Tuesday, November 6, 2001
The Yankees are dead; long live the Yankees
By Hunter S. Thompson Page 2 columnist
That evil warpo from up the road appeared at my door on Sunday night and asked if he could watch Game 7 of the World Series with us. He said he wanted to bet big money on the New York Yankees, because he felt so sorry for them. "They are incredibly brave men," he said "But there is no dishonor in losing to better and braver men."
Whoops, I thought, welcome to the night train. This is the same suspicious pervert I've been watching 24 hours a day for the past month with nothing to show for it -- why is he suddenly knocking on my door and begging to gamble on baseball? "What do you want?" I asked him. "Why are you hanging around my house at night? Are you Omar?"
"Exactly," he responded. "I am Omar and I want to watch the Yankees with my neighbors."
I went into a knife-fighting crouch, although I had no knife -- and just then a sultry looking woman about 25 years old appeared beside Omar, and he introduced her as "Princess Omin, my little sister. She also loves the Yankees."
Ye gods, I thought. This creep is more evil than I thought, and now he brings this Woman! I was confused. Princess Omin was extending a delicate little hand to me now, so I took it and kissed it nervously. She was wearing a light blue shawl that kept her face in shadow, but I sensed she was smiling at me, and I felt my fear disappearing.
Derek Jeter and the Yankes felt like Omar losing a big bet on Sunday.
"Wonderful," I heard myself saying. "Come right in. Why didn't you tell me you had such a beautiful sister, Omar? This changes everything. How much do you want to bet? Come inside and meet my other guests. Does Princess Omin also want to gamble?"
An odd mix of people had gathered in my lounge that day for the games. The County Coroner was there, along with the Sheriff, an extremely bigoted astrophysicist, and four elegant blonde women looking to work out on somebody -- but not necessarily Omar, who was viewed in the neighborhood as an extremely dark influence, and they were not entirely ready to have him sitting behind them on a stool for the next four hours. All they knew about him was that he hung around the Post Office every afternoon, whistling at women and muttering to himself in a language that none of us knew. The Coroner said he was a dangerous creep who was pushing his luck and should probably be put to sleep.
"Stop talking like that," I told him when we went out on the porch to speak privately. "That sister of his isn't going to hurt anybody, as long as we give her a seat. Why don't you ask her if she wants to sit on your lap?"
"Screw off," he replied. "I'll fry in hell before I let that woman sit on my lap! She is a lot crazier than Omar."
"Nonsense," I said. "They want to bet a Thousand dollars ($1,000) on the Yankees and give three to one."
"Well, that's different," he said quickly. "We know the Yankees are going to lose, don't we?"
"You bet," I said. "I guarantee it."
"Oh?" he said with a slow nod, as if he were lost in thought. "Will you give three to one."
Just then, Princess Omin came out on the porch and clapped her hands over the Coroner's eyes, from behind. He screamed something incoherent and dropped to his knees, then he fell against the woodpile and passed out.
The girl rushed to help him, but I waved her off. "Never mind that fool," I said with a cruel chuckle. "He is history."
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It was true. The Coroner had given up his chair, and he would never get it back. Princess Omin accepted it gracefully, and quickly became the center of attention. Omar took a stance behind her, massaging her shoulders and looking more like a dangerous pervert than I felt I could tolerate.
"Get away from that girl," I barked at him. "I thought you came here to gamble, not to fondle your sister in public!"
"Exactly," Omar replied suavely. "We will bet ten thousand dollars on the Yankees. They are very brave men."
"They are Losers," I said. "You are nutty as a fruitcake, Omar,but I can't resist gambling with you."
"We will see," he hissed. "I have plenty of money -- and if I lose I will leave my sister with you until I pay."
Just then Anita came into the room and slapped him sharply on the side of his head. He staggered momentarily, but said nothing.The sight of it filled me with dread, so I quickly fell asleep and left the others to deal with him.
When I woke up four hours later, the Yankees were leading 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth. My friends were laughing greedily and Omar was gone. I felt queasiness in my stomach, but I refused to cave in to it -- and just then the Yankees made a horrible error that put men on first and second with no outs. Yes, I thought, this dynasty is ready to fall. Princess Omin was weeping softly, but I tried to ignore her. The whole room understood that whatever happened next was going to be awkward.
There was no time to brood on it, however, because a Diamondback hitter had looped a single into left-center and the game was over. ... And that's how the story ends, folks. Omar's little sister is living with us now. She sleeps in the attic and never talks. We are trying to take the situation one day at a time. Anita has come to like her, and I have abandoned all hope of Omar ever paying off. But so what? At least he is gone from the neighborhood,and that is what really matters. He was an evil freak, and I hope he never comes back. Life can be strange in the wilderness, especially when foreigners wander in and say unfortunate things for no reason at all. The Yankees are dead, long live the Yankees.
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex and The Rum Diary. His new book, Fear and Loathing in America, has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," appears each Monday on Page 2.