Sunday, October 24, 2010

Think Fast!

“Think Fast!” an adolescent boy’s voice calls out. I see it out of the corner of my eye a watermelon flying toward me. Without even thinking, like a skilled football receiver, I catch the huge green melon before it smashes into a million pieces on the ancient, unforgiving brick floor in our kitchen/dining room of my childhood home. The watermelon quarterback—my brother…is on the other side of the room. His belief—people do better when they spontaneously react to a situation…this includes ten year old girls catching ten pound watermelons.

He was notorious for this little trick—my mother who looked and sounded like a matriarch from Boston would catch cantaloupes and honeydews with her little proper black leather handbag swinging from her arm. “Oh for heaven’s sake Stephen!” She would chide in her New England accent—“Must I be bombarded by fruit the minute I walk in the door? Please stop playing with the food.”

Although we were annoyed by these surprise attacks—there was something also deeply satisfy about being able to test your reaction time and hand-eye coordination. People go out of their way now to push themselves…to test their skills—executive outward bound programs, training for and running the NYC Marathon. Perhaps all they need is a stealth boy tossing fruit at them. You have no time to doubt yourself when you have a watermelon headed your way. Think FAST!

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