It doesn’t register at first. This word is an insult to the athlete that still lives inside my head, but it is perfectly descriptive of this pasty, puffy dad plodding behind a stroller, so fair enough. Two men want A Little Help with a tennis ball that one of them launched over the net, fence, parking lot, and across the road. So there’s the dumb looking around that must happen in situations like this, finally following their gestures and words to — oh, of course!– find the bright yellow ball sitting right there on top of the brown grass.
Runni– jogging across the road, now close enough to avoid embarrassment, I launch the ball with an arm motion carefully designed to look casual and yet give the ball some speed. It arcs flatly, bouncing back off of the fence just as one of the men apologizes for interrupting my workout.
No problem, man. No problem.