Love is a losing game
     Love can be a shame
     I know of a fool you see, for that fool is me
     Tell me why, tell me why?
     Doo-wah, doo-wah
     Doo-ooo-wah, doo-wah
     Why do fools fall in love?...[1]
     “Why, indeed?” Harold turned and asked the radio. The idea of falling in love started him thinking about some of the girls he used to date (guess where?). An outing on the town would usually consist of a three-course fast food dinner with a fizzy soda pop at an affordable restaurant, followed by a two-star double feature attraction at The All-Stars Drive-In Theatre. Of the four school girls that Harold interacted with during his lifetime with any regularity, one stood out more prominently than the others: Anita Güdlay…a five-foot-four-inch blonde bombshell whose natural DD-cup hourglass figure could, in the twinkling of an eye, cause the most impotent, celibate male associated with Creek Battle High School to start rooting in his britches. The three girls before this vixen weren’t completely unnoticeable, either; but, there were some peculiarities among them that resulted in the relationship aspect of it to come to an abrupt halt:
1) Prunilla Fooger:   Harold’s first girlfriend from the second grade. An attractive little girl with brunette locks and two missing front teeth that liked to play with dolls, Tonka® toy trucks and had a common interest with Harold in that she also gravitated to the television set to watch the Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon show on Sunday mornings. Their affiliation ended one sweltering afternoon after school when her father, Dr. Phileas Fooger, the local proctologist, found them naked, playing doctor under the staircase, using his anal probe as a thermometer.
2)Tzchyëvnkria Kläpzqëdtwiczl:   (pronounced chi-vink-re-ah clop-zah-dwix-el…and the day after the movie ‘Atlas In the Land of the Cyclops’ was shown after ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’ at the local drive-in theatre, this budding redhead was nicknamed by her immediate siblings ‘Cyclops’, due to having one weepy eye after suffering from allergies. ) A foreign exchange student that was in Harold’s fifth-grade class. She also liked a lot of his common interests, such as baked sauerkraut, Happy Time Root Beer with pistachio ice cream floats and watching the Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon reruns during the early evening hours after school. Upon reaching substantial puberty, this hook-up ended suddenly when Harold happened to ask what her name meant in her native country of Albania…’bloated hyena carcass’. Enough said.
3)Rhea Frida Benz:   (pronounced re’ah fried’ah beans) Another one of Harold’s hormonal unbalanced seventh-grade partners that he liked to hang around with. She enjoyed a friendly conversation, watching Harry run the pool tables at the Rack-It Club and, of course, watching the early morning antics of Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocky Squirrel. But, the incessant badgering from the other deranged middle-school pupils with their own irrational insecurities during every attendance roll call in each one of her classes, mixed with taunts of mimicking oversaturated flatulence and the ensuing derogatory laughter and snickering, resulted in some psychological discrepancies which made her family gather their belongings, sell their home and move from Brownlee Park, Michigan to El Paso, Texas.
     Which brings us back to numero cuatro (4):   A.G. (pronounced aye-gee…or, going by her own alias: ‘Aggie’) Not only did Anita flaunt her Playmate® body around at school, but she also flaunted it on the football field as Head Majorette of the Creek Battle Snowflakes cheerleading squad. This was the most important position at the school, except one: Quarterback for the Blizzards football team, in which Harold occupied (tied for third-string, no less). ‘Aggie’ felt very dignified, knowing that final approval for the title of ‘Head Majorette’ rested with the school principal. Harold remembered a photograph in the senior yearbook of A.G. with the principal, “Big Daddy” Coletti, with his arm draped around her shoulders, while his hand rested on top of one of her melonous boobs. Obviously, being the head majorette or quarterback was much more substantial in the hierarchy of education rather than being a valedictorian, since more colleges were interested in the economics of fortune by incorporating a successful athletic program than they were in capitalizing on sound academics. This had always been a major setback for the mentally gifted who were quickly labeled as ‘nerds, pansies, dweebs, book roaches, brain-muffins and psychopathetic-virgins’ going to ‘dip-hand’ schools. Seen in this light, it was hardly surprising that 63% of Harold’s classmates failed to qualify for graduation, but were nonetheless rolled through by attendance manufacturing for the state education addendum and were offered a record number of scholarships to many of the nation’s top universities. (Can you say ‘bowl committees’?)
     Somewhere in the course of his reminiscing, Harold popped off to sleep behind the steering wheel, but was rudely awakened when the ’57 bashed down a wrong-way sign on the road’s left shoulder. He shook his head, looked at the dingy left rear-view mirror to observe what damage was handed to the recently mangled sign, then crossed back over onto his own side of the road as he continued to drive and ponder about that fourth girl back in high school…Anita. He shivered on the plastic-covered seat like a Canadian clipper cold front blowing in off of Lake Michigan, while setting up for a back yard barbeque in some flame proof boxer shorts, muscle shirt and chef’s apron. Goosebumps covered almost 39% of his quivering body. He started recalling their first meeting very well and clear:
     He was only junior varsity at the time, but had been sent into the game during the last seconds of the fourth quarter because all of the remaining quarterbacks had been decimated with shredded ACL’s, a concussion and a ruptured sacroiliac. It was fourth down, the score was tied, the football was parked on the Paloola Wedgeheads’ two-yard-line and the Division Two championship was on the line, as well as the next, and final, play of the game. Harold rummaged through his memory of the plays that Coach Bleech had concocted before the second half commenced, but could only imagine one that might bring them the polished pewter trophy. He glanced at the coach on the sideline, then up at the game clock, then back at the coach who was now pacing back and forth. Nervously shaking, Harold looked at the game official and called for a ‘Time Out’ ten seconds before the game clock finally stopped with three seconds of time remaining. He remembered how angry the coach was, arguing that the timekeeper was showing favoritism for the opposing team, but the female official (from Paloola) put her knee squarely into his jewels; therefore, making the coach of Creek Battle slowly pirouette back to the team bench without making another sound. Harold sort of chuckled at the matter, which lifted a seemingly large weight off of his shoulders because the crowds’ attention was diverted to the antics by the team bench. The ‘water boy’ hastily snatched up a pail of ice cold drinking water, rushed over to where the coach was desperately clutching his gonads and dumped the entire contents of the bucket onto the mans’ lap. A couple of moments later, a loyal left offensive tackle bludgeoned the sympathetic boy almost unconscious with the bucket after hearing Coach Bleech shrill out a high-pitched, agonizing squeak that momentarily drowned out the hundreds of screaming fans in the stadium stands.
     It was now up to Harold to call his game conquering play. He chose the ‘Double-Deuce’E-Make-It-Juicy’, which was a trick play using a double-reverse, handing the ball back to the tailback who would lateral it back to the tight end or wide receiver (or somebody with a BS uniform on), then pitch it back to Harold (or whoever was convenient) to scamper unviolated into the end zone for an easy touchdown. This was the Blizzards final chance at stardom. The Wedgeheads swarmed into their defensive formation, which consisted mainly of moving around threateningly, saying insulting things about the opponent’s families and personal pets, and waiting impatiently for the Blizzards (commonly called “The Snowballs” by the other district jocks in their own division) to return to the line of scrimmage. Inside of the huddle, Harold revealed his plan for winning the gut-wrenching game.
     “Okay, dudes…this is it!”
     “What is it, mister I’m in charge, now?!? Cause if you don’t make this stupid play work, then we gonna burn your fourth-string junior-varsity ass to the ground!”
     “Say, WHAT?” a couple of them questioned loud enough for the opposing team to laugh on their sideline.
     “WHAT!” Harold excitedly barked, then continued, “Now…let’s get in there and take state, fellas!”
     One of the linemen turned to the fullback and muttered, “Where in the hell did they find this clown?”
     “I dunno…I wanted to take ballet, but my folks wanted me to play some bad-ass football. It’s so unfair!”
     That was all the motivation that Harold needed to alter the course of history for the Creek Battle Blizzards in taking their first high school; Division Two, nonetheless, state championship trophy. Making a sign of the cross and kissing an imaginary rosary, like he’d seen his Aunt Minnie do a number of times, in front of the other players, Harold smiled back in assurance, being completely confident that they could win this game. Of course, the other members of the varsity team thought differently, “This is Pop Warner bullshit!” Finally, after ‘Fingers’, the wide receiver, finished picking his bleeding nostril for some extra pigskin adhesive, they broke into formation.
     One of the Wedgehead’s linebackers aped a yawn and remarked, “It’s about damn time, stooges. Did you get that play that your momma’s boy made up?” The Wedgeheads started fidgeting around and laughing maniacally. “C’mon, turds…squeeze it out!” the defensive captain cawked.
     The replacement referee blew her whistle and the game clock started ticking down on the scoreboard…2…Harold was crouched over the Center and quickly yelped out the signals, “Sixty-nine, ugh,”…1…”Zippo-GAK! Hup-HUP!” The ball was snapped just before the zero appeared on the stadium clock; therefore, the game was not over until the play had finished. All of the spectators on the Blizzards side of the stands stood up and gasped as the football sailed clean over Harold’s helmet. He managed to bat at it with his outstretched hand, but it landed wiggling on the turf. Harold broke free from one of his own men and made a grab for the ball, but accidentally kicked it with his left foot. The ball shot towards the right side of the end zone while both teams decomposed from a tangled mass of vermilion, white, blue, orange, green and laxative brown jerseys all attempting to reach the ball first. The assistant coach screamed while the play was unraveling, “DON’T GO INTO OVERTIME, IDIOTS…MY BOWLING LEAGUE STARTS IN FIFTEEN MINUTES!” Harold stumbled in the direction of the ball and tried to scoop it up again, but his right foot connected before he did and it (the football) went tumbling to the other side of the end zone. All of the players on both teams were grunting and farting, trying to reach the slick little pigskin, but Harold’s lightning reflexes (and a couple of face-masks jerked by his teammates, which inadvertently went unnoticed by the officials) put him in the best position to recover the prize. As he lurched for the spastic ball, Harold tripped over one of his own untied shoelaces and accidentally fell on top of the football inside of the end zone, making the needed touchdown to win the championship game. Immediately after the miraculous play (known in the lore of southern Michigan football as “Cracker Jack’s Candy-Coated Prize”), he was buried alive beneath the combined membership of both football teams and a few overzealous parents imitating the reversal of the ‘Lambeau Leap’.
     Trying to maintain his life-expectancy by not suffocating under the stinky pile of humanity, Harold’s mind drifted to the time he was seven, playing Frisbee® football at the local Kroger grocery store parking lot on an October afternoon. His grandfather, ‘Grandpappy Happy’ Beaver, took the Sunday school class from their Pentecostal Methodist church out for some fun under the (45°F.) sun and helped to coordinate the game and uphold the self-manufactured rules. On one particular play, Harold stretched out to catch the plastic apparatus and tripped over a parking curb, spun around and tumbled into the median. Amazingly, the Frisbee® got tangled in a tree branch and fell on top of his scuffed-up torso, making the necessary first down. A couple of his classmates came over to congratulate him, but left him hurting on the cold hard ground. ‘Grandpappy Happy’ called for a recess in the game, then walked over to help his grandson. “Harry,” he said thoughtfully, “remember this little scripture any time you’re up against the impossible…Luke 12:32 to 34…Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide baggage for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Harold shook off the pain from the fall and reached up to grab his hand, “Thank you, Gran’pappy…love you.”
     Grandpappy Happy smiled in assurance, “I love you, too...Fump-T’Dump!”
     The Creek Battle High band arose in their sectioned-off area of the stands and started playing a rendition of Duane Eddy’s ‘Rebel Rouser’ classic song. The horns played the twangy guiter solos, the saxophones played the saxophone solos, the drummers followed suit and the woodwinds played with themselves. Pandemonium hit the stadium: balloons drifted, confetti flew, beer bottles broke, cheerleaders screamed, the losers moped and all of that other yip-yap-wang-dang-diddly crap took place. ‘Aggie’ couldn’t control her hormones any longer and became ecstatic during the last few moments. As she led the cheering section over the megaphone, the pep squad and all of the hardcore Blizzards’ fanatics, she turned to the departing crowd on the ‘losing’ side of the eighty-year-old stadium and chorused loudly:
     A few seconds earlier, when Harold had actually fell on top of the football in the end zone and the Creek Battle team’s supporters stood and shrieked, ‘Aggie’ became so excited that she ripped off her satin panties under her uniform, made a slingshot out of her index finger, then shot the pink projectile into the grandstands. She then proceeded to do another volley of flip-flops, cartwheels, high-kicks and splits, resulting in old men drooling into their laps and squirming on top of the splintery wooden seats. Most of them had probably had an orgasm without even bothering to get an erection first.
     Anita G. proceeded to finish her calisthenics, and run out onto the field to greet her new-found boy-wonder hero. Harold had just extracted himself from the ‘dog pile’ and was gingerly stepping over some of the less fortunate players and parents when ‘Aggie’ lept into his arms, wrapped her legs (and ‘wet spot’) around his waist, ripped his helmet off and began to gnaw on his neck and earlobes. The sideline photographer kept filming this little bonus feature to include in the school’s end of the year highlights. Up in the grandstands, Harold’s mother gasped in shock, let forth a meek little pooter and promptly fainted into her husband’s arms. Harold’s father resumed clapping in admiration for his son’s game winning feat, which caused his mother to haphazardly collapse to the Calhoun County dirt-caked floor boards, almost knocking a molar out of the side of her mouth. “C’mon, Frida,” Fred implored, “you’re missing out on the celebration! Jeez-louise!” Taking a hasty swig of snuck-in hops, the husband threw the empty beer bottle down on top of his wife in a haste of mob-related conformity. Noticing the audible ‘plunk’, he looked down soon after, picked up his spouse, then poured the remaining contents of her Whiz-O Ice Freeze down her blouse in an attempt to reawaken her and carry her down to the field to meet their genetically gifted offspring.
     Anita, meanwhile, was running her fingers through Harold’s dirty, sweat-stuck, greasy hair. She planted a frictionally enticing kiss on his lips, pulled back, looked at him seductively and stated, “Oooh, gosh…what a great pass!”
     “A pass?!?” Harold stammered, then shrugged his shoulders, “Ummm…okay!”
     “You’re so neato-keen!” She gleamed at him with her pearly whites and glitter-lined eyes.
     “I really think you got what it takes!”
     He swiftly thought about how she was as grammatically nurtured as he was, “Ugh…for what?!? I mean…yeah, sure.” Realizing that his dream girl was hanging on him like a sucker fish planted on the side of a flounder trawler, he enthusiastically animated, “WOW! Ummm…WOW! Hi! I can’t believe you’re…ugh…you’re on me…and, ugh…would you like to meet my parents?”
     “Oooooouuugh, what a standard residential pipe!” she cooed as she continued bobbing up and down on his midriff like a half-dressed cowgirl riding a parade horse at the Laramie, Wyoming Rodeo Finals.
     Fred proudly grinned, “Like father, like son…” as his mother rested on her knees panting on the cleated-up natural-grass turf.

[1] Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” (Frankie Lymon, Morris Levy)
Song: Ch.11-1
Song: Ch.11-2