This is where you and your new girlfriend Cheryl get caught kissing by one of the cameramen, who then puts the kiss up on the Jumbo-Tron for everyone at the stadium to witness. The crowd cheers. Even some of the players on the sidelines root you on! It’s a sweet moment, one you will cherish forever because love is eternal.
You and Cheryl have been dating for a while now. You two are always together. In fact, when you’re not together, everyone notices and wonders where Cheryl is, including the cameraman, who, after aiming the camera in your direction, notices Cheryl is missing. “Where is Cheryl?” the Jumbo-Tron reads at the bottom of the screen, which now shows you waving and smiling. Cheryl just had to go to the bathroom, but there’s no way you can get your message across because you don’t have the ability to put text up on the Jumbo-Tron. But don’t worry: once Cheryl returns, the cameraman notices and immediately puts you two on the Jumbo-Tron, which now reads, “There’s Cheryl!” Then the crowd smiles and laughs and suddenly everyone in your section is wearing short-sleeved Hawaiian button-down shirts and khaki cargo shorts and they’re all dancing to “Fins” by Jimmy Buffett, and then they give you both a giant hug and a guy with a wide smile and a bushy mustache gives each of you an ice-cold Coca-Cola.
“Congratulations on your engagement!” reads the Jumbo-Tron, as it catches Cheryl showing off her new ring to the camera. Everyone knew it was just a matter of time before you popped the question. However, they don’t know the main reason you finally did pop the question: Cheryl is prego. Which is a little weird, seeing how she said she was on the pill. Was she lying? If so, what else has Cheryl lied about? Was she lying when she said she went to college? Or about how she was Marie Curie in her former life? Is she even really a woman? Probably she is a woman because she’s pregnant. It’s nice when you can answer your own questions.
Things are going great as you and Cheryl raise the baby: this is the lie you keep telling yourself. In reality, neither of you is getting much sleep lately because both of you are quite the snorers and little Timmy keeps waking up in the middle of the night and also because you don’t have a bed right now since it went up in flames after Cheryl fell asleep smoking a cigarette. “Since when do you smoke?” you had asked her. “Since your fucking incontinent mother moved in with us!” she said with a snarl, which now reminds you of the other reason you two aren’t getting enough sleep: your incontinent mother lives with you. And these troubles must be written all over your face because, underneath your fake smile, the Jumbo-Tron reads, “Everything okay, guys?” You say to the camera, “Yes, yes, everything is fine,” but unfortunately there’s no audio on the Jumbo-Tron, so the crowd just sees your lips moving. For all they know, you could be saying, “Ha ha ha ha I’d love for someone to go ahead and kill me right now!”
Well, well, well. There you are on the Jumbo-Tron. And who’s that woman with you? It’s not Cheryl, that’s for certain. Go ahead and try shielding your face in shame, but the Jumbo-Tron knows what you’re up to, and it’s not afraid of telling everyone either. “So, where’s Cheryl?” reads the Jumbo-Tron. And underneath that: “You know, Cheryl: your wife and the mother of your child. Because that woman you are currently with is not Cheryl.” And then, in a different font, Jumbo-Tron reads, “You can take a shower afterwards, but the residue of shame will remain.” The Jumbo-Tron is wise. That night, you have a dream in which you and the Jumbo-Tron go to a bar and you explain to Jumbo-Tron how it couldn’t possibly understand the emotions you’re feeling right now. “No offense, but you’re a machine, Jumbo-Tron,” you explain. You sip your whiskey and Jumbo-Tron sips its chalice of oil, because that’s what Jumbo-Trons drink. “How do you know what I feel?” reads the Jumbo-Tron, as it lights a cigarette.
And there you are again, with that other woman. Unbelievable. Why would you put Cheryl through this? Do you think she knows about this whole affair thing? Do you? Well, she’s about to. That’s right: Jumbo-Tron just split-screened your ass and now look who’s on the right-hand side of the screen: Cheryl, who’s sitting in a different section of the stadium, staring up at the Jumbo-Tron as you shade your face and that oblivious whore you’re with smiles and waves to the camera. “Sorry to be the one to tell you this, Cheryl,” reads the Jumbo-Tron, “but we thought you should know.” Then the cameraman turns the camera on himself so everyone can see the shirt he’s wearing, which reads ‘Team Cheryl.’
Well, that’s that. It’s always hard to see a day like this coming despite how invetible it was. That is, the day a lawyer hands you divorce papers live on the Jumbo-Tron while the words “Cheryl wants a divorce” flash on the screen. The worst part is that there’s a child involved, which is why the Jumbo-Tron also reads “The worst part is that there’s a child involved.” You promise yourself you’ll never get seriously involved with a woman again. Ever. As far as you’re concerned, one-night stands are the way to go. Also, your mother marries the cameraman, who ends up curing her incontinence. Well, at least one good thing came out of all this, you think walking home, when an ice-cream truck suddenly hits as you cross the street. While recovering in the hospital, you decide it’s time you moved on to a different city with a different sports team and a different Jumbo-Tron…a Jumbo-Tron that doesn’t know your history.
This is where you and your new girlfriend Alyssa get caught kissing by one of the cameramen, who then puts the kiss up on the Jumbo-Tron for everyone at this new stadium in this new city to witness. The crowd cheers. Even some of the players on the sidelines root you on! It’s a sweet moment, one you will cherish forever because love is eternal.
Gene Albamonte graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. His fiction has appeared in Monkeybicycle, LIT Magazine, The Rattling Wall, Southern Indiana Review, Burrow Press, and other publications. His humor book Huckster: An Unnecessary Collection of Essays on the Advertising Industry is available on Amazon, and a new humor site he’s in the midst of creating called Doctors Etcetera will launch in Spring 2013.