Thursday, October 16, 2008

Invasion of the Position Snatchers - Act One

They come from another city!

Tonight The Curly R debuts a film treatment in three acts.

Act One: Just Another Job
Act Two: They're Being Replaced
Act Three: We Are All Seahawks Now


The case looked cut and dried, some injuries, some non performance, some new players in town seen it a million times in the big city, I would check this one out and be home in time for my date with a bottle of whiskey and a certain redhead who thinks I'm in the wrong line of work.

It's late and teams don't like guys like me so I let myself in through the back door. The first thing I find is a team blinded by the possibility of 5-1, stumbling against a weak opponent for no real reason. Well you know what they say, any given Sunday. Through a haze of cheap cigar smoke I laugh, you were thinking 7-1, weren't you guys?

Easily dodging the sleepy rent a cop on duty I check out the executive suite, someone has left the radio on and I hear the first sign something is not right. The shadow general manager and the coach can't get their stories straight about the rookie punter, the GM says the bum is out while the coach is calm but his voice is not right, his speech is oddly halting, "Why. Yes. Durant. Brooks. Is. Still. Our. Punter. He. May. Be. Here. Next. Week." Behind the GM's desk I see a fibrous pod of some sort, wait it's moving! Like there is some thing inside it! But before I can check it out I see the glow from a flashlight under the door, it's security! and I leave through the head past gold plated toilets. That was a close one.

It takes three tries before my car turns over and I pull out of Ashburn with more questions than answers. But before I can sort through everything I saw at the Park my radio is blaring, did I turn it on? The Redskins already have a new punter, Ryan Plackemeier, wasn't he a Seahawks player when coach Zorn was there? That's an odd coincidence. And wait wasn't he cut after one game this year for having a 30 yard net on 11 punts? Something is not right and I reach into the glove box for my little back book.

I look up Rich the fixer, my guy that knows everything on the street. He picks up on the first ring, there is fear in his voice, he tells me get to the hospital as fast as I can then tells me it's not safe, don't trust anybody, this is not the team you thought they were. Before hanging up he tells me not to call him until after the bye, until it's safe. I drive to the hospital.

Good thing I keep a lab coat in my car, confidently I walk past the ambulance and into the ER, past triage and right into examination. I locate the most nervous looking intern and ask him for an update, stat. He blathers uncontrollably and the only thing I can make out is back injury room 10, back injury room 10, back injury room 10. I make him write me a script for percocet and go looking for examination room 10.

It takes me a while to find room 10, down the hall, through a heavy plastic curtain, into the old wing of the hospital, overhead lights flickering and the pulsating sounds of heavy machinery in the background, it's getting hotter and muggier and there is this smell, like the smell of fresh grass mixed with bitter orange, wait is this the old morgue?

Room 10 is around the corner, from my vantage point I can see two men in burgundy coats and gold pants wearing dark sunglasses, it's after midnight, standing stone still. A commotion breaks out in the room behind them and they stoically turn to enter room 10. I sneak to the door and peer in.

Oh my god, it's safety Reed Doughty! He is strapped down, struggling mightily against his bonds, the two burgundy and gold clad automatons holding his head back, his mouth open. From an unseen corner appears team owner Dan Snyder carrying a plant, it looks like a deformed pineapple. Bitter orange tweaks my nostrils and I almost sneeze, no not now! I can't give myself away!

In a dead voice Snyder says to Reed, "time to be a team player Reed we both knew it would come to this. The time has come for you to become a true Redskin. Soon your feet will not be the only part of you that is experiencing numbness." And with that Snyder positions the plant thing over Reed's mouth and begins to lower it. I am without words, aghast at what I see happening to the stalwart 2006 sixth round pick, pressed into service with the failure of ur-safety Adam Archuleta and again with the death of safety Sean Taylor.

My mind spinning I have uncrouched and am standing in the doorway, unaware. Reed's eye catches me there, his eyes grow large but no sound emits from his mouth. The cotton leaves my brain and I know what I must do. Knowing of Reed's hearing problem I mouth to him, I will come back with help. But before I turn to go Snyder notices Reed's expression and turns to see me in the doorway, fully exposed. His eyes are dead, two black ovals, no light reflecting from them.

"GET HIM!" wheezes zombie Dan Snyder and the guards drop Reed's head heavily to the table before lurching clumsily toward the door.

My heart racing I beat a path back toward the main ER, detouring into a long unused operating theater, also labeled room 10. The goons stumble right by, apparently zombie Dan Snyder does not employ the sharpest help. But before I can leave I hear sounds. Behind me.

Curly R's Invasion of the Position Snatchers continues tomorrow with act two, They're Being Replaced.

Shaun Alexander in his new Redskins number 37: Matt Terl from here. Title with apologies to a classic movie.