When it comes to attending a rousing exhibition of basketball, there are standard precepts one must keep in mind. In NCAA, the game is divded into two halves, not four quarters. The concession stand is overpriced. People have a sixth sense to know when they are featured on the jumbo-tron screen. White men can't jump. And you will always sit in front of the most loud and obnoxious fan this side of creation.

Fade into this Saturday. B-Dub, Foster, and I took to the flying saucer to watch the Fighting Illini square off against the Wisconsin Whomevers. Ferrets? Fowls? Something feral and ratty looking. The seats belonged to B-Dub's boss and he was gracious enough to lend out this trio... or was it graciousness he displayed? For Bossman had a dirty, annoying secret. One that was partially shared with B-Dub, but not so much as hinted to Foster and me. We were blindsided (blindsighted?), or should I say deafsided, by this ancient fossil of a creature with the most mind-splicing voice ever to be belched into my ear at point-blank.

Think of Dorothy Zbornak, the salty old thing from Golden Girls, played by the unparalleled Bea Arthur herself. Can you hear her voice? A bit mannish, yeah?

Now mix in a smidge of Large Marge, the undead truck driver from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. She had the look and the cackle to match.

Lastly, gingerly apply the rasp and grate of Gargamel, would-be destructor of the benevolent Smurfs. Nails on a chalkboard through a megaphone with screeching feedback doesn't begin to compare.

And the worst part is this old relic was a broken record. She basically had two banshee (or more appropriately, manshee) calls. When the Illini had the ball, she screamed "Let's Go!" But that's not really giving you the full effect. Because it sounded more like "S'GOOOHHHWWW!!!!!" And she managed to drag out the word into three separate syllables. Not sure how. When Wisconsin had the ball, she yelled "Defense!" But again, phoenetically, it sounded more like "Key-FEEEEHHHNNNZ!!!!" or sometimes just "FEEEEHHHNNNZ!!!"

As you know, the ball is run up and down the court many many times in a single game. When possession was turned over, Gargamel "Large Marge" Zbornak took it upon herself to belch out the same damned two phrases OVER AND OVER AND OVER at ear-piercing decibels within spitting distance. B-Dub should know, because he got a spittle bath the whole time. Serves him right for not warning us.

One time, she literally screamed "S'GO" for five seconds. Doesn't seem like a long time, does it? Grab the nearest child, spouse, or take yourself. Find a time piece, like a stopwatch or clock with a second hand. Now have your assistant scream as loud as he can for five seconds just behind you. If you are by yourself, find a small enclosed room to mimic the effect.

Pleasant, wasn't it?

Thus was our adventure with Gargamel Zbornak. It was both annoying and funny at the same time. I had to break out laughing on several occasions and try to mask it for something else. Afterward, we had the chance to talk about it openly (and without shame) and B-Dub said the last thing his boss told him on the phone was "S'GO! You'll know what it means." Did we ever!

Naturally, we had a field day coming up with her nicknames and making her say all the catchphrases of her character's likenesses:

"Tell em, Large Marge sent ya! S'GOOOOAAAAAWWWW!"

"Ma, the next time Stanley calls me, I'm going to belch in his face!"

"Azrael! To destroy those Smurfs, we must break through their Key-FEEEENNNNNZZZ!"

We were in stitches. There were two instances when she was yelling at some player to go or shoot the ball and they didn't make it (and there were plenty of didn't-make-it moments), she muttered ever so softly:


I think one of those was followed by a gutteral smoker's hack. We were surprised she still had a voice after that. And disappointed.

I'm all for yelling and swinging my rally towel 'round my head like a helicoptah, but let us all remember one thing. When you are in Section Way-The-Hell-Back-And-Up-There, feel free to yell, but don't banshee blast everyone at ground zero like they can hear you on the court. Because they most certainly can't. And you won't sway the game anyway. And I enjoy my hearing. And you aren't the sports commentator, else you'd have the job.

I've said my peace. And I'm finally happy to have hers, too.


East of Oregon said...

interesting blog - I gave you a shout out on mine- take care:)

Bubz The Troll said...

It's the Wisconsin Badgers ya f.i.b. Key-FEEEENNNNZZZZ!

Just playin' :)

Army said...

Thanks, East of Oregon! I peeked at your blog earlier today and plan to give it a full-over soon : )

Bubz, my troll, I now know where your loyalties lie. And now I know just how to "badger" you <-- worst pun this week!

Vicki said...

I have a suggestion. The next time the tickets come your way, give them to Blurt McLoud!!! Let the noise begin!

Bubz The Troll said...

I don't follow sports.

bkdubya said...

I sent this post to Mr. Bossman.

We'll see what he has to say! LOL!