The Fightins'
Phillies want to convince tourists Phillies are cool
Posted by at 1:04 pm ET 1 Comment


It is a cloudy day in Philadelphia.  The Sports Complex is a desolate place; empty parking lots, vacated stadiums – only the ghosts of sun-bathed tailgates are here.

A small family – Dad, Mom, and Son – are making their way down the sidewalk; tiny figures in the grand emptiness.  The dad wears a three-cornered hat from a gift shop.  The mom wears a bonnet.  Their arms are full of bags of souvenirs.

The dad leads them up to the left field gate and gazes in at the empty stadium.

MOM:  Just a quick look, hon.  The train leaves in an hour.

DAD:  I know, I know.

SON:  What is this place, dad?

DAD:  Well, son, this is where the Phillies play pro ball!  My dad used to take me here, back when they had some great players – Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins…

Dad sighs.

DAD:  Those were fun times.  I even had a bolg.

SON:  You mean a blog?

Dad shakes his head and rolls his eyes irritably.

DAD:  No, son; part of the joke was that it was purposely misspe—

Suddenly, the shutter flies up on a nearby ticket booth.  A greasy, red-eyed RUBEN AMARO is there, wearing a stained, soiled suit.  He is caught as much by surprise as the family is.



Dad shields his family from the madman.

DAD:   What the hell?!

RUBEN:  Hello there!  You must be here for today’s game!

They stare at him in silence.  Dad looks back at the clearly empty stadium, then to Ruben again.

DAD:  What?  No.

RUBEN:  Oh, well you should be!  We’ve got a great team this year!  Going all the way; I can feel it!

The parents exchange glances.

MOM:  Yeah, we don’t… have any change…

Ruben laughs this off.

RUBEN:  “Change?”  Please, we’re the Phillies!  Like we need your petty offerings!  We have a lucrative, billion dollar TV deal on the way, you’ll all see!

DAD:  Yeah, we don’t know anything about that.  We’ll be on our way now.

RUBEN:  Well maybe you’ve heard of… the Philly Fan-addict!

DAD:  The… wait, the Phanatic?

RUBEN:  That’s right, the Fan-addict!

Silence.  A cold wind whistles through the gate.

DAD: Are you saying “Phanatic” or something… else?

Ruben laughs uproariously.

RUBEN:  Listen, I’d have to be a piss poor general manager to trade away the rights to the Phillie Phanatic for Todd Helton.  So that definitely didn’t happen.  We just rebooted our mascot!  Now he’s the “Fan-addict!” He’s addicted to you fans!  That makes way more sense!

DAD: I don’t think I want my family to be a part of this.

RUBEN: No, you do!  You do.

Ruben speaks into a baby monitor that was clipped to his belt.

RUBEN: Yeah, Fan-Addict to the left field gate.  Now.

Ruben looks up and grins cheesily at the family.  Minutes later, a filthy, greasy Philly “Fan-Addict,” who looks like the Phillie Phanatic if he’d been hunted for sport and been hooked on street drugs for decades, approaches.

RUBEN:  Ha, ha!  Look at ‘im!  He’s in a twelve-step program… to your heart.

MOM: We don’t–

RUBEN: [To Fan-addict] Do the thing.

Fan-addict’s shoulders drop despondently.

RUBEN: Do it.

Fan-addict starts to do a weary shuffle of a dance. 

SON:  Mommy, he smells horrible.

MOM:  They both do, honey.  Just do what we did on the subway and pretend you’re watching a movie on your phone.

Son pulls out slick, expensive phone.

SON:  (Choking back tears) I’m watching a movie about a baseball team that is made up of best friends who never get old and are always at least competitive!

Mom pats son on the head.

MOM:  There you go, son. (Bites fist) There you go…

Ruben, now holding a megaphone, shouts orders at the Fan-addict as he dances.

RUBEN:  That’s it, twenty-three skidoo!  We rehearsed this!  DO IT BETTER!

Son is now crying.

DAD:  Please, I’m begging you.  We’re not going to buy tickets.

RUBEN:  No, no – don’t decide yet.  We haven’t even gotten to the big finish.

Fan-addict’s head pops off, revealing a grizzled Kyle Kendrick, who gasps at his own mistake.


Ruben coughs up some blood.

RUBEN: Oh, man, see! I’ve got the fever!  Look at me, bleeding Phillies red!  Don’t you want to be a part of – pick up that fucking head Kyle I swear to god – don’t you want to be a part of this fun!

Dad eyes the curiously abandoned stadium.  A family of sea gulls is feasting on what looks like a human hand.  Part of a bathroom sign detaches from the wall and crashes nearby, scattering them.

DAD:  When do you guys even play?

RUBEN:  Oh, we’re actually playing right now!

Kyle nods.

KYLE:  I’m pitching today.

Ruben notices the family quietly conversing with each other.

DAD:  I’ll distract them and then you guys run. 

RUBEN: Wait!  Don’t go!  It’s free dangle hat night!

They look back.  Dad vomits.  Son turns away.  Mom stares in horror.

MOM:  That’s… that’s a dead musk rat.

RUBEN:  Yeah!  You put it on your head!

He does this this.  Its grotesque limbs, tail, and now open jaw hang off the side of his head.

RUBEN: …and it dangles.

The family flees.  Kyle throws up into the Fan-addict head.

RUBEN:  Whoa, hey now, Kyle.  You better not be headed to the DL.  Bullpen’s tired.  We need you to go deep tonight.



  • Mike Arbuckle

    Who’s laughing now, bitches??

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