Okay, this is a story I wrote about Bryn Mastiffson and the prank he never realized he'd pulled on the FBA.
The Retirement of Bryn Mastiffson
An FBA Draft envelope arrived in Furry Basketball Association Comissioner Stefan Calico's office, addressed specifically to the FBA Comissioner himself. It was late for the 2014 draft, but in plenty of time for the 2015—and it was from a Bryn Mastiffson. Stefan knew it couldn't be the Bryn Mastiffson he knew; that fellow's career had been—in the former Royals captain's own words—"3 decades and 100 pounds ago." Deciding it must be from a relative who happened to share the same name, he opened the envelope to take a look.
What he saw puzzled him: The draft papers were in a different format than he was used to, and looked... old. Then he saw the papers were dated June 12, 1973. It was indeed that Bryn Mastiffson. Apparently the dog was having a bit of fun at the commissioner's expense. Amused, he went over to his secretary to show her. "...Fourty-one years late." she said, stunned. "He's turned his application in fourty-one years late. . . . How do you still have your draft application after you get drafted?"
Calico shrugged. "No idea. When did he retire anyway? I've got 1981 on my mind."
The secretary looked it up, then paused. "Something must be wrong here. It's showing him still in Free Agency."
Wondering if the database was acting up, the two checked other records, such as Sietze Kraai, Darnell Loewen, and Jeremiah Vanhorn, all of which correctly showed up as retired. But not old Bryn. When a search for his retirement announcement came up empty, it became clear what had happened: For some reason, Bryn had never announced his retirement. In other words, while he was de facto retired, he was still de jure a free agent—even though noöne in their right mind would sign him now. It was just the sort of absurdity Mastiffson would pull. Sadly, even though it would look like the FBA couldn't take a joke, Calico would have to make the old dog's retirement official.
"What? Poppycock. Nonsense. Balderdash, billigswoggle, and bunk," the old dog thesaurusized his skeptism. "But that is an excellent joke. I wish I'd thought of it."
This was not the reaction Stefan had expected when he called Bryn to discuss the issue. "Mr. Mastiffson," said Stefan. "I'm not kidding. Our records show you still in free agency. According to our records, you never announced your retirement."
"...Well, actually, no I didn't. A lot of things were happening at the time, and I didn't want to make another fuss, so I never came out and actively announced it. As per my discussion with Allan Smith and Brock Thiessen, we simply let my contract expire, I went back to music, and never accepted another contract. I know I was listed in Free Agency for a while, but I thought the FBA just retired me after a few years of sitting out."
"Doesn't work that way. Sure, you drop down the list the less noise you make, but you actually have to officially retire—or at least announce it to the FBA to be listed as retired."
"I see... Excuse me while I find this funny."
After the two shared a chuckle, Stefan Calico asked how it was that Bryn still had all his application paperwork.
"Quite simply, I forgot to mail it in. I remember putting it with a bunch of mail on my desk, then later scooping up the stack and heading off to the post office," the dog explained. "I never heard back from the FBA, which irked me, but I wasn't going to make a fuss. I ended up joining the newly-formed Royals in 1974 instead. Then, in 1975, I was cleaning off my desk, and lo and behold, there my application was. It might have gotten knocked off the stack or something. Ah, well, grieve forever, I was on the Royals now. And of course in 1979, we were folded into the FBA and the rest was history—right along with our winning record."
"But... why send it in now?"
"Well, heaven knows I annoyed Stern Davids enough. Now it's your turn. Besides, I had the perfect opportunity to set a record for "most overdue draft application." Seize the day and all that." Stefan could almost hear the dog's grin over the phone.
"Makes sense... I guess," said Stefan. "But I think I'm going to go through the free agents and see who is even looking for a team, and who are unofficially retired. If you'd kindly save me at least one set of paperwork..."
"Of course," said Bryn.
Excerpt from Rocky Mountain House Gazette sports section
Furry Basketball Association's Oldest Free Agent Retires
Bryn Mastiffson, former player of the Rocky Mountain Royals, announced his retirement after 33 years of free agency. After a joking speech of how it was an honour to be in the same league as greats such as Buck Hopper and Shane Rufus, Mastiffson admitted even he was amazed at the "corporate inertia" that resulted in him still being listed as a free agent.
"I thought they'd simply retire me," he told reporters on Wednesday. "After all, I was turning down contracts due to medical reasons, and eventually I stopped getting offers. 33 years later, I learned I'm in the record books as the oldest free agent in FBA history. And I owe it all to typical corporate inertia." When asked how the FBA found out, he replied, "Well, I have a tradition of needling the FBA comissioners, so I decided to send in my FBA draft application 41 years late. Apparently, Comissioner Calico decided to see when I retired, and discovered I hadn't. So he asked me quite nicely to make my retirement official, and I decided this would be the perfect cap to a rather ridiculous situation."
Bryn states he plans to spend his retirement growing old and curmudgeonly, complaining about how the FBA was different in the old days. We're sure he's eminently qualified.
Jarrod Saywell, Rocky Mountain House Gazette
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