Word – A St. Louis Comedy e-Zine – May 2018

MAY 2018

Sports Nuggets:  An On-the-Couch Look Into Sports

By: Sharon Hazel

Spotlight:  The Professional Bull Riding Tour Stop in St. Louis, MO

I boarded an empty #8 St. Louis Metro bus at Russell and Compton headed downtown toward Scottrade Center with more than the expected anticipation in my belly.  It’s more than expected because I had assumed I would be harboring anxiety and nervousness attending my first ever professional bull riding competition. I’m female, black, and have a background in more “traditional” american sports.  The obvious and easy punch lines that come to mind didn’t make me nervous. I was pretty relaxed. I wanted to go into this experience open and ready for any and all observances to hit me like a wave. I also didn’t want to disrespect the sport by my planned ignorance because I was about to witness the top 25 human beings to do this on the entire planet.

I geeked out first on all the bull riding folks and fans’ gangster schwag.  People in every aspect of this event from fan to bull wrangler were dressed to impress. How do you pick out the right outfit for a possible impalement or death to be broadcast to millions of people around the world? How much do you kick up the bedazzle on the ass pockets of your Wranglers for this event?  Their attire not only impressed me logistically as most of these people traveled from out of town, but it also highlighted how important this sport is to this fan base. Only for big events do people spend their free time, hard earned money, travel time, and church time. Yes, church time. Though I’ve racked up many years of playing sports in parochial schools, I’m not remotely religious.  There was more prayer than I have ever witnessed at a professional sporting event. I might be more bothered by it if it weren’t the sport of bull riding. People tell you the bulls are 2000 pounds but that information means absolutely nothing until you are looking at one. Jesus, Buddha, Allah, whatever these young men can draw strength from to face not only death but also a very painful one everyday, I’m okay with it.

Make no mistake the true athletes of this sport are the bulls.  It is not the size of the bull that makes your jaw drop upon seeing one in action, its their speed and agility. Yes, my favorite book of all time is The Sun Also Rises and yes half my family is from a small town in Texas where our family reunions are held next to a regular horse and livestock show.  But nothing could prepare me for the first of these majestic and magical creatures to pop out of the gates. As a member of the press, I was placed in the Gallagher seats; very close to the action within spray distance of fresh dirt kicked off of bull hoofs (hooves? or are they paws? feet?). Time and time again I was stunned by how these huge beast could stop on a dime, and then charge in a different direction at I’m-going-to-completely-kill-you speed.  True athleticism at its finest. There was a smattering of animal rights protesters outside the arena chanting about animal cruelty. I found their chants to be weak to the ear and their hand drumming to be unenthusiastic mirroring scenes from the movie Major League. They seemed run down compared to the peppy and upbeat cowboy boot wearing fans that calmly expressed their feelings back to the protesters with accents as thick as molasses. If only there were something out there the protesters could supplement their diet with that would give them better energy and focus to fight for their cause. Hmmm.

Riders from all over the globe competed but Brazil and USA were most represented. What amazed me most about these brave young men is that no rider was over 190 lbs. Equally impressive is the fact that even if a rider had a spectacular ride and stayed on the bull the full 8 seconds, they still have to dismount the beast. A 2000 pound animal bucks your puny ass with their entire 2000 pounds of force.  So the skill is not only riding the bull, but also in dismounting the thing “safely”. Even if you win you still kind of lose. Success does not equal injury free. In most other sports when injured on the field you can immediately law down and a medical professional will come to you to attend to the injury. Not in bull riding. There is some unspoken cowboy /John Wayne like rule in which no matter how severe the injury the rider endures, the rider gets himself up and walks off the field of play to medical attention.  It doesn’t matter if a rider snaps a femur or punctures a spleen. It is impossible not to leave any bull riding competition without profound respect for its participants. Im also left with a childlike respect of the folks that run the whole show as well. It was a bit like a traveling circus coming to your town with exciting people, sights, smells, and sounds that are unfamiliar. Its a life I wouldn’t choose to lead, but I walk away envious nonetheless.

You Got a Lil Somethin’

By: Rima Parikh and Justin Luke

Comics 

By: Zack Stovall

“Terms and Conditions”
“Violin Fiddle”
“Ice Cream Sunday Hat”

 

Turkey On Wheat

A Sketch

By Shannon Yarbrough

CAST

  Customer

  Teenage Sandwich Maker

(The scene is a typical Subway-like sandwich shop. A customer enters.)

SANDWICH MAKER

Can I help you?

CUSTOMER

Can I get a turkey on wheat with provolone?

SANDWICH MAKER

What kind of sandwich?

CUSTOMER

Turkey on wheat with provolone.

SANDWICH MAKER

On wheat?

CUSTOMER

Yeah.

(Sandwich maker gets bread.)

SANDWICH MAKER

What kind of sandwich?

CUSTOMER

Turkey.

SANDWICH MAKER

Any cheese?

CUSTOMER

Provolone.

SANDWICH MAKER

What would you like on it?

CUSTOMER

Lettuce, tomato, pickles, peppers, and mayo.

SANDWICH MAKER

Lettuce?

CUSTOMER

Yeah.

SANDWICH MAKER

(puts lettuce on bread)

What else?

CUSTOMER

Tomatoes, pickles, peppers, and mayo.

SANDWICH MAKER

Tomatoes?

CUSTOMER

Yeah.

SANDWICH MAKER

(puts tomato on bread)

What else?

CUSTOMER

Pickles, peppers, and mayo.

SANDWICH MAKER

Pickles?

CUSTOMER

Yeah.

SANDWICH MAKER

(puts pickles on bread)

What else?

CUSTOMER

Peppers.

SANDWICH MAKER

(puts peppers on bread)

Anything else?

CUSTOMER

Mayo.

SANDWICH MAKER

(puts mayo on bread)

Anything else?

CUSTOMER

No.

(Sandwich maker finishes making the sandwich, wraps it up, and walks over to the cash register.)

SANDWICH MAKER

What did you order?

CUSTOMER

Turkey on wheat with provolone.

SANDWICH MAKER

Anything else with that?

CUSTOMER

Chips and a drink.

SANDWICH MAKER

Chips?

(A dramatic pause. Customer remains quiet and just stares at the sandwich maker. The sandwich maker stares back. They blink several times while just staring at each other and waiting.)

CUSTOMER

(patiently)

Yes.

SANDWICH MAKER

And a drink?

CUSTOMER

(getting slightly angry)

Yes.

(The sandwich maker hands the customer a drink and puts his chips and sandwich in a bag. The customer pays and then begins to leave.)

SANDWICH MAKER

Have a nice day!

CUSTOMER

(yells)

What else?

SANDWICH MAKER

I said have a nice day.

CUSTOMER

(yells louder)

Anything else?

SANDWICH MAKER

Enjoy your sandwich, I guess?

CUSTOMER

(yells even louder)

Anything else?

(They just stare at each other again and blink. The customer gets mad and throws his bag and drink at the sandwich maker. He ducks and it misses him. The customer storms out of the shop and the sandwich maker just stands there blinking like he has no idea what even happened.)

(blackout)

Relative – A Conversation With My Mother    By: Brendan Olson    CLICK HERE CLICK HERE CLICK HERE!

The Lottery

By: Matt Wayman

Richie Longfeld of Pensacola died last Tuesday, by jumping off a bridge near the Daniels waterway. This seemed like any normal suicide until police began to look into his past. Longfeld was penniless working odd construction jobs for 23 years, until winning the lottery in September of 2012. A two-dollar ticket yielded just over $12.6 million dollars after taxes. He started spending immediately.

Longfeld was out for revenge quitting his job the day after the check cleared by cussing out his boss for 30 minutes.   Later, he would sue the company for sexual harassment tying their lawyers up in court for so long they were forced to shut down and liquidate all assets to pay legal costs. His insatiable lust for spiting his enemies was legendary, even one time hiring a goon to drive by one of his ex business partners houses everyday at 2am to blow an airhorn. The disturbance, by one report, lasted for over two years until the man moved out of the state.

His ability to burn his enemies was made particularly easy after winning the lottery, as many forgotten enemies of his past began to reappear looking for handouts. His proudest accomplishment coming when he set his sights on a dentist who had been systematically overcharging him for over 10 years. Longfeld crippled the doctor’s practice by starting a viral campaign accusing the frugal dental practitioner of trophy hunting a prized African tiger named Cecila. The doctor’s practice was not only ruined, he was also forced to leave town and is still currently thought to be on the run from animal rights activists.

By June of 2015 Longfeld’s finances were again in ruin, as spiting comes at a hefty price. In a few short years he managed to spend a total a of $22 million solely on getting payback on people he’d felt had wronged him, as his wealth allowed him to take out several big loans from a local bank. He never paid a dime back of any loan he had taken out, attributing his anger to an overdraft charge he’d gotten on his 22nd birthday.

While no official police report has come out on the event, probably due to the fact that Longfeld once shut off water to the whole precinct because of a double-parking ticket, a close source inside the police department has ruled the cause of death as death by satisfaction.