So the cannibalism begins, as the Chuay Gahn turn on each other, and the first victim is not Jan or Clay, it is Ted, the amiable computer programmer and project manager. This boot seems to signal a good future for Brian, who may be in control of the voting in Thailand, but obviously has no control over his wife.
As always though, such speculation is not for us to decide… no, my task was to determine what the future holds for Ted, and as was the norm, I really wasn’t sure how to do it.
I had more pressing matters though, as my TV had been acting up again. Being the all around expert handyman that I am, I decided to pull the home entertainment unit away from the wall and investigate. The problem seemed to be coming from my extension cord 6 outlet strip… it was smoking.
Well how could that be I wondered? I only had the big screen, a Tivo, a VCR, a DVD player, and a 1200W portable heater plugged into it. I knew from my Lowe’s Home Base Depot store electrical class that as long as I had a spare plug available on the strip that there is no way that it could get overloaded.
Obviously one of the plugs had come loose, and I decided to climb back there and check the connections. In retrospect, I have to believe now that those people at Lowe’s Home Base Depot might not be the electrical experts that they claimed to be, for in the next moment there was a loud bang, a flash, and I found myself airborne.
I came to rest on my couch, and began to assess the situation. There was a strong acrid odor and much smoke… Further, I obviously was making a veiled attempt to reuse the premise of storyline from earlier this season, but I’m not even going to mention the Tab, it’s getting down to the end, and I am not a proud man…
Somehow the TV had come on, and it was on channel 666. It appeared to be ESPN. I was unable to move due to the strange sensation of 120 volts cursing through my heart, which undoubtedly would have side effects for me later, but hey, it was a small price to pay to have fixed the TV…
“Welcome to ESPN SportsCentury!”
“Today we will revisit the career of one of America’s greatest sportsmen, Ted Rogers.”
“Ted participated in an amazing variety of athletic endeavors, and yet throughout it all, remained the same loveable teddy bear of a man, who loved to hug, and be hugged… Yes, all Ted ever really wanted was to be hugged.”
The scene shifts now to a baseball field, the fans are wearing bell-bottoms, and there is a big sign proclaiming the bicentennial year. This is obviously home movie footage playing as the narrator continued.
“Ted Rodgers Jr. was born in Roosevelt, NY, a typical Long Island suburb. By all accounts Ted had a normal childhood with loving parents, and being a natural athlete, he excelled at all sports, especially his beloved baseball. Here is Ted at the plate in his first year of little league…”
The picture shows Ted taking a huge swing on a 12-year-old pitcher’s poor attempt at a breaking ball. It’s going… It’s going… It’s GONE! Ted takes a slow trot around the bases, and his team is waiting for him at home plate… obviously Ted had just won an important game with his home run.
Ted arrives at home plate, and begins high five’n his teammates. Hugs are exchanged, and that’s when the first signs of trouble began…
“Let go of him Ted!” Someone on the movie track, apparently the cameraman, shouts.
The camera is dropped, but still shows the scene as it fell to it’s side in the grass. The cameraman is running forward toward home plate where big Ted has his coach in a bear hug, and will not let go. What follows is sad and frantic, as Ted’s dad and his teammates attempt to separate the gentle giant from the coach. Eventually a hose is reeled out and the two are sprayed down, and they separate.
Scene shifts to a typical interview shot with a man named Ima Selfimportant, who was apparently the coach in the movie.
“Yo, Big Ted was a good kid, but when he got all up on me that day, his eyes got all glazed and bugged out, and he just wouldn’t let go. I was sorry to say it, but I couldn’t let him remain on the team. Baseball, from the professional level on down, just simply doesn’t allow de-vee-ants,” he appeared to be sounding out the word phonetically, “or guys with questionable character to participate in this, the finest of sports. He might play for the Red Sox someday, but he’ll never be a Yankee!”
Hmmm… I felt that the coach was a little off-base with his comments, but there was no time to speculate, for the scene had shifted, and the narrator continued…
“Ted found his redemption when he started at Roosevelt High School in 1979. He was the founding member of the RHS Computer Club, where he and his fellow club members wore customized pocket protectors and debated endlessly the merits of the Commodore C64, Apple II, and of course, the original IBM PC. Ted’s need for love via hugging was an accepted principle amongst the members of this club, as apparently all computer geeks need more love.”
Footage is now shown on the screen of a high school football team, and a spot shadow appears over a defensive player who was dominating the game. It is Ted.
“Ted was also a standout on the gridiron for the RHS football team. He was an all league defensive player for his Junior and Senior year, and thankfully there were no more incidents officially reported. However, the coach kept two large vats of Gatorade, and a hose nearby just in case.”
“Ted went on to college and continued to build upon his love of football and computers. With his education and remarkable talents, Ted quickly became quite successful in the information technology field. Ted had unfinished business though, on the football field, and wanted to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL. So it was in the summer of 1994 that Ted ventured down to Texas to try out for the Dallas Cowboys.”
Scene switches to show footage of an NFL game, and Ted is sacking a quarterback, while forcing a fumble.
“Ted made several great plays during that training camp, everyone expected him to make the team. Yet surprisingly, he was cut after the final pre-season game. This old footage of the great Tom Landry tells the sad tale…”
Scene switches to a interview shot with Tom Landry at a podium announcing the final cuts before the 1994 season.
“Now, one of our cuts…” Landry begins in his classic drawl, “may be surprising, but let me just say that one of the players we are letting go today brought it on themselves by instigating an excessive celebration in the locker room, and that player got all up on Troy Aikman… well, I just can’t have that!”
Scene ends and we are back with the narrator.
“Was Ted involved with this incident? We can’t be sure, and all attempts to ask Troy Aikman about it were turned down. But the fact remains that Ted was not offered a contract by any other team, and he retreated back to his comforting domain amongst the marginalized citizens in the programming industry.”
“Mark Burnett, and his crack psychological evaluation team, saw the potential in Big Ted, and they quickly confirmed him as one of the sixteen castaways in Survivor: Thailand. “
Various video clips of Ted’s time on the island are now filling the screen.
“By now, everyone is familiar with Ted and Ghandia’s late night dry humpfest that eventually became known as Grindiagate. Surprisingly though, there were many other alleged Ted incidents on the island that came to light in Brian Heidik’s autobiography, Long Stories From the Mattresses.”
Scene shifts to an interview shot with Brian… taking place at the Playboy Mansion, with all of it’s attendant *scenery*.
Brian, looking about 50ish in this interview, but still with a twinkle in his eye, and bottle of blue pills in his hand, begins to recount the experience… “We knew all about Ghandia and Ted, and their conflict. Hey, I was the Iceman, I didn’t care either way, as long as I had leverage. What was really strange though was there there was a high percentage of small animals near the camp that we found crushed… as if they had been hugged to death.”
Brian points and winks at a bikini clad lady who walks nearby, as he continues, “Now Jan didn’t mind that, as it gave her something to do each day, but really, we were all afraid of the big guy. That’s why when he walked away after being voted out, none of us got up to hug him… we didn’t hate him… we just didn’t want to grind…”
Scene shifts back to the narrator in studio.
“Ted Rogers built upon his popularity and weight loss during his 36 days in the tribe by signing a sponsorship contract with Subway Sandwiches. It seems that Subway intended to launch a new line of sandwiches call Grinders, and Ted seemed to be the model spokesperson. The first commercial was shown only briefly, but was generally considered the best of all the annoying subway commercials…”
His name is Teddy, Big Teddy…
He’s a Survivor Man, and a Grinder fan at Subway…
Teddy, Big Teddy…
Gets his might from Grinding all night…
“Subway didn’t mind the protesting from various groups over the commercial, but it is a incident that occurred during one of the shoots that led to the premature end of Ted’s endorsement career. It is reported that during a break from one of the scenes shot that Ted went over to introduce himself to Jared, and apparently a hug ensued… a deadly hug for Jared, who had lost so much body mass from eating nothing but Veggie Delights that his muscles had atrophied and he couldn’t withstand the big man’s affections.”
“So Ted was once again out of the limelight, but not for long, as several NASCAR owners had seen how well Ted handled that Chevy Trailblazer on the beach in Thailand. Offers came flooding in, and in the spring of 2008, Ted began racing with the Joe Gibbs racing team, in the NASCAR Truck Series.”
Scene changes to Daytona, Florida and the Daytona Speedway.
“Ted was a natural racer, and completely unafraid to draft other drivers, or work in the close quartered, zero reaction time environment of the race track. He quickly rose up the racing ladder, and within a few years was invited to race against the top level drivers of NASCAR in the Daytona 500.”
“Alas, Ted’s obsession with contact would prove to be his downfall on that day. He was in second place heading into the last lap, and had perfect draft position on the rear of the leader, Jeff Gordon’s car. The race announcer tells the story…”
Scene changes to the last lap of the Daytona 500. Gordon is ahead with Ted on his tail.
“What a beautiful strategy by Rogers!” The announcer is yelling, his voice has the kind of excitement in it that can only be caused by the thrill of watching people take left turns for four hours in unbearable heat.
“They are heading to turn four… Rogers is right on his tail! All he has to do is drop down to the inside and the draft will carry him to victory!”
But Ted doesn’t take his opportunity to win, and instead rides Gordon’s bumper to the finish line.
“What is Rogers thinking?” The announcer is mystified… “He had that race in his hands… wait… Rogers is not slowing down… Oh My God! The humanity!”
As Gordon slowed down to take his victory lap, Ted kept grinding into his bumper at top speed. Both cars careened into the wall, bursting into flames.
The narrator takes over… “Fortunately both men recovered, and there were no other injuries. Gordon, interviewed during physical therapy was still in shock from the incident.”
“He just kept getting all up on me! It was horrible!” said the pained Gordon.
The narrator continues… “The NASCAR Board of Inquiry held a hearing to review the incident, and all of the key players were involved. Ted repeatedly apologized and admitted to having committed the act. The Board accepted his apology. Ted later said that he felt like a Band-Aid had been placed on the situation, and he hoped it would pass.”
“Unfortunately for Ted, the Board ruled the next day that they didn’t believe him, and that the entire sport felt used and dirty. In fact, the NASCAR board talked to several other Boards about Ted’s behavior behind his back, and it seemed that the world of professional sports was finally closed to him.”
“Ted was depressed for several weeks, however, redemption for him and his sporting career would come, even though it would be at a high price. In the fall of that fateful NASCAR year, Ted’s agent received a call from Rosie O’Donnell. She was getting together a reunion show of the Thailand survivors, and invited Ted to be on.”
Scene switches to footage of the reunion show with Rosie.
“It was during this show that Ted and Ghandia finally got their feelings about each other aired out and laid to rest, once and for all.”
The Rosie show scene now fills the screen, as the narrator continues.
“Ted and Ghandia started out polite enough with each other, but it was this exchange that broke open the floodgates”
Ted: “Ghandia just wasn’t attractive to me.”
Ghandia: “Ghandia knows that Ted likes Ghandia… Ghandia is the only true Diva!”
Rosey: “Ted, tell us about the final tribal cou…” A ranting Ghandia cuts her off.
Ghandia: “Ghandia wants to know what Ted is lying about Ghandia… he wanted Ghandia… all men want Ghandia!”
Ted: “No one in their right mind would want you girl. Jeez, some people should never wear Spandex, I’ll just leave it at that!”
“Ghandia was angry now, and while screaming some unintelligible sounds, she picks up a chair and is charging toward Ted. “
The crowd is chanting Rosie! Rosie! Rosie! As security guards attempt to disarm her, she and Ted end up in a wrestling match on stage.
At first there is much biting and hair pulling, but soon the tone of the struggle changes, and before you could say… Bow Chicka Bow Bow!… Ted and Ghandia are tearing each others clothes off and finally finishing some island business from long ago.
As the crowd gasps in horror… yet much like a horrible auto accident, you had to look… Rosie attempts to regain control of the situation.
Rosie: “Go to commercial! Go to commercial!”
Erin: “Why am I the only one wearing a bikini on stage?”
Rosie: “I’ll explain it to you later in my dressing room my dear… Bow Chicka Bow Bow!”
The scene shifts back to the Narrator.
“When we return to SportsCentury, we will continue with the happy partnership of Ted and Ghandia… “
“We will explore the success they find on the Professional Wrestling circuit as the Humpback of Thailand, and his trusty sidekick Grindia.”
“Also, we will review the untold details of the now infamous incident involving Ted and President Hillary Clinton at the White House. All of that, when SportsCentury returns…”
The television tube popped at that point, and the screen went blank.
I was amazed at what the future held for Ted, and glad that he would eventually resolve his differences with Ghandia.
For now though, I had bigger concerns… My TV was toast… and I still couldn’t move. Oh well, I still had until next week to recover.
Bill’s stories are purely fictional, and certainly the famous people mentioned herein would not act this way… well, everyone but Jared. Please email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org