Last night, I returned from travels in the barren darkness to find a monkey on AMC. That was a sight for sore eyes. I wish I knew what the movie was. There was a cute girl in a bikini and an earnest dorky matinee idol curly blonde guy, and they were frolicking, and then the monkey implied that the dorky guy masturbates, so the dorky guy got all angry and said "son of a bitch" and then apologized, but chased the monkey off anyway. Then it was revealed that evil Arabs were pursuing the pair with murderous intent, but not so doggedly as to prevent frolicking on the beach. The best part was when the dorky guy got mad because he tried to kiss the cute girl and she said she "wasn't ready for that sort of thing", and then the monkey showed up with another monkey and the two monkeys made out, sending the dorky guy into a fit of rage.
When I find myself in times of trouble And there are no monkeys on TV...
Readers, displaying a reassuring trust that I am still in here somewhere, have been keeping me updated on the latest developments in the Manute Bol on Ice saga. For those who inexplicably missed the news, the cunning GM of the Indianapolis Ice of the Central Hockey League signed Manute Bol, the 7'7" shotblocking NBA legend, to a minor league hockey contract. Manute is 40 years old and long retired from basketball, but the GM must have seen something in the buttwhipping that Manute handed William "Fridge" Perry on FOX's Celebrity Boxing II, and the cagey Manute, seizing an opportunity to earn money for his Sudanese charity, agreed to terms. The team's webpage has a number of high resolution pictures here. Manute was like Yuri Gagarin trying to do a spacewalk in terms of being a very tall man playing hockey, though, because the team simply could not find skates that fit him, and Manute, knowing well that ice is slippery without proper footwear, retired, but not without making off with a bundle of cash for his charity.
Much of the debate has centered on whether this was terrible because Manute was being made into some manner of circus act, or whether the humanitarian aid provided by his appearance justifies the embarassment. I don't take either position. I don't see that it was an embarassment. To see Manute on ice is a thing of beauty. It is a pure moment, a sight that defies archetype and nature, that simply exists outside of the bloodstained reasoning of human history. The desperation that forced Manute to appear on The 700 Club was something to be regretted, sure. But hockey? For Manute? Shut up, just for a moment, and watch. Just watch. Stop trying to make this fit a story that existed before this moment did. If this was any old tall man, then perhaps this would be something else. But this is Manute Bol. He is defined by the fact that he cannot be denied. He is real. And there he goes. He's skating.
A need for something to do and relatively cheap tickets brought teenagers Brandon Anweiler and Jill Sexton to the arena. When asked about Bol, Anweiler turned to Sexton and said: "I hear he's like 7-10 on skates, which is amazing.''
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