Backblast: “Magic” 11/15/2020 0530 AO TARPIT

Some skeptics may say that the difficulty with ancient history is to know when history becomes myth, and myth becomes lore, and lore becomes lies. But fiction often contains more truth then non-fiction, and it can be more instructive & entertaining. That is why I am so tardy on this backblast. As we may all be a bit hazy on some of the finer details of what actually occurred so long ago on that November day, this presents and opportunity for legends to be born. 

It was a dreary spring morning around the year of 1994. It was one of those early spring mornings when the snow has just melted and the earth is caked with mud and the grass has not yet had time to heal from the winter thaw, and the leaves are not quite budding. As I, a young boy, looked out the window of my home, across the street a grave digger was digging a new plot. There, with him, was the cadaver. The grave digger was crying, he had known the deceased intimately. I lowered my eyes. I wish I could say this was the first time I had witnessed this scene, but it had occurred all too frequently. The grave digger, a boy a year older than myself, housed gerbils. He was good to his gerbils, but naturally being captive, they would die. Each death impacted my neighbor friend Tony. And so, there he was on Pershing Ave, digging a fresh grave in his front yard on a Saturday morning, while most children were watching cartoons.

I recently reached out to Tony to try and catch up with him after all these years. I believe he still lives in the area. We played phone tag. That is to say, he did not return my calls. The last time we played together, to my recollection, involved ending in me calling him some mean names and throwing some things at him, intending to hurt him. But that’s what you get when you cheat in monopoly.  It would be wonderful to catch up with him again,he is a great guy and I think he would really like F3. 

I would like to say a special thanks to the following people who came out and supported Magic. to; Saga, Beaker, Panhandle, T-bone, Tortuga, Katniss, Shiplap, Captain Crunch, and Noodles. To all pax who were not present; sadly you may be a part of the problem and perhaps have no affinity for gerbils.

MAGIC: Men Against Gerbils in Cages. If you are part of the local populace and reading this online, just know that this was all a joke and is not meant to offend or arouse anger.

On the cool damp morning of November the 15th, the above 9 paxs and myself held the annual Meeting of Magic, with the intent of it being an awareness campaign as well. At 5:30am there were no TV helicopters flying overhead, there were no paparazzi, and there were no crowds. This was our first annual meeting and we had assumed the going would be tough at the outset, and therefore we did not hope for much fanfare. It takes time to build traction. As Katniss said, our mantra is we believe the cause is so strong it speaks for itself. 

To feel the plight of the gerbil there were three stations, after a gerbil honoring warmup: 


Warm Up: 

  • Gerbil Poopers: X25 
  • Gerbil Wall Stretch – 30 seconds
  • Gerbil thinks he is getting out of his cage stretch otherwise called goofballs x20 
  • Gerbil Glute Bridge X10 


“The Wheel” (1 round performed on the stairs jogging down in between sets

  • Jog up
  • Sprint up
  • Left leg hop up
  • Jog Up 
  • Spring up
  • Right leg Hop up
  • Jog Up 
  • Spring up 
  • Broad Jump Up 

“The Cage” (You and partner perform following together)

  • 20 suicides (going out to 20 yd line) 
  • Push up claps 100 
  • Jump Squats 200 
  • Gas pumps 300 

“The SawDust Pit” 

  • Gerbil Dig- The Inch Worm 20 yards 
  • Gerbil Dig in place -maybe they are stuck on the wall…Suicide Bombers STOP and DO 5. 
  • Gerbil Crawl- Bear Crawl 70 yards 
  • Gerbil Dig in place -maybe they are stuck on the wall…Suicide Bombers STOP and DO 5. 
  • Gerbil- Prisoner Crawl….Don’t feel like this is dehumanizing. 10 yards. 

The final exercise, the prisoner crawls, brought me much joy. Yes there can be joy in the midst of sorrow. As I looked around to my left and right and saw Beaker and Saga with agonizing looks on their faces as they crawled through the grass with their hands behind their backs and foreheads in the dirt, I knew they were imagining how the gerbils must feel, and taking on the gerbil’s sorrows. Mission Complete. 

Endnote: I believe this was the last Q on the Glenbard West football field. Shortly following this, we found the field to be barricaded off.