The Cheaters

File under: News That Will Surprise No One—the Patriots are cheating again. Using deflated balls during last Sunday’s game because they are easier to throw and catch. Well good. That is exactly why I root for them. What other trickery could they have also employed. I would love to know. I like seeing grandmasters like Bill Belichik get away with such trickery on the big stage. It inspires me. To be sly and inventive and find new, “alternate” ways to win. Before you ballyhoo cheating remember it’s the reason America exists. If we didn’t cheat the line ‘em up/mow ‘em down rules of war in 1776 we’d all still have British accents. Now we show up to war with 12 aircraft carriers and a thousand flying robots when everyone else is using 1980s Kalashnikovs and IEDs made out of rice cookers. Cheating is the American way.

And I cheat all the time because I’m playing a game I didn’t ask to be playing: I just woke up on this planet one day and these voices were telling me to get good grades and then get a good job and also try to be happy. That I really had two main choices: 1) cubicle or 2) homelessness. Also, that there were only two ways out: 1) early death or 2) decades of agonizing decay as I lose my memories and functions and transition into a stationary prune with bones of glass, followed by late death. Just remember death is mandatory, even if you end up liking it here. So—a game where you have to run around collecting pieces of paper with dead guys on it, and then someone kills you at the end. Well, fuck that. If you’re going to make me do this, I’m cutting every goddamn corner I can. I probably bribed some angel in Heaven so I’d touch down in the 80s as a white kid. Get the smoothest ride I could. Now I am always weaseling. Always thinking: what is the shortest possible route to a bullshit-free existence. My coffee, a book, a workout, a stout IPA. Girls are nice, too, if they will put up with me. So I moved to a country where I pay $7 for meds when I get a fever. Fuck car insurance, fuck mortgages. I go home to see family and it’s nothing but goddamn errands: call the shop to get the van’s brakes fixed, get a hedge trimmer from Home Depot, go put boxes in the storage unit, go buy gas for $4 a gallon to get around to do all these things. Christ, just—no. I only get one spin at this thing; I’ll pass.

The Reaper is coming and he is going to get me, but fuck him—he’s gonna have to sprint. You cheat him when eat your broccoli and drink your water and go for a hike and sleep for eight hours. He’ll be sluggish; he’s had a lot of easy kills recently from people with Doritos in their arteries. Eventually I’ll collapse and he’ll stagger up to me with his hands on his knees. And right as the scythe falls I’ll kick him in his dusty scrotum.

Anyway, go Pats.

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15 thoughts on “The Cheaters

  1. Goddammit. Nothing could be closer to how I’ve been feeling lately. I didn’t sign up for this!! Actually, technically I did, but they oversold the proposition…

  2. Hi Fred,
    Recently a friend of mine told me that we have reached a tipping point. He has never forgiven me for explaining to him when he was young, what the event known as “Tiananmen Square protest of 1989”,really was – it was a setup to bring the radicals out in the open….
    Now that he is old,too, he understands things much better and believes that the drag-net will soon be pulled in, in America.
    He is worried.
    I have explained that maturity brings 3 of 4 things; understanding, awareness and thus,fears, or nothingness.
    (It all begins at 50)
    Namaste!
    I’ll keep reading – you write well. A rare ability today.

  3. “a bullshit-free existence”

    That! Is my goal. And it’s the bullshit in every corner of life, in all of its unnecessary, frustration and outrage inducing incarnations that I rail against. I discard family, friends and girlfriends when they introduce Unnecessary Bullshit into my life. Most people swim around in it, and they often try to out-do others. I don’t even play. As soon as I spot what someone’s game is, they’re out. There’s too much unavoidable bullshit to take on any that’s optional.

    As for the Patriots, I don’t follow sports at all, but it seems to me that if the ball, which divides its time between both teams has been tweaked to make it easier to deal with, then both teams have the same advantage. Or are they being accused of deflating the ball when they had possession and re-inflating when the other team did?

    Not that I care beyond a mere conversational level. Pro sports is something I’ll never understand the fascination with. Grown-ups playing a game with a ball. Okay. Have fun. But who could actually give a fuck about the outcome? And why are they celebrities, for gawd’s sake?

    Anyway, great post, Fred!

  4. Sure, you say that now. You’re what, 27? I have a light bulb in my closet that is older than you are. I think it even still works, but I never go into the closet these days.

    Life is long and when Death comes for you at last you’ll likely be as ready as sixteen-year-old Mormon bride for the ol’ sickle. You’ve heard about it all your life, you even wanted it in a kind of forbidden way. And now he’s here at last waving his icy sickle. It’s kind of disappointing how small it is. Not like the stories.

    So hoist up your fanny and give it the playful little “stripper slap.” You know, the one where they leer over the shoulder and pivot the hand on the palm and whack the tanned round haunch?

    When Old Scratch is ready for you, you have to take it like a man. Literally.

    1. I’m sorry for being such an asshole. I had one of those mornings when I thought I forgot my medication, so I took it again. Then I realized I’m not supposed to take it all because it makes me mean and forgetful. I think I only took it twice, but I may have taken it three times.

      1. Why call yourself “J”. Hardy Carroll?
        Why apologise for anything that you said when you meant to say it at the time?
        I went to look at your Website.
        Not sure if it is Dadaism or not, but it did feed my addiction for rerally sick mental images…
        Goddamit, now I’ll keep reading it, same as I’ll keep coming back here for my negativity fix.
        By the way you have no idea what old feels like, yet.

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