The Game

The rules of the game are simple. One player does a handstand inside another player’s pants while hypnotizing a cobra using only the gleam of his teeth. Meanwhile, the wearer of the pants confronts the opposing team’s captain’s sister (assuming she is not already playing) and attempts to breathe his elan vitale into her esophagus through a straw. She can counter this move in one of two ways: A) grow a beard faster than the man inside the pants can charm the cobra, or B) reduce the national deficit by 0.03% before player 1 can present a formal argument showing that for a bumblebee to fly it must break known laws of aerodynamics. He must then call her in three days. She can counter by flirting with his best friend in such a way that it is clear to no one but him that this is what is going on. Then he slaps her hand. Then she slaps his hand. If her admiration for his mustache exceeds wingspan, he goes back six spaces and loses a turn. The stalemate ends when one of them wins a round of brick/sandpaper/needlecraft. Oxygen masks are deployed. There are no time outs. Points are rounded to the nearest half dollar. Her hair is lush and red, reflecting a passion for live electric wires that began long before her first memories. He wants nothing more than to express his ambivalence, but alas his ability to articulate feelings has remained a sunken chained-up locked and lidless chest since the events of last December. Joyous music as if from nowhere. A glint of white light. The handstand man accrues penalty after penalty and gradually forgets the lesser details of his life. The game is over before it begins.