At work we have developed a new lunchtime sport in keeping with the occupational health and safety workplace exercise program. Our sporting activities do not involve running, aerobics, Tai Chi, martial arts or ninja moves across the ceiling. The rules of our sport are relatively simple: pelt your opponent with rubber bands until they squeal then protect yourself at all costs.
Many would argue that this is not a sport and I can see where they are coming from. Rubber band pelting will never make it as an Olympic sport, even though it requires dexterity, exceptional hand - eye co-ordination, strength and deadly accuracy. It's a lot like archery without the bow.
The only drawback to this sport is the potential injuries. Weals, welts and the occasional drawing of blood are common, but the one injury that would draw a few raised eyebrows from the Workers Compensation Board is the taking of an eye in the quest for victory. That said, as responsible adults and mindful of the difficulty of the explanation on the claim form we decided that protective clothing was necessary.
A batman style cape with wings of steel is necessary for deflecting those stinging body shots. The manilla folders proved too flimsy to do the job. Headgear is also another important part of the armor. Pictured above is the Ned Kelly styled protective mask, made from a coffee cup holder with a double glazed eye panel made of toughened plastic. This prototype, still in the testing stage, is holding up well. Plans for this feat of engineering are available on request.
The health benefits of the sport are amazing. Ducking, weaving, bending to pick up ammunition. It keeps the mind sharp and the body supple. We have, at this stage, chosen not to have scoring system. Play should be spontaneous and opportunistic, not bogged down with rules and regulations. Exercise should be fun!
We are currently oiling the wheels of the office chairs and collecting the cardboard rolls out of the toilet paper.
Next week we start office jousting.