Do Not Try This at Home!

injured authors
Table of contents and Introduction to the unpublished 1980s blockbuster Scythe Hockey and Other New Age Sports, by F.R. Duplantier, Alan Huard, and Sid Berger:

DISCLAIMER: This book is not meant to be taken seriously. The sports described here are dangerous, and only an idiot would attempt to play them. Don’t be an idiot.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Birdfishing.
No hip boots, no boats, no water needed for this landlover’s version of angling. Just cast toward trees or power lines and reel in those birds.

Chapter 2. Ice Tennis.
Now you can play tennis outdoors year-round — on ice rinks, frozen lakes, or glazed-over courts. Increased agility will soon be yours.

Chapter 3. Musical Aqualungs.
Compete at depths of 100 feet or more in this underwater version of the children’s game, but don’t be left without a tank when the music stops.

Chapter 4. Platform Volleyball.
No more disputes over “out-of-bounds” calls when you play volleyball on a platform whose edges coincide with the boundaries of the court.

Chapter 5. Scythe Hockey.
Close-cropped playing fields and sharpened reflexes are two benefits that field hockey players derive from a modest alteration in playing equipment.

Chapter 6. Sixteen-Pound Soccer.
The pace of traditional soccer seemed a bit frantic until a solid, sixteen-pound ball was substituted for the lightweight leather version.

Chapter 7. Squadron Racquetball.
Athletic clubs can accommodate more members and reduce waiting times for courts when teams of five or more players compete.

Chapter 8. Staircase Football.
With their staircases transformed into gridirons, state capitols, public libraries, and college administration buildings are put to productive use.

Chapter 9. Three-Legged Hurdles.
With their legs strapped together, pairs of hurdlers soon learn the value of cooperation, and a healthy team spirit replaces antisocial tendencies.

Chapter 10. Urban Golf.
Get in a few holes at lunch time on the rooftops of nearby office towers, or wait till five and drive a bucket of balls into rush-hour traffic.


The 21st Century is upon us, and yet Americans are still playing sports the same way their grandfathers played them. The Japanese and the Europeans, our wily competitors, have seen what the future holds and are already hard at work reinventing and reconstructing their sports for the next millennium. We too must prepare for a new age of sports — sports that are totally democratic, accessible to anyone at any time regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and any other affiliations or predilections yet to be defined or imagined.

To facilitate this epic undertaking, we have recorded for the benefit of our countrypersons some of the recent developments in ten of America’s most popular athletic activities. Whether the result of accident or careful planning, the innovations described here have radically altered the nature of sports that had remained essentially unchanged since their inception. These sports are not only more egalitarian in their reincarnated forms, but more exciting as well. New playing areas and surfaces have made dramatic improvements in tennis, volleyball, football, and golf. New playing equipment has had an undeniably beneficial impact on field hockey and soccer. And new player limits have positively revitalized racquetball and track and field sports. As for fishing and scuba diving, well, you won’t even recognize them.

For nearly a century, America has been the world’s number-one sports superpower. Now, for the first time in many decades, we are in danger of losing that supremacy. But our decline is not inevitable. There’s no reason we can’t be the best for another century. We can preserve and perpetuate our superiority — yes, we can! — if we learn the lessons contained in Scythe Hockey and Other New Age Sports.

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