(A Random Post)

The Flu Game

I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles

It was late Saturday night and I’m watching the Ultimate Jordan DVD that I recently borrowed from Max. I actually have my own copy, which I seem to have misplaced. If anyone knows of its whereabouts, let me know, eh? Anyway, I was watching game five of the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. More widely known as “The Flu Game”. Long story short, Michael Jordan plays the entire game suffering from flu-like symptoms. He ends up with 38 points, including the game winning shot, and gives his team a 3-2 lead in a series they would later win in six. As I watched this game, two things occurred to me: 1) Karl Malone is one of the most useless players in the clutch ever. I truly despise him. 2) Jordan was faking. I mean, would that really be beyond him? You know, he probably knew he was going to beat Utah anyway and at this point he was gunning for his FIFTH NBA championship. Why not make things a little more interesting and add to his own legend by faking the flu? Maybe he’d even throw his opponents off a bit. I’d figured it out. The Flu Game was a great, big lie.

*****

I woke up Sunday morning feeling like crap. My whole body was sore and I was lightheaded. I figured that as soon as I climbed out of bed, washed up and got some fresh air I’d feel better. I had to. I needed to be at my best for an outing at the CNE with my U-mates later. I hadn’t seen them in a while and I’d been sooooort of avoiding them, so I wanted to make sure that I provided some amusement for them today. They deserve that much for always including me in their plans even though I usually don’t show up. I’m a dick like that. I should have known it was a bad sign when I couldn’t fall asleep on the bus or on the subway. My head was just pounding. I figured all I needed was to fall asleep for a few minutes but rest never came.

When I got there, I ended up waiting about an hour and a half for people to show up. Well, that’s unfair. I was waiting inside the station by myself for about half an hour. I discovered that three of the girls were already upstairs and had been there for some time. It’s probably better that I didn’t know they were up there because we had nothing to talk about. The girls in question were Julie, who had recently broken up with her boyfriend, Ping, who I have mentioned before in a previous post as being “cute as hell”, and their friend Sheena, who was also cute as hell. After another hour (!) the rest of the gang showed up and we were on our way.

I’d forgotten how big the CNE was. After a while I wasn’t even sure that I had been there before. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail describing it as I’m sure most of you have seen it. I will admit that I did play one of those carny games and I failed miserably. I decided I’d try my hand at one of the basketball shooting contests, even though I know the rims are smaller than normal. David was cautioning me and I was like, “That’s only an issue if your shots actually hit the rim.” $7 and at least two airballs later I was humbled. If I’d had any pride left I probably would have been more upset, but nothing can match the ordeal I once had back when I was about 13 or 14. I think we were on some sort of school field trip to the CNE or a place like it. I wanted to impress people by playing that game where you hit the scale with the large mallet in an attempt to ring the bell at the top. I couldn’t even lift the fucking hammer. Compared to that, missing a few jumpshots wasn’t that bad.

The day was going so well. We checked out the farm area, which was hilarious because the smell almost drove Tanya insane. Lesley Ann was petting some pigs and I suggested that she run her hand through Tanya’s hair and tell her that she didn’t wash her hands (she did). It was funny. We walked through the international pavillion, which I loved because of all the stereotypes it enforced. The Columbian stall only served coffee. The Italian stall was inhabited by a couple of goombahs trying to pawn off shitty jewelry. The Australian stall was cool hats, tooth necklaces and Crocodile Dundee DVDs. You figure out how much of that was a joke. There was also this area full of pimped-out hot tubs and as my friends and I checked them out, this sales clerk came by and actually asked us if we were interested in buying. My friends were surprised and didn’t know what to say, but I looked her in the eye and said, “I’m interested. Definitely.” Stupid ho.

You know what? There was a lot of cool stuff, but the whole time I was distracted by the pain coursing through my body. Honestly, all day it felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife…in my anus. I wanted to make merry, but I was constantly looking for a place to sit down. When Julius said that he had to leave early I was more than happy to go with him. I didn’t even have a chance to say bye to everyone. I felt bad about it too, because I was genuinely enjoying myself and I didn’t mean to be a drag. On the other hand, I’m sure my absence was hardly noticed.

The trip home seemed to take forever and when I finally arrived I collapsed on my bed for about three hours. I’m not even sure I was actually sleeping, just not moving. I had to call Natasha and cancel our outing on Monday just in case, which totally SUCKED because I’d been planning on seeing her for a while now and things keep getting in the way. She was completely understanding, as she always is, and we agreed to meet at a later date.

As I lay in bed, I realized that my affliction was directly related to my criticism of the Greatest Of All Time himself, Michael Jordan. How dare I even begin to question His Airness and his achievements? With the tiniest fraction of his power, MJ had obviously decided that I needed to be taught a lesson. I imagine the symptoms I felt on Sunday were not unlike those he felt during that fateful game against the Jazz. Knowing that I had to make immediate reparations, I crawled downstairs and popped in the Ultimate Jordan DVD again while attempting to ingest a late dinner. This time, I watched his last game, which was also against the Utah Jazz. No criticisms. No questions. I lay there in agony and awe, watching Jordan will his team over the Jazz for his sixth and final championship. I even sat through the post-game interviews. I had insulted Michael Jordan and I could only hope that my appreciation of his final moments would result in forgiveness.

I woke up Monday morning feeling perfectly fine.

*****

William, go watch The 40-Year Old Virgin if you haven’t already.

Okay. There’s an African foodstall down the street. I need two monkey-burgers, roast potato skins and a tub of matoke.
Hold it, hold it. Assistant, yes. Spider Jerusalem’s slave, no.
I thought you wanted to be a journalist?
I do.
Then let me finish talking. When you get back, you’re going to sit down with me over monkey-burgers and tell me everything you saw on the way.
Why?
Because if you’re going to be a real journalist, you’re going to need to learn how to look. Now get out of here. I need monkey.
One request.
Shoot.
Be dressed when I get back, okay? I’m never going to be able to keep food down if I have to watch that while I’m eating.
Everyone’s a fucking editor.

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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