Bandy and Yugo Play Pool
1998 Steve Eastland
This one's for Sandy (so quit whining already).
The full title of this work is Bandy the Turtle and Yugo the Monkey Play Pool and Come This Close to Winning the Grandiose Yearly Pool Tournament (GyPT), but that seemed like an awful lot of text to put in a big font, and I didn't want to give away the ending.
This is a work of pure fiction. Any resemblance to any characters, shapes, objects, hallucinations, etc., either real, unreal, half real, or otherwise, may not be coincidental, but let's pretend it is, at least for the duration of the story. I will not be held responsible for any damage that may occur to you or anything even remotely affiliated with you due to reading of said work. If you or someone you love kills someone and claims it's my fault, I'll claim you're insane and that a rogue clam must have somehow found its way into your digestive system. If I haven't scared you away with insane babble yet, read on.
Our story begins on a lovely summer's day because winter bites. Slurpees just don't taste as good in the winter. We find ourselves in the Sleeve.1 Bandy the Turtle and Yugo the Monkey are pleasantly engaged in conversation.
Bandy wasn't just your average run-of-the-muck turtle. She was a Turtle o' Death. You could tell just by looking at her. Bandy's trademark was a Little Mermaid bandage on her right foot. People who messed with Bandy got to meet Ariel face to face, and only Ariel usually enjoyed the introduction. Bandy was in the final stages of her rehabilitation program, and Yugo was a great support. Yugo wasn't your mean monkey either. He was trying to become a successful writer, mostly of poetry--you know, that sissy stuff everyone says is dumb but secretly reads by flashlight when they think no one else is looking.2
Bandy and Yugo were in the process of discussing the Grandiose Yearly Pool Tournament (hereafter GyPT). They figured they had two basic options: they could dust the competition quite thoroughly or tank the contest completely. They chose the former, mostly because the army still wasn't too pleased about the Helicopter Incident.
"How's it gonna be?" Bandy asked. "You wanna win the tournament or what? We could take the prize easy. We're so good at pool, you could swim in us."
"Yeah, daddy!" Yugo exclaimed. Then he went on, more thoughtfully, "Well, except for the swimming part, maybe. Could we just drink some beverages instead of swimming? I don't want to get cramps."
"Oh, Yugo, you're such a sissy," said Bandy. "I'm supposed to be the girl here."
"Hey, did I ask you? Monkeys are fragile."
Bandy just laughed.
On the appointed morning, Bandy and Yugo arrived at the Pant Leg Pool Hall and Grocer's. They sauntered up to the front desk and announced that they were there to win. The woman at the desk looked at them blankly.
"We said," ventured Yugo, "that we're here to win. Wiii-iin. Like where we win? And there's monetary compensation involved? Because we win?"
"Are you a student here?" the woman asked.
"Student?" exclaimed Bandy. "We're the masters of pool. Nothing can stop us."
"Yeah, you could swim in us," added Yugo proudly.
"Then you must be looking for the Pool Hall, over in the Coat Tail. This is the School Hall. Incidentally, would you like to buy a sandwich?"
Mumbling embarrassed apologizes, Bandy and Yugo backed out of the School Hall and made their way to the Pool Hall. Upon arrival, they decided to be a bit more nonchalant, just in case this turned out to be the Duel Hall.
The tournament began soon after their entrance, and they proved to be the tag team they prided themselves to be. Game after game they performed beautifully, winning by a generous margin each time. They were feeling quite contented with their performance, and then it happened. A last minute contestant entered the room. Yugo's jaw dropped, along with everyone else's in the room, barring Bandy. She just wasn't that kind of turtle.
The newcomer was the most beautiful starfish the group had ever seen. Jaws still gaping and hearts pounding heavily, every eye in the room followed the newcomer. Yugo composed a little poem in his head:
I laid my eyes upon her
and my breath escaped my lungs
I wouldn't have even noticed then
if I had stepped in dung.
Rolling her eyes at the general chauvinism of men, Bandy decided a pretty face wasn't going to make her and Yugo lose the grand prize. She elbowed Yugo rather viciously to bring him out of his reverie.
"Quit your drooling so we can play the game, you freak," she hissed.
Abashed, Yugo instead concentrated on the starfish's game. Fluffy had to work her way up to the top, having entered late. She was good, beating everyone she played, but she wasn't as good as he and Bandy were. Yugo knew they were going to win the tournament.
It came time for the final match, with Fluffy and some other guy against Bandy and Yugo on the other. Fluffy had the break. The two teams were evenly matched and it was a close game. Then Bandy sank the 2 ball, and all that was left was the 8 ball. Yugo stepped up with a smile and called it: "8 ball, under the Arches, off Grimace's head, nothing but pocket." As he was about to nail the victory, he happened to glance at Fluffy. Fluffy took full advantage of the situation and winked seductively at him. Yugo slipped with a strangled "urgle" sound, the cue ball jumped the 8 ball, and he scratched, costing them the tournament. Bandy cursed most emphatically.
When asked to comment in a post-game interview, Yugo said with a dreamy look, "At the last moment I realized I did not actually want to hit the 8 ball."
Bandy rolled her eyes and said, "I think we got GyPT."
1. The Hood was found slightly north and west.
2. Consequently, there is a very high demand on the black market for good, quality poetry.