It’s been coming for a few days now but on the 113th throw from the free shot line on day 23 of 26, the hoop finally gave up its stubborn resistance to the painful attentions of the ball and failed spectacularly and fell gracelessly to the ground.
Any significance in the number 113? It is, after all, a prime number and has 13 at the end of it. Perhaps this signals the end of the world to some people? The coming of a New Age of Aquarius to others? Or just the incremental failing of a series of material relationships in which grip was lost, thread laid bare and a fond parting of the ways resulted in gravity having the final word on the connection between brick, rawl plus, screw, back board, hoop bracket hole and ground.
Perhaps it was shooting the first 26 in a record beating 9’ 15” which did it. Perhaps it was just old age and metal fatigue. Perhaps as they grow old, basketball hoops get weary of the pounding, the bouncing and the whooshing and just want to retire gracefully and spend their days staring at the sunsets, pent up in thought about what happens when the final moments arrive. Will they be quick? Painless? Ridiculous?
There have been a few occasions in my own life when I realised, I was within inches of my own demise. Missing a wayward fireworks rocket by a few inches one Guy Fawkes Night flying along our road (rather up in the air) was one of them. Not being in Vauxhall when a helicopter fell on a passing cyclist and killed him was on another. I’ve felt since then that death, for all its sting, can be surprisingly farcical. A case of would’na, could’na, should’na perhaps.
So, the search is on for a hoop and net which could withstand my attentions for the next three days. All suggestions gratefully received.