As promised, here is part two of The Sandlot: Camden Chat Style. I hope you enjoy it as much as part one, and maybe it will seem less strange to Andrew. Without further ado…The ride to Salisbury was quiet. Maybe we were fearful of duck, although it was hard to say why. Perhaps it was the thought of having to climb into a pickup truck and rumble down a dirt road that made us all uncomfortable. Why give up the smooth ride of a prius? We might as well be riding bikes. Imagine the response to four bike riders in what is politely called, “the country.” I won’t even say the impolite name.
“What is that?” Andrew asked as we passed what looked like a horse and buggy. You know, the means of transportation in the 19th century. A beat passed; no one had answer. I thought for a moment.
“Well, last time the road wasn’t paved. It is now. Clearly our suggestions that we discreetly dropped into Salisbury’s suggestion box were taken into account,” I said. Andrew, Stacey and zk seemed content with that answer.
“This is getting stranger by the minute. Look at that! Is that an outhouse? And what’s with the well?” O’sFan21 exclaimed. I squinted out the window, dumbfounded about the things I failed to notice last time. I wished I had suggested running water and indoor plumbing, but the revolutionary thought—or, what would have been revolutionary in the 19th and early 20th centuries—had not crossed my mind.
“Is that—no, it can’t be,” Stacey said, shock evident in her voice. I glimpsed a—well, I could barely believe it myself. A man was wearing an outfit that went out of fashion in the 18th century—yes, a velvet ensemble complete with puffy pants and an extravagant hat. I stared as we passed this madness. O’sFan21 slowed to a crawl so that we could observe Salisbury completely.
We stopped in front of duck’s house. We sat still in the car. No one moved, or rather, no one dared to. I opened my mouth to speak, but quickly closed it when I realized there was nothing I could say that would break the tension.
“How about a political debate?” I proposed, regretting my question immediately after I asked it. I was met with three glares. “Alright, alright, bad plan. What now?”
“DCO, I think it’s time you learned some adult lessons. When faced with a difficult decision, you should procrastinate as much as possible so you don’t make the wrong choice. Doing things too fast is very irresponsible,” zk said. I tried my best to look confused.
“Wait, what? Hold on, I have to do one of my frantic google searches. Keywords: ‘adult lessons,’” I explained.
“NO!!!” everyone screamed in unison. I jumped a little in my seat.
“What? Why?” I asked alarmingly. Stacey laughed slightly, and then cupped a hand to her mouth when she saw the hurt on my face.
“The internet is a difficult place, young Padwan,” Andrew replied. I shook my head.
“Nerd,” I said with no emotion. He shot me a quick, hostile glance, and then chuckled slightly. I started to laugh too, until he stopped abruptly and his smile disappeared.
“Thank you,” he said with a coat of bitter sarcasm. He sneered my way. I rubbed two fingers on my temples. We were at a stalemate, and nothing was happening.
“OK,” I started, pausing to form the right words, “we have to get out of this car. Duck is our best player, and just because he has 3,000 guns in his house doesn’t make him scary. We all know he’s a big teddy bear--er, duck?” There was a long silence.
“Alright, sure,” Stacey agreed. She opened the car door, and the others followed reluctantly. “You get to knock, DCO, considering it was your idea.”
“Fine, fine,” I conceded, and took the lead. I knocked heavily on the door, and waited for an answer. I heard ear-drum-blowing music from inside the house. What was that? Metallica? Slayer? Or something else he’s always talking about? I knocked again when there was no answer. I saw a doorbell, and was rather surprised that he had such an advanced device. I rang the bell, and the music ceased suddenly. The door was opened, and there stood duck in a Metallica T-Shirt. I rolled my eyes... of course.
“You like my shirt?” he asked, as if he needed our approval.
“No. Why aren’t you dressed?” I asked in an aggravated and impatient tone. He scoffed.
“Dressed for what?” I knew he wasn’t that clueless.
“What were you doing all this time?” Stacey asked, growing impatient as well. He stopped for a moment.
“Polishing my guns,” he answered. I laughed, before asking which type of guns he was referring to. He assured me that they were the kind that shoot bullets and kill innocent deer. I was relieved... sort of. There was an awkward moment as he stood in the doorway, while we were outside.
“I’ll... get dressed. Be back in a few,” duck said, and turned to go. O’sFan21 called after him.
“Wait! We need to use your horrible, environment-destroying, gas-guzzling pickup truck.” Duck stopped in his tracks.
"What did you say about my pickup truck?" duck asked in an almost threatening tone. I sighed. Not again--oh wait, O'sFan21 always has arguments with twisted. My bad. O'sFan21 backed away, before stopping because he was definitely not backing down from a fight about the environment. He should have known I wasn't going to support him in a house with 3,000 guns.
"I said it's 'horrible, environment-destroying, and gas-guzzling'. That's what I said, and that's what I mean." My eyes darted back and forth as the two men sparred over duck's beloved pickup truck and its negative effects on the environment. Stacey stepped forward, throwing a hand up.
"Stop with your stupid existing rapport!" she screamed, surprised at her own volume. There was a short silence before duck and O'sFan21 relaxed.
"Let's hug it out, bitch," duck suggested. And they did just that. Now, back to the issue at hand. Duck got dressed and we piled into his pickup truck. Andrew was desperate for some human interaction, so he sat in the front with duck. Stacey, O'sFan21, zk and I were relegated to the bed... OF THE PICKUP TRUCK. We sat quietly, occasionally commenting on the old farmhouses and their lack of indoor plumbing, let alone electricity.
Quite suddenly, duck screeched to a halt. We were almost thrown out of the vehicle.
"What the--WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT FOR?" O'sFan21 screamed. Duck climbed out of the truck, angrily shaking his fist at the biker he almost ran over.
"Get off my lawn--oh... this isn't my lawn. Damnit! I really wanted that joke to work," he exclaimed. The biker looked anxious. Duck narrowed his eyes, and then recognized the biker. "Hey! Hey, it's Phil!"
"Yes, it's me. And you almost ran me over. This road needs bike lanes. After all, it was just paved," Phil commented. Duck ignored the comments. He was too busy priding himself on not running over an old drinking buddy. Phil was not amused. Neither were duck's fellow passengers, including me.
"Phil, why don't you come ride with us to the game. You're already in uniform," Stacey said. Phil pondered the idea. "After all, these country folk don't like bikers that much."
"No one likes bikers," Andrew said. Phil glared at him. Andrew grinned. Phil was still thinking, and then happily agreed. We continued on our journey, all the way to the big game.
We slowed to a stop at a red light. I glanced at my surroundings, and saw a man messing with his iPod, clearly tired from a long run. I looked closely, and realized that I knew the runner. I called out to the man.
"Hey, twisted! You off to the game? You shouldn't ruin your uniform!" He couldn't hear me through his earphones. I figured there was only one way to get his attention. I grabbed a wiffle ball that was inexplicably in the back of the truck and chucked it at what I hope was twisted's stomach. Unfortunately, it landed right in his groin, and he yelped in pain. Oops.
"What the fuck?" he screamed.
"Um... sorry!" I yelled, shrinking out of sight. Twisted ran towards us, angry and still in a lot of pain. He shook the sweat out of his head and confronted me about my stupidity.
I attempted to explain: "Well, you were listening to your music and... well, you know, you couldn't hear and stuff. I thought you might want a ride to the game. Erm, in retrospect, throwing a wiffle ball in the direction of your stomach was not the best idea especially because I have control issues. Still, it got your attention!" He scowled at me, not accepting my pitiful explanation. I smiled nervously.
"Now that we have you, hop on in. It's better than the metro... I mean, if there was a metro near here," zk said. Twisted rolled his eyes but agreed. And we continued on our way.
The trip seemed much longer than it had to be. Maybe we were just anxious about playing Alex Sodoffguez and his band of self-aggrandizing shitheads, who happened to be the best team in the league. And, unsurprisingly, we were the worst. How perfect.
"Stop the fucking truck!" O'sFan21 shouted abruptly. "Stop it, damnit!" Duck heard O'sFan21's frantic screams. He hit the brakes, and the truck screeched to a loud halt. "Fuck you!" We turned in the direction of O'sFan21's insults. Then, we saw it. We saw what all the fuss was about. It was none other than Alex Sodoffguez, walking to the game. Everyone else saw him too. We had waited for the day to confront His Douchiness for some time now, but when we were faced with the prospect, we didn't know what to say. There was the predictable "fuck you's" and the like, but we needed more than that. We couldn't find the words, and The King of Fucking Shitheadity walked away proudly.
"Fuck," zk muttered. That was the only thing that needed to be said. We hung our heads and the silence began again as we felt angry and sorry for ourselves. Out of nowhere, we glimpsed a man in a bird suit. It wasn't a chicken, not an Oriole... I thought maybe... a pigeon? Why the hell would anyone dress up in a pigeon outfit? I wasn't reading GQ enough, I suppose.
"Birdman?" Andrew bellowed. The man turned, and smiled broadly when he recognized us. He waved, looking ridiculous with arms covered in feathers. He didn't seem to care. "Um... birdman, no one asked you to be the... mascot. I wasn't aware that sandlot teams even had mascots. I thought you were playing."
"I'm living up to my name!" birdman shouted. I rolled my eyes. I wasn't prepared to allow Pigeon face to share the bed of the pickup truck with the sane people, at least in comparison to the guy wearing a bird suit. "Can I... join you?" I shifted slightly, and didn't say a word. He was still beaming, clueless about our hesitance.
"Ya see, birdman, it's just... I mean, it's kind of, erm, embarrassing to ride around with a man dressed like a pigeon but..." Andrew trailed off. Zk wanted to stand up for his friend, but he found that the man in the pigeon suit wasn't really his friend, right?
"Birdman, take the suit off and you've got a ride," Zk said harshly. At least he wasn't considering his best friend's feelings because that's not what real men do.
"That was... hurtful. Damnit. I don't need a ride! I'm a pigeon and I'm proud!" birdman proclaimed. Stacey shrugged, and told us to keep going. O'sFan21 yelled at duck to continue, and birdman was rendered speechless, tears welling in his eyes at his friend's betrayal.
...to be continued. Up next: an unexpected visitor shows up at the game as the team needs more players. Will birdman get his spot on the team? Who is this mysterious player? The game is played. Who will win? And the aftermath. Stay tuned!