Today before watching a surprising football game (surprising in its thoroughness, not necessarily in its end result ) I had the chance to see part of what is called the Kitty Bowl, before my errands of grocery shopping impelled me to leave the little kittens playing a game of football without understanding it at all, and showing as great an enthusiasm of grooming themselves or playing with yarn as with actually moving the football towards the other goal zone. Yet it did not matter that the kittens were clearly not good football players, as they were really cute. On the other hand, the tv program “Fish Bowl” was not so enjoyable because the fish that were shown in their fish bowl were not cute. They were, instead, merely rather dull and boring. Mind you, some fish are cute, but they are usually more active or mischievous fish like Archer fish.
Among the more unusual aspects of the Kitten Bowl that was particularly humorous was the play-by-play commentating of the action on the field. The attempts of the people in the booth (such as it was) to mimic the action of the well-paid broadcasters in football games (and other sporting events) was comical. Part of the comedy was in the way that they were creative in punning the names of famous athletes in their considerably less athletic kitten dopplegangers. Part of the comedy, though, was in the fact that it was wildly inappropriate to assume any sort of conscious effort to play football among the playful little kittens. Kittens hitting each other playfully, as cats tend to do, was flagged for “illegal paws to the face,” with a mock referee throwing penalty flags. It also helped that kittens are just adorable animals to begin with.
One of the surest signs to myself that I have at least some of the nature of a child within me still is the enjoyment I have at things that are silly and innocently fun. This is not an enjoyment that is without risk or danger in my life, but at the same time it is one that reminds me that I am at least in some areas of my life far younger than my chronological age. Unsurprisingly enough, I tend to feel the greatest enjoyment in life when for a few moments I can forget the burdens of my life and see life from an uncomplicated point of view for a little while, where I can laugh and play and have fun without having to be so deadly serious about everything. Such moments may not happen very often, but they happen often enough to remind me that I am not completely an old fogey yet. Quite honestly, I need to be reminded of that from time to time.
Having a sense of play is one of those factors that makes life enjoyable. Whether we can stare out at the night sky, or watch some kittens playing around, or enjoy the innocent laughter of children, there has to be something in our lives that takes the edge off and that reminds us that there are moments of relief from the burdens of our existence. No matter how old we are, and no matter what kind of life we have lived, we all need to have a little fun. It is best for ourselves and for everyone else if that fun is innocent and lighthearted, as fun that is not innocent can cause ourselves and others a great deal of trouble. Hopefully, we may find our fun in ways that may be a bit quirky but that do no harm to ourselves or anyone else. This world, after all, has enough that it must overcome without us adding anything to those scales.