Chapter Description: Images for this story can be found at the following web...... https://sites.google.com/view/comedy-ars-characters/home
When the game clock hit all zeroes, the 14 of us teammates raised our arms in triumph. Mister 2 flipped me the bird with his middle finger and I returned the gesture with a broad smile and a ‘heart’ shape using my ten fingers.
“I love you too, Liberty,” I hollered at him. Considering my bruised upper left arm, he should have expected me to rub it in, verbally. There’s a fine line between being nice and being vengeful. Today it was the latter. I had learned from Sammantha not to let people walk all over me.
X led us off the field to the cheers from the home crowd and the ‘mighty, mighty’ song. Probably every team in the country has used it at some time.
“We are Go-Nads,
Mighty Mighty Go-Nads,
Everywhere we Goooo-OOOOH,
People want to know-ooooh,
Who we are-rrrrrrrrrrrr,
So we tell them,
“We are Go-Nads, (and repeat till we get into the locker room).
This was followed by hooting and hollering … and banging on shoulder pads.
Coach Parker said loudly, “What did we prove to ‘no one’ today?”
The team answered with even louder volume, “NO ONE comes into our house and pushes us AROUND!!”
Each player waved his fist in a circle and did the ‘dog shout’ …”Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!”
The coach continued, “I’d love to give out 14 game balls today, but tradition says we pick out the one player who had the greatest impact on our victory … and in THIS game, it can only go to the SLAYER of Mister 2 … step right up here, DERREK ADAMS!”
I thought it was a little undeserved glory, but my teammates shouted, “Derrek! Derrek! Derrek! Derrek!”
I had chills going up and down my spine. Every kid daydreams about moments like this. It was a very heady experience when the coach handed me the ball, but what I said next shocked my team.
“Thanks, Coach. I’m thrilled that I could help the team win our opening game, but if it’s possible, I’d like to trade the ball … in exchange for a pardon for my teammate, Randy Pantz. Randy wasn’t trying to hurt me. He was just trying to emabarrass me, and he succeeded.”
I added, “It was just a prank, and I think a one-week suspension is punishment enough for a prank. Look, I was the one who was the butt of his joke and I want to forgive him. I want my teammate back on the team.”
I offered the ball to Coach Parker but he wasn’t ready to take it back yet.
The coach crossed his arms over his chest and gave me his thoughts. “Derrek, that’s very generous of you to make that request, but it’s not your decision on how we handle Mr. Pantz. One of our cardinal rules is to protect your team … and he did the opposite. My personal view is that he should never suit up for us again.”
Then Coach Parker looked at his assistant coaches. “Mathew, Mark, Luke … do any of you have an opinion on this matter?”
The three of them formed a huddle and came to the conclusion, “Coach, we’ll back your decision regardless of what it is.”
Then Coach Parker addressed Dilinger X VonChompion. “X … you’re the leader of the pack. What say you?”
The captain came forward and turned to face his teammates. “I agree with the coach that if you deliberately hurt your team, then you shouldn’t be on the team. But this may be a unique circumstance … because the person making the request is Derrek … and Derrek’s mother is an animal.”
“WHAT??!!!” yelled the four coaches … and this was echoed by X’s teammates.
X explained, “Derrek told us on the first day at lunch that his mom was a girl wrestler on the boy’s high school wrestling team … and that she beat up most of her male opponents. So there’s no doubt that she WAS an animal. And when I looked out on the field today, I noticed a very strong family resemblance.”
“That’s for sure!” yelled Big-O.
The captain added, “Derrek and his mom are two people that give 100 percent effort all the time. Their feelings are sincere. It was her son that Randy hurt … So if she’s okay with Randy returning to the team, then I’d be willing to reconsider my position.”
The players clapped their approval.
Coach Parker asked me, “Derrek, would you like to ask your mom to come in here? We’re all still dressed.”
I nodded, and jogged back to the field bleachers with the game ball tucked under my right arm. Sammantha and many of the spectators were still milling around.
She and my friends, Madeline and Hoshiko, gave me an enthusiastic welcome. I guess it’s always more fun to be a winner carrying around a game ball.
“Hey Mom! You’re wanted in the boy’s locker room.”
She answered quietly, “No thanks, sweety. When we went to the gym with switched bodies, I got my fill of naked little boys running around.”
“It’s okay. We’re all still decent.”
“So why do they want me?”
“To give your opinion on whether Randy should be allowed back on the team.”
“Sweety, didn’t you and I already agree on that?”
“Yeah, Mom, but they want to hear it from you … oh, and they think you’re an animal, cuz of your wrestling days in high school.”
“I see … Well there’s also another thing … I may not be needing to wear this blonde wig to your games anymore. When you and Putz ran the hook-and-ladder … Well, his dad, Mr. Goldfarb, looked back at me in the stands and said ‘Both of our sons are quite talented. The way they ran that play was just ‘precious’.”
I looked up at Sammantha and said, “Oh, crap … But Putz has never brought the subject up.”
Sammantha nodded. “Perhaps he has respect for you.”
I countered, “Or perhaps he’s embarrassed to admit that he was fooled into thinking I was a girl.”
When we reached the team meeting room inside the locker facility, the last thing I expected Sammantha to do was make a grand entrance. She copied some pro-wrestler move by dropping to one knee and extending both arms, with each hand offering the three-fingered ‘I love you’ in American Sign Language.
Simultaneously, she hooted a loud ‘Ric Flair’ “WOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo!!!”
No one could believe that this was actually someone’s mother. She was way over the top.
Then she followed it up with, “You guys ROCK MY WORLD!!! … Great victory today!”
Now the team responded with fists in a circle and the ‘dog shout’ …”Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!”
Sammantha stood up and issued a warning to the team, “The next time I hear anyone on this team refer to me as an animal … I’m going to buy them pizza.”
(Talk about feeding red meat to a pack of wild dogs.) Then as one might expect, every player was quickly yelling out, “YOU’RE AN ANIMAL!!”
And they kept at it, “You’re an ANIMAL! You’re an ANIMAL!”
She added, “If you’re hungry, meet me at Pizza Hut after you dress … figure 6:30 pm. And did you know that your team is not politically correct? Instead of cheering ‘Go Nads, you should shout ‘Go Testicles’.”
X waved a hand. “But Mrs. Adams, what about Randy?”
She asked, “Are you Captain VonChompion?”
“Well, if Derrek were a mean person or a plain old rotten kid, I’d probably be fighting with him all the time … but the problem is … he has a kind heart … and I have a difficult time saying no. So in this situation, I have to back him and say that it’s okay by me if Randy is reinstated on the team.”
Coach Parker noted, “Mrs. Adams, we’ll still need the approval of the principal and the superintendent.”
She nodded. “Understood, Coach Parker.”
“And by the way, your son played one hell of a game today … HE’S an animal.”
“We both appreciate the compliment, Coach,” she replied.
Sammantha didn’t mind spending money to feed the team at Pizza Hut. I could tell that she wanted to maintain a reputation as the ‘cool’ mom. She sat with Madeline and Hoshiko whom I insisted be invited along too. Parents filled up nearby tables while the team had its own long table just like at school lunch. (However, manners were lacking.)
This was such a cool victory celebration and it was only the first game. I had to remind myself to stay humble and not get a big head, as many of my teammates pointed at me, saying, “You da man!” … It was a first for me, basking in any kind of sports glory, so I might as well soak it in.
I never felt guilty about being a 28 year old man playing against young boys. With my 12 year old size of 125 pounds, I was actually one of the smaller players on the field. And I also exited the field, proud to have a battle scar … a large black-and-blue mark on my right tricep, courtesy of Mister 2’s knuckles. I was damn lucky he didn’t break my arm.
This week’s hero could be next week’s goat … So I refrained from gleefully telling everyone the truth that this game was the sports ‘hilite’ of my entire life. The pros always say, “Act like you’ve been there before.” I would leave the giddy joy between me and Sammantha, who was relishing her role as a ‘pretend’ football mom.
Now I could look back and say that I actually survived my first whole week of middle-school (barely). Sammantha and I were now both glad that she enrolled me in the seventh grade. I have to admit that it turned out to be an interesting adventure.
We would enjoy our happiest weekend ever as mom and son, throwing the game-ball back and forth, eating out in restaurants with ‘Grandpa’ Paul, and attending a real NFL exhibition game on Sunday.
The Buffalo Bills were playing our cross-state rivals, the New York Giants … although technically, they played their home games in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Mentally, I had drifted deep into the idea of being a kid and having a great mom like Sammantha. We really enjoyed each other’s company a lot and didn’t publicize the kinky stuff we occasionally did, like the milk/water showers and ‘naked’ sleepovers. I didn’t spend any time at all thinking about becoming a grownup again.
I did spend some time this weekend happily playing with my little body, and my favorite boy toy … jacking off four times. Sammantha’s grin when I came out of my room meant that she was obviously enjoying listening to my squealing sound effects and multiple cries of ‘no,no,no,no,no’.”
Monday arrived, and I actually looked forward going back to school. I no longer felt like a nervous rookie. I had great friends … I had great teammates … and now I was a little bit of a local hero to my classmates. It felt great to be twelve years old.
I breezed through the eight class periods and football practice without any emergencies. Nobody poisoned me. No teachers molested me … and I didn’t get any detentions. Even Mrs. Bullutis treated me with kid gloves. I couldn’t believe how nice she was to me now.
After football practice, I returned to my regular school locker to pick up my backpack and head for the late-bus home. (But that didn’t happen.)
Before I could close my locker, I felt something pinching at my throat … a very sharp object. My brain silently blurted the title of a movie … “The Sum of All Fears.’
A voice behind me said, “You won’t need your backpack, Derrek. Put everything back and shut your locker. You’re coming with me.”