Author's Note: the disclaimer is in my profile. I got inspired to write this after watching "The Benchwarmers" featuring Jon Heder. I guess I own Rodando la Tortilla (I don't know if that trick really works though; or if I said it right in Spanish). Also, kudos to my new/first beta reader, El Takeshiro!
The Best Sport Ever Played
Pedro Sanchez was proud of the changes that occurred after he became president. Hardly anyone was getting bullied, the cafeteria started serving Mexican food on Wednesdays (excluding chimichangas), and everyone was happy. He meant what he said at the election assembly: "If you vote for me, all of your wildest dreams will come true."
He and Napoleon were taking the same classes, but they could only converse in PE. Their favorite activity was tether ball. Napoleon showed Pedro some tricks (like kicking the ball) and the Chicano had a few of his own.
"Where did you learn that", asked Napoleon.
"My sister Corrina taught me that one. She calls it Rodando la Tortilla (rolling the tortilla)." Pedro hit the ball down so hard opened palm that it curved up, causing Napoleon to duck.
"That was flippin' sweet! Tether ball is probably the best sport I've ever played."
"I agree. It's really fun and easy."
"Hey, did you know that now there are like dodge ball leagues!"
"Sí, but what are you saying?"
"I'm saying that if dodge ball is a big sport, then tether ball should be one too!"
"I think that most people consider tether ball a game, not a sport."
"Well they should, gosh!" Then Napoleon smacked the ball with a fist, and Pedro just let it wrap around the poll.
"What do you suggest we do Napoleon?"
"I think we should have a tether ball tournament at our school, and maybe the media or whatever could spread the word."
"That sounds good, but we have to talk with the student council about it."
"You think they'll say yes?"
"I don't know, but we have to try."
The student council at Preston High gathered every Tuesday after school in the cafeteria. Summer Wheatley (vice-president), Don, Trisha, and a few others were on the board. The council was responsible for organizing and helping with school events, like FFA competitions, but since it was early in the year their main concern was pep-rallies.
Every other week Pedro would join them, and when he showed up with Napoleon one meeting they ignored the two. Summer and Trisha stood at the head of a rectangle table while their fellow members sat and listened intently. They focused on how the girls' locker room needed to be rebuilt and asked for ideas to raise funds; that lasted thirty minutes. Napoleon had nodded off, but Pedro woke him when the matter was settled.
"Well", said Summer, "I guess that'll be all for this-"
"Wait", Napoleon yelled, "I have something important to say." Summer uttered a long sigh.
"…Fine, but make it quick. The rest of us have places to be you know."
"Yeah, right… Anyway, me and Pedro were thinking of having a tether ball tournament here at school."
"That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard! Tether ball is the worse game ever."
"It's a flippin' sport!"
"And, it's not stupid", Don added. "I think we should have one. It could be interesting."
"Heck yes it would!" Napoleon gave Don a high-five, and Summer rolled her eyes.
"We still have to vote on it, no matter how idiotic the idea is. All in favor raise your hand." Half the people in the council, plus Napoleon and Pedro, raised their hand. "Now, all opposed." Summer and the rest showed their disapproval. "It looks like the answer's no."
"No," Napoleon shouted, "More voted for it!"
"You and Pedro don't count, because you're not a part of student council."
"So it's tied then, gosh!"
"That's not fair", Pedro declared as he rose. "The decision should be made by the students. It's their school too, not just yours." After his mini-speech the members thought for a moment and then nodded. Summer shook her head, but she knew that Pedro was right.
"We'll 'try' to make ballots and distribute them during homeroom by Friday", she finally said. "Ok?"
"Sí, es bueno."
Friday morning during homeroom people from the student council went to each class and distributed ballots for the tether ball tournament. Some crumbled and tossed them in the trash while others seemed interested and marked their choice. Afterwards the teachers collected the papers so Summer and Trisha could get them. When the final bell tolled the council met to tally; Napoleon and Pedro witnessed. Only sixty-four pupils had cast a vote, so it just took a couple minutes to count. They made two piles, and one gradually became bigger than the other. Summer scoffed while the others whooped.
"I can not believe the turnout," she said, crossing her arms. "Why do you people care so much about a stupid game!"
"It's a sport", replied Pedro.
"And", Napoleon cut in, "the reason you hate it is because you can't win."
"Yes I can! I can beat you any day of the week."
"You're afraid of my skills! That's why you didn't play me when I asked."
"Let's go, right now!" Suddenly Summer and Napoleon raced to the door, but Don and Pedro quickly restrained them.
"Save it for the tournament you two!"
"Fine!" Then Napoleon walked out, followed by Pedro. "I hope I'll face her in the tournament."
"Yeah, that would be something."
On Monday the principle announced that the tether ball tournament would start on Saturday, but there would be a tryout after school to see who would qualify to play. Napoleon, Pedro, Deb, Don, Summer, Trisha, and about twenty others signed up in the front office; even Randy put his name on the list. After 4:00pm the students journeyed outside where the poles stood, and they were greeted by a new coach.
"What the heck are you doing here Uncle Rico!"
"Relax Napoleon, this is my new job. Selling Tupperware and 'Bust Must Plus' wasn't paying as much mullah as this gig is. You see, I 'wanted' to coach football, but they stuck me here. Man, tether ball is the worse game ever."
"You're retarded! Tether ball is the best sport ever played!"
"If you don't watch your mouth, I won't let you compete in the tournament." Napoleon sighed.
"Ok, Un… coach."
"That's more like it. Now, let's get this thing over with."
'Coach' Rico had the competitors face him one by one. He judged them by their reflexes, how hard they hit, and whether they really tried or not. Some lost, others beat him, and a few broke the rules.
"You can't hit the ball twice Napoleon!"
"What! Why didn't anyone tell me that before!"
"I don't know, but another violation and I'm going to disqualify you."
"I won't do it again, gosh!"
The tryouts lasted an hour, and afterwards Coach Rico wanted to collapse. Everyone stunk with sweat and waited to hear the results, but he proclaimed that they would be posted the next day. As they left, Napoleon stayed behind to play with Deb for a while.
"Do you think I did well", she asked.
"Heck yes you did! You're going to win."
"Not if you're picked."……