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Pig Pong*

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Charley was on the verge of winning his 100th game of pig pong. It was a grueling sport, but he had made it his own by dint of countless hours of practice. He had sacrificed ice cream socials, Friday night dances, trips to the movie theatre, everything. All had been subsumed by his one life-consuming goal. And it had all been worth it. Now, with pig pong declared the newest Olympic Sport, he was perfectly positioned for a gold medal next year at the Pyongyang games. All the name calling, clod throwing, scum bunnies from Central High School would finally get their paybacks. Yes, they'd be sorry.

But now, it was time to focus. Randi had just backhanded a big hairy sow low across the center of the net. Squealing, the pig bounced in the near-right quadrant and spun towards the outside corner. *Wack* ("Eeeeeeeeeee") Charley returned the hog, dropping it just on Randi's side of the net in his patented pigspin return. No point. It was his serve.

"If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the smokehouse!" Charley laughed.

"Honey, I ain't even rolled up my sleeves."

Charley scowled, dropped the porker smartly for a good bounce, and slammed it towards the white line just below Randi's navel. Yes, it took a big woman to play pig pong successfully, but there wasn't an ounce of fat on her 6'1" frame. She returned the swine to Charley's left corner. Return. Right corner. Return. Left corner. Return. He began to sweat. This was a long volley for pig pong. Usually either the table or the suid gave out by now. Good thing they weren't playing a boar. Right. Return. Left. Return. Right. Return. Sweat poured down Charley's face. Randi was indeed a worthy opponent. He might just ask her out after the game. Left. Return. Right. Return. Left. Return. Right corner--and away. No point. Randi's serve.

And so the game wore on, neither combatant yielding. Finally, the score was 20:18, Randi's serve, game point. This was where he would do it. He would take the serve away one last time and crush her. She slammed the oinker down on the table and fired it straight for the right corner. Charley lunged and whacked the pig on the ham. He lurched back to position just in time to see the curly tail disappear over the other end of the table. He had lost. LOST! She must have cheated. Moved the table, something! He would NEVER ask her out now.

"Good game," she said, grinning, "want to go for a root beer?"

*No farm animals were harmed in the writing of this story.

The end

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