The 4-1-1 on the 9-1-1

"9-1-1. State the nature of your emergency."

"Yes, I would like to report a kidnapping."

"Kidnapping? That's serious, sir. The name of the victim?"

"Actually, it's more than one person ..."

"What? Okay, then how about you tell me the names of the victims?"

"I'd like to, but actually, I can't recall all of the names."

"Listen pal, are you aware that prank calling this number is a serious crime? We have more serious things to attend to here ..."

"Oh, did someone just arrive with a box of donuts?"

"Okay wiseguy, now you are in serious troub–"

"I'm sorry, I'm just distraught about the kidnappings."

"Then give me some names, and pronto."

"Like I said, I can't recall all of them, but I do know most of ..."

"Sir, are you calling from a retirement home? Mental institution?"

"Just hear me out. I'm calling about the Cleveland Browns."

"Then call a sports talk show. This ain't Trivisonno, you know."

"I feel blessed for that. But about the Browns. Someone has to have kidnapped the entire team, or at least most of them."

"The entire team, huh? Musta been one big getaway vehicle. Did anyone get a license plate number?"

"Would you cease with the sarcasm and just hear me out, please? I'm talking about our pro football team."

"There you go again with the wisecracks."

I'm sorry. What do you mean?

"You called them 'pro' ..."

"I get it. Ha, ha, ha. NOW who's the comedian?"

"Okay buddy, suppose you tell me who has been kidnapped from the Browns."

"Odell Beckham Jr., for starters. The guy we traded for has been kidnapped and replaced by one not nearly as gifted."

"Like who?"

"The guy wearing number 13 right now looks more like Greg Little than Odell Beckham Jr."

"Wow, that's quite a switch. Anyone else?"

"Absolutely. Our quarterback used to be Baker Mayfield. The guy last year played like a NFL quarterback. Like Brian Sipe back in the day. This year, though, he plays like ..."

"Okay, I give up. He plays like who, then?"

"Brandon Weeden."

"Ouch, that's quite a difference. Anyone else?"

"Yeah. How about our head coach? Last year, Freddie Kitchens was heralded as the next Vince Lombardi. This year, he's been a bumbling oaf, and has looked more like ..."

"C'mon pal, spit it out. Like who?"

"Pat Shurmur."

"This is worse than I thought. We'll get right on it. But, based on the quality of football I've seen the last two decades, you know what you need to do next time the Cleveland Browns disappear?"

"No, what should I do?"

"Count your blessings and hope that those guys stay disappeared."

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 11, Issue 20, Posted 9:20 AM, 10.15.2019