Thomm Quackenbush, author

A Massachusetts Yankee In King Arthur's Court

He can fall into the orotund Boston affectation readily enough and has told people that he is a Red Socks fan everywhere but in Massachusetts (where, as an inverse and to be contrary, he is a Yankees fan).
 

You're not from around here, are you, boy? Okay, well, maybe no one has said this to me yet. Still I get the looks and, believe it or not, I respect the passion. Maybe it is the hatred I show for the word "wicked" or my ability to pronounce words correctly. I stick out like a sore thumb, a sore thumb with a grasp on the English fucking language that eludes these people like the letter "R". I was trying to be respectful of this area, I was willing to allow myself a gentle transition into my new life. It has occurred to me that there are forces working against this.

This town is all about baseball. If you happen to be unlucky enough to be born in New York, you must be a Yankee fan and that makes you the devil. It is not very rational, I know. By my temporary space, there is a small deli and, thanks for the sheer lack of entertainment, I find myself ordering a nice cup of coffee occasionally. I have been informed I speak funny, despite my ability to look freaking hot in a Red Sox hat, there's just something about me that reads "New York". So the question comes up, a kid you not, at least once a day. Are you a Yankees fan? This is usually followed, mind you, with an inquisitive stare as if the way I answer the question will forever mark me as scorned or welcomed. Are you a Yankee fan? No, I mean, I love Sam Adams and that beer is all about Boston. Are you a Yankee fan? You realize by pissing me off, you're only making it worse for yourself. I hope you're not a Yankee fan. Why don't you go and fuck yourself? No sorry, didn't mean that last one. Here's the odd part about this question, there's always a weird smile that accompanies it. The sick, sadistic bastards want conflict.
 
Sweet ball of suck, this is bad.

We all have that breaking moment, that moment in time where you have to stand up for something. My point apparently revolves around maternity clothing. I was wandering through one of the local malls with my sister, commenting on something my editor had written. "And what the fuck is that?" I commented, shooting my hand up in some motion saved for the Cloverfield monster. Before me stood a horrible sight, a sight which hurts my inner child to describe to you. They have Red Sox shirts for women. "Future Rex Sox Fan" reads this debauchery with a large red arrow extending to womb area. It's like setting your child up to fail. Wait, did I just think that? Smug Red Sox fans always looking me over. Who do they think they are? This was my moment.

"We need to get to a sport store," I informed my sister still locked on the maternity shirt. The Red Sox hat that I had been wearing suddenly didn't feel right. It made my head ache. It felt wrong, like I was cheering for a team that was too good for my passion. I knew no matter how hard I wanted to be a Red Sox fan, these people would not let me. Three minutes into my shopping experience, sandwiched with the confusion that comes with hat sizes, I had my new prize.

"I'm a Yankee fan, too," my salesperson informed me. I felt some kind of kinship with him. I wanted to jump the counter and whisk us both safely away. "Didn't you come in with a Red Sox hat on?"

"You people wanted this!" I screamed, jumping onto the counter and removing my pants. For the next fourteen minutes I shook and gyrated with a new energy. Okay, maybe I didn't do that last part. But I did have a wondrous smile as I took off the tags and various stickers that adorned my new prize.

"Welcome to Barnes & Noble, boo Yankees." I paused for a moment. Really? Before me stood a happy little woman--well, happy for with the exception of the look of scorn on her face. Not ten minutes ago, this woman would likely have been the sweetest thing on the planet. Cookies may have been cooked and exchanged if only I weren't crazy enough to have a Yankee hat on. The hat changed everything about her. It was the representation of everything wrong with this city. I wandered through the store for the next few minutes listening to my sister's plan to visit Fenway for their tour, but I could not for the life of me stop thinking about that woman by the door. I was convinced she would repeat the phrase she had greeted me with. Her programming was perfect, but the programming was also flawed.

"Boo Yankees," this time I was ready. I turned slowly at first before shooting my arms out to my sides.

"We should really just hug this out," I informed her closing my fingers together with each word. She didn't answer, just looked at me. I tilted my head to the side slightly. "We should just hug it out, do you want to hug it out?" She smiled that smile of fear and I went on my way into a Boston snowstorm.

It's good to be home.


Stevehen J. Warren is a trained professional in dealing with the crap society churns out. If possible, do not attempt to engage any crap you may find. He mocks it so you don't have to.

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush

Anthologies

Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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On B&N
At Double Dragon