The Blame

"This is at most, 30% my fault."

"What? How did you come up with that number?"

"All I said was, 'do you want to go play wiffle ball.' I didn't say anything more than that."

"Yea, but there's more than two people that play the game usually. How do you play this with just two people?"

"I see people do it all the time."

"Where? Here?"

"Well, usually it's two guys in their front yard."

"Yeah, a dad and his kid. Not people our age. This is embarrassing."

Despite the ever increasing shame Lauren was feeling, she assumed her batting stance as Beth pitched the ball to her.

"Swing, batta batta."

"Are you serious? You're not going to get competitive about this are you?"

"Are you trying to hurt my feelings? I've already accepted some blame."

"You need to accept all of the blame."

"Fine, let's call people. Where's Brittany Pike? I haven't heard from her or about her in a while."

"She's out of town. I think she's in LA or something. She's auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance."

"Really? I didn't know she could."

"She can't. And I told her that. She's trying to prove me wrong by making it on the show. Actually, she was going to audition for America's Best Dance Crew, but she couldn't assemble a group fast enough. And they didn't go for her idea of dancing on her own."

"Well it seems as though you've just been trying to hurt everyone lately."

At that moment Beth did her best to throw an MLB style fastball. Since it was a wiffle ball however, the ball barely went faster than when she tossed it underhand. Because of the force, both emotional and physical, behind the throw, the ball spiraled wildly out of control before coming into contact with Lauren's neck.

"I'm done."

"What, why?"

"Because you always do this. You turn into Brittany Pike whenever things get competitive."

"No I don't. Hey! There's my mom. We can get her to play."

Lauren looked over to see Beth's mom, Catie, walking through the park while she flailed her arms about her body.

"Oh my god! Does she need help?"

"With what?"

"It looks like she's being attacked by a bee or something. What should we do?"

"Oh, no, that's how she power walks. Her actual speed of walking doesn't change, but because she throws her arms around like that, she think's she's going faster. Hey mom!"

Catie looked over at Beth and Lauren and started power walking their way.

"Hey girls. Whatcha doin?"

"Playing wiffle ball," Beth responded.

"Just the two of you?"

"You know what? I'm going to go to the bathroom, collect my thoughts, and I'll be back soon." Beth threw down the bat and ran, holding back her tears, but not her ugly crying face, to the park restrooms.

Catie turned to Lauren. "Oh you know Beth. She can't handle anything competitive. So how's the sex life going L?"

"I'm sorry?"

"You know. You had any wild rumps in the sack lately?"

"Um, no. Wait, are you talking to me? Do you have a bluetooth in that I can't see?"

"What? Of course not silly. There is of course something somewhere that you can't see though if you know what I mean."

"Oh my god. Catie, why are you telling me this?"

"Oh come on, that's what us girls do. We gab. They didn't call me Chatty Cathy in high school for no reason. Actually they called me…"

"Oh I don't need to know."

''…Dirty Diana."

"Oh ok, that's not so bad."

"And that's because I reached my sexual peak when Michael Jackson was playing."

"Catie, this is only my second time being around you. I'm really not that comfortable with you saying these things."

"You're such a P.A.P."

"What is that?

"Oh I think you know."

"I really don't."

"Yes you do. Just think."

"Oh ok, now I remember."

This type of conversation continued for a few more minutes until Lauren spotted Beth, and with that, salvation.

"Look there's Beth!"

Beth came walking back at that moment looking refreshed and with a kickball in her arms.

"Well girls, I gotta keep my heart rate up. I wish I had another way to keep it up right now. Ciao!" With that, Catie flailed off into another area of the park.

"What is the matter with your mom?"

"You'll have to narrow the symptoms before I can tell you."

"She just started talking to me about all of this sexual stuff."

"Oh, a while ago she started to feel an age separation between us so now she's trying to talk the way she thinks we talk."

"I don't know anyone who talks like that."

"Well, she started watching Sex and the City, and because she finds Samantha the most offensive, she has decided to try to be the most like her."

"Weird, well she didn't drop any F bombs."

"She's watching the TBS version."

"What's a P.A.P."

"A Park Avenue Princess. You're lucky she didn't get to make a pun about anything. They're usually horrible and make no sense. But enough about that. Since you were so against wiffle ball, I found this kickball and thought we'd try that out instead."

"You stole it from a kid didn't you?"

"Not important."

"Ok, slow and bouncy."

At that moment Catie was circling back by and shouted 'that's what she said.' Lauren looked in her direction with a shocked expression. Beth, however, was casting an angry stare in Lauren's direction.

"Did you just try to order a style of roll from me? What is this, 3rd grade? You'll get what I give you."

"I quit."


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