Chapter 19: The Olympiad
Not a cloud in the sky. It was the perfect day for sports. After a suspiciously un-congested drive on the Eisenhoward expressway, I arrived at the UIC Pavilion just before 5 PM. Five dollars for parking but not a dime for entrance into the grand event. Although advertised as a state-wide event I got the impression that only volunteers and family's of the participants bothered to attend. This made it relatively easy to find John, Ben and Rob. I found them sitting in the far upper corner of the bleachers. They were far removed from the cluster of parents and appeared totally oblivious to the sporting activities below. The parents cheered wildly for their offspring as the special-children stumbled in circles.
They appeared to be in some sort of huddle and they did not notice me as I approached. "Hello!" I offered. No one looked up, but they began to laugh. Just as I began to get nervous, John looked up and caught my eye. He stood to greet me.
"Janet! Hello! Sorry, I didn't see you standing right there. We are working on the cover of our next album. The album we haven't started yet. Rob just drew a picture of, well of one of those retarded kids doing the long jump. If you ask me it looks like a self portrait." Rob offered me the pad of paper. It did look like a picture of Rob wearing shorts but Rob never wore shorts.
Ben sighed. "Welcome to the Special Olympics, Janet. Are you participating or observing?"
"Good question. I haven't decided. Mind if I take a seat?"
John gestured widely, "There's plenty of room as you can see. Unless you're interested in sitting down front by the water cooler. As you can see, they gather like packs of wolves. I don't know why, I guess they dehydrate quickly."
I took a seat and retrieved sunglasses from my purse.
Rob spoke, "Would you like to hear our idea for a new song? It sucks. The song is called, I Washed My Dog. Now It Is Dead."
"I'd love to, does it have a tune, or is it just words?"
"Just words?" asked John.
"You don't want to here this." said Ben.
"Ok, Well. How are the games coming along? Has your brother done his, thing, whatever it is that he doe?" I felt suddenly embarrassed. I did not know what particular event John's brother performed. Then I realized that I did not care. After all, it's just a bunch of retarded kids who will never amount to anything. No one else appeared to care either.
"Ken?", John asked, "Oh yeah. He's a shot-putter. I'm not sure why, probably because he doesn't like to run. I don't blame him. Its much easier to throw stuff. He's never really gotten the hang of it. Of course, this is the SPECIAL Olympics. So when I say 'shot-put' what I really mean is throwing a wiffle ball. He'll be up soon I guess. Don't worry, you didn't miss any good action. Well, except all the action here is pretty good. Pretty funny, that is."
Rob giggled, "Just a minute ago, there was a race, and one of the tards got confused and turned around and ran the wrong way. The other kids just kept going around the track. They were trying to do the quarter mile. Most of them ended up walking half of it. But not this kid who turned around. It was hysterical!" Rob laughed, "He wasn't really so stupid. He saw the judges putting up the finish ribbon, and he just turned around and took the shortest path to it!"
Kim and Angela approached. "Hello, Janet!", they both chimed.
"John," said Angela, "Your brother just set some kind of world record in the shot-put event! Did you see it?"
"Uh, yeah! It was amazing. Where is he now?"
"He said he was going to get some water and then bring some of his friends up to watch."
"Great. This will be lots of fun." John sounded a little depressed at this news. Angela sat behind John and wrapper her arms around him.
Kim sat next to Ben and held his hand. Rob continued doodling in his notepad. A week cheer went up from the front of the bleachers as another anonymous tard took the gold for the 100 yard relay.
"How have you been, Rob?" I felt a little uncomfortable suddenly being paired with Rob, the seemingly eternal giggler.
Rob looked up from his work. "Ben? Oh. I've been great! I guess. Well, not really. Ever since John stole my girlfriend...", he shrugged.
Angela, overhearing our conversation, laughed, "Aww, I'm sorry Rob... John didn't steal me from you! We're still good friends."
"Whatever, I still think he stole you from me, and I'll be bitter about it until the day I die. Or the day I kill John.", said Rob with obvious sarcasm. He leaned closer to me so that Angela and John wouldn't hear, "It's just like with Kathy and Adam... Only I am struggling to be free of desire, so its no big deal really..."
"I see, so you're saying that you don't mind that John is seeing your girlfriend now?", I asked.
"Sure, Its great. Besides, Angela is right. We were really never more than friends. In fact, she met John on our first real date. Which also happened to be our last real date. And also, John promised that he would help me find some real sluty women who only wanted me for sex."
"How, nice." I didn't know what else to say.
"Oh no!" Kim said. "Here they come, god. Please, don't let me come up here. Please make them go away, I can't stand them!" Kim buried her head in Ben's arms as if to hide.
John stood up to great his brother and a group of his brother's friends that appeared to be tagging along. I couldn't help but be amused at their demeanor. They all appeared happy, and congenial, and well, a little deformed.
John gave his younger brother a high-five. "Way to go, Ken! I heard you set the world record for throwing wiffle balls! That's amazing. Did you throw it out of the stadium?"
Ken laughed. "Yeah! Its outta hear! I won, John!"
"I know. I saw it. I'm real proud. Who are these other kids? Are these the losers you beat?"
"Yeah, yeah. These are my friends." Ken turned around to point. "This is Jeffrey, Doug, Benjamin and uh this is Sally."
I focused on Sally. She was short, fat and ugly. Her face was a mess of hard-core acne and she looked pregnant, or just really fat.
"I like Jeopardy", said Sally.
"Jeopardy? Well, well, well. You're in luck, Sally. You see this girl over here?" John pointed at Kim. Kim hissed. "She loves Jeopardy. Why don't you take your friends over there and talk about TV? Ok?"
"Ok, I like Jeopardy."
"Yes, I know. Go over there. Her name is Kim. She likes Jeopardy. Go over there now. Go, go, Ken take Sally and your friends over to Ben.", repeated John.
The group moved the 15 meters as if they were a single entity to where Kim and Ben had tried to remain out of harms way.
"The thing about tards," John spoke in a low voice, "is that you have to repeat yourself many times because they instantly forget."
Rob giggled. Angela slapped John's back playfully. "John! don't talk about your brother that way. He's a human, not a tard."
"Sorry, Angela. I meant it with the utmost respect I could possiblly have for a tard. You've got to understand. After all, he is my brother."
"Uh oh", said Rob and turned our attention down the stairs. "Here come more."
Another group of maybe 15 or 20 mentally handicapped kids were headed our way. Most of them were spilling water from little plastic cups as they walked.
"Don't move," warned John. "There is no escape. Just sit still and remain odorless. They do not eat what they can not smell."
I giggled and quickly covered my mouth.
From afar, we listened to Kim and Ben. "Oh! You're so cute! You're adorable in that tight fitting track outfit" fawned Kim. Ben appeared to be shaking hands with Jeffrey and having a difficult time getting Jeffrey to release his grip.
"Kim has made a fatal mistake" whispered John. "Notice how she fails to make direct eye contact when conversing with Sally. That can be deadly. Always look directly into their eyes. It helps prevent you from saying things that you don't mean, and hence will soon regret."
John was right. In our silence we became invisible to the approaching group and they veered course and took a heading that led them directly to Ben and Kim. Within minutes, they were completely surrounded.
"No where to run to... No where to hide... I wonder how Ben is going to get out of this one?" said John, but not to loud.
No sooner had John spoken did Ben emerge from the group. With two youngsters in toe he headed straight for us, with a maniacal smile pasted across his face. I found myself scrambling in my purse for a camera, but alas, no film. Kim suddenly ran around Ben and stood by my side. "Please, Janet. Don't let them get me." She grabbed my arm and I felt her shaking, "Please! Protect me!"
"psst! John! What do we do now?", asked Rob.
"No where to run to, man. Nothing can stop them. Ben's got us cornered." John continued, "I lived, I died, I know not why. I shall not be remembered."
Ben pressed his troups forward. It was a well-planned military maneuver. The group of retarded kids spread out behind Ben and together with his army he had us boxed into the corner of the bleachers. My palms began to sweat as they drew near. Most were smiling, some were drooling, but the one thing they all had in common was dark, black, hollow looking eyes. As Ben halted, I realized his eyes were no different.
"Surrender now and I will spare your lives!" announced Ben.
John stepped forward. "Never!" Ken broke rank and stood by his big brother's side.
Ben stood smiling majestically with Jeffrey and Benjamin dangling from his thin arms. For a moment he looked just like Tarzan with his retarded apes. He turned to look at the crowd of parasitic kids. "Men," he addressed them, "take no prisoners". With that, Ben walked into our ranks.
We were helpless. Despite our advantage of higher ground, we had no weapons. One of the kids had blood dribbling out of its nose and I moved over to see if I could help. "Hey there little guy, what happened to your nose? Did you bump it?"
"Hey," It replied. "My name is Robert, Hey."
I pulled out some Kleenex from my purse and cleaned off his face. The bleeding had apparently already stopped. I heard Kim release a quick, startled scream. I turned and saw she was being pet by three rather large, full grown tards.
"Pretty hair! Is it made of gold?" one asked.
"Is you a movie star, missus?" said another.
"No, thank you. Please don't touch my hair." Kim squirmed to get free, but with little luck. They stuck to her like glue.
Luckily, all the commotion had attracted the attention of several organizers. They began to disperse the crowd and lead some of the athletes back to the field for their performance. It seemed as the peek of excitement had passed when all at once Angela let out a shriek. I rushed over to see what was the matter. She was kicking and trying to climb away from one of the retarded kids that had managed to crawl under the bleacher seat and under her blouse. Ironically, it was Ken that most effectively halted this attack. Ken had latched onto Jonathan's feet and pulled him down. Unfortunately, Jonathan had a firm grasp on one of Angela's thighs.
"Let go Jonathan! You bad! Let go," shouted Ken. Then John appeared and together the two brothers managed to separate Angela's leg from Jonathan's arms. In the processes Angela's underwear, very nice fitting red silk, was exposed. This got the tards even more excited. Three or four sat down and tried to cover their crotch to hide rather obvious erections. All in all, it was an interesting event!