grape shot.

when i was young i learned about robert pershing wadlow, the world’s tallest man, eight feet eleven inches when he died at age twenty two. i scanned his height chart — five foot four at age four, six foot two at age eight — finding it highly unlikely i could ever compete. if i were to be listed in the book of world records, i would have to do it for another reason.

i don’t remember when it first occurred to me that catching a grape in my mouth from a long distance would be a worthy goal. the other candidates were either too detrimental to my social life (growing my hair or nails for a few decades) or put my health at risk (staying awake for a few weeks). plus, a friend could participate in the achievement, lessening the intrusion of stardom’s spotlight on my daily life. from researching specifics, however, if i wanted celebrity status in the grape-catching world, i would need to meet someone with a bionic arm.

on his website, paul tavilla provides tips for amateurs. he recommends using california ribier, almost black in color, or chilean red globes because they’re big and heavy and easy to see. from ground level he once caught a grape thrown three hundred twenty-seven feet six inches. herein lies the problem, i’m only moderately concerned about my ability to catch a grape in my mouth from such a distance (after all, i follow paul’s advice, catching with my eyes), but i’m extremely skeptical that anyone i know can launch one farther than a football field, let alone accurately, giving me the chance to catch it. apparently paul is assisted by professional grape thrower, james dedy (one wonders if that provides a decent wage or if he needs a side job).

to date the farthest i’ve caught a thrown grape is approximately fifty feet, my sister tossing one from the top of the driveway to my open mouth at the bottom. there’s always a second or so before both the thrower and catcher realize that there has been success, with the former first raising hands triumphantly, then the latter. i ran to meet my sister at the top of the driveway, beside her parked car, and we celebrated together, then looked around to see if the neighbors were watching.

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One Response to “grape shot.”

  1. April Edmonds Says:

    I don’t know, Scott…..you may have to compete with our bears on this one….Good Luck.

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