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walteryoung

Walter Young: A Success Story

Ah, Walter Young.  The man with the highest Body Mass Index of any player in the history of Major League Baseball.  Where is he now?  Playing semipro ball, perhaps.  Finishing up his bachelor’s degree, maybe.  It doesn’t matter.  He spent one month in “The Show” with the woebegone, partially Lee Mazzilli-managed ’05 Orioles, during which time he produced the following line:

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2005 25 BAL 14 37 33 2 10 1 0 1 3 4 7 .303 .378 .424 .803 115
1 Yr 14 37 33 2 10 1 0 1 3 4 7 .303 .378 .424 .803 115
162 Game Avg. 162 428 382 23 116 12 0 12 35 46 81 .303 .378 .424 .803 115

Not terrible numbers, all things considered equally.  Young wasn’t much of a first baseman–how much of a first baseman could any 320-pound man be?–but he was one heck of a BP hitter.  Swinging a bat heavy with expectation, he would belt moon shots deep into the upper deck.  Yet he, like Calvin Pickering before him and Kyle Blanks afterwards, never got a fighting chance to stick in the bigs.

Young was one of those bizarre figures who, mythological proportions be damned, found himself swept into the dustbin of history for no apparent reason save bad luck.  He had neither a spectacular rise nor a correspondingly great fall; he made no terrible decisions; he did not suffer from an excess of pride or self-confidence.  But now he is mostly gone from our lives, although there remains the slim possibility (ha ha ha, LOL, :D, etc.) that he might appear at an American Association ballpark near you.

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In another world, one that’s every bit as imperfect as ours, Young gets called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003 after posting a .333/.390/.563 line for the low-A Hickory Crawdads.  These ’03 Pirates, like the ones we knew and loved, are a terrible outfit, but they’ve got a surprising amount of pop:  Brian Giles, Reggie Sanders, Aramis Ramirez, Matt Stairs, Craig Wilson, and whatever is left of prime-period Kenny Lofton are on the roster.  There’s no reason for Young to be brought up so early, but manager/fellow Valparaiso Crusader alum Lloyd McClendon is staring down his third straight losing season with the prospect of punchless Randall Simon and washed-up Kevin Young splitting time at first base.

Young the younger and fatter beats out Simon for the right to man the left-handed side of a platoon with Young the elder and trimmer, then proceeds to hit a borderline-acceptable .220/.290/.400 over the course of 265 at-bats as the Pirates enjoy their eleventh consecutive losing season.  His 19 home runs place him third on the team behind Sanders (35) and Stairs (27), and are sufficient to justify the Dodgers’ decision to acquire him in the offseason for a pair of middle relievers.  Wunderkind general manager Paul DePodesta, schooled in Billy Beane’s Moneyball methodology, either deliberately overlooks or fails to notice Young’s astonishing 82 strikeouts and atrocious defense at the game’s easiest position.

Teamed with fellow baseball misfits Milton Bradley and Jose Hernandez, Young turns in what would prove to be the best performance of his career, helping the Dodgers to a 92-70 finish and first place in the NL West.  While sharing first base duties with an aging Robin Ventura and a declining Shawn Green, the 24-year-old Young mashes at a .265/.350/.600 rate, blasting 29 home runs over the course of 340 at-bats.  He also strikes out 97 times, commits several crucial errors during a hard-fought NLDS series against the St. Louis Cardinals, and is caught stealing during his only attempt of the season.  DePodesta trades him to the Seattle Mariners in the offseason for  veteran catcher Dan Wilson and some organizational depth.  Young is now on the downslope, although it’s unlikely that he realizes this.

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Playing mostly designated hitter for the M’s, Young slugs a semi-robust .240/.300/.480 for the league’s worst team.  His 22 home runs place second on the team to equally Brobdingnagian (albeit far svelter) first baseman Richie Sexson‘s 46, but nobody gives a crap.  Having showed up for camp weighing 340 pounds, he spends the year waddling, walrus-like, around the bases.  In late November, he  sets a dubious record by eating a 36-egg omelet at Beth’s Cafe, a local watering hole famous for its ginormous breakfast plates.

Lured by a three-year guaranteed contract, Young jumps to the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional League in 2005.  His immense size and penchant for the tape-measure home run make him an immediate fan favorite, but his desultory efforts in the field and on the bases hurt Orix every bit as much as his offensive achievements help.  After 90 games, he’s leading the NPL with 25 home runs…and then abruptly quits the team and walks out on his million-dollar deal, citing homesickness, ill health, and depression.

Between 2006 and 2009, Young plays in Mexico and for various American Association squads.  He still hits home runs, but that’s the extent of his skill set.  He spends 2008 in training camp with the Washington Nationals, enjoying a monster spring, yet doesn’t make the team.  Sources place his weight at over 400 pounds.  Watching him try to cover first is comical.  The minor league teams that employ him treat his antics in the field as a sort of Harlem Globetrotter routine, with the joke, as always, on the massive Young.

♦◊♦

In 2010, recognizing that his heart is no longer in the game, Walter Young calls it a career.  He returns to his hometown of Hattiesburg, MS, and lands a job as a police officer.  He attempts various diets, to little avail.  He meets a woman, falls in love, falls out of love, meets another woman, falls in love again.  He occasionally plays softball with his old cronies from high school.  In other words, Young experiences the usual slow grind of middle aging into death, made slower and more unusual by his sheer visual novelty.  

One day, Young will wake up and realize that he is an old, obese man.  He will remain the punch line to a trivia question–“Who is the fattest man to play in the major leagues?”–but, as he stumbles about on his arthritic and overburdened knees, he can take comfort in the fact that he had 60 MLB home runs in his 35-ounce bat, that he got more than a fair shake from the lords of the realm, that he contributed what little he could, when he could.

This is the world, imperfect though it might be, where Walter Young belongs.  Not here in ours, lost among the forgetful.

home sweet home

$250 1 Bedroom Available – Close to Downtown!

Hey, just a dude.  Currently got this 1 BR 1 BA apt and my roommate moved out a couple weeks ago.  He and I had some creative differences u feel me? We got in a couple of fights n he was always havin colds n flus n I couldnt deal with his sorry ass anymore. anyway, the cost of this would be $250 CASH ONLY for the use of my bed plus the free use of utilities and even watching Comcast (I have the Extra Innings Package FYI) .

The living room here is real spacious and kingly (FIT FOR A KING) and either we can share a BR as I was doing before or u can sleep on the floor out there.  Up 2 u no pressure.  Also have laundry right on the top floor above here.  E-Z walk 2 the commercial district and right on the TA busline if ur looking for a bigger trip.

Now I just want 2 say this. Whatever happens here, u know, if u sleep in the BR, I promise I will be super respectful.  I got out of a long relationship as I was saying and its been super duper long since Ive had a special connection with a girl.  I don’t necessarily want a GF or BF, just a person who will hold me tight at night when I start 2 get weak.  Maybe u can tell me about ur day and then I can tell u about mine.

So baby my day was pretty much the same as always.  On disability for my back (Purple Heart) and surfing that World Wide Web.  Another day another dollar LOL. Ur day I imagine was full of fun + excitement.  I see u as a university student.  Maybe a LIT Major.  U pull ur pigtail through the back of ur baseball cap (GO MARLINS!).  Very becoming.  U have blonde hi-lites in ur hair, something I have sort of a “fetish” about u might say.  We sit on my old futon in the spacious and kingly (FIT FOR A KING) living room underneath my poster from Scarface.  Its Tony Montana (AL PACINO) in the hot tub and underneath there is the captioned THE WORLD IS URS.

Which makes b/c that night anyway the world would be just 4 the 2 of us (I think thats an Usher song as well).  I try 2 run my hand down ur Victoria’s Secret university brand “Pink” sweatpants and u pull away.  WTF is up with U???  Im just tryin 2 be polite n sweet n UR acting like Im some sicko creeper!  Some old sad piece of shit who is so hard up (LOL @ “hard”) that he sometimes puts an unloaded pistol in his mouth that his dad gave him 4 his funeral.  Just 2 C how it feels u know.  Not like I want 2 do it all that much.

Now ur putting ur shit back in a suitcase or bag.  HEY!!! Didn’t u just agree 2 come live herre u piece of shit?  I ought 2 beat ur fuckin head in.  I think about what it would be like 2 just rip u 2 shreds then I know that thats not going 2 get us anywhere.

“Cum on baby let’s go get it on and put this behind us” I beg of u.

“Just now when u were tryin 2 rape me I got a look in that coat closet of urs n theres a rotting body in there n thats why everything smells so bad in here!” u shout back.

“No F’ing way” I say.  “Its just a busted SEWER LINE thats why its so stinky + the rent here is so good even though its close 2 downtown as well as the TA busline if u need 2 go shopping.”

“No u warped asshole theres a bunch of body parts n there n flies n u basically threw me down on this couch after I got here n started runnin ur hand down my pants WTF is wrong with u?” I am startin 2 think u R playin hard 2 get MISSY.

Ah this is so stupid why am I tryin 2 find anybody.  This place is $250 bucks but whatevs who gives a shit this world is full of awful fuckin assholes who will just break ur heart the second u start 2 feel anythin in ur nutsac.  Even one lil bo-peep of a pop down there n suddenly people think Im just some screwball n Im dangerous n U cant trust me.

U know what?  Im not rentin this fucking room.  Im just gonna hole up in here til I die of starvation n u sorry sons of bitches will C how wrong u were about UR BABY BOY (thats why my tattoo says BABY BOY on my left tit FYI MISSY).  U will all miss me when Im gone n I will be up in 7th heaven, lookin down n laughin at u stupid stupid STUPID dicklickers n my cock also FYI will be 3 feet long n Im not even kiddin.

ONLY CONTACT ME IF UR SERIOUS ABOUT THIS!!!! 1ST COME 1ST SERVED.  NO SPAMMERS

meow the cat

Meow: The Incredible True Story of America’s Fattest Cat

Oh, to be someone else.  The Old Long Johnson cat, maybe.  He got his fifteen minutes of fame and wasn’t borne to the ground by the crushing weight of his hideous, inexplicable adipose tissue in the process.  Have you seen how I walk?  How I play?  I can’t even ascend the stairs, for crying out loud.

I’m certain you’ve witnessed my misfortune.  It plays on an endless loop, filling the empty minutes of your local newscasts and breakfast variety shows.   Hugh Grant petted me.  Cee-Lo Green has my best interests at heart.  And right now, I’m  stuck in a moment no fortysomething milf in her right mind would ever want to get out of:   seated on Anderson Cooper’s narrow lap, gazing into the “Silver Fox’s” piercing blue eyes.

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“This is one big cat- glad he is with people who are helping him get his weight under control. He looks like a cool cat though!”

“hi i saw Meow on my internet page in Australia how is his diet going”

http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/meow-vager-18-kilo—tvingas-banta-pa-katthem/ The news of Meow have reached Sweden too :) Wish him and all of you the best. You’re doing an important job.”

“I saw Meow today in my local newspaper here in Halifax, Nova Scotia! Love Meow’s story and excited to hear about his weight loss journey! :-)”

” saw meow on our local paper. Muncie, Indiana. big cutie”

“such a sweetie pie just want 2 see him every minute of the Day!”

“Yeah Meow!!! You will soon be the cats meow!! :)”

“he is so adorable i just want to love on him lol…..good luck meow wish u the best in ur long journey but u can do it!!!!! i know u can”

“Meow I wish I new more about u!!!”

“This cat MEOW is such a big fatboy <3. lol”

“I would love to give meow my home once he is healthy….my cat passed away last year at the age of 13 and left a huge void in our hearts…..our other cat minx is lonely and my son has just started asking if we can get a new kitty..he took Casey’s loss hard…we would give Meow a wonderful life…we would love him like our child”

“Good boy Meow! Staying on your Catkins diet is working. Keep up the good work buddy…you are going to feel great when you get down to a healthy weight. XXXOOO”

“good luck Meow! i hope your hard work pays off!”

“Meow u are more beautiful then my sons I want u”

“Yay 4 Meow!!!!! Adorable fella!!!! Keep dropping the pounds buddy :-)”

“Meow, I love you! Just watched you on Anderson. You are a beautiful kitty. You can do if! I know your doctor is going to help you get healthy. I am cheering you on.”

♦◊♦

Your support means so much to me. I’m glad you think I’m more beautiful than your sons. I’m grateful that the people in Sweden worry so much about my goings-on. I’m pleased to hear that my name rings out in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

But you know what? None of this means anything. After all, I have a severe urinary tract infection that’s caused me to gain weight at a rapid rate. The resultant weight gain was killing me. My elderly owner did the best she could, but she couldn’t afford to keep me on a ridiculously expensive “science diet.” But now things are getting better. Considerable resources been devoted to improving my health, which is at its lowest ebb, because that’s how things work here in the good old US of A.

Are there any 40-pound cats roaming around the villages of sub-Saharan Africa or the Indian subcontinent, I wonder? But I don’t wonder that for long: Anderson Cooper starts tickling my triple chins. Lots of people think Anderson’s a beautiful man. I suppose I’m lucky to be here.

♦◊♦

“I love this prett-E kitty! Wishing him all the best!”

“I just had a thought. I carried a backpack today that weighed 15 lbs and I thought that’s heavy enough. Crikeys! Put Meow in there and I doubt I could have carried him! Ha ha”

“I’m jealous of Meow… I want Anderson Cooper to hold me too! :)”

“I am a social worker. I used to work for hospice and adopted one of my patient’s kitties when she passed. He weighed 28 pounds. He now weighs 26. I would LOVE to adopt Meow. :)”

“I love Meow! I have a two year old cat, Madeleine, that is slightly overweight. This encourages me to switch her diet to avoid future problems. Good luck Meow! I cheering for you.”

“I have a Maine Coone who is extremely handsome and sweet and chatty, he tipped the scales at 29.8. He’s a huge cat, not fat belly sagging on the ground, he’s healthy, quick and agile. He does have some common urinary issues found in male cats, we recently put him on grain free canned wellness food, he gets half a cup a day spread out through 3 feedings, he’s lost about 3 pounds in a month(26) and is fur is looking better than ever. Good luck to you Meow, if Jake can do it, any cat can.”

“Keep losing weight, buddy. I have a couple of cats that would like to meet you.”

♦◊♦

In a perfect world, I’m a svelte 12-pound cat, able to gambol and pirouette and stand en pointe. My death wish, while not totally effaced, is no stronger than anyone else’s. My future is spread out before me like creamy Nutella across the surface of Morton’s multigrain bread.

But in an imperfect world, which is the one we all live in, I’m trapped here with America’s most beloved and trustworthy newcaster, unable to move. The tall, goofy-looking woman from a forgotten 1990s sitcom asks my handler why I’m so fat. The people in the studio audience, a handful of whom are nearly as obese as I am, chortle in response to her remark. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part, this body is my sepulcher.

hands

One More Medal for Scout

Bomb threats had been out of vogue for some time. Only minor thugs with bad imaginations – too many hours of Die Hard reruns and not enough love as a child – would stoop to something as pedestrian as phoning in “a blast.” Such enervated acts of terror were yawns, handled by a single old basset hound decorated with heavy medallions of scares past. The rows of badges depicting C4 and dynamite sagged the dog’s brocade vest. The effect was that of an aging general–more or less dead–paraded around on a prop throne to assure the junta that all was going well.

Things, though, were not well. In the years that had passed, since bomb threats became the stuff of minor thugs with bad imaginations, the “threat culture” had exploded. Masterminds would casually scrawl promises to surreptitiously tickle unexpectant ladies. Rich sons of princes, sheikhs, and scorned Nantucket women trained at terror academies, penning extravagant plans to replace prize rose gardens with fields of kudzu and geraniums. The most cold-blooded simply phoned in vague apocalypses to local churches and news stations. “It’s over.” “Goodbye.” “Perhaps today will be the end?”

Officially, none of these threats ever actualized. Of course, it’s hard to really say. The sheer volume of things suggested, sworn, and intimated discounted any certainty on the matter. A fat man in Germany would misplace his chips between couch cushions and the conspiracy theorists would point to a lone sticker found on a Shropshire electrical box, “Try to find your crisps tomorrow.” The violent husband of a loathsome woman would get punched in a barfight, and the town would be gripped by the fear of rumors that a threater had called in a wallop. A clumsy child would skin his knees on a piece of untoward sidewalk: “Even the proud shall fall.”

Debates wore on about how much or how little of modern life was caused or, at the very least, predicted by these threats. The threats had effectively revived every manner of faith. It was a banner time for clerics, astrologers and determinists. A certain school, the New Realists — locals called them the Neo-Terrorists — held that everything that happened was the fulfillment of a threat. They were rather Borgesian and entirely derivative. The logical consequence was that even our greatest joys–marriage, sex, strong drink–should inspire great horror as they were the work of conniving mutterers and shadowy note-leavers. It was an unpopular line of thought–for obvious reasons–but managed to stay in the spotlight due to the vocal advocacy of New Realism by the busty, tremendously popular Kate Sexton. She hosted that show where cats strive for glory, Glory Cats.

Whether the threats amounted to everything or nothing, they were all taken very seriously. Every day, an administrator would appear on a local broadcast, brows furrowed, and deliver a series of disconcerting proclamations. “We have reason to believe that there will be an attempt to replace all navel oranges with smallish grapefruits.” “A postcard sent to dear Mrs. Pemberton suggests that a disturbed youth has buried a lightbulb in the city hall gardens.” “Pay close attention to your children, a thief is vowing to rob them of the last lick of their ice cream.” There were so many of these public service announcements that the local cable began to carry a station devoted to them. The city hired an alderman to somberly deliver the bad news several times an hour. Ratings were quite good. Between threat announcements, back episodes of Teen Mom and Glory Cats were aired.

On a daily basis, buildings were cleared and swept for suspected produce vandals. Hedgerows were torn out and the soil tilled in search of hidden glass. Ice cream stands and cart vendors forbade all licking within 100 meters of their premises. This last “declaration of order” incited a particularly lively debate at the weekly town hall. Parents protested that it was just impossible to keep their youngsters from starting on their snack –have you ever tantalized a baby with rocky road!–and the subsequent arrests were becoming an annoyance. Ice cream vendors added that “the last lick” of an ice cream cone would likely occur outside of the 100 meter radius and that the law should be amended to mandate all ice cream consumption take place within 100 meters of a certified ice cream retailer. A local statistician and mint chocolate chip enthusiast crunched the numbers, made a model, and declared that “the last lick” of an ice cream would take place 121 meters away from the place of purchase, adjusting for number of scoops. The New Realists came forth and demanded that all children be investigated. Since most last licks of children’s ice cream cones were indeed had by children, everything pointed to children as the likely executors–and, ipso facto, orginators–of the threat. The meeting ended with a wholesale ban on ice cream.

This was one of the less severe enactments in the name of public safety. Letter writing was banned –“how can these nuisances leave threats if they have nothing to leave them on!”–and, in short order, stationery was outlawed and pens became contraband. Smirkers were subject to search and seizure and “hiding something” was fiercely prohibited. The ranks of professional meterologists, electoral pollsters, and SportsCenter commentators were summarily disbanded. After all, “a prediction is just a gussied-up threat.” Members of the clergy and horoscope readers were given reprieve under the common wisdoms that a threat is not very serious if it takes place in the afterlife and that horoscopes are always optimistic.

Driven underground, these analysts formed a secret society of prognosticatory readiness. Black markets sprang up in the seedy parts of town. Hookers, meth chefs and “guys in a band” were driven out by ranks of stock brokers, doctors and police looking to “score a future” on share prices, the ailments of patients, and tips about upcoming crimes. Often, officers of the law would get trapped in endlessly recursive conversations about predicting the crime they were committing by asking for crime predictions on this black market. The boys in blue lost a lot of good men to these analytic K-holes.

Eventually, things began to deteriorate. What’s now called “the darkest time yet” began in an ordinary physics classroom. Mr. Miller — who didn’t resemble Ryan Gosling, star of Half Nelson, in the faintest — was delivering a lecture about inertia when he said the fateful, “If Bobby would throw a baseball at the house, a window would break.” He was illustrating how bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, overcoming even the tendencies of glass to stay at rest. An over-protective mother got wind of this glass-breaking hypothetical and immediately demanded that the school fire the teacher. There was no doubt that his subjunctive conditional was clearly a threat. There was no doubt that all subjunctive conditionals were threats and “if anyone were to deliver a subjunctive conditional, they would be immediately incarcerated.” The law made itself very difficult to articulate and, after some parents made “Throw the law in jail. It’s an accessory to a crime” signs, the law was reworded: “Subjunctive conditionals are punishable by jail time.”

In response to Mr. Miller’s jailing, a group of students, “Bobby’s Kids” or “The Breakers” began to protest the draconian rule. They inscribed themselves with Miller’s now-famous pronouncement “If Bobby would throw a baseball at the house, a window would break.” and began a fusillade against the town’s glass. No one seemed terribly alarmed by this. The gang had never promised or threatened to throw baseballs through everyone’s windows. They couldn’t very well be prosecuted under any of the anti-threat ordinances and police had “bigger fish to fry” than some non-pre-ordained attack. Cantankerous as usual, the New Realists argued that by simply by repeating their projectile assault, they were implicitly promising it would continue and therefore guilty of threat-making. They labeled this claim, “The Reverse Xeno.” This original definition of “The Reverse Xeno” was quickly eclipsed by a far more inspired, far more vulgar definition on the site UrbanDictionary.com.

The New Realists’ position was convincing and an order was put out for the arrest of “Bobby’s Kids”, known by this point in the tabloids as “The Baseball Team.” Gregg Howard, the star catcher of The Baseball Team and ex-member of the New Realists, responded by writing a scathing op-ed and publishing it in the local “pape.” In it, he put forth the idea that if subjunctive conditionals were “gussied-up threats” and patterned occurrences could be considered as damning evidence of the same, there was really no place for laws of nature. Rightfully, this inspired mass hysteria. A sinister subtext was found in Newton–“it will stay in motion!”–and Euclid fared no better, egged on by pamphlet titles such as “The Slavish Horror of Proofs of Parallelism: The Yoke of Linearity.” Astronomers shrank from the obvious terrorism of Descartes’ optics and a local boy, found out to be a descendant of Darwin, was tortured until he coughed up information regarding “what Chuck was planning.”

For fear of proving physical laws correct–and therefore “letting the G-ddamn scientific threat machine win” as a popular radio host put it –people began to recoil from even the simplest of tasks. Taxis were commissioned to “just drive me anywhere. No, with your eyes closed, asshole.” There was a public fire in which calculators, computers and abacuses were destroyed. Greeters handed out bingo ball hoppers and Plinko machines. Research labs were immediately commissioned to do experiments that could not be reproduced. It became quite difficult to determine whether or not they ever reached their funding criteria but this ambiguity was only a proof of their resounding success.

The New Realists were fast dissolving as well, giving in to constant in-fighting. A faction, the Old Realists, had risen up. They maintained that the threats had completely ceased, citing the evidence that most of the original threats had come from members of the faction themselves. “We all thought it was funny, ya know, that everyone would get so worked up about threatening to ‘paint a dog catlike’ or ‘make all the cheeseburgers into regular hamburgers’. We honestly didn’t even know what most of our threats meant. I don’t think the majority of them had any relationship to the realm of possible things a person can do. I dunno, maybe I’m a cynic.”

Of course, this argument was quickly dressed down by the other, older New Realists who, pointing out that they also were among those who phoned in threats, stuck to their premise that all perception of the world as discrete things was due to the Threat Culture. “Would a lamp really be a lamp if we didn’t have to take its shade off to check for explosives? ‘Lamp’ only has meaning insofar as we know how to decide whether or not it is the fulfillment of a threat which it most certainly is, given the right circumstances.” Therefore, the perceived world was always as such only in response to terror. A world without threats would be no world at all. Clearly, the threats had not abated in the least. The world was still a glistening thing-to-be-perceived as evidenced by the tremendous displays of baseballs breaking glass and cars smashing into telephone polls and scientists randomly mixing unlabeled vials of who-knows-what.

The Old Realists teamed up with Bobby’s Kids, who admitted to the rest of the threats–damn youths!–and waged war on the older New Realists who had rebranded themselves as “The Light Brigade” and recruited the dispossessed ranks of the black marketeers to fight with them. They held a series of best-of-three Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches–which could not be advertised due to the conceptual proximity between advertising and threat-making–during which neither side landed a blow. They were men of words, after all.

In the midst of this chaos, Mr. Miller escaped. Some say that Bobby’s Kids busted him out, but remember the last line of the last sentence of the last paragraph: they were men of words after all. Some say that he was released after paying a small fine. Most agree that he simply walked out sometime around when they started burning computers. Totally naked, because by this point he was nothing but a literary device, Mr. Miller strolled into the town square and called everyone to attention. The feat wasn’t that impressive. Most people had stopped doing anything at all for fear of actualizing some forgotten threat or running afoul of some confusing law. A naked man on a soapbox was a welcome diversion. “All threats are threats,” he bellowed.

With just four words, Mr. Miller undid everything. The Old Realists concluded that “All threats are threats,” must be a legitimate threat on account that it did contain “threatening language”–according to the MPAA, anyway–and on account that none of them had made it. The Light Brigade had to acknowledge that “All threats are threats” didn’t really correspond to anything in the world–it was true whether or not there were threats at all–and therefore their belief in the universality of threats began to falter. The government was forced to abolish all of their threat ordinances, reasoning that, though certainly law-like, “All threats are threats” lacked a bit of predictive weight they associated with laws and, thus, threats. “I mean, it’s as much a history as it is a prediction. And it’s not really either. What the shit,” said the mayor. Without the anti-threat ordinances, the black market kind of lost its raison d’etre and went back to selling smack and pimping broads. And Mr. Miller? Well, he was found a few weeks ago, clutching a decommissioned grenade and swearing at the sky, by an old basset hound. One more medal for Scout.

rider

March Madness: The Fiction Special

  1. Carlton Suede is about to dunk the ball. Without an ounce of grace — his mutt of a mother used to call him “our clubfooted son” — he is rising through the lower ether. Above the marshmallow-thick white soles, higher than the tense, ribbed socks, surpassing even the shiny mesh culottes of his despairing opponents. His paws try to swallow the rock. Suede’s knee is leading out. He is Washington Crossing the Air Up There.

    PLOINK.

    Suede smashes the ball into the rim. He is falling. Charles Barkley, against all odds, makes a joke about Brueghel. The ball is deflating and crossing half court. Suede is still falling. His coach is face deep in his hands. Halftime.

    ♦◊♦

  2. “You just can’t get to the basket like that.” Chip ‘Mark’ Wilson is mad as hell at the junkball he is seeing on the court. A team of gangly straw dogs from Kansas or Kentucky or Iowa has just failed their tenth or twentieth attempt to get fouled shooting threes.

    “That’s the problem with these peach-basket boys. It’s all about getting the whistle, drawing the charge, boondoggling coaches into being technical-ed out of the game. You can’t play a game with just rules …”

    Chip knows that he’s messed up. He’s just set off a debate about whether or not games are merely the set of rules which govern them. The superabundance of athleticism, the virtuous cycle of sport meaning and dunks, stat-line historicity. This always happens with these guys. The network is gonna be pissed.

    ♦◊♦

  3. Brad tears at Daranthony’s tight little “padded arm sleeves.” The two big men – titanic centers bearing their small-town teams’ huge hopes on their deformed traps – have been prodding each other all game long. Smack talk, fast elbows, the occasional “flat tire.” It was brutal and juvenile but there was a legendary urbanity to the whole affair.

    Now, the two 7-foot goliaths are entangled in each other’s extended mass. Daranthony sinks his teeth into a stray limb of Brad’s.

    Both coaches are hopping mad. The referees are distracted by the court-side antics of some “ball girls.”

    Brad produces a crowbar and spears Daranthony. Squealing in pain, D reaches a steel chair, just evacuated by one of those special managers who double as injured/disabled/dorky team mascots. He begins swinging it in wild circles.

    THUD.

    Brad crumples to the floor. Daranthony takes off and we see him running through the parking lot, then open plains, then the desert.

    Meanwhile, a flagrant one is called on Brad. The refs really blew it.

pie humping

American Reunion

Ok, SPOILER ALERT! I just got to see a sneak preview the new American Reunion film and it was everything you’d expect from that hilarious crew of aging “teen” actors. If you’ve been surviving off the direct-to-video Band Camp films like me, then AR has arrived just in the (Saint) nick (IS IT ALREADY CHRISTMAS? ‘CAUSE THIS IS LIKE THE GR8EST/GR9EST GIFT EVER!!!) of time.

I don’t want to give away too much of the movie, but here’s how it starts: the Jason Biggs nerdy character (you know, the nerdy one) is up in his bedroom, fucking the brains (can a pie have brains? well, any pie that’s hooking up with J-Biggs is one smart cookie LOL!) out of an apple pie. He’s also got a custard pie on his bare buttocks, and it looks like the pies are “running a train” on him. Anyway, this is clearly intended to be funny as hell, and it definitely is. My only problem with this scene is that there’s no laugh track going in the background (but if you’re in a theater as crowded as mine was, the audience will provide its own laugh track LOL!) to really “sell” how crazy-silly all of this. I haven’t seen anything as wacky and wild as this opening scene since big fat Chris Farley (RIP) did all those pants-splitting high kicks to the tune of “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting” in Beverly Hills Ninja (a classic and still one of the best!).

From there, you’re probably wondering how it might get any better. Why didn’t the directors just edit together two hours of this on a loop, right? Well, it’s because they’ve decided to take those wacky hijinks and multiply them by a factor of 98° (“Thank God I Found You” LOL!). In another scene that I vaguely remember, crazy horndog teen Stifler is hanging out with all these girls from some band camp. Each girl says something like, “One time, at band camp…” and then references a different musical instrument. By the time they get to the girl who mentions her didjeridu, you’re in 7th Heaven (starring the lovely Ms. Jessica Biel, I hope!).

If you think I’ve given away the entire film, think again! As great as all of this sounds, there’s a whole lot more in store for you when you spend $22 on the hottest IMAX ticket this side of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. I’ll throw one last spoiler out there: if you’ve been waiting for the Chris Klein “jock” character to bang Stifler’s mom while a pie-crotched Eugene Levy records the whole thing so that he and his nerdy son can watch it at home later that night while using Hostess Fruit Pies™ like Fleshlights™, wait no longer!

It almost goes without saying that American Reunion receives ∞ stars from me. It’s the best thing that’s ever been made, and when you think of all the things that have been made (Billy Madison, Little Nicky, American Pie 2, Doritos Locos Taco), that’s pretty darn amazing.

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