Kind and Hobscroll's Sporting Day Out
by Matt Henshaw, 3:49am July 10th 2022

This is not a known place, not known in terms of the locations visited by these characters, nor the greater location that this tale is set in. The weather is irrelevant. Where possible, accommodation is made to create analogs to things the reader may be familiar with, but it is up to the reader to utilize their imagination and to set the story and its characters in a universe of their own creation. By doing so, you are co-authoring this manuscript-unfortunately, there isn’t any pay in it for you, except perhaps your entertainment. So it goes. --Author

Kind and Hobscroll slept dreamless until they didn’t.

It was the waking time so the couple started their cycle as they have for as long as they can remember-embracing and rubbing themselves all over themsotherselves. Arousal achieved, they shackled themselves in and began the intimacy ritual. It was still drowsy and drunken out and the crowds were beginning to form. A breathed ululation and the cloister dropped a few degrees-evidence of Their presence and consent for what was to proceed. She below prone, he above as though standing on the top step of a very tall ladder. Carefully, carefully now.

She widened her hinder, the stinking aperture accepting his desiccated scrota, frugging until splattering null yogurt on and betwixt spinal ridges. They rose connected by her vice-like puckering grip on his gonads, and sauntered to the window. Outside a crowd of about two hundred held signs and jeered-this was common in the dawnlight before a big game. With a blast of flatus his bollocksbunch was expelled, promptly receding up into his groin. He removed the strip of black electrical tape, about 9 cycles old now, and affixed it to his undercarriage, ensuring no sneaking peeks from reekingboys.

Time passes and soon we find assembled a smorgasbord for their sustenance. Apart and included, were found these delights:

Nine French brined snails, broiled

Two Army Issued RTE’s-boiled

Four goblets of citrus petroleum-shining

A family of albino pygmy pigs – dining

A rack of sheep’s ribs – steamed

Potatoes and kale – creamed

A rare specimen indeed! Frog’s throat Au Gratin

In a pool of tadpole jelly slightly rotten

Among other items best left undescribed.

So sated, Kind and Hobscroll exited the domicile, into the fray of the motley assemblage.

###

“POSITIVE! POSITIVE!” the crowd carried on-one of the mob held aloft an infant painted entirely blue and wearing a headpiece resplendent in parrot’s feathers.

“EARBANANAS! FOUR FOR A QUARTER!” cried the jolly fruitman, peddling his wares to passersby.

Kind turned in the peddler’s direction “Pass me ten and here’s the yarn!” she yelled, unspooling a length of frayed, brightly-colored string from within one of her dozens of grandcoat pockets. The fruitman enthusiastically chucked a tethered bunch of the ripened delicacies, which she caught with aplomb. She in turn wound tightly her yarn and flicked it expertly into the fruitman’s eager maw. He chewed thoughtfully, belched and carried on with his business. “One for you dear Hobscroll,” she peeled off one of the bunch, and then put the remainder of the bunch

[[[WARNING! WARNING! this is the document software alert system-you are in danger of reaching your five “bunch” threshold for this document. Exceeding the “bunch” threshold will result in a fine of a minimum of 500 credits, to be paid by the end of the cycle. Fines increase with wanton continued usage, and will be taken as a token of treason resulting in a maximum fine of 2000 credits and 90 cycles in a maximum-security rehabilitation facility. Please refrain from further uses of “bunch” in this document to avoid penalty. Thank you for choosing this document software. Good day!1]]]

 

                                                                                                                                                  into her lunchsack. Hobscroll scowled, for him, an expression of child-like delight, and mashed the fruit into a paste which he licked off his palm with gusto, wiping the juicy wet onto his gray schoolboy longpants.

Thus energized, the couple made their way through the noisome throng. They waved happily at the droll elder ones, who shook their hooked canes in admiration. They made rude gestures at the wicked laborers who chortled and responded by madly twerking in their dungarees. Dogs named Karen and Chad sniffed the air fragrant with pheromones, mirth, and other scents planetary, biological, and ideological. Toddlers in smart well-tailored business attire carried small briefcases full of documents, perhaps even this one among them, and frowned sullenly at their Seiko wristwatches, hoping they wouldn’t be late for their very important meetings.

They sallied forth, Kind and Hobscroll did, until the crowd cleared and they approached the translation platform. “Where to, dear Kind” asked Hobscroll. “The Flameplanes of Hirovia? Or maybe the Freecliffs of Talumen-6?” “BORING!” Kind replied, rolling her eyes like clay in her hands. Replacing them, she pressed them in and made thoughts. One of them emerged as a short tune, as though played on a recorder by a minor with a cleft palate.

1.Usage of “bunch” in this warning does not count against your bunch allocation, turkey

Hobscroll understood and grimaced (an expression for Hobscroll approximating glee) and took her talon in his, racing to the translation area. They took their places at either end of the translator, nodded at one another, and were on their way.

###

Translation, in this tale, may be taken to represent a mode of transportation. The science is tricky and terribly tiresome to tell of. Take it from someone who knows, you would rightly tantrum and tell off the author, reporting them to the nearest authorities for a proper thrashing and shunting them to a career of merciless toil in a tinmine. You’ll thank me later.

They arrived, no worse for the wear, at their destination. Hobscroll confronted his language guide, looking up important phrases for their sojourn. The speech in this region could best be described as cryptic, and not exactly connected in a rational way to the requestor’s query. For instance, “Where is the nearest restroom?” might be most closely translated as this haiku:

Sky prime, one, today

A hairy lip trembles in fear

Do bears dance, in joy?

Another example, “How many credits for this candied bar?” will be entirely misunderstood, unless phrased as:

Tally-yay Hollow!

Sooth! Ducks Wallow!

Sweet mollassy!

Tired! But Sassy!

And so on it went. Kind and Hobscroll made their way down crooked brickpaved streets, bending now and then to closely examine some fauna. Some of them examined the travelers back. Some plants, shy, skittered down dark alleys to peer from behind sconces, suspicious of strangers. Click upon click the couple strolled, a genteel nod to the shopkeeper here, and a robust stare at other perambulators out for the day.

Soon, they reached their destination, a wide expanse of pavement-in the center, a mile high stadiumarena. Flags of many designs waved triumphantly, representing a panoply of associations. Throngs of people, more than were outside their home, were gathered in packs of similarly colored garb. The effect was as if a rainbow had exploded and grown appendages and mouths. From a distance, the burble was bedlam to behold. As they passed by these tribes, one could make out bits of conversation and discussion:

-“Teeter those tots son, just like ah taught you!” – a father to their son, who is attempting to build a tower of frozen tater tots in the back of their pickup truck.

-“The team has certainly been in a rut the last few games, barely scoring any points” – a shirtless man, with a badger on a leash, “ION” tattooed in a gothic script beneath his navel.

-“YAR swab that deck lackeys, and slubber-de-gullion!” – a zaftig woman, standing six and a half feet tall. Her boots are made of leather, they look good together. Stockings are striped blue and green. Her blouse covers her modestly, and has small anchors printed all over. In her left hand she holds a whip which she snaps for effect. In her right hand, a poultry slider sandwich-crispy, with mayonnaise and saffron. Hanging upon her bosom, a pink bananadana bedazzled with silver “V”s. Her face was round, luminous, with lips painted purple and a green ring poking through her nose. One eye was bright blue, while the other was obscured by a microscope slide. On the slide were a series of bacterium and amoeba playing Stratego. Under her hairline, a scar three inches long and half an inch wide served as a surprised looking brow. Her hair itself was bound into two horns-one had a small candle burning like a sparkler. Upon the other a miniature derby with the jolly roger sewn in the brim. A bakers’ dozen balding executives are meanwhile scrubbing the deck of a 1/6 scale replica of an actual fricking pirate ship, suds streaming down their suits as they sing a shanty that goes something like this:

One thousand dead a day! Just for a bit o’ pay!

Scallywag tumblers writhe jolly and true!

A gourd in your tooth and a flower for Ruth!

Our queen of the seas! She’s quite the bees knees!

-“I hope the motherfucking Ions fucking CRUSH the fucking Positives and send their fucking pansy asses back to their fucking cribs, the motherfuckers!” – a four year old girl, running around in circles with a lollypop larger than her head, stomping ants occasionally with steel toed work boots.

These and a panoply of other voices added to the din as Kind and Hobscroll made their way closer to the stadiumarena. Illuminated in bluish-green flames read one word, “DISASSEMBLY”,which foretold the entertainment Kind and Hobscroll were about to indulge in.

Entry to the stadiumarena was restricted to a decameters-long labyrinth. Stationed every 28 meters (or so) there stood veterans of past games, identified by the reflective sash they wore, as well as the various and sundry prosthetics festooned to arms, elbows, thighs, and ankles. At random, these former disassemblers would swing bladed instruments menacingly at the potential audience. Some of the former players were kind, and much as on a haunt’ed hayride, made clear strokes that were well short of the assemblage in the queue. But some players, perhaps harboring psychological disorders or merely bad jerks, swung a bit close, and occasionally a yelp was heard and a medical team wearing powder blue jumpsuits was summoned to care for the injured spectator and collect their missing part.

These represented the physical risks to the masses there for the game, but there were other obstacles to surmount as well. The assembled crowd of tens of thousands could prove mentally overwhelming for the weaker and older of the crowd, and it was not uncommon for triple digits of these folks to be carried off by those same medical personnel once they entered the snaking entryway to the boxed office.

Then at the boxed office, a different kind of challenge awaited. Prices for entry were determined by a stochastic system based in differential equations and statistics. Someone with an advanced degree in mathematical statistics and probability could understand these esoteric mechanisms, and no doubt, a few of the ticket-seekers were able to pay a reasonable sum. But the game itself did not tend to draw the intellectual caste of the society, and as a result, patrons had to be prepared to shell out many credits to gain egress. Those who got to the boxed office and could not pay were herded into a caged area where they were given a lottery ticket consisting of six numbers and a bonus “super duper special number”. 15 minutes before the games commenced, an announcement of the numbers was made, and there were typically a few dozen who had enough numbers matching to be able to make it in. If you got the bonus “super duper special number” (and only one ticket would have this), the lucky ticket holder got to ride in to the stadiumarena in a gama painted blue and green, with red cushions. They also got to sit in unobstructed seating at the halfway mark of the field, and all the grapes they could ever want to eat.

Kind and Hobscroll, however, had saved their credits, and once making their way through the serpentine line (Hobscroll being nicked by one of the aforementioned former players-a flesh wound, nothing serious), the boxed office attendant informed them that for their seating section, two places would only be 550 credits, which Kind kindly paid.

The queue being bypassed, the couple crossed the threshold of the stadiumarena, where they were greeted by a towering statue of one of the finest disassemblists ever to play the game. Their style and grace, their commitment to excellence, the sheer volume of points accumulated throughout their career ensures they will be known for generations to come. Celebrated by many, despised by opponents-certainly we all know who we are talking about? We don’t? YOU don’t? Then live in ignorance no more. Handily installed near the statue was the following placard, transcribed here in full for your edification:

“”Jolly” Thimbleton Jayme “T.J.” Dess b. 95-52.3 C.o.T d. 54-8-2 ½ G.M.o.D.H.esq

“Jolly T.J.” as they were known to fans, was born on an inauspicious day of no particular import during the Century of Throm. As a youth, Thimbleton first was exposed to the game of Disassembly at the young age of six heptasets. They saw the game on video monitors at the local plebpub, and was entranced by the colorful display of the cheermongers. As Thimbleton attended pubucation, they joined an intramural league, the Junior Disassemblers of Kotchotko where they displayed an innate ability to disassemble opponents. In their first season with TJ the team triumphed in their countystate’s league, dominating with a record of 49 wins, 4 losses. As time went on, TJ went from intramurals to school team disassembly, where they continued to wreak havoc and reign supreme in regional after regional. It is no exaggeration to say that when TJ graduated, the school team was never the same, mostly because of an unfortunate bus accident which killed the rest of team in a fiery conflagration. But anyhow, back to TJ… <see Historical Annex for more about the Unfortunate Bussing Conflagration>

TJ was signed to the Henckraw Huberts in the Grande Millennium of Dukess Heggeroth Esquire, annum 27. They signed a 3 cycle contract, and in 243 games was solely responsible for 179 wins alone. They set a still unbeaten record of 34 limbles in one game, an EBA of .92. Incredible stuff! But you already knew that didn’t you. Didn’t you?

TJ was then, in spite of their already considerable fame, woefully wooed away by the Gussleberg Hyppos where they signed an unheard of 1 year deal for 5.4 million credits, along with a controlling interest in their fast food consortium Li’l’ Beefkins (Your Place to Eat!) TJ could have certainly played for the year and retired happily at the end. But, you remember, nothing of the sort happened. After a dozen games played, TJ decided to protest the treatment of the lettuce plants used by Li’l’ Beefkins (Your Place to Eat!) by refusing to play and sitting in a plastic tub filled with Buckaroo Franch Dressing and emphatically gesturing rudely at the confused and angry throngs of fans.

TJ was unceremoniously released from his contract and went on to be a free agent in the 9th month of that cycle. It was during this time that overtures both financial and romantic were made towards TJ, who after careful contemplation decided to translate his talent to YOUR illustrious {{REDACTED}} IONS team, for a handsome sum of 850 thousand credits for 2 years. As part of the signing, the Ions agreed to not use TJ’s likeness for any commercial endorsements of any kind, not even for {{REDACTED}} OVEN BAKED HAM, which is what {{REDACTED}} is arguably more famous for than their Disassembly team.

In those 2 years, TJ did {{REDACTED}} proud, setting even more staggering records for limbles scored, and even in his second year leading the IONS to an unheard of 98-3 record. Beloved by fans, TJ decided at the end of his tenure to retire and translated to parts unknown, raising cattlesheep and doing charity auctions for lettuce rights.

WE LOVE YOU TJ”

Now you know and knowing is what it is all about innit?

Kind and Hobscroll, making their way through the statuary, found themselves in the food concourse. Hecadozens milled about, eating a mélange of the foodstuffs on offer. Of course, being {{REDACTED}}, oven baked hams were to be found at several counters. Different purveyors offered variations including but not limited to: vinegar-brined ham, raisin-stuffed ham, cotton ham delight, handheld ham, fun sized ham, ham 3 ways, ION style ham, ham spirits, and many, many more. Kind and Hobscroll opted for their favorite, deep fried ham stuffed olives, served in a cardboard cone, and made their way into the stadiumarena proper (finally!)

###

The disassembly pitch lay a few hundred meters below where Kind and Hobscroll emerged from the food concourse, laden with their cones and drinkvessels. They climbed another 30 or so feet to their seats, and fastened in. To their left and down, they saw a clump of ION fans doing a wave like motion. Across the stadiumarena, fans of the Positives assembled themselves into the shape of a plus (+) sign. A squeal of feedback emitted from the sound system, followed by a ritualistic thrum-apum-pum of a tympanium being struck, and the crowd began to cheer as the disassemblers made their way to the field of play.

Painted on the pitch was a yellow triangle with two red and one white circles at the vertices. The Positives made their way to one of the red circles, the IONS to the other. The teams each had 7 players on the field, with another 12 at either side of the field. As the cheermongers shimmied to the beat of the tympanium, the Dukemayorgeneral of {{REDACTED}} hauled in a tri-wheeled barrow the L’Scales, which he set in the center of the white circle. Officiants also entered from a below-ground holding area, all resplendent in golden reflective robes and plastic faceshields obscuring their visages from the assembly. The three Disassemblers proper held out their tools for inspection, while the four Disassembler defenders checked their gear. The officiants tolled handheld gongs upon approving the tools, and the crowd continued to cheer as fireworks sparked at the north, south, east, and west quadrants of the stadiumarena.

The Dukemayorgeneral, after the tools all passed inspection, removed from his vest pocket a silver gleaming grenade, and pulling the pin, tossed the armament aloft into the center of the triangle. As it exploded with black and gold shrapnel glowing hot and glorious, the game began.

###

We take you now to the control booth, for relevant and interesting excerpts of play by play commentary, courtesy of legendary broadcaster and five-time winner of the Pedantyule Award for Sports Announcing, Grant Lopple.

“And the IONS are quick out of the orb, #4 swings his cutter and makes short work of Positives center #5, left front limb down. #7 from the IONS runs in and tosses left front into L’Scales. Officiant Yikes calls it fair, and that is 1 limbel for the IONS.”

“I’ll tell you what viewers, the weather really is very irrelevant today.”

“Ooof the Positives make an advance, resulting in three limbels, the score now 5-4. It’s a close one as we near the end of the first period.”

“Look at those yummy cheermongers twerk-just astounding…”

“10 minutes into the second period, and the limbels have doubled. IONS advance on #89 from the Positives and #6 with a wonderful holy cow, disassembling 3 limbs-oh, those Positives will need to quick with the tournitubes. Ah, Officiant Hollybrookstone says one of those is illegal, will the IONS appeal, they will…and the ruling stands. #6 is not a happy camper with that call, but whateryougonnado?”

“A smashing decapitation from #23 on the IONS against #3 from the Positives! 90 limbels for that jolly decap! The field crew is out now cleaning off the gore from the pitch. He was a juicy boy…”

“And with just about 3 minutes to go in the half, the Great Coagulation has begun, always an exciting point in the game. Extremist fans of both teams have begun the chanting and swaying, but I would say we are not even at 5% of the audience coagulated as of yet.”

“At the half, IONS 387, Positives 276, and the coagulation level here is around 14%”

“And we’re back after the 20 minute intermission. Coagulation has dropped a bit to 9%, but I think we’ll see that increase pretty steadily here in the 3 period. Positives are down to 3 in the orb, IONS at 5 in the orb, and in reserves, we have a dozen a piece.”

“OH! What a marvelous cutting that was, with an arterial arc extending some 50 to 60 meters across the green (well red now). Time for that clean up crew to come back out! And with that treblelimbel we’re now seeing the IONS with a commanding lead 685 to 340. The Positives will need to really gather themselves together to have a fighting chance.”

“CoagulationOMMM is probably around 60%OOOM now OOOOM with the 4thOOOOM periodOOOM just underwOOOOOOOM”

“OOOOOOOOM 85%OOOOOOOOOM coaOOOOOOOOOOOOOMlation OOOOOOOM with 23 mOOOOOOOOOOMnutes to go”

“OOOOOOOOOOOOM OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM OOOOOOOOOOOOOM”

“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOM OOOOOOOOOOOOM OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM OOOOOOOOOOOOOM”

“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM”

###

And so it was that in the 4th period of Disassembly, with the score at 945 to 600, advantage IONS, the entire assembly in the stadiumarena was intoning in long syllables indicating that the Great Coagulation had occurred. There were no IONS, no Positives, and no fans of either, neither, or both. Even Kind and Hobscroll as individual entities had ceased to be. This was the great gift that Disassembly was for those watching the game in person. It was not a passive watching but a gradual participation in the activity at hand. Eventually, and this was why it was so special (and potentially expensive) to attend, both players and audience became one in the experience, and beheld (LO!) a recognition that none were quite so different from one another at the end of the day. This led to a great communion of the gathered souls, and a beneficent feeling among all attending. Smiles spread like the pearled smears cooling on Kind’s back earlier in the day. Depending on the meditative constitution of one of the audients or players, the harmonious sentiment radiating from the Great Coagulation could last anywhere from hours to weeks. A very few special players (T.J. among them) had been known to beam bliss for many years, working the kombatibal energy into communion with less common intellectual entities. It was, indeed, a very odd effect that sport had on the population.

Those watching from home or out in the expansive lots simply watched the game and cheered for their side. A distance from the physical site of the event, the effect of the coagulation was dulled, and further diminished by the means by which the sportsplay was transmitted. Radio waves were less interfering than television waves, perhaps because of an inverse effect to the amount of information being transferred. It could also be due to the advertisements which acted to disrupt the gestalt of the event. In any case, there was the inevitable grumbling about which player had botched which play, and how much better one could have done than the coach for either team had. Credits changed hands for those who had gambled on the results. And those credits were promptly spent on the goods and services advertised during disassembly, as was the way it had been since the games were broadcast.

###

Kind and Hobscroll made their way quietly and closely among the leaving crowds, the suns streaking their way down to and under the horizon. The plants now slept in their gulleyworks as darkness reigned. Translating to their homestation, the couple walked down empty streets, breathing in the air. Pheromones hung like dust bobbles from the throngs once assembled on their street, now gone. They smiled at one another entering their domicile, content and at peace, and ready for their next dreamless sleep and the day tomorrow would bring.