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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: No dodging it: 'Wind-HAM' is for wimps

I was prepared to stand in solidarity with those Windham school officials who have outlawed dodgeball. Hard as it is for my family and friends to believe, I was not always the buff, chiseled figure that once made Arnold Schwarzenegger quake in his boots.

(Well, okay, he didn't actually quake. But he did move quickly away from me when I approached him once at the Houston Astrodome.)

When I was a kid, I hated gym class. I felt for the kids who got whacked in dodgeball. No, really. I happened to be hiding behind them and I still remember the sound they made when they fell down in a heap at my feet.

When they got up, they sometimes had this red mark where their faces were supposed to be. Ouch.

But then I read that in Windham, even before the ban, they were using a Nerf ball for dodgeball.

This is like using a marshmallow for golf. Or ballet slippers for horseshoes.

Even with the Nerf dodgeball, they said it was not good to have "target" games and it was bad for the kids' self-esteem that some of them had to lose. Gee, did "tag" also get cut?

I wish I could convince Thomas Q. Public and the gang at Derryfield that my self-esteem will be in tatters if they don't let me win one lousy $5 Nassau this season.

Windham is for wimps. And I blame it all on Channel 9.

Ever since the station's news readers began calling it "Wind-HAM" the town has had problems. Where did that come from, exactly?

It's not Pel-HAM and it's not Wind-HAM, any more than it's "New HAMpshire."

This is New Hampsha, darn it. It's "Pellum" and "Windum."

I do know, by the way, the source of the shouts our reporter heard emanating from behind closed doors at a city school board meeting in ManchVegas last week.

It was Mayor Ted Gatsas playing dodgeball with three candidates for school superintendent. None got the job. The mayor doesn't do Nerf.

And we better all keep an eye on the gang in Concord these days, where touchy-feely tendencies have also broken out.

Last week, the Legislature narrowly averted moving forward with a bill to create official state colors for New Hampshire. Red, yellow, and orange had been proposed.

Who comes up with this stuff?

Our unofficial state colors are good enough. Gray and green. One's for winter and the other's for the spring that is finally beginning to get sprung around here. The Red Sox and the Yankees play today!

Write to Joe McQuaid at publisher@unionleader.com or via Twitter at?@deucecrew.


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