We had great fun last weekend at Autumn's birthday party at her house in West Virginia. One of fun games that we played (actually, all the games were fun, I don't wish to imply there were unfun games) was breaking open a pinata. The pinata was shaped like Spongebob Squarepants, popular kids' TV figure. Personally, I wish they had bashed on Barney, but that's another story. Watching the kids take a whack at the little yellow man made me think of some sage advice to pass on to others.
Typically, when we Americans go after a pinata, we use a baseball bat and we immediately try to port over the associated skills to win victory over our paper mache opponents. Look at this picture as Autumn prepares to take her first swing at Spongebob:
She's ready to start playing for the Yankees, if only they could afford her. So she took a horizontal swing at the cartoon icon and he just went spinning in the air. The rest of the kids all took turns using the same technique with the same results.
I've seen this pretty much every time a pinata is brought out: people pretend it is a baseball and try to knock the cover off the ball. At work once we spent quite a time trying to knock one out of the conference room. Invariably this doesn't work until someone starts to think outside the box. The new inspiration is usually some memory of a samurai flick or Indiana Jones cutting down the rope bridge at the end of Temple of Doom. The over the head chop takes place of the horizontal hammer. Results come up quite quickly, as we can see in this next picture:
I do wish I had pictures from the work pinata, it was truly priceless to see a supervisor's tie swinging in the wind along with the bat. Anyway, Spongebob dropped his load to the delight of the kids. See:
You can insert your own bad joke here. Just in case you were wondering, Jacob did have a crack at the pinata. He needed daddy's help. He also needs to learn the right end of the bat to use. Great way to train your son...where's Uncle Nate when you need him?