PAIGE 71 - KA-PWING!

I was thinking and praying on the drive up to the reserve today. I arrived there, and was talking to the organizers before anything started, getting to know the rules and what I had to look out for, mainly scoring. Scoring is the easy part of playing a sport. I mean me scoring scores. I'm sure goal-scoring is different. And I looked around at the crowd, and was wondering to myself if Des was going to be there. Well he wasn't, as far as I could see. I went and had a good hot cup of coffee to warm up, and ate half a biscuit. I was talking to some of the other disqualificators who disqualificated other events. It seemed today had a pretty good turnout.

I can't say I remember much of the conversations though. Partly because it was about sport, partly because I was musing all day long about Des and wondering how he was going. But soon my event came to referee, and so I began refereeing the dodgebow event. What, you say you haven't heard of dodgebow? Well, it's like dodgeball, only with ball-tipped arrows. No, I didn't invent it, but it's something I definitely would have. Blame the other Livis. So you have two teams of three, and each archer has one shot only. They face each other on the open field, and get one point for each hit. The sound they make is ka-pwing! Unless it hits someone. Then it's ka-pwing-whack, and I tally a score. So the game began. Arrows started flying, and the left-side team scored three ka-pwing-whacks, the other only one, so I felt a bit sorry for them. They took a five minute break after the first set, but my mind was a bit distracted to be honest on things apart from the scores. I was thinking what else I could have, should have said to Des. Coulda woulda shoulda, basically. Other than Ms. Tomson's rhubarb-and-cherry, my brain was dead. I sighed, and the second round began.

The winning side this time took only one, and the losing side made two ka-pwing-whacks. As they went off the field again to have coffee and tea, and also to nurse their bodies, I heard a voice behind me say you're doing a good job refereeing, and I turned to see Des. There he was, and he was smiling. I saw around his neck something there, he's not a jewellery person. It was a cross on a rope. I didn't say anything, but breathed a prayer of thanks, and we just stood there smiling at each other with tears in our eyes for a good minute or so before the game began.

I'm really pretty useless at conversation most times, but times like these are so precious to me when there's something deeper than words going on, and I don't have to stress. Again the words of the song came into my mind, but not because I was singing. Someone next to me was humming out the tune, and I thought again of the water spurting from the side of the mountain, and was glad.

Very late in the evening as we were about to head home, one of the organizers came up to me and said Livi thank you for the good job you've done refereeing. We heard you don't even like sport, from everything you've done we never would have guessed. I said no problem, refereeing is the one mode of participating in sports I do not hate. Pleased that I could equip my disquali-rays. Then they kind of ummed and ahhed and said we know you're done refereeing now for the Triathlon, but we actually have one spare day on Monday, and we were all hoping you could come up with a sport for us to add.

What. They actually WANT me to come up with a sport? I said you do know what kind of sports I like to invent, right? They said we know, that's why we came to you. I said then rest assured, dear friends of mine, your Russian blood shall be delighted with the next sport I shall invent. They said oh good can you make Monday? I said after work I can. They said oh good what time do you finish? I said four. They said ring us tomorrow with what you need, we'll have it here for you. I said oh good.

Let's see: sardines, whacking bread, froyo, teaspoons. Yep, Monday will be good.

- Livi