July 26, 2006

A Play A Day #104

The... ummm... Sports? Commentators?


Setting: Color commentating booth, radio broadcast. Two stools, table, papers on table, Ben and Dirk facing audience behind table, looking down on a sports field, headsets with microphones on their heads.

Ben: Hello and welcome to beautiful downtown Farwagapata on the island nation of Chilkapapapalala and this broadcast on the Every Single Sport Ever radio network. I'm your color commentator, Ben Popperton.

Dirk: And I'm Dirk Smuggly, and today we join you for a midseason match between the hometown favorites, the Farwagapata Hukklepalatafafas, and their natural rivals from the next village down, the Ritipilijijijiki Fulgafipipiripitis.

Ben: Natural rivals, of course, because they are the only two teams on the island.

Dirk: Certainly. The sport is called Pepe Wawa. It is an ancient game.

Ben: Extremely old. Our research tells us that it has been played exclusively on this island for perhaps as long as two thousand years.

Dirk: No truth to the rumor that Jesus played, is there Ben?

Ben: Hahaha! No, I doubt Jesus ever made it this far asea. We are isolated! This island is some three hundred miles from the next closest human settlement.

Dirk: Approximately 425 people living on this island, and Pepe Wawa is their game.

Ben: We have to warn our listeners that neither Dirk nor I understand the sport we are both going to witness here for the first time.

Dirk: That's right, Ben, didn't have time to research it either.

Ben: We couldn't if we wanted to, Chilkapapapalala society has no written language, nor do they seem to create or store archival records or artifacts.

Dirk: Yes, and their language seems to be lacking too.

Ben: Well, I'm sure it's a beautiful language, if we only had the capacity to understand it.

Dirk: True, we have neither a translator nor a field guide to their language. Basically, all we have is a map of the island with the name of the game and the teams listed on it in ash. It is the lone surviving doument from an anthropologist who first visited this island in the 1920s never to be heard from again.

Ben: Even if we did have the ability to understand the language, I doubt we would know much more about Pepe Wawa than we do.

Dirk: That's right, Ben, because the inhabitants of this island have been somewhat... reticent to speak with us since our arival yesterday afternoon.

Ben: Yes, it's been mainly cold, suspicious stares since we set foot on the landing beach.

Dirk: Not a welcoming people!

Ben: No, not at all, Dirk. They especially seem to dislike you.

Dirk: Naturally, with my natural good look, the men would be more jealous of me on sight.

Ben: True enough. Well, the Every Single Sport Ever radio network is committed to satisfying America's obsessive need to understand, inded, even become a fan of, every single sport out there in this great world of ours.

Dirk: This is not to say we understand anything about Pepe Wawa, its history, cultural significance, rules, structure, or even winning or losing the game, but such minor concerns will not hold us back from bringing you up close and personal with what we assume will be a thrilling and hotly-contested competition.

Ben: That's what we are here for, to use our voices to let you in on the thrill of world sport, even those that we don't a thing about!

Dirk: Looks like the teams are taking the ... field? Is it a field, Ben?

Ben: Well, Dirk, I'd describe it as the side of a large hill in which there are several holes, large holes and smaller holes. The hill seems quite steep, and extends for nearly a quarter mile in each direction. Not to worry, we have a clear vantage point and strong binoculars.

Dirk: You won't miss a thing!

Ben: Several members of the uhh... ummm... what should we call these teams, Dirk?

Dirk: Well, one of the teams is definitely naked, just completely unclothed. How about "Naked" for a team name?

Ben: Very accurate.

Dirk: The other team also... appears, yes, they are also naked, but covered in intricate bone and skeletal drawings...

Ben: Perhaps, "The Dead"?

Dirk: So the Naked and the Dead have taken the field, they are meeting in the center and... uhhh... well, they are manipulating their genitalia together... uhh... hard to describe isn't it, Ben?

Ben: Well, I think we just call a spade a spade here, Dirk. They appear to be masturbating in a large group.... no other way to say it... ohh... well now... now, yes... now they have stopped, an old man approaches the circle. He is carrying a very long knife...

Dirk: Interesting... he flips the knife high in the air... a coin toss of sorts, perhaps?

Ben: It sticks into the ground... the old man picks it up and hands it to the Naked team... uhh...captain?

Dirk: Yes, the Naked captain takes the knife and.... Ahhhh!!!.... what the .... no!!

Ben: Wow!

Dirk: Unbelievable!!

Ben: Wow!

Dirk: He has... well... he stabbed the old man in the stomach, just stabbed him....

Ben: Oh... wow!

Dirk: The knife is protruding from the old man's stomach... the old man appears to be in pain, but is still standing there... bleeding profusely...

Ben: Wow...

Dirk: Now, the old man remobves the knife! Ooohhhh! God! He hands the knife to the Dead captain, who takes it.... and... NOOO!!!!

Ben: Wow!! Again?

Dirk: The Dead captain has also stabbed the old man!! This time, higher on his body... into his lung, perhaps! Jeez! What kind of game is this?!

Ben: Wow!

Dirk: The old man slowly wanders back up... to the top of the slope and sits in a throne-like chair, the knife still in him!

Ben: Now, the two teams are ... ummm... well again... this is weird... ummm... they appears to be slapping their erect penises against each other... yes... that's definitely what is going on.

Dirk: It would appear so. Now the two teams have broken away from each other, they are walking to opposite ends of the field...

Ben: This could take a while. The field appears to be a half-mile long. While we have some time here, Dirk, I'm wondering what you think about the size of these teams?

Dirk: Well, the Dead seem to have about 30 men on their side, and the Naked seem to have only 12 or so. I'm not sure what accounts for the difference in team numbers, Ben. Perhaps, many Naked members are out sick today?

Ben: The game may be not very dependent on team size, perhaps? But, whatever the reasons, it would seem the Naked will be playing extremely shorthanded today.

Dirk: Yes, I would say so.

Ben: But... uhh... definitely not ... short-staffed.

Dirk: (a hearty quick laugh) No! They're not suffering in that department; I guess you could say many Naked members do not appear to out sick today!

Ben: (laughing) No... just 'out', I would say.

Dirk: I wonder if equipment that size would get in the way playing Pepe Wawa?

Ben: No idea, Dirk.

Dirk: I guess you coud say that you guess it's hard to guess!

Ben: (laughing, playing along) Yes, you know it's hard to know!

Dirk: But, not hard to see!

Ben: O.K.... we kid the competitors' genitalia, but, in reality, we're happy to see them happy!

Dirk: Yes, there are few things in the world more pure or interesting for men than watching other men enjoying themselves on the field.

Ben: Especially when they are so truly outstanding standing out there.

Dirk: Mmmm-hmmmm!

Ben: The teams have reached opposite ends of the field now, and a woman at the top of the slope... standing near the old man with the stab wounds ... is screaming very loudly.

Dirk: And, there they go! Look at 'em run!

Ben: Wow! They appear to be... hey... wha... where did they go?

Dirk: I think they've all gone into different holes in the ground...

Ben: Yes, I believe you're right, and... uhh... I'm not sure what's happening now.... ummm... no... nothing seems to be...

Dirk: I can't see any of the players, Ben; any guesses as to what they are up to?

Ben: No idea, Dirk... uhhh.... just wait and see... I guess...

Dirk: Can do. (long pause) Still no sign... of the teams...

Ben: Must be very large holes, huh, Dirk?

Dirk: No idea, Ben.

Ben: Perhaps, Dirk, they are linked by a series of underground tunnels, and the game is being contested underground?

Dirk: I hope not, Ben.

Ben: Yes, that would make it a difficult game to comment on.

Dirk: Yes, it would.

(long pause)

Ben: Well, we ... seem to be at a standstill... these two titans of the game... continue to war away... ummm... out of our sight...

Dirk: Hard to believe, Ben.

Ben: (Hand over his microphone and Dirk's, stage whisper) Listen, could you make some attempt at bantering with me here... we have almost two hours let to kill! Stop leaving me hanging out to dry!

Dirk: (nods his understanding, Ben lets go of the microphones) An amazing contest, to be sure! It seems to be both bruising and violent, yet graceful and tactical.

Ben: Well said, Dirk. That would be my best guess too...

Dirk: Yes... and we can only... Wait! Oh my! The Dead have arisen, all members of the Dead seem to have popped out of the ground at exactly the same time, at positions all over the field!

Ben: And here come the Naked! The Dead are advancing toward a larger hole in the center, as are the Naked... what... oh... a large member of the Dead team is carrying an enormous boulder...

Dirk: Amazing strength by that young gentleman... that boulder must be three feet in diameter!

Ben: No, it can't be light! And now the Naked... ohhh! Wow!!

Dirk: The Naked have started hurling stones that they have amassed in a smaller hole near the large center hole...

Ben: Ouch! These are not small stones! No! They are... yes... they are aiming most of their throws diretly at the large Dead player carrying the boulder...

Dirk: Trying to stop his advance to the center... and they have....

Ben: I'll say! Right in the head! A fist-sized rock seems to have been properly aimed...

Dirk: Yes, the boulder-carrier has dropped... his skull bleeding profusely... I'm not sure if he... no... he's out for the duration I guess.

Ben: Yes, he's not getting up 'til next week... the boulder has now been picked up by another Dead player... and... oops, he didn't even get to take a step...

Dirk: And another Dead player... oooooo! ... is now probably another dead player...ouch... these Naked players can really throw...

Ben: Yes, the Dead appear to be defending the boulder carrier, but all they can do is block the thron rocks with their hands, arms, feet and occasionally even with their groins...

Dirk: Lot of blood out there, Ben...

Ben: It's getting slippery... several Dead players have found themselves sliding down the slope on the grass greased with the blood of their teammates...

Dirk: Many bodies of Dead players are strewn on the field... another one.... ooooo! man! right in the face!!

Ben: I don't believe many of the Dead players have full use of their arms any more...

Dirk: No... most appear to be letting their mangled arms hang by their sides... I would guess out of necessity of injury.

Ben: The boulder hasn't advanced much further than the first Dead man made it.

Dirk: I don't know the objective of the game, but if I could hazard a guess, I would say that the Naked hold the upper hand here...

Ben: Yes... and... what's that? The woman at the top of the slope is screaming wildly and pointing to the old man in the throne...

Dirk: Uhhh... I believe the old man... yes... he appears to be dead... ah... yes the screaming woman is indicating such... she has pushed his limp form out of the throne...

Ben: He's definitely dead, Dirk.

Dirk: I would have to agree, Ben. Dead.

Ben: The action on the field has stopped, and here comes the screaming woman... well, not screaming now... she is walking toward the center hole, and.. uh.. taking something out of a pouch attached to her waist...

Dirk: I believe... it's... yes.. it looks to be a coin-shaped object...

Ben: The entire Naked team and the three conscious Dead team members are gathering around the woman with the coin....

Dirk: She is holding up the coin object... she shows it clearly to all players.... first one side... then the other...

Ben: This appears to be a stndard coin toss... perhaps to determine the next player to haul the boulder?

Dirk: The woman flips the coin skyward, a Naked team member barks out something... and... they are checking... and... the Dead team is celebrating wildly... uhhh...

Ben: The Naked are walking off the field.... this... ummm....

Dirk: The Dead team is raising their arms to the sky... and.. they are running off the field...

Ben: Ummmm.... but what about the boulder?

Dirk: Agreat many Dead players are still lying on the field... the crow seemsto be leaving....

Ben: Uhhh... I guess that today's Pepe Wawa game is done... and... uhhh... the Dead have won... somehow....

Dirk: I don't get it, Ben.

Ben: Me either; the Naked team, despite its smaller numbers, had the advantage of an entire cache of large throwing rocks, and make quick and nasty work of the Dead...

Dirk: Yet, the Dead win...

Ben: Because of a coin toss, at the end of the game?

Dirk: Well... I... well... let me just say that I don't find this game to be very American at all...

Ben: No, it's not, Dirk. It definitely is not.

(lights out)

Dirk: Is anyone going to clean up the field?


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