, they are also disqualificated. There are seven rounds. At the end of each round, each new contestant will be given a rope, and join the challenge for the remaining rounds.

So it began. The first thirteen contestants, as I counted them, hopped madly up, like a one-legged kangaroo, to the start of the first rectoval. They raced each other like mad, some of them were even pushing and shoving in the hopping phase to disqualificate the others. But they all made it to the skipping phase (in the first round). Then the people having tea and biscuits suddenly stood up to see thirteen grown men with skipping ropes prancing about them, and yelling at them to come jump with them back to the finish line. Most of them I think laughed, but one boy, probably twelve or something, thought it was the bees' knees (oh no memories) and went jumping back to the line. The man called Albert Friar cried out, "I am in the lead!" And the boy looked at him strangely, as they finished last place together. So I went over to the boy and said hi there, would you like to join hop skip and jump? He said oh yes I'm good at this sport. I said are you sure. He said yes. I then explained the rules. He said oh maybe not.

And so the second round began, and the poor people having their afternoon tea were completely befuddled, and looked around at the prancing men like they were mad. Then one of them in his fifties I think, who was the dad of the boy who joined, heard his son calling to him, and so Albert got two points by the end of the second round. A man named William had his girlfriend/fiance (I didn't know) there, and convinced her to jump with him. In the third round both the dad and son who joined started shouting to the mother, and the grandpa. So they joined too. And so it became like one of those chain mail letters, and that's how Albert won the first hop skip and jump event in the world which is actually a hop skip and jump event.

I was about to go home, but the lady who was in charge of the organizers gave me another medal. I said what is this for? They said we want a women's round.

Tomorrow I'll buy a phone.

- Livi