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Who's On Burst?


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#1 MikeJaffa

MikeJaffa
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Posted 29 May 2015 - 09:54 AM

TITLE: Who’s on Burst?

AUTHOR: MikeJaffa

SYNOPSIS: Tribute to Monica Rial and Jamie Marchi by way of Abbott and Costello: Jo has fun at Meg’s expense.

DISCLAIMER: Burt Angel is owned by Gonzo.  And I don’t own the rights to “Who’s on First?”I am making no money off posting this.  Everything in the first scene after Jo says, “starting with the infield…” was originally written by William “Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello.  Used without permission.  Hopefully, if their estates find out about this, they won’t want to sue me.

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: I was thinking about how Monica and Jamie have been a team since they dubbed “Burst Angel,” and my brain ping-ponged to “Who’s on First?”  Came up with the rest.  I know Monica and Jamie can’t read it, but enjoy.

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“Meg!  What the heck are you doing?” Dressed in an orange night shirt, purple checkered pajama pants, and sandals, Jo tumbled down the steps of the trailer into the cool, clear morning at the abandoned airport.  Meg, disgustingly awake and alert at the ungodly hour of 7:15 AM, was dressed from head to toe in a baseball uniform and had a baseball mitt on.  But Django was crouched sixty feet away.  As Jo watched in horror, Meg hurled a baseball at Django.  The robot caught the ball and easily flipped it back to her.

Meg caught the ball one handed and said, “That was my fast ball.  And this…”  Meg threw the ball.  “…is my curve ball.  Though not as curvy as I’d like.”  Django threw it back and she caught it.

“You know what I mean,” Jo growled as she got to Meg, her head throbbing.  “What possessed you to play catch with Django?”

“Well,” Meg said as she kept throwing the ball and catching it, “my official licensed Yankees gear arrived this morning, I wanted to break it in, and Django agreed to do it.”

Jo looked at her robot.  “Django!”

Django’s head shifted slightly to Jo, and his massive shoulders rose and fell in a titanic shrug as he tossed the ball back to Meg.

Jo turned to Meg.  “And where did that stuff come from?  The Moon?  Took long enough to get here.”

“It’s official, licensed New York Yankees gear, ordered from their web site and shipped from their clubhouse store in New York.”

“After being made in China in the first place.  You should have had Sei get it direct from the factory.”  Jo rubbed her temple.  “Whatever.  I don’t need this.”

“Yeah, Jo,” Meg said, “you are the only person I’ve ever met who gets a hangover from too much Tabasco sauce.”

“Whatever.  I’m going back to bed.”  She started to turn away.

“Come on, Jo,” Meg said.  “Join us.  We’ll go round robin.”

“Pass.”

Meg shook her head as she threw to Django again.  “Honestly, all you do is eat, sleep, watch zombie movies, and fight.”

“I do more than that.”

“Right – you binge watch old American dubs of ‘Hello Kitty.’”

Jo smiled wryly.  “More than that.”

“Even allowing for that, you still don’t try to grow.  You haven’t changed much since I met you.  All these years you’ve known I’m a fan, and yet you know nothing about baseball.”

As Jo was formulating a response, stray thoughts ping-ponged through her brain and settled on a 100 year old comedy routine she’d stumbled while surfing the ‘net one night.  Jo had found the play on words hilarious, and she’d rewatched it and memorized it.  Of course it was from the country of Meg’s birth and related to baseball, so she should know about it…

…. but if she didn’t it would be suitable revenge.

Jo said, “That’s not true.  I know plenty about baseball.”

“Yeah?”  Meg said, still playing catch with Django.  “Like what?”

“Well, I happen to know that one of the local mercenary guilds has a baseball team.”

“Really?  I didn’t know that.  They let girls play?”

“I’d have to ask.  Why?  You want to join?”

“I might look into it.  Anybody we know play?”

“Not sure.  No one uses their real names for obvious reasons, so they give themselves nick-names.”

“Make sense.  What are their nick-names?  So I know who to ask after.”

“Ok.  Well, starting in the infield, Who’s on first, What’s on second, and I Don’t Know’s on third base.”

“Well, that’s what I’m asking you, Jo, what are the player’s names?”

“I’m telling you, Meg: Who’s on first, What’s on second, and I Don’t Know’s on third base.”

Meg caught the ball and turned to Jo.  “I thought you said you knew their names, Jo.”

“I do, Meg.”

“So who’s on first?”

“Yes.”

“I mean, the guy’s name.”

“Who.”

“The first baseman.”

“Who.”

“The person who plays first!!”

“Who.”

“Jo, I’m talking about--”

“Who is on first, Meg.”

“I’m asking you who’s on first!”

“Well, that’s the player’s name.”

“That’s who’s name?”

“Yes.”

“Well, go ahead and tell me, Jo.”

“That’s it, Meg.”

“That’s who?”

“Yes.”

Meg paused and thought for a moment.  “Jo, does this team pay its players?”

“I think so.”

“So when they pay the first baseman, who gets the money?”

“Every Yen of it.  They pay cash, so sometimes his wife comes to collect it.”

“Who’s wife?”

“Yes.”

“And if they make the first baseman sign a receipt, how does he sign it?”

“Who.”

“The guy.”

“Who.”

“Jo, how does he sign…”

“That’s how he signs it, Meg.”

“Who?”

“Yes.”

Meg took a deep breath; she was losing patience.  (Jo marveled at how she was keeping a straight face; this was too good.)

Meg said, “Jo, all I want to know is what’s the guy’s name on first base.”

“No, Meg, What is on second base.”

“I’m not asking you who’s on second!”

“Who’s on first.”

“One base at a time!”

“Well, don’t change the players around, Meg.”

“I’m not changing anybody.”

“Take it easy, Meg.”

“Jo, please, I’m asking you, who’s on first?”

“That’s right.”

“Ok.  So what’s the name of the first baseman?”

“No, What is on second.”

“I’m not asking you who’s on second.”

“Who’s on first.”

“I don’t know!”

“He’s on third.  We’re not talking about him.”

“How did we get to third base, Jo?”

“You mentioned his name, Meg.”

“If I’d mentioned the third baseman’s name, who did I say is playing third?”

“No, who’s on first.”

“What’s on first?”

“What’s on second.”

“I don’t know.”

“And we’re back on third.”

Meg heaved a deep breath.  “Can we stay on third base, Jo?”

“Sure, Meg.  What do you want to know?”

“Who’s playing third!?”

“Why do you keep putting Who on third?”

“What am I putting on third.”

“No, What is on second.”

“You don’t want who on second?”

“Who is on first.”

“I don’t know.”

They chorused: “Third base!”

Meg took a few deep breaths and calmed down.  “Does this team have an outfield, Jo?”

“Sure.”

“The left fielder’s name.”

“Why.”

“I just thought I’d ask you, Jo.”

“Well, I thought I would tell you, Meg.”

“So tell me who’s playing left field.”

“Who’s playing first.”

“I’m not talking about the infield!  I want to know what’s the name of the left fielder.”

“No, What is on second.”

“I’m not asking you who’s on second!”

“Who’s on first!”

“I don’t know!”

Another chorus: “Third base!”

Meg sighed.  “Jo, I’m begging you…the left fielder’s name.”

“Why.”

Meg’s anger flared.  “Because!”

“He’s center field.”

Meg closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths.  She opened them and asked, “This team have a pitcher?”

“Yeah.”

“The pitcher’s name.”

“Tomorrow.”

“You don’t want to tell me now?”

“I’m telling you now.”

“Then go ahead.”

“Tomorrow.”

“What time?”

“What time what?”

“What time tomorrow will you tell me who’s pitching?”

“Who is not pitching--”

“Jo, I swear I’ll knock your block off if you say ‘who’s on first’ again!  For crying out loud, what’s the pitcher’s name!?”

“What is on second.”

“I don’t know!”

“Third base!” they said together.

Meg blew air through her teeth and said, “They got a catcher?”

“Yup.”

“The catcher’s name?”

“Today.”

“Today, and Tomorrow’s pitching.”

“Now you’ve got it!”

“I don’t even know what I’m talking about! ... You know, I’m a catcher, too, Jo.”

“Really, Meg?”

“Yeah, did well in a game before we met.  So I get behind the plate and Tomorrow’s my pitcher.  First batter bunts the ball.  I pick the ball up to throw him out at first base.  So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?”

“Now, that’s the first thing you’ve said right!”

“I don’t even know what I’m talking about!”

“That’s all you have to do, Meg.”

“Is throw to first, Jo.”

“Yes.”

“Now who’s got it?”

“Naturally.”

“Who?”

“Naturally.”

“Naturally?”

“Naturally.”

Meg smiled – she thought she was getting somewhere.  “So I pick up the ball and throw it to Naturally.”

“No, you throw it to Who.”

“Naturally.”

“That’s different.”

“That’s what I said.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“I throw the ball to Naturally, Jo.”

“You throw it to Who, Meg.”

“Naturally.”

“That’s it.”

“That’s what I said.”

“You ask me.”

“I throw the ball to who?”

“Naturally.”

“Now you ask me.”

“You throw the ball to Who?”

“Naturally.”

“That’s it.”

“Same as you.  Same as you! I throw the ball to Who.  Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second.  Who picks up the ball and throws it to What.  What throws to I Don’t Know.  I Don’t Know throws it back to Tomorrow.  Triple play!  The next batter hits a long fly ball to Because.  Why?  I don’t know!  He’s on third, and I don’t give a darn!”

“What did you say, Meg?”

“I said I don’t give a darn, Jo!”

“Oh, he’s the shortstop.”

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8

When Kyohei pulled up to the trailer to make the girls’ breakfast, he found Jo sitting at the top of the steps, head on her knees.  As Kyo ascended the stairs, he saw Jo was laughing.

Kyo asked, “What’s so funny?”

“Nothing.”  Jo lifted her head, wiping a tear from her eye as she kept chuckling.  “I had some fun with Meg and she locked me out of the trailer.  Can you let me in?”

“Sure.”  Kyo squeezed past Jo, pressed his thumb to a panel, and entered a code.  The door slid open.

Kyo saw a baseball cap on the kitchen table.  “Meg get that stuff she ordered?”

“Yeah.  We were talking about baseball.”

“Oh, yeah?”

Jo nodded and somehow succeeded in keeping a smile off her face.  “One of the mercenary guilds has a baseball team.”

“Huh.  You know anybody on it?”

“Well, that’s the thing, Kyo, they all use nick-names…”

THE END.

And yes, Benesound, your Who's on Command Andromeda parody was one of the things that inspired this.  Credit where it's due!


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