Thursday, May 02, 2013

I Attend A Sporting Event

I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense ~ Henry Louis Mencken (9/12/1880 to 1/29/1956) an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, critic of American life and culture, and scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. Many of his books remain in print.

"I am attending a sporting event tomorrow and would like you to accompany me", my friend proclaimed. "No way", I replied. "I am not a fan of sport, and you know that". But my friend would not take no for an answer. "You'll love it" he promised. "Besides, real men are sports fans". So, against my better judgment I agreed, despite the fact that the fans of this specific sport had a reputation of getting particularly rowdy.

The man at the counter gave me a disapproving look when I handed him my ticket. "Where's your jersey?" he demanded to know. "I'm not rooting for either team", I explained. "Sorry, but the wearing of a jersey is required", the man insisted. My friend, who was standing behind me, said "See, I told you". People in line began to grumble. Several loudly suggested that I be ejected from the stadium. "Give him a jersey the same as mine", my friend interjected. "I'll pay for it".

My friend paid and handed me my jersey. "OK", he said, "let's get inside. The game is about to begin". We found our seats just as the action commenced. Out of sight a small bird spread it's wings and took flight. It flew high into the sky over the arena, it's squawks causing many to take notice. A man in the stands happened to look up at an inopportune moment and the bird dropped an unpleasant gift directly onto his face. The man cursed in anger, the shock of what had just happened causing him to spill his beer in his lap. A nearby child laughed.

"I do not understand this game", I said turning to my companion; the friend who had insisted I attend. "Sport is not my idea of entertainment. Why should I care who wins or who loses?" I complained. Which was why I refused to wear the required jersey that identified the team I was rooting for. Several uneventful hours went by and I nearly fell asleep. "Wake up", my friend said, nudging me. "Now it is time for the finale. Trust me, it is about to get a lot more interesting".

One of the players dribbled the ball down the court and dunked it. The crowd stood and cheered wildly. By coincidence the player's name was Bradley Duncan. Then the ball hit the ground and bounced back into the player's hands. He proceeded to tuck the ball under his arm and run down the court. Players from the opposing team swung at the charging man with their wiffle bats, attempting to cause him to fumble.

Duncan withstood the blows and made it to the opposite end of the court. He jumped up in the air and spiked it. The crowd stood and cheered once again. Some points were added to his team's total on the scoreboard. The referee retrieved the spiked pigskin and jogged to the center of the court. Two players faced off and the referee dropped the ball.

One of the players kicked the ball and it flew into the air. Then all the players on the court drew their pistols and began firing at the soaring sphere. The ball exploded in a blinding flash that caused everyone to drop to the floor. Several players were wounded by flying shrapnel, including Duncan, who screamed in agony as a white hot nail pierced his cornea.

Points were again added to the scoreboard, this time to the opposing team's total. Duncan was removed from the court on a stretcher. Suddenly the crowd began chanting as the countdown clock neared zero. Another play was attempted but there simply was not enough time remaining. The game ended when an air horn sounded loudly, deafening more than a few players and spectators alike.

Everyone in the arena at once bolted for the doors, creating a mad stampede in which several people were crushed to death. Luckily my friend and I made it safely out of the arena with minor injuries. Out in the streets those who had been rooting for the team that lost began to smash car and shop windows, venting their anger. Numerous vehicles were set ablaze by the rioters. One of the burning cars suddenly and violently exploded.

Several people standing nearby were engulfed in flames. They ran about wildly, screaming as their flesh burned. Within a few minutes they dropped dead, although their bodies continued to smolder. Some of the brawlers produced baseball bats they had presumably brought with them in anticipation of a violent rumble following the conclusion of the game. Those with bats swung them viciously, bashing in the heads of multiple victims.

Others withdrew knives from their pockets, while still others used brass knuckles to attack their foes. Those without weapons used their fists. The casualties mounted on each side as my friend and I ducked into an alleyway. "I'm no chicken", my friend protested, clearly desiring to enter the fray. Suddenly an air horn sounded again. I looked up and saw the source of the unpleasant noise, a large blimp hovering overhead.

An LCD display on the side of the blimp displayed the totals for each of the sporting teams that had faced off inside the arena. "As per the rules of the game, points are added to each total reflecting how many on each side were just killed", a nearby stranger explained. "The numbers were obtained via a computer chip sewn into each jersey that monitors the wearer's health".

The new figures were tabulated and displayed on the LCD screen, resulting in victory being snatched away from one team and handed to the other. The winners became the losers. The victory cries of the fans of the now winning team were almost ear-splitting. The winners then proceeded to point and laugh at the fans of the opposing team. Those who were now the defeated were good sports about it though. They hung their heads in shame and quickly vacated the area.

"I guess you could call that interesting", I remarked, turning to my friend. But he wasn't there. I looked around and finally saw him lying on the ground, dead. Someone had bashed his head in with a brick. Falling to my knees I began to sob. Who could ever have imagined that my first time attending a sporting event would result in such tragedy?

Just then someone poked me sharply in the ribs. "You can wake up now, the game is over", a familiar voice instructed. I opened my eyes to find my friend was still alive. Of course I had only been dreaming. Dreaming of something much more exciting than the exceedingly boring sporting competition I just slept through.

SWTD #142, TI #1.

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