Your Place or Mime?
If we’ve got the French on our side, we won’t need to go with the bombing. The French can take care of this mess all by themselves, you betcha. Forget about Sun Tzu’s ancient text called The Art of War, ’cause the French got their own specialty called The Art of Mime. The theory here is that if one mime can clear a theater (I’m sure-as-shootin’ heading for the exit during any show when some pasty-faced knobshine hits the stage and pretends to be trapped in a goddamn box that isn’t even there), then all you got to do is parachute 50,000 mimes into Damascus and you ought to be able to clear a country. Problem solved, Vive la France!
Hold on. It’s the phone. I got to take this on account it could be Publishers Clearinghouse come calling with joyful news of my sweepstakes victory.
“Hello, is this Mr. Art Kumbalek?”
“Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Depends on who wants to know.”
“This is Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers calling. I’d like to apologize for…”
“Listen, pally. Enough said. I don’t know how you got my number. I’m not a season-ticket holder. Can’t afford it.”
“Sorry to hear, Mr. Kumbalek. But your name is on a list I’ve got, and…”
“Maybe it’s from a couple, three years back late September when I vacated my nose-bleed location and attempted to take residence in what-you-call a Field Diamond Box seat late in the bottom of the seventh when you’s guys were behind by 10. An altercation ensued between me and a fat-fock usher with Barney Fife syndrome, and I got tossed out.”
“That’s a shame. But I would like to apologize for…”
“Zip it, young man. In sports, we all know it’s been said that if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. But the lying. Character. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German poet, playwright and novelist, wrote in 1809, ‘There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at.’ And I say how the fock would he know. This is the guy who wrote, among other things, Die Metamorphose der Pflanzen (The Metamorphosis of Plants), the short novel Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther), and of course, the epic Faust, Der Tragödie parts I and II. Hey, a load of laughs this Deutscher was not.”
“Mr. Kumbalek, my time is…
“So for the sake of argument, let me run a little story by you and we’ll put Mr. Goethe’s dictum about character to the test. So these two guys are in the locker room after working out and one guy notices the other’s got a big ol’ fat cork stuck sideways up his butt. He says, ‘What the fock. How the hell did you get that cork up your ass?’
Other guy says, ‘You won’t believe this, but I was walking along Bradford Beach and I tripped over an old oil lamp like right out of Aladdin. There was a huge blast of smoke and when it cleared, there standing before me was a red man wearing a turban on his head. He says, ‘I am Sitting Bull, Indian genie. I grant-um you one wish.’ And I said, ‘No shit.’ Ba-ding, ain’a?... Ryan? Are you there?”
“Mr. Kumbalek, I’ve really…”
“OK. One more: One day this guy comes home from work and tells his wife, ‘Hon, I had this urge to put my, you know, dick, in the pickle slicer.’ The wife says, ‘Oh, my God, you really need to get some help!’
“The next day he comes home and says, ‘Gosh darn it, Hon, I had that urge again!’ Wife says, ‘That’s it! After work tomorrow, I'm taking you to the doctor!’ The third day he comes home all depressed and says, ‘Hon, I finally did it.’
“‘WHAT HAPPENED?’ the wife says. And the guy says, ‘They fired me. And the pickle slicer—she got fired, too.’” Ba-ding! How ’bout that one, Braunie?”
“OK, Mr. Hot-Shot. Three things you can do if you want to make things right with me. One: Stop dicking around with your goddamn batting gloves after each and every pitch for christ sakes. Stay in the box. Two: Send me any leftover PEDs you got. I’m 62-focking-years-old and I got aches and pains you can’t even dream about. Three: Cut me a personal check for $10-grand to restore my faith in you as a good-character guy. Actually, make that a cashier’s check, would you? Not that I don’t trust you, but hey, better luck next season ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.”