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The true origin of the Hoseball is shrouded in mystery and buried in the coffin of time. I first learned of it when it was called a Schmerltz, during days of the New Games Foundation and all that was implied thereby.

At last Friday's first official Junior Junkmaster Training, where the chosen ones, leaders of recreation throughout the vast holdings of Redondo Beach, participated in something similar to an hour of madcap Junkyard Sports making. Our junk collection included a large repository of panty hose and socks, a couple plastic bags full of plastic bags, a few paper grocery bags, and some plastic tie-downs.

For demonstration purposes, I had prepared several Schmerltz-like objects that I had made by stuffing a good-size ball of socks into a leg cut from a pair of pantyhose (as illustrated). For some reason, when I introduced these to the group, I didn't call them Schmerltzes, as I once had, but referred to them as, yes, Hoseballs.

There are other definitions and uses for the word, I must admit. There's not-so-vaguely sexual game and a baseball-like game that uses a piece of rubber hose for a ball. And there are other words for Schmerltz, including a commercial thing called a Fling Sock, and the more traditional "Socks-in-Pantyhose" or "Socks in Sock" or "Socker Thing."

But as of Friday, regardless of precedent or what, it became, officially and forever, a Junkyard SportsĀ® Hoseball.


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