Tag Day always used to fill me with dread. Two hours or so standing in the entryway of a local bank, making awkward conversation with strangers, and guilting people into throwing change or a dollar into the little carton things we held was no kid’s idea of fun, but it was something we had to do once a year for Little League and Babe Ruth league. Tag Day now, at least here in Worcester, is a lot different. The local Ty Cobb Little League (I think it is hysterical that the league is named after one of the nastiest players who ever lived, although he was a heck of a competitor, so that is good) had its Tag Day this past Saturday. The days of asking for money at the bank are gone – these kids collect at intersections throughout the city. The parents are there as well – it is much too dangerous to leave kids, I suppose, the way we used to be dropped off. I dutifully contributed – it is a great cause – but I must say I have problems with this system. The biggest complaint I have is it is extremely dangerous. The players, and in reality the parents who seemed to be doing most of the work, wander in and out of lanes as cars are moving. I pray no one gets hurt during one of these events. There is much banter with drivers and each other, and people get distracted easily. The Little League is not the only group that does this – other charities, school organizations, etc. can be found fairly often at Worcester’s intersections. I do not like to encourage this way of doing things but I always contribute – I usually have my collar on, and how bad would it look if a priest did not give something? But the system needs to be rethought. There is no reason we can’t go back to the standing at the bank (this time with a parent in tow) rite of passage that we all went through back in the day.
UPDATE: Apparently the law in Worcester is that you have to be 18 or older to “can” in the street. This explains why it looks like the ‘rents are doing all the work.