While working, Hannah, aka, The Bet, and Anna, aka The New Mama, were giving me the ugliest glare. These two women have several things in common: their names have another syllable in common, and they both despise me. At least they did, in that moment.
“Boy, how many times have I told you to ask for a last name before you give an order?” Anna asked.
“How often I’ve had orders, I guess,” I said.
“And you can’t speak English!”
“Not at work. How’s your baby? Penelope?”
“It’s Penelope. Jacqueline Penelope. And she’s fine. In reverse. Who has to turn one back and remake another.”
And Hannah added, “Me.” “Who has to work with you?”
“First of all, it’s work.”
“Are you not specific?”
“And secondly, you can always go home, I suggest.”
“Bet your ass, bet!”
Then I got a phone call from Barry Louisaka, The Daily Quote.
“May I take this?” Anna asked. “It’s urgent. It’s my boss.”
“Look at that white boy. I’m your boss!”
“The Kingdom of Hell knows many bosses. They are legions. He is the president of Sports Illustrated.”
Before she objected, I said, “Can I?”
“Make it quick.”
“And before I go, can you kick her out?” I asked, peeking at Pete.
“She does her job well, unlike anyone else I know.”
“Fate knows no mercy.”
“Faster – quickly!” Anna said.
“Take all the time you need,” Hanna said.
I was a little inclined to humor any request.
So I headed to the landfill where I lit my first cigarette of the day. And after letting the phone ring a dozen or more times, I got Barry Lewis’ third call.
“Dear man! How are you? Long time no hear! I thought you weren’t talking to me!”
The dear man said, “Life is sometimes about compromises.” “And I am resigned to the fact that you will fill my mouth with all kinds of nonsense.”
“This is not nonsense, Barry for me feeling.”
“I might suggest that this is a questionable distinction.”
“Bevel! There’s no doubt about it. It’s certain as I speak to you.”
“You are not. You make everything.”
“Let’s not be pedantic.”
“We have work to do. First, I need your big 12 power ratings for this week. ASAP.”
When Barry Lewis said ASAP, I knew he was serious.
“You can’t be serious! Have you read The Legend of Sisyphus?”
“In the university.”
“Sissyphus. The gods judge Sisyphus to roll a rock over a hill. The rock is basically a rock. The mountain is high and steep. And after climbing the mountain….”
“I know how it goes.”
“…with a boulder big enough to crush a man, he finally puts the boulder on top, at which point it falls back to the base and he has to do it again. Forever. Without stopping a cigarette.”
“What are you going to do?”
“The meaning of my life.”
“I’m so happy for you. Now can you have it sometime tonight before I sleep.”
“If I must, I will.”
Also, tomorrow you have an article to write about Tommy saco. He has proven to be one of our best players this season. It’s a decoration. It’s a short stop per week. I will send you a message.”
Sure enough, five minutes later, I got said text messages: a bunch of numbers, abbreviations, and words like “string” and “my husband.” Double double until you fall into misfortune. The only complication I cared about was the wait at Ye Olde Bull and Bush at Montgomery 76107 (please no direct correspondence, all mail will be returned concisely).
He amended this enumeration of indistinguishable facts with the statement: “He wasn’t retired Saturday night. He probably wasn’t retired Sunday. I should check.”
I scratched my head. retired و? She wrote: “Excuse me, my dear, but why are you so adamant about writing an article about a player retiring?”
Gray dots blossomed into a gray bubble.
“I forget you’re ignorant. Retired means he’s out. Either you hit or go out on base. Retired and brought back to dugout. Another way of saying he made every bat base either by hitting or walking.”
“And these people say I don’t speak English,” she muttered in vain. Then I quit, went back to the taco store sad when something hit me, hard, in the back of my head, and I said to heaven a series of curses like no one had in the history of curses and rocks.
I looked down and saw a rock.
“Sorry, I was shooting for the window,” said a child as he ran away.
“You can always try again!” I cried before embracing fate.
Go to follow
Nine hours later, I was free. But my head was throbbing as if a rock had pierced my skull and was bouncing everywhere from wall to wall, not least to my temples.
I rushed into Montgomery with less than full attention and felt shocked, the car paused, and at the same time there was an outbreak of swearing, as if an actor was imitating my performance outside the taco shop that afternoon.
Then I saw the Stubbs family limping into the inn.
“It’s Bobby! How are you, my dear friend!”
“You just ran over me-”
And he said something I can’t type here, lest I be banned from Sports Illustrated for life, and I don’t want to give Baylor management complacency.
“Yes, Bobby, I’d like to stay and chat, but unfortunately I have an article to write.”
“And stop calling me Stubbs in your chops! I have a name and it’s Bobby. Bobby! Bobby!”
I must admit I pity Stubbs at that moment.
An hour later, I was still on my laptop checking the names.
Then the Stubbs family passed limping. I felt a little bad about it, Stubbs’ leg, which looked like it was heavily knotted at the knee, and my car, inside, had a knee-sized dent.
“Bobby!” Screamed. “I’m so sorry to run over you. Put your drinks tonight on my tab.”
“Are you sure?” Asked.
“It’s all on me.”
“Thank you, man,” he said, raising a glass. “Cheers.”
“Where everyone knows your name. And most of all knows how to spell it!” I said, purring glasses.
It is my mercy, may God have mercy. It wasn’t just me who failed to provide a list of ratings, but David Tucker Who wrote, in response to a reminder from Barry Lewis, by chance, in a joint thread:
I almost hugged myself for this Benson. Plagiarism has never been so easy. or sweet. But right after the list was copied and before it was sent, I stared again at the names, puzzled. How can TCU be so low? Treachery! Treason! Controversial perfidy! And Texas at 3? Rimma will never agree, and will not forgive me if I allow this matter to pass unchanged.
So I fixed it:
3. OKST (whatever the hell!)
5. WVU (Whatever Hell who – which It was!)
6. K-State (Ditto)
And glorifying my success, it was only 10:00, the night was still young, Barry Lewis tamed, and I walked to the bar to close my tab.
She gave Amy a grin that I could hardly trust. Nor should I have done that when I saw the receipt. I could joke that my eyeballs fell into my palm. Or throw them like stones on stubbs and knees. This guy owes me at least the tab to fix my car.
“How is this possible!”
“It’s two tabs.”
“I knew the guy was going to have some drinks.”
“He had to drink the pain, I imagine,” she said. “He had my husband’s ten. Some fools ran over him and he didn’t say who he was.”
“Friendship is like friendship, I think.”
“Or as you go.”
I have stopped.
“If it satisfies Amy, I need a drink to recover from this.”
“Sure something. What do we have?”
I said, “Buddy. Double.” She stopped and smiled. “on the rocks.”
Do you want to join the discussion? click here Become a member of the Killer Frogs message board community today!
Follow KillerFrogs on Twitter To stay up to date with the latest Texas Christian University news! Follow KillerFrogs on Facebook And Instagram also. Download KillerFrogs from Google Play or the Apple App Store.