The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.
Consider: the undefeated swordsman must be exceptionally poor.
-Meti’s Sword Manual, Precept 12
I suppose the story began in an entirely different dorm then mine. For reasons that still elude me, a group of people I knew decided that they should start an intramural softball team. As the minimum team size was four, the fact that they numbered six gave them a considerable advantage. I now list the first six members of the team and their respective capabilities.
One baseball player
One actual softball player
One dude who runs fast
One lady who is good at throwing stuff but can’t run fast
One team captain (who is confident in the abilities of everyone except herself).
It was on these terms that Team Mouse Rat was founded.
So last Saturday night I was hanging out with these people, and they decided to try to recruit me. There were several arguments they made to convince me to join, but only one of them really stuck: “we’re so low-commitment you don’t have to show up to any of the games.” I also had a reason of my own: “this might be funny.” At that point, they informed me that I needed to sign up on the official website: a task made harder by the fact that the website in question experienced severe technical issues when viewed from a mobile device. So it was that, three hours before the deadline, I signed up for Team Mouse Rat.
Monday morning I got a text from the team captain telling me to prepare for a game Tuesday. I was surprised. She was as surprised as I was. Apparently we were to be facing a team called the “Chunder Boys.” This seemed odd, because the “Chunder Boys” happened to be a softball team of three people. None of us quite understood how a three-person softball team would function, as we figured that they might eventually end up with a boy on each base and no one at bat. Anyway, a game was a game.
On Tuesday afternoon, I walked down toward the field. As I went, I glanced at the forecast: 50% chance of rain. I felt a raindrop, followed by another and another. I decided that the forecast might be a little out of date. The fields on campus are well known to turn into mudpits under such conditions, but I pressed onward. Most of the team, including a few new recruits, was gathered on the field ahead of me. The other team was notably absent. An official looking man walked up to us and helpfully informed us that if the other team did not show up in ten minutes, it would be counted as a forfeit.
Team Mouse Rat’s first game was a resounding success. Our team captain distinguished herself with an insane chain of base-stealing, our batters hit several stunning home runs, and our fielders did a lot of running around. The other team was so utterly overwhelmed that they did not score a single run against us. In fact, they could not even hit a single ball. In fact, they did not catch anything either. They were so overwhelmed that none of them actually showed up to the game.
The now-undefeated Team Mouse Rat stands in the strong position of being the second-largest team in the league. I am left with no option but to conclude that this is the beginning of an exciting season.