Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ode To The Bucket Of Confetti

Big Easy and Scooter performing the "Bucket of Confetti" trick
Copyright © by Mike/Mrghx4. All rights reserved. 
Used with permission.
Unlike my other tributes to popular reams done at a Generals vs Globetrotters game, this one doesn't actually involve the Washington Generals.

Still, it doesn't seem right to talk about the famous reams and not mention the most iconic of all. The Bucket of Confetti trick.

This trick was mostly originated by Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal, and has become probably the most famous comedy act done at a Globetrotter game.

It starts during a time out, when the Globetrotters will bring a bucket of water onto the court to refresh themselves. The teams Showman (These days usually "Big Easy" or "Special K", but the trick was originated by Meadowlark Lemon) will decide he wants a drink and go up to the Globetrotter currently holding their only cup. Usually this is the teams main dribbler (currently done primarily by "Flight Time" or "Scooter", but originated by Curly Neal) but will occasionally be another one of the trotters.

The Globetrotter with the cup will refuse, which won't sit well with the thirsty Showman. The two will argue and it will always end with the Trotter throwing water in the Showman's face.

This doesn't go over well with the Showman, who will go and get the bucket of water. He will then chase the other trotter with the bucket, threatening to throw it on him. The fleeing Trotter will briefly grab a kid to shield him, but quickly abandon the plan and continue running. After running a bit longer, he will run in front of the referee and duck just in time to avoid getting dunked, instead the hapless referee getting a face full of water.

Angered, the referee will chase the Showman backstage, but after a second both will come running out, with the Showman now chasing the referee with a brand new bucket. The other trotter will see this and flee once more, this time running up into the audience. Once the Showman has caught up with him, he will duck and the Showman will throw what seems to be another bucket of water into the audience.

Only this time it isn't water, but rather it us confetti. And both trotters will laugh at fooling the audience.

Unlike a lot of the other reams, which have evolved over time, this one is unique in that is has been basically unchanged in the over 40 years they have used it. If you were to watch Meadowlark and Curly do it, and then watch it happen at a game today, the only thing that has really changed is the players.

In fact, it has become so common that in truth the audience usually knows what is happening, save some small kids or adults at the game for the first time. So why do a trick that would seemingly not fool anyone?

Short answer, it's familiar. Like putting on a warm blanket.

Whether you were a fan in the 60's, the 80's, or are just discovering the Globetrotters games against the Generals, we all know the trick. It is something everyone shares, that no matter when we first saw the Globetrotters. We remember the bucket of confetti.

I have watched the Trotters play the Generals for over two decades now. I know the second they start drinking from that bucket where they are going with it, I could recite it blow by blow. But if it didn't happen, I would feel ripped off.

If it isn't broke, don't fix it. No one knows that better than the Harlem Globetrotters.

 Meadowlark and Curly performing the trick
 

Flight Time and Special K performing the trick

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