picked you last for kickball.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by celine713, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. celine713 Senior Member

    Chinese
    ... A world where companies poison our water and our soil, and children kill. What happened to the time when we thought that everyone could live forever, because we didn't grasp the concept of death? When the worst thing in the world was if someone took the jump rope from you or picked you last for kickball.

    Deal all, what does the last sentence mean?:confused:
    Thanks!
     
  2. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    Hi celine713,
    The context/comparison is between a perceived unpleasant present, and a more pleasant, innocent past.

    In that innocent past (for example, during schooldays), the worst thing that could happen was for someone to take away your jump rope (BE: skipping rope), or for you to be the last person to be picked to join a kickball team.

    Usually, the teacher will pick 2 students to be team captains, and they can take turns picking fellow students they want on their team. So to be the last person picked.... not very nice:). But compared to a world today where "companies poison our water and our soil, and children kill", it's not a very big deal!
     



  3. Hi Celine,

    It refers back to those simple days of childhood. If someone took your jump rope from you, or you were picked last to be in the kickball team, then it was a really big issue for you. You were hurt.

    Children tend not to look beyond the boundaries of their young pleasures. It is only when they grow up that they begin to comprehend the evil and bad things which are in the world.



    LRV
     
  4. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Jumping rope and kickball are schoolyard games of children to age 11 or 12 or so. The sentence is looking back to the simpler world of children where the worst thing that could happen was if someone took away your toy or didn't choose you to be on their team for a game.

    :)
     
  5. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    I suppose it's a generational thing, though. You'd have to replace "jump rope" with "gameboy", or some such contraption:)
     
  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    All the answers so far are correct, but they don't quite get to the point. To be picked last for a team like kickball was a public declaration that the person was completely inept at sports. Worse yet, they were not friends with either team captain, who might have picked them earlier out of personal loyalty. Being picked last is a very public humiliation for a child.
     


  7. With respect, Cuchu, I don't feel that anyone in this thread has missed the point.

    We have all made comparisons with the innocent days of childhood (and the worst things that could happen to a child, from his point of view) and the evils of the world known to adults - evils which a child couldn't possibly imagine to be true.



    LRV
     
  8. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Los Angeles, California
    AmEnglish/German
    I think all of your posts were good and informative, but Cuchu's made the public humiliation part clear. It may not always be enough to just imply it to someone who is not a native. :)

    Edit: I...uh...er uh...uh....just realized that I could turn on signatures. Is that stupid or just mind-bogglingly idiotic? This is like a whole new world of color, text, and...well, just color and text, really. Anyway...just to stay on topic kind of...kickball kicked a**. I always felt horrible for the last one picked.
     
  9. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    That's true, cuchuflete.. brings back "fantastic" memories:eek:.

    But my reading of the passage was as juxtaposing a "trivial" (albeit traumatic, for the child:() scenario, and a current, dystopian scenario, where the topic is actually the latter (a total assumption on my part, but perhaps more context is needed).

    First-hand understanding of schoolday miseries notwithstanding, don't you still think that going too much into the humiliating aspects of being picked last at sports detracts from the forbidding description of the modern day?
     
  10. difficult cuss Senior Member

    English England
    It concerns the loss of innocence.
    The humiliation of being left to last is awful as a child, it truly is, but although that is bad, it is not until later in life one appreciates that there are far far worse things waiting for us like death and no taxis (small attempt at humour...please allow it).
     
  11. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    difficult,
    Thanks. What I was trying to say, but more concise and to the point.
    :)
     
  12. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Difficult cuss has summed it all up very nicely. Please call a cab.
     
  13. celine713 Senior Member

    Chinese
    I thank all of you for such wonderful explanations, as a foreigner I could not catch the connotation, really, and NOW I understand why it is the worst thing for a child if someone took the jump rope from him/her or was picked last for kickball~ Thank you, and especially to difficult cuss and cuchu!:)
     

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