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Exclusion: Vinnie wants to play baseball, but he's the last person chosen for his team
Posted by Douglas, Jun 24, 2008. 2556 views. ID = 1415


Posted by Douglas, Jun 24, 2008. 2556 views. ID = 1415
This post was written in 29 minutes.
There is a moral to this story, which you will find in the last line - if you're paying attention. :)
This post has been awarded 32 stars by 8 readers.

Vinnie stood quietly behind one of the taller boys in class, knowing even as he did so that he was killing his chances of being selected. It was irrational, but he couldn't help it. He loved playing baseball with the boys, but he couldn't stand being picked last. At least this way, when he was the last boy selected for a team, he could tell himself it was because no one noticed he was there.

"I'll take Roger," Mark, one of the team captains, said. As Roger stepped forward, Mark noticed Vinnie standing behind him. "Oh, and hey," he said with a grin, "Vinnie wants to play. You can have Vinnie, Joe!"

Joe scowled. "I'll pick my own team, thank you very much," he said. Then, after surveying the remaining students, he said, "I'll take Greg."

Now that Vinnie's shield was gone, now that he had been brought to everyone's attention by Mark's unkind jest, and he had no chance of remaining unnoticed, Vinnie worked at a new tactic. He didn't exactly stand on his tip-toes, but he did everything he could to stretch out his short, slouching frame to its full height. Even stretched out like that, Vinnie didn't cut a very imposing figure.

"Bob," Mark called, and Bob trotted over to his side of the line.

"Jack," Joe said.

With the person to his left and to his right chosen for teams, Vinnie felt as though he was the center of attention now, separated from the other potential players who stood calmly waiting to be chosen. They, at least, knew they wouldn't be chosen last.

"Hey Vinnie," Mark said, after a couple more rounds of player selection. "Why don't you run and get your sketch pad, and you can draw pictures of us men playing baseball. Maybe you could even get it published in the school newspaper."

"Ha ha!" Joe said. "School newspapers are for girls." Then, as though to illustrate the point, he called out, "Ferdie!" Burning shame and humiliation turned Vinnie's face bright red; the only girl who wanted to play had been picked before him.

"Tell you what, Joe," Mark said. "If I take Vinnie, I think you've got to let me have an extra player to make up for it."

Joe thought about that. "No way," he said. "There's an even number of players, so if I give you an extra, you're up by two players. That's not fair. Even Vinnie's not worth a two player disadvantage. Besides, I've got the girl."

"Well, I'm not taking him," Mark said. Then he added, "I'll trade him for the girl."


Mark turned to look at Vinnie, who was desperately trying to look athletic by flexing the muscles in his spindly arms. "Hey, Vinnie," Mark said. "You can play first base."

Surprised, Vinnie let out an uncharacteristic whoop of happiness, and trotted toward Mark's team.

"No, Vinnie," Mark said with feigned patience. "You're not on my team. We're one bag short, so you're first base." Then, to everyone else he called, "Just be careful not to stomp on him too hard on your way to second!"

Everyone but Vinnie whooped and whistled with laughter and jeers. Vinnie, trying not to cry, trying to pretend that he wasn't hurt by their banter, turned slowly away, and with what he hoped was a casual-looking swagger, he walked away.

He still had his sketch pad, and he could draw caricatures of those morons that would make their own mothers laugh at them. He just simply wasn't going to let them bother him. They weren't worth the trouble. Someday it wouldn't matter that he hadn't been chosen. Someday he would forget all this, and life wouldn't be so miserable. Someday.

He would cut off his own left ear before he would let those idiots get to him.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 32 stars by 8 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Alphabet Soup - E
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Jun 24, 2008
Hopefully you didn't figure out who Vinnie really is before the end of the story, and hopefully the last line clued you in to his identity.

If you missed it, Vinnie is Vincent van Gogh.
   ~Posted by Douglas, Jun 24, 2008

Jan 2, 2010
nice =)
   ~Posted by 'Chelle, Jan 2, 2010

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