Twenty-six-year old Kevin Fogerty cowered on top of the toilet bowl inside the seventh stall from the left in the Section Q bathroom of the Pismo Beach Man-O-Dome, his feet precariously perched on the slippery seat, the pilfered football clutched up against his chest. As thousands upon thousands of fists punched on the thin door, he pulled out his cell phone and called his long-lost lady love.
“Hello?” came the soft, sensual voice of the woman the chubby man missed so much.
“Cathy!” Kevin shouted over the profanity laced tirades of the mob. “Don’t hang up!”
“Oh, Kevin,” Cathy said. “Was that really you on TV? Did you really steal that flatulent little boy’s ball?”
“Yes,” Kevin said. “I did…but I did it for us.”
Fans and players alike filled the bathroom until there was barely a few inches of space between each person. They each took turns punching and kicking the door to Kevin’s stall as they shouted out the most colorful threats they could imagine.
“I’m going to rip out your medulla oblongata and fuck you in the ear canal with it!” one man shouted.
“Jesus, Peter,” the woman standing next to the wannabe ear fucker said. “That’s disturbingly specific, isn’t it?”
“What?” Peter asked. “Give me a break, Ann. I just came up with that on the spur of the moment.”
“No,” Ann said. “It sounds like you’ve been dreaming about fucking someone in the ear with a piece of their brain for awhile now and just finally found someone you’d actually like to do it to.”
“You have a point,” Peter said. “Maybe I’ll finally book an appointment with that shrink you’ve been wanting me to see.”
“That’s all I ask,” Ann said.
Back in the stall, Kevin was bearing his soul to his ex-girlfriend. “Look baby. I know you think I’m a colossal screw-up. You’re tired of me being out of work. You’re pissed that I can never afford to take you anywhere nice. You want a man who can afford to buy a home and support a family and I can’t even afford to move out of the room I grew up in as kid. You’ve made it clear to me so many times that you want me to become a man of action, a man who dares to put it all on the line so I did. I used the last bit of money I had left in my bank account to buy a ticket to this game just so I could sell that little flatulent boy’s ball. Now, if I can just figure out how to get out of here, I’ll sell the ball, make a fortune, and buy that dream house you always wanted. Please take me back, baby. Please, I’m begging you.”
“Don’t drag me into this, Kevin,” Cathy said. “This is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done. Where are you? What’s all that noise?”
“Literally thousands of people are trying to murder me,” Kevin said.
A random man’s voice interrupted the conversation. “Give that little farty boy’s ball back or I’ll tie your dick to the back bumper of my Honda Civic and drive you all the way from California to New York City.”
“Wow,” Kevin said. “These violent threats are creepily specific.”
“Did you realize how much danger you’d be in happen before you stole the ball?” Cathy asked.
“Of course, I did,” Kevin said.
“And you did it anyway?” Cathy said. “Just for me?”
“You know it,” Kevin said. “All I ever do is think about you, Cathy. You’re the first person I think about when I wake up, the last person I think about when I go to sleep. I need you back in my life, baby.”
“That’s really sweet, Kev,” Cathy said. “I’m flattered you went to all this trouble for me, but I should tell you, I’ve been letting your brother finger blast me for a couple months now.”
Kevin’s jaw dropped. His face turned red. “What’s that now?”
This time, a woman’s voice from outside broke its way through the competing screams and hollers. “Young man I want you to come out this instant! Apologize to the gassy kid, give him back the ball, and stand there patiently while I whip out my butterfly knife and slit you from stem to stern!”
“I never wanted you to find out this way,” Cathy said. “Your brother and I…”
“You,” Kevin said. “And Mike? Really? How could you do this to me?”
“I don’t know,” Cathy said. “All those nights I’d come to your room to visit you. You’d get so upset about your lack of job prospects and employable skills that you couldn’t get an erection and then you’d eat ice cream and nachos until you passed out face first on the floor in a pile of your own filth, so…”
“So?” Kevin asked.
“So,” Cathy said. “Even though Mike has a highly paid job, he always makes time to come over your parents’ house and help them with their housework and, well, while you were sleeping we’d talk and…damn it, Kevin, Mike has a 401K, a condo, and wi-fi! Free wi-fi, Kevin! Can you give me free wi-fi?”
“I’ll give you all the wi-fi you’ll ever want and shower you with condos and retirement plans the second I fence this ball,” Kevin said.
“You will never sell that ball, Kevin,” Cathy said. “It’s too hot. They’re talking about it on every channel. President Stugotz just called you a fat pant load on Lifebox.”
The fists kept pounding on the stall. The death threats continued. “Let us in or we’ll chop you into little pieces and feed you to a shark!”
In a new move, the mob started throwing unsavory items into the stall. Rotten tomatoes, full soft drink cups, flaming rolls of toilet paper and more.
“Cathy,” Kevin said. “I don’t have much time. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me next. Please, if I’m about to die, just take me back. Just let me die with a girlfriend. Please. I’m begging you.”
Cathy groaned. “I’m sorry Kevin, but I already promised your brother that I’d let him get to second base.”
“Titty grabbing?” Kevin asked.
“Titty fucking,” Cathy replied. “The bases have really changed. Goodbye, Kevin. Good luck.”
As soon as the call ended, Kevin realized how ill-advised his plan had been. He closed his eyes, screwed up as much courage as he had inside of him and shouted, “Wait!”
The mayhem ceased. “People,” Kevin said. “I know you’re all angry out there. Will you hear me out?”
The various members of the mob mumbled to each other for awhile until finally, one man shouted, “Sure, we’ll give you five minutes, then come out of there so we can shove a pike up your butt and put your carcass outside the stadium as a warning to any other assholes who would dare steal a ball from a kid who suffers from a disease that makes him fart out his spine.”
“Good people,” Kevin said. “My story is the same story as many a millennial’s story these days. Even though I graduated from college only to find that the best job available to me was that of a movie theater concession stand worker, my well-intentioned but woefully misguided baby boomer parents encouraged me to quit my job and pursue graduate school.”
“Wow,” a woman said. “That’s a dumbass move.”
“That it was,” Kevin said. “But you see, my parents came of age in a time when a high school graduate could get a job that would allow him to buy a home, so they assumed I had screwed myself by not getting a job that paid enough to sustain myself and that only by doubling down on the higher education hamster wheel would I be able to earn a decent living. So, I went to graduate school, but all that led to me was being turned away at every door I knocked on. You know the old saw…”
An angry fan spoke up. “You were told that you needed experience before you could get a job that paid a living wage, but you weren’t able to get an entry level job that would give you experience because your graduate education caused employers to write you off as too qualified?”
“Exactly,” Kevin said. “I was either too smart or too stupid, depending on who you asked.”
“Damn,” one member of the mob said. “We all thought we were doing the world a favor, making sure that anyone who wanted a college degree would be able to get one.”
“Yeah,” another member of the mob said. “But now those degrees are so abundant that they aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.”
“Colleges know that loans are readily available for the next batch of young, starry eyed dreamers to take out,” Kevin said. “So, they jack up their prices and banks? They’ll approve anyone. The pawnsi scheme worked until the bottom of the economy fell out in 2008 and, well, I’ll be living off my parents forever now, and will never be able to make a woman happy.”
The mob’s angry mumblings turned to sniffles as a number of irate fans started to cry.
“I couldn’t afford to buy a proper ring to propose to my girlfriend,” Kevin said. “I definitely will never afford a nice house for her to live in and I’ll never afford to start a family. I’ll never know the happiness that comes with having a wife, or having children who hug me and call me daddy.”
“Oh, you poor kid,” one man said.
“What was your major, son?” another man asked.
“Mating Rituals of Ancient Ecuadorean Tribal Peoples and the Role They Play on the Modern Cultural Zeitgeist Today.”
“Holy fucking batshit!” a fan said. “That’s a major? You actually signed up to study that shit?”
“I did,” Kevin said. “But in my defense, was it my fault that I signed up for it, or the fault of the professors who filled my young, impressionable brain full of the idea that such a course of study would be viable in the job market?”
“Sounds like we should beat up your parents for telling you to go to grad school for that shit,” a random man said.
“You’d think so,” Kevin said. “But like most parents, they figured I was in for a penny, in for a pound, and that at least a graduate degree would allow me to become a professor of Mating Rituals of the etcetera and then I’d be able to perpetuate the scam by convincing younger students to study this ridiculous discipline to fund my salary…but who knew there were so many people my age who had already been duped into this field? How could my parents have anticipated that competition to become a professor of ancient mating rituals would be so fierce?”
The couple that had been arguing earlier chimed in.
“You got quite a sob story,” Peter said.
“But that doesn’t mean you can steal balls from spine farting kids,” Ann said.
“I know,” Kevin said. “I don’t know what came over. I guess I figured the world had been fucking me for so long that if I just fucked it back just this once, I’d get my girlfriend to come back but it turns out my brother has been finger banging her for months on account of his free wi-fi.”
“Damn,” Peter said. “That sucks, kid.”
“Shit,” Ann said. “I’d let him finger bang me for free wi-fi.”
“Please,” Peter said. “Like anyone wants to stick a digit in that old spider cave.”
“Get to that shrink, Peter,” Ann said. “Do it for the kids.”
Kevin’s stomach rumbled. He tossed the ball over the side of the stall. “Here.”
The fans clamored to grab it. Finally, one fan did.
“Look,” Kevin said. “All this excitement has literally scared the shit out of me. Please give that ball back to Andy and if you give me a minute to take a dump, I’ll come out and you can all fuck my ear with a piece of my brain and tie my dick to a car and cut me open with a knife and whatever else…”
“We’re not going to kill you, kid,” Peter said.
“Yeah,” Ann said. “There’s no way we could possibly fuck you harder than life already has. Right, gang?”
The crowd responded with a resounding, “Yeah.”
“I appreciate it,” Kevin said as he dropped his pants. “Let me just have a seat here…and ugh…squeeze this nugget out and…huh? What the? Arrrrrggggghhh!”