The legendary abstract “ball” players of South Silver Lane may have killed their last ball. This weekend, I overheard a ruckus coming from their usual place of ruckus, but it was quite a larger one than usual. Inching my little toes and my little doggies closer, I witnessed a band of farmers wearing overalls, one carrying a trident, all parading across the property at which ball was invented, pillaging the ballplayers and the ball graveyard with farmer’s tools.
They had come in pickup trucks and with a trailer carrying a tractor. One man was using the tractor to uncover the graves of all deceased balls. As the ball enthusiasts clawed at the tractor’s glass cab, farmers tackled them into the ground, checked their backpacks for inflatable balloons or anything round at all.
The boys whined, “You can’t do this! Ball is for everyone! Ball is freedom!”
“Shut up, daydreamers, let’s get back to reality.”
“What do you mean? Ever since we invented Ball, I’ve felt the realest I’ve ever felt,” said one boy.
“You have a future to prepare for. You have a career, or you will have one someday. You need to focus on providing for yourself and, if you’re lucky, your family too.”
“I’m too young for that! I just want to do fuck shit all the time!” said the redheaded kid.
Meanwhile, a trident-wielding farmer emerged from the house. “This place is infested with balls,” he said solemnly. “They have newspaper clippings and photos documenting the complete history of Ball.. There’s no way we can sanitize these foolish dreamy ideas.”
“So what do we do, captain?”
“Torch the house. And hit one of them with something itchy so that they'll learn a lesson.”
“Yes boss,” said the tractor operator, as he sent a flame from the muffler of his tractor and ignited the whole house (Ball Hall of Fame and Ball Graveyard included) into a scorching inferno.
What happened next was hard to watch. I’m still in a fritter about it. A group of farmers pinned down the redheaded boy and aimed a strange laser weapon at his private parts. “No, please,” he begged, “it smells terrible.” A green swirling beam struck him right between the legs and fizzled for a while. He didn’t seem hurt at first, but all of a sudden he was scratching himself incessantly, frantically. “Sam,” he called out, “get me the milk! Milk! I need milk! I’m not going to be able to make babies anymore.”
The farmers quickly left. I told the fire department what I’d seen, but they seemed disinterested and let the house burn to the ground. The ballplayers went to stay at their friend Haggy’s house who hosts open mic at the O’s Music Bar.
It’s never a dull day in Sunderland.
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