Sunday, September 10, 2006

Football Pencils

Hello. This is the advanced computer program that has been programmed to select a story to display when Latigo Flint drinks himself into a corner.

This story is about football (kinda) because advanced computer programs always like to be topical.

From the archives - July 6, 2005:

Football Pencils

That young man with sad eyes and a slightly misshapen head was at Starbucks today. Spread out on the table he had a set of NFL pencils, a TrapperKeeper notebook and a quarter.

Latigo Flint sees him there almost every day. Latigo Flint had yet to find a reason to talk to him. Latigo Flint must have been feeling chatty today.

"Hey guy. Whatcha doing there?"

The young man wouldn't look me in the eye. "You'll think it's stupid dumb."

"Please don't presume to know what I think."

He lifted his head a bit, managing to stare at my chest. He exhaled slowly before answering.
"I'm simulating the entire upcoming professional football season with these team pencils and a quarter."

I pulled up a chair. "See guy." I said, placing a friendly hand on his shoulder. "I actually don't think that's stupid or dumb. Tell me, how do you factor in home-field advantage?"

The young man smiled shyly. "The home team is always tails." He replied. "And when the quarter is in the air I hope for and whisper 'tails tails tails' to help."

I nodded my appreciation. "That's good fella. That's real dern good if you ask me."

I stood to leave. "My name's Latigo Flint. I'm the quickest quickdraw the world has ever known. And if I was gonna root for an NFL team I reckon it would have to be the Cowboys, Chiefs, 49ers, Broncos or Colts, 'cause those team names are Old West iconic."

The young man disappeared behind his TrapperKeeper. Papers shuffled.
"The next game on the schedule is Broncos and Raiders."

"Which is the home team?" I asked.

"This game is in Denver." He replied.

"Well tails tails tails then."

He scowled. "Don't do that! I say the 'tails tails tails'! There's no such thing as two home crowds; it simply isn't possible. A stadium on top of a stadium?! Why, everyone in the bottom stadium would be crushed. Actually you may have just ruined the entire season and I may have to start all over now. I hope you get cancer."

I backed away. "O-kay guy. Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet you. I'm sorry you have to start the season over. I'm going to order my beverage now and then get some lunch--probably something high in antioxidants."

And that's exactly what I did.


At 6:31 AM, Anonymous ATD said...

Poor football simulator guy. Such unrecognised genius. In another world he might have grown up to be a wizard, or maybe an alchemist, but in our world of surly, yet cute barristas, motorcars, and pop-idols, his genius has degenerated into mindless eccentricity.

Truly a shame.


At 6:33 AM, Blogger Helga von porno said...

I didn't think I was going to enjoy this, but i read it anyway out of loyality, and I found out that I DID enjoy it, a great deal. It was nice to read a highly entertaining, amusing and intellectually inspiring (I'm talking about the home team advantage section) Latigo Flint story where no one gets injured or killed or suffers some horrible tradgedy. I'm left feeling all warm, and like there's hope after all.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous The Macek Collective said...

And because of your meddling, that Dec 24 game at Mile High was won by the Broncos, 22-3 and daddy missed the over/under.

Little Sally didn't get her American Girl doll and is now going to end up a strung-out whore.

Way to go, Flint.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

One man flipping pencil in an LA Starbucks could well effectuate a series of tiny air gusts that might eventually cause a ball to sail over a bar somewhere in Denver and the crowd going wild and the daddy forgetting to pick up the children in his glee and victorious camaraderie, and the children instead being picked up by a pervert, and one child being so sensitive to the horrors of this world will lose his mind in the car on their way to the pervert's house because of two or three strong black hairs he can see curling from the pervert's nose which repels him such that he cannot breathe and so doesn't and dies, and his sister in her rage stabs the pervert with a unicorn from Target and goes on to lead a succesful yet haunted life in, spookily, the pencil business; the pervert with the sticky, drippy unicorn in his neck turning out to be the children's real father after all, sent by their mother to collect them so they could escape the arsehole tyrant at the game and go to live in Vermont where the schools better and the light has a strange quality; the same man who, in a sickeningly ironic twist, was the top man in unicorns at Mattel and a person of gentleness and pleasing manners. And not a pervert at all, apart from the unicorn thing.

Who can say?

It's called the Pencil Effect and little understood, save for the tragedy it almost always causes. It's why I use pens.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I wonder if he knew just how close to a pistol-whipping he came there at the end.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I feel like a lazy moo today after a rubbish weekend so I may cannibalize that comment for a post, if that's all right. The morning is lying heavily and the internal pressure to post something is doing its small part to squash my skull.

I would buy football simulator guy his coffee if I could and we could sit around and shake our heads at generalizations and particulars.

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Amandarama said...

I'm simulating the entire upcoming professional football season with these team pencils and a quarter.

For some reason I keep reading this line substituting "stimulating" for "simulating". It gives a whole new meaning to the piece and proves that there is something very wrong with me.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Ari said...

No doubt, Latty, it's got to be the Cowboys. :) Short of any team changing their name to the
Gunslingers. Which would be cool.

At 1:41 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

I know ATD, I felt for him, truly I did. But then he wished cancer upon me and I had to reevaluate any warm feelings I might have had.

Hey Helga Von Porno, I've written plenty of stories where no one gets injured or killed or suffers some horrible tragedy... they just aren't very good and a don't ring true. Write what you know. Isn't that the first rule?

"and daddy missed the over/under." That's so good in a sort of horrifyingly true sort of way Macek. Well done.

Nice Sam. The Pencil Effect... the sound of one moth coughing and whatnot. You are a triumph of savagery and meteorology.

I try not to pistol-whip young men with sad eyes and slightly misshapen heads LBB... it tends to turn the public against you for some reason.

At least you're woman enough to admit it Amandarama. (I have to go take a shower now... with my ESPN phone.)

Yes Ari! That would indeed be exceedingly cool. Don't see it happening for some reason though.
(Someone needs to remind Drew B. which jersey color to throw to. I nominate T.O... I'm sure he'll be diplomatic.)


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