My favorite games to ref were the little first grade boys. It seems to me that age six is the peak period of absurd language usage. There were two particular instances with those six-year-old boys that still make me chuckle. Sometimes there's nothing that you can do as a ref but stand there and silently laugh and groan inside.
The first experience was when a rather blunt little boy in a blue jersey came sprinting across the field towards me. I don't know whether he thought I was on the opposing team, or rather he had been told of the conniving, evil referees, but either way he was not happy to see me on his field. He bobbed across the grass like a little baby rabbit, jerked to a halt in front of where I stood, stared up at me while blocking the sun from his eyes, and then called me "booger ears!!!" in his high pitched voice.
Well, that surprised me for a second! Booger ears. How original; that must be a newly adopted insult. That definitely wasn't used when I was in elementary school. Really, when I was younger I was lovingly called "shrimp" or "four-eyes" for being short and having those gigantic coke-bottle glasses sliding down my face all the time. But the term “booger ears” was unique. It was actually really funny to see that tiny little guy call me names, thinking that he might do me some damage with his mastery over the English language. Well, ten points for creativity kid! Seriously, even when they're being hostile they're cute; what's up with that?
The second incident was equally hilarious, if not more. Before the game started, two boys from opposing sides decided to exchange some cripplingly challenging banter to drive each other beyond the point of intimidation. A taller boy from the orange team strutted to the center line, mockingly glaring and looking down on another boy from the other team who looked to be about half his size and smirked, "Hey, you, we're going to beat you!" Not missing a beat, the smaller kid jeered back, "Oh yeah? Well, not if I can do this!!!" and without further ado, he scrunched his eyes and rolled them into the back of his head until only the whites were visible. The big boy looked stunned for a second, and seriously, I could practically hear the cogs in his head screaming, "what?!?" Oh how those kids made me laugh!
Now that I think about it, it wasn't just the boys who were comical, the girls were equally adorable, and I have fond memories of their silly comments too. One day a girl with flaming red hair approached me, her huge brown eyes a whirl of complete awe. She looked up at me and asked in incredulity, "how do you keep track of all of this?" I pointed knowingly at my stopwatch and said, "This little instrument helps me keep track of the time, I just have to watch the game and blow this whistle if a rule isn't followed." The look on her face was priceless; it was if her whole world had been shifted. Lesson learned: a stopwatch truly is a magically magnificent object that can undoubtedly change someone's world.
Isn't it great how kids are so easily amazed? Their innocence can make even the smallest and seemingly meaningless things in life have a purpose. I'm going to have a lot of fun being a parent in the future; needless to say, I will definitely be jotting down the funny things that those children say!