A Christmas story – Part 3

On the eve of a highly publicized tournament, Bill Zeebut suggested that to secure a victory, Marcel ought to slightly “incapacitate” one of his main challengers.
Maybe trip him to bruise one of his legs or arrange a little car accident. Nothing serious mind you… just a little fender-bender to shake his confidence…

BelzebuthMarcel who desperately wanted to win this tournament toyed briefly with the idea. After all, he had not been asked to kill somebody, just to scare him a little.
It is done everyday… in business, in politics, in the affairs of the heart…
It is common practice… it’s no big deal…

But the idea still bothered him. He was glad to be successful, to be recognized as a good player, but it seemed to him that people were not as friendly as they used to be.
Everybody seemed tense and hostile.

Ultimately Marcel decided that he couldn’t harm anybody. He would just play his best and leave the rest to fate. He had after all become a good player and could win this event on his own.

The day of tournament, to the surprise of many he started to play very erratically. His boules went all over the field.
Desperate to score, he tried to mind-control his balls, but they seemed strangely unresponsive.
In spite of repeated urgent messages, they were now following a capricious course, often swerving away from the cochonnet.

He went into a cold sweat realizing that he was losing control of the situation.  Suddenly he recognized Bill Zeebut among the spectators. The man was smiling malevolently.
Marcel understood right away that Bill was punishing him for disregarding his instructions.

He tried to concentrate on the game and regain control of the situation but to no avail. And the worst he played, the broader Bill’s smile became.
Marcel grew very angry. As he was getting ready to shoot, he saw Bill Zeebut at the opposite end of the field, still grinning.
He threw his boule with the despair of a man firing his last javelin.

He saw the ball moving in slow motion toward its target, and beyond that he also caught sight of the smirk of his former benefactor.
Suddenly filled with a murderous rage, he summoned his waning powers and ordered his boule to strike that evil grinning bastard.
The boule seemed to hesitate…
“Hit him, hit him” moaned an exhausted Marcel.

The boule regained momentum and sped toward Bill Zeebut.
A few seconds before impact, Bill suddenly vaporized leaving in his place a small sulfurous cloud.
Strangely few people noticed his disappearance.

Marcel lost the tournament by a wide margin.
After this, he never heard from Bill Zeebut again.

He now wins very few games but he has regained the friendship of his peers and his wife has stopped sulking and is cooking for him again.
Even his kids are now (sparingly) talking to him.

He is looking forward to Christmas and can even joke about his losing streak.

Moral of the story:

“The problem with winning the rat race is (that after winning) you are still a rat.”
Lily Tomlin

Alain

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année a tous!

 

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