Bewildering Stories

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The Beantown Silverfish

by Clint Venezuela

Ever since I was a small child I have supported my local football team, the Beantown Silverfish. However being a follower of this club has its drawbacks, the main one being that I have never once witnessed a Silverfish victory.

It’s true! The Beantown Silverfish have finished 0-16 in every season they have participated. To say that they are utterly pathetic is an understatement. There have been good moments though, such as the occasion when quarterback Turton Wentletrap actually threw a touchdown pass. Yes, he did! I distinctly recall the football flying six yards through the air, the Bizarreville Termites cornerback tipping it into the unsuspecting arms of wide receiver Shaquille Yuknavitch. How we all whooped with joy, despite being down 49-0 at the time.

And I remember my friend Bob Humanoid bellowing to everyone, “Whenever there’s an ‘r’ in the month, the Beantown Silverfish lose.” This was followed by an eruption of laughter.

I wanted to smack him in the mouth. He had no right to disrespect the Silverfish like that. You support your team through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad times, even though my team only ever seemed to have the bad times.

I walked home thinking of Bob’s statement. His words echoed through my brain. Whenever there’s an ‘r’ in the month, the Beantown Silverfish lose. Then it hit me, a brainstorm of an idea. In order to make the Beantown Silverfish a winning outfit I would make sure there are no ‘r’s in any month at all!

I logged on to the net and conducted a search for ‘months’, then began an advanced search for ‘organisers’. Wow! Isn’t the net truly wonderful? I discovered a number of sites dedicated to this very subject. So I e-mailed every one of them and awaited the replies.

I got none. Doesn’t anyone have any respect for the individual any more? I ransacked my brain and within five or so seconds came up with a second brainwave. I ran through the house and altered every calendar and diary, deleting all the ‘r’s in the months, so that the entire year was completely ‘r’-less. Then I did the same in every house and store and building in Beantown, so that in the end there wasn’t a single ‘r’ left in any month. It took me twenty-two days to do it but I’m a dedicated supporter and only wanted the best for my team. I couldn’t wait for the weekend and the encounter with the Hertzan Chimeras.

We lost 64-3.

I became a complete and utter wretch. I logged on again and sent twenty different e-mails to each of the sites I had found earlier, then awaited the replies. I got none.

I was furious. I dissected each site, looking for an address or, better still, a telephone number. I was getting bug-eyed when I finally discovered one, an address and number located in nearby Lemonade City. I raced to the telephone and called them.

“Hello?” a female voice said to me.

“Hello?” said I, not accustomed to this form of communication at all.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, you can. I’d like all the ‘r’s removed from the names of every month in the year, please.”

“What? Is this a wind-up?”

“No. I’m serious.”

“Your request is a ridiculous one.”

“I’d like to speak to the manager, please.”

Wow, I was on a roll! The Silverfish were going to win a game and it would be all down to me. Seconds later, a male voice arrived to the phone.

“Can I help you?” he said.

I repeated my request.

“It can’t be done,” he told me.

“Are you the manager?”

“Yes I am.”

“Then you can do it.”

“No, I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Let me explain. We operate the Gregorian calendar and the months are set to certain spellings. We can’t alter the spellings of the months just like that.”

“Why not?”

“Because we can’t.”

“What if I came around there and held a gun to your head? Could you do it then?”

“Definitely not,” said the manager.

Click! The line went dead.

I was livid. At once I jumped on my bicycle and sped all the way to Lemonade City and the address of the site involved. I stormed into the place and demanded to see the manager. He appeared, and I whipped out my gun and held it up to his head.

“Well?” I said. “Can you do it now?”

He wet his trousers before responding. “We can do it,” he said.

Within a week all the months in the calendar had no ‘r’s in them. I was ecstatic!

That weekend the Silverfish played the Psycho City Caterpillars and lost 28-0. I was gutted.

As we walked out of the stadium I said to Bob, “Hey, Bob, what was that you said about whenever there’s an ‘r’ in the month the Beantown Silverfish lose?”

Everyone around us laughed. This statement appeared to be a terrific subject of amusement.

“Exactly that,” said Bob. “Whenever there’s an ‘r’ in the month the Beantown Silverfish lose.”

I took out my diary and studied the months in there. Januay, Febuay, Mach, and so on. There wasn’t a single month with an ‘r’ left in it. So why hadn’t my plan worked?

Then I glanced up at the sky, and suddenly I realized, because it was a lovely sunny day, a lovely summer’s day.

“Bob” I screamed. “You stupid idiot! The Beantown Silverfish only ever play from May until August, so they never play in a month that contains an ‘r’.”

Bob chuckled. “Yes, but if they did I bet they’d lose. Whatever month they play in they lose.”

I punched him in the nose and stomped away in disgust. As I walked home alone I studied the words he had come out with. Whatever month they play in, they lose. Whatever month they play in...

The next day I cycled all the way to Lemonade City and paid a visit to the month controller’s offices and asked to see the manager again. When he appeared I thrust my gun to his head.

“I want you to delete all the months in the year,” I demanded.

Copyright © 2004 by Clint Venezuela

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