Giggle survives Spazzy Herpe Ball

Favorite Body Part

Two days before my mack daddy team of positarians gathered to Giggle On for the E-Racing the Blues event I jacked out one of my favorite body parts at my local gym.

No, not my mouth…my ankle.

I love parts of my body that hold up other parts of my body. I’m funny like that. I’m a big fan of movement and ankles are pretty important if you like to walk, stand, skip, scamper or tap-dance.

I headed to my gym on October 23rd with two main goals:

1) get my sweat on

2) work out some pre-charity walk stress

Little did I know Spazzy Herpe Ball would try to rub out my giggle.

Spazzy Herpe Ball Public Enemy #1

The Perpetrator

Here it is. Public Enemy # 1

This is the SpaZZZZ ball, Z-ball or as I have been known to call it, the Herpe Ball.

Yeah, herpe. You read that right. I said herpe.

At first glance this little ball seems harmless, even cute with it’s little happy bumps but don’t let this jaundiced piece of polyurethane fool you! This yellow devil is dangerous and as far as I’m concerned, it must be stopped before it harms anyone else.

What the hell is this Spazzy Z-Ball for?

The makers/sellers/pimps of this piece of equipment make some big claims about this product:

The ball is a “fun and challenging way to improve reaction time, hand-eye coordination and agility”.

[fun and challenging, yes but a major yadda, yadda, yadda to the second part]

“The z-ball is uniquely designed to pop, bounce and leap unpredictably in different directions”

[pop? That’s right. That was the sound I heard when my ankle snapped out of place chasing the damn thing so you’re right on the money there].

“The z-ball develops balance, bilateral movement, depth perception, hand-eye/foot-eye coordination, first step quickness, focus, peripheral awareness and tracking” Source (1)

[don’t forget pain, swelling and bruising].

Fun and challenging?

Ok, it was fun AND challenging. You got me there.  I find it fun to challenge my already sick, warped and twisted sense of humor. Any excuse to laugh and make up new words is welcomed!

When my trainer showed me the ball, I snorted, laughed and guffawed. LOUD.

Z-Ball looked like a magnified herpe cell. I’m just sayin’…

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a herpe cell in a microscope (but here’s a cool picture I nabbed just now from the net/don’t sue me) but if a normal healthy cell is round like a ball one would assume an abnormal cell would be bumpy, knarly and knotted like this. Right?

Per the the photo below, seems my non-medical humor intuition was right on track. I rock!


While I was cruising the net looking for photos of herpes (sounds fun, doesn’t it) I found PROOF POSITIVE that my instantaneous humor train-of-thought (some even say logic) was based in fact! Stuffed toy fact.

Introducing the Herpes Giant Microbes Plush Toy

Herpes Plush Toy

Not only did I find a medical photo to prove herpes is all bumpy like the Z-Ball, I found a Herpes Giant Microbes Plush Toy.  Ironic the toy is also in yellow. Ironic the toy looks very similar to the Z-Ball. I wonder what to make of that?

What’s up with evil things and yellow? ~ talk amongst yourselves ~

The sales pitch for the Herpes Giant Microbes Plush Toy goes like this:

There’s no cure for herpes, so once you get a hold of this little guy, you’ll never be able to let him go. Unlike his biological counterparts, this guy stays around all month long, rather than cycling through active and remission periods. Plus, they won’t leave you with painful, itchy and unsightly blisters.

[No, I am not making this up. They also sell a Chlamydia Plush Toy, Dust Mite Plush Toy and Gonorrhea Plush Toy.]

Disease isn’t funny but humor heals

Herpes, the disease, isn’t funny (just like suicide isn’t funny) but if we can’t laugh at what ails us (or injures us or makes us sad) we’d all go insane.

The sooner you can find the funny in your own crisis, the sooner you can experience the medicinal value and healing power of humor. – Michael Elizondo, Finding the Funny

Spazzy Herpe Ball tries to steal my giggle

It all started when my trainer, hereafter called Trainer Man, told me to stand on the opposite side of the fitness room and catch the herpe ball on the first bounce. Since Spazzy is unpredictable, one can’t predict where it will go.

I remember my response to my trainer was something like:

Bwa-HA-HA-HA! followed by YEAH RIGHT DOOD in classic California surfer lingo style.

Before the fateful day of my sprain I performed this exercise a half dozen times.

Step 1: Trainer Man would throw herpe ball.

Step 2:  I’d chase after herpe ball like a rhinoceros trying to catch an invisible marble.


I won’t lie. It wasn’t a pretty site. I am quick witted not quick footed.

Murphy’s Law and the Jinxing

Every time Trainer Man would congratulate me for a great catch, I would fumble. Murphy’s Law. I begged him to stop giving me positive feedback because I was convinced he was jinxing me.

Jinxing is so third grade and ultimately not cool.

So Trainer Man closed his pie hole. I resumed sprinting as best I could with the short gams my short Italian parents gave me. Did I mention I’m short?

Jinx or no-jinx but on October 23, 2009, my otherwise happy and giggly right ankle turned in, popped and caused me to land on the hard wood floor in a thud louder than 10 sacks of potatoes being air dropped from 100 feet (ok, I don’t really know what that sounds like, but seems it would be really loud. I’m just sayin’…).

Needless to say, I cursed like a longshoreman as I was hitting the floor.

#@*%#@*% #@*% #@*% and argh!

Thoughts and curses raced through my skull…

  • How in the world would I lead my Giggle On Team 2 days from now in a charity walk with a fubar’ed ankle?
  • How would I skip rope, rally the troops and do the fa-la-la dance?


Victory for Laughter!


With the help of my family, friends, a wheelchair (thanks Tony), clown nose, kazoo, jester hat and kazoo I crossed the finish line in a fit of laughter.

And no, that’s not a human herpe ball or herpe plush toy pushing me to victory.

So I say: Don’t Give Up! Giggle On!

Spazzy Herpe Ball may have slowed me down but he did NOT kill my giggle.

Giggle Score

Christa:  1

Spazzy Herpe Ball:  0, zilch, nada

6 weeks later

6 weeks after the SHB incident I’m still on the mend. I may never play with herpe ball again (no love lost for me) but I’m eager to get back to training and back into my normal fitness routine (and yes, that includes both my ankles).

It wasn’t “fun” or funny hurting myself but as Carol Burnett once said,

“Comedy is tragedy plus time.”

We all face struggles. I’d rather laugh than cry. How ’bout you?

For all ya’ll who waited patiently for photos of Team Giggle On, the wait is over. Enjoy!

For those of you who participated in the walk, run or made a donation, please accept my heart felt thanks. Team Giggle On had 74 participants and we were recognized for having the largest and most gigglicious team the MHA of Delaware has ever seen.

The MHA filmed a video of event and many members of Team Giggle On are on camera. I’m also interviewed at the 23 second mark talking about the benefits of exercise and laughter.

Giggle On! and thanks again!!!


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