Kristin Pratt

Layout TD at MPC

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1

The Scoop

I really want to do a more cartoony story. Things are a little "whimsical" but all within the realm of being believable within the world. I was thinking something along the lines of "old tradition vs new". I think a lot of people today are all about the "latest and greatest" and are too focused around gadgets instead of people. Growing up my summers consisted of baseball and icecream. I remember vividly the icecream trucks that drove throughout the neighborhood. They jingled their tunes like a siren call to the children telling them to rush outside with their piggy bank money. I also remember baseball games on Sundays, and playing in the heat of the summer. The thrill of getting up to the plate. Feeling the nerves at bat. The moment before you swing when you take the leap to try and knock one out of the park. These are memories I hold dear. So, I thought I'd write about what I know.

I don't have anything super concrete. I was thinking about a baseball team who isn't in a league but plays in the neighborhood for the love of the game. The team is for anybody to join. It is essentially the misfit crowd from the school who maybe weren't the best ball players or maybe didn't have the money for a more "elite" team. And then there is the "all-star" team from the same school. This team is comprised of what most would consider the "jocks or the elite" from grade school. They have the nicest uniforms, the shiniest bats, and the coolest cleats around.

Now these teams would never compete in the same leaque. However, through an altercation at the school (which has yet to be determined). The two teams end of facing each other in a match to prove team spirit and a little gusto can outmatch having the latest stuff and the "cream of the crop" from the school.

The team doesn't win at first. They find that they are clearly outmatched, and are esentially "slaughtered" on the field. The team leaves the park defeated, feeling down about not being able to defeat the other team. Maybe they are just misfits. The team "licked their wounds" by going to get icecream from the local icecream man. This has always been a tradtion for the misfit team. The icecream truck driver is almost like a father figure to the kids or maybe that cool/quirky uncle they never had - the yoda to their young padawan. He feels for the kids and tells them that they should rematch the team and he will help them win. The kids reluctantly challenge the rival team again. Giving them 2 weeks to get "in shape" for the match.

At the next Thursday practice, the truck driver brings his icecream truck (more like a tricycle with an icecream cooler on the front), and he shares the secret to beating the other team. He divulges that what they've been missing the whole time was the "the scoop". They need to take pride in their swing like when he scoops his icecream for the kids. He adds his own personal flair each time he reaches down to scoop the next cone. The coach gets the scooper, gives the smallest most scared boy a cone,  and shows them what he means. He goes down into the bucket of vanilla icecream with great force and quickly scoops the icecream and, with a flick of his wrist, flings the icream at the cone. Ducking to avoid being hit, the boy holds up the cone in front of him and the scoop squashes into the cone. The kids stand there dumbfounded. He reinforces that they just need to add their own personal flair to their team and embrace who they are. They don't need anything fancy they just have to "find their scoop". So he shows them this for throwing and batting. This being a very cartoony movie, maybe they might have silly sayings like "that throw was a little too vanilla, put a little sprinkle on that". I'm not sure. But, I digress.

So the rematch comes and and the games starts of a little rocky. Better than before, but their confidence has still been shaken. The rival team leads 2-0. The rival shortstop makes a snarky comment that leads the icecream man to answer back. Seeing his team needs a little push, he places his icecream truck on the game saying that winner takes the truck and its contents. To a kid, what is more of a trophy than a truck full of icecream and bragging rights? The game does a back and forth. Clearly, the misfit team is "finding their scoop". The bases are loaded and the scored is 5-4 with the rival team in the lead. One of the misfit girls on the team goes to the plate and nearly strikes out but ends up homering, getting the player on third to run in, and taking the lead by one run. The misfits go wild! The end is in sight! What a scoop! There is only the second half of the inning left! They could actually win this!

The misfits take the field. After a few close calls, they keep the game's score at 6-5. But its the star of the rival's team turn to bat. He gets up to the plate. He's got a mouth full of double chew bubble gum and the meanest glint in his eye. The pitch goes wild and they get him to swing! MISS!!! They are 2 strikes away from a win! The next pitch comes, and the rival batter musters all his rage to knock the ball out of the park right at the scrawny, scared kid in left field. Knowing he has them tied up, the rival kid starts running the bases. With the ball still in the air, the scrawny kid starts to run. And he runs with everything he's got. He puts out his glove, stretching his arm into the sky at the ball and giving a big "leap" of faith. The scrawny kid falls to the ground with a thud. His eyes are closed and hears a massive cheering sound coming from the infield. He can't tell which team it is for. He slowly opens one eye and takes a look at his glove. He's got the ball just barely trapped at the tip of his glove - looking like a scoop on an icecream cone. He stands up thrusting his arm into the air with shear joy on his face - displaying the gloved ball. And you can hear the icecream man say, "Now THAT'S finding your scoop!" 

The players rush the kid that caught the ball and the victory chant ensues. The rival team throws their bats and gear on the ground in frustration. This is the first time the misfits forgot they were ever "misfits". They were winners.

Flash forward to years down the line. We see the scrawny kid all grown up driving the icecream truck through the neighborhood. Its the same old truck from his childhood - barely untouched by the years. He's throwing icecream scoops to the kids left and right. He takes a ride by the old ballpark and sees a kid on the bench, glove in hand looking a little depressed. He pulls his truck over sits next to the boy, icecream in hand, and says "Let me tell you about the scoop". 

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