Base!

When he was much younger, I played tag with my oldest child. I realize that nowadays this game is no longer politically correct, as it is both violent and exclusionary. However, hear me out for a second.

He was always able to tag me after just a bit of running. As a dad, you must employ a liberal let-my-kid-tag-me policy, else they’ll get frustrated and quit. The playing field must be leveled by throttling-down on adult speed and agility. Essentially, parents Harrison Bergeron ourselves for the sake of the kids.

When “it,” I’d give chase and remain far enough back to allow the kid to feel like he was skilled enough to deftly avoid my pursuit. After awhile, I’d throttle-up in order to give him equal time as “it.” This was when something curious happened.

He’d pick the nearest object–maybe a tree, maybe a chair, maybe a bush–touch it, and yell “BASE.” According to him, being on base meant that he was immune to being tagged. As he and I were the only participants, this left me in a bit of a lurch. A conversation ensued.

“You’re just calling base when I get close to you.”

“Uh huh,” he replied.

“You can’d do that. You just pick the nearest thing and call it base.”

“Uh huh.”

“That’s not fair. You can’t just call everything base when it suits you, and you’re just making up the rules for base as we go.”

“Well, this is base,” he stated while looking up at me in a righteous and defiant manner.

At this point, the conversation proves useless, and I resort to wandering around and acting disinterested until he vacates his self-declared base. At that point, chase began anew.

I realize now that this notion of “base” reinvented itself on college campuses, still with the same self-righteous indignation and disregard for logic.

Now, they are called “safe spaces.”

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