Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I did something bad tonight. I'm not sorry, though; I'm actually kind of proud of myself.

The Pioneers were in town to play the Emperors, and Cruickshank scored me some really good tickets - right on the right-field line.

In the eighth inning, the Emps were down 5-4 but were rallying off McKittredge. With two out and a guy on first, Zynzmeister laced one over first base, down the line. That was gonna produce the tying run, no question. And I knew what I had to do.

I reached out and speared the ball before Garcia could get to it, and held it up, grinning, like I'd done something cool. The runners were sent back to second and third, the fans booed like crazy and threw things at me, and security escorted me from the ballpark. (Bad call by the umpire, by the way; the guy on first should have scored and Zynzmeister probably could have made it to third. But most umps will make that call that way.)

A couple of reporters stopped me on the way out to ask me what the hell I'd been thinking. I gave my name as Sam Billabong, told them I was a Pioneers fan, that I hoped the Pioneers won this game, and that if the Emps finished one game out of first this year I'd laugh my ass off.

By the time I got back here the game was over. The Pie were victorious, 5-4. And the radio call-in shows were full of much hatred towards the idiot fan who had cost the Emps a win. Ha ha!

I hope the TV cameras didn't get a good shot of my face.
Got together for a while with Ingrid the other day. I asked her what she had been up to since graduation.

"I've been helping one of my profs with some research," she said. "He was one of my advisors, and he's doing a few papers, so he's throwing me a few weeks worth of work. Then we'll see. Anything so I don't have to move back home."

"I thought you liked it there."

"I do," she said. "I love it. But in our family, if you move home after college, you never leave. That's just the way it works out. So I want to stay off that track."

"Huh. So what kind of research?"

"Actually you might be interested. He's doing a thing on the literary origins of superheroes."

"The literary origins? How the hell does that work?"

She shrugged. "Superheroes only showed up in '85. People were writing about them long before that, so you figure it out. I can show you the paper once it's written, if you want."

I nodded. "Thanks. That'd be good. So... does he know about your... special qualifications?"

"What, you mean does he know about Victor? No. Doesn't matter anyway. I don't think I learned anything about superheroes from him that's been any help to me in the research."


"Mind if I ask you something personal?" I said.

"I don't know. Give it a try."

"How'd you and Greyghost get together, anyway? I could never figure you two out."

She shrugged. "Aah. It's not very interesting. You really want to hear about it?"

I shrugged too. "The only thing I could figure was that, like, he saved you from being mugged or something, and--"

"Eew! God, Dennis!"

"I know. Doesn't really sound like either of you."

"I hope not!"

"All right, all right..."

"No. It was a few years ago when I was in undergrad. I was on this committee that arranged guest speakers, and we really wanted Victor to be one of the speakers. I forget exactly why. But I was the one who was calling Tamar all the time and basically pestering him to come speak at the school.

"Eventually he agreed. But by that time I had decided that he was totally sexy and fascinating and I just kept pestering him, like to go out for dinner and stuff. I used every possible excuse. We have to go over your speech. We have to talk about your honorarium. We have to talk about this or that."

"I can't believe it," I said. "You're an artist groupie."

"Listen, I wasn't the only one. You have no idea. Anyway. Of course I ran out of excuses, especially after Victor's speech was over and he had been paid and everything. I had to say to him, 'I don't have a pretext this time, but can we go out anyway?'"

I laughed.

"He didn't know how to deal with me," she continued. "I mean, he's not shy or anything--you know him. I think the age thing bothered him a bit. Hell, I know it did. It took him a while before he finally accepted that, you know, twenty-five years difference or not, I wasn't going away. But then it was okay."

"Weird," I said.

"Well... you don't know him like I know him. You know him as Greyghost first. And he's different when he's just being Victor Scigrave. He talks more. He's... he's not so much the Grim Reaper. I didn't even know he was Greyghost for almost a year."

"How'd you take that?"

She glared at me in that pointy way she has. "I did not like it. But the more I thought about it... oh, well, it could be worse, the guy I went out with in high school used to put strawberry jam on his hamburgers."

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