03 December 2004

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed

Final Score: Project Mayhem 2, Screwballs 0

This match took place on October 13, 2004, the first round of the playoffs. We lost the following week to the eventual champion My Other Left Foot. Oh, and the Screwballs wore black t-shirts.

Never Mind the Bollocks

Ka is a wheel. This was confirmed when it turned out that the Crimson King, the raving red goblin referee of the preceding week, was a member of the Screwballs, whose card we drew in the first round of the playoffs.

Early in our quest we had met the, ahem, seasoned Screwballs, falling 7-2. Since then, though, Project Mayhem had learned much, and the Screwballs’ joints were tightening up with the onset of Fall. We had reached the field of roses at the edge of the Tower, and we were ready to face the Crimson King and her can-toi.

Dandelo, their pitcher, was there, but we heeded the warnings of the lost, and remembered the faces of our fathers. Dandelo’s first gambit came in the pre-game ritual, during which he attempted to junk the time-honoured Royal Division tradition of rock-paper-scissors. He bitched loudly that the Screwballs only do coin tosses. The rulebook backed up the Balls on this one (Rule 3.06 does indeed state that the "Head Referee shall flip a coin to determine which team gets to chose whether they bat or play the field to start the 1st inning.) 39th opted for rock anyway (given Washington’s presence on Mt. Rushmore) and, though it fell tails, the Screwballs elected to field first.

The Referee, Jon, announced at the beginning of the match that the strike zone would be wide, and high. This led to many bouncy bunts, and consequently a lower score. The gunslingers of Project Mayhem opened with a two run first inning, and a defensive battle ensued.

The Balls’ next complaint regarded the Mayhemers’ starting pitcher, Charlie. They insisted that Charlie was not a registered Kickball player (confirmation number VANE67320182, for those keeping score at home). The Screwballs’ delusions, coming in the same week as the Death of Superman (this time Doomsday was not to blame), really brought home the fact that we need to tackle Alzheimer’s any way we can.

No matter. Charlie’s pitches unfurled truly, and on a couple of occasions the Screwballs were struck out. Most of Charlie’s other pitches ended up bouncing softly into the hands of our able fielders. Of course, with the liberal, though consistently called, strike zone, Project Mayhem had trouble adding runs of its own.

Come the bottom of the 5th, and Project Mayhem was still holding its 2-0 lead. With 2 outs, the Screws’ first base dodderer Travis came to the plate. One more bouncy pitch and Charlie cradled the winning out in his gentle arms – the Screwballs were vanquished.

Though defanged, the Balls still had plenty of bark, and spent the next few minutes bitching out Jon the Ref. True, his strike zone was wider than 5th Base’s Third Basemen’s legs, but it was announced beforehand and consistent throughout. What prompts such competitive ire in the Screwballs? Judging by their weathered faces, they may have already passed the time of transference. One can easily imagine Dandelo hurling invective during his child’s football/baseball/American football game. The only problem? By now his spawn have moved beyond high school, and perhaps even intramural sports at college, leaving only kickball as his last chance for redemption.

Off to the Inch, where Project Mayhem found themselves facing Playing the Field, who had taken the forfeit rather than meet us on Field B several weeks ago. But Ka is a wheel…Playing the Field took a 3-1 lead but Project Mayhem rallied in spite of long odds, winning three straight to give the Field the spanking they had long eluded. This may seem trifling, but Project Mayhem was heretofore winless in flip-cup, despite many attempts. Dharma can only hope that her Sox succeed in their rally.

And who joined our ka-tet, but none other than Ref Jon! Ka is a wheel.

And what of the Screwballs? A few of their younger members were at the Inch, but the older denizens had long since headed off. The reason, of course: the debate was on, and the Bollocks feared that, in addition to taking victory from them on the field, the nubile young Project Mayhemers would soon be stealing away their Social Security checks if privatization comes to fruition. Only time will tell.

As for the following week’s match with MOLF, we can offer only these thoughts:

David:Goliath::Project Mayhem:MOLF

Like David’s slingshot, Charlie’s Orizas will fly true. The rest is in Ka’s hands. We have entered the field of roses and beyond that we shall find either the Dark Tower or the clearing at the end of the path.

P.S. There is no such rule as 3.06 or any required coin flip.

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