And it starts right here, in the comment section…
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The ping pong ball bobbled about in the wire mesh alongside his marked brethren.
Outside the VFW Hall, the old man was climbing up the river bank, and tying his River Rat raft to the bumper of a big shiny limo. His pants were soaked but his button-down yellow shirt held up okay. By the time he crossed the hot parking lot, the steam coming off of him had him looking freshly pressed anyway. Whether he was dreaming or not, he knew the ping pong ball was somewhere inside, and he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he didn’t just see this thing through. The old man was not afraid anymore. He was raised Catholic, and even though he only loved the Mother Mary part of it, the sweet, forgiving, blue-green parts of it, he remembered some of what the nuns taught him about Bingo.
He felt something small and warm wiggle inside him. “What was that?” he wondered with surprise, just as he was plucked from the bin.
The ping pong ball remembered his past life as a disrespectred art critic and pizza fanatic, and wondered how he came to be bobbling around in a wire mesh basket alongside a pingpong ball named CHUCK.
“I should’ve been a muppet’s eyes,” thought the ping pong ball, “bisected, glued to felt, black circles dotting my vaulted domes like liver spots on an old man’s hands.”
“This one doesn’t have a number on it!” said the bingo caller into the microphone, “Darnedest thing!”
The crowd measured a small volley of laughter- their minds were on winning, not comedy.
The caller tossed the ball to the floor, as he shrugged his shoulders and reached for another.
As Bingo was shouted, the ball rolled the a dusty corner of the room.
CHUCK was no ordinary ping pong ball. He was very special, so special in fact that he feared for his life, especially from the people that were in the black limosine. The black limosine that Greg Lundgren had sent!
“BINGO!” yelled Gertrude. Proud that she had finally in her unsuccessful life finally won something, even if it was only a tupperware set.
A boy, out of his grandmother’s eyesight, saw a ping pong ball roll into a corner. He picked it up. It felt warm, warm like his own skin.
A squirrel wandered through the open door, spied it from across the room and hatched a plan to grab it.
In the distraction that followed, the switching of the boards, the reinking of the daubers, no one noticed the strange old man in the tattered yellow shirt enter the BINGO parlor.
The man in the yellow shirt gasped and reached down to grasp the ball in his hand. As his fingers closed around the cool plastic shell he heard the scream of the bingo players as the I.T.F.F burst through the door – guns blazing. He could feel the bullets hitting his body but it was too late for them! He had the ping pong ball! He could feel the freedom as the earth opened up beneath him and he fell. Like his great great grandaughter Alice, far down the Ping Pong ball hole.
And with that thought, he curled up into the fetal position and inserted his
thumb into his mouth
- Annastacia Jones
No one seemed to see the fat squirrel hanging on the back of his bloody shirt, never once taking its eyes off the prize.
Meanwhile the squirrel realized that her plan was indistinguishable from the ball itself.
In a sea of Bingo! hungry seniors yet beholden to no one, the ping pong ball reached out to his frightened neighbor “CHUCK” soothed his furrowed brow and began to tell him a fantastic story of yellow jump suited men, rats, turtles and the search for truth.
As the ping pong ball came back to reality, he looked over at chuck noticed the smooth tight curves of his body, the pristine white that had yet been dented, and came to the realization that he might indeed be homosexual.
- Joshua Longley
Most likely no one could have imagined that this tale would seemingly end as it had begun and that the fantastic journey that this little ping pong ball had undertaken would finally come full circle. But, as it happened, it was on one late Summer afternoon that a little insignificant ping pong ball wound up resting again under the rear tire of a shiny, black limousine.
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