Board of Directors
The Explorers Society
As the greatest living explorer since Sir Mallory Heyerdahl , I am compelled to describe my discovery, a find that will astound you.
I had heard a wondrous tale of a great stone and copper coliseum at the edge of civilization, a tale sufficiently tantalizing to move me to mutter, “by Jove,” buff my monocle and mount an expedition to the village called “Tucson” to see the great temple with my own eyes.
Despite Lord Pillsbury’s derision of my plans as “poppycock,” I donned my pith helmet, assembled my team and set out in search of the famed edifice, a monumental structure I came to know as “McKale,” a space as sacred and central to the lives of the Tucson peoples as Stonehenge was to the neolithic Druids.
Here is my account.
Nov. 11, nightfall — Upon arriving in the heart of Tucson we came upon thousands of natives, known as the Wildcat People who were in the midst of what appeared to be a holy pilgrimage. Every man, woman and child was wearing a red vestment emblazoned with their most sacred hieroglyph, the letter “A.” We followed them as they converged on the spectacular temple we had been seeking.
Once inside, our Sherpa led us to our seats, high above the field of battle. The high altitude called to mind my expedition to the summit of Mount Wilt in the Chamberlain
Islands. On that trek I almost perished twice from a lack of oxygen, Perrier and edible popcorn.
Inside the great temple I witnessed a tribal spectacle, more astonishing than any I had ever witnessed, of young warriors, called Basket Cats, engaging in a theater of mock combat their disciples called “basketball,” a ritualized struggle so intense that their followers were moved to howl like beasts and fall into a state of hysteria more intense than that of the whirling Lutes of St. Olson.
Looking to the heavens, I saw the Mighty Jumbotron, an all-seeing magic talking box suspended above the court. Like a Tiki god, it thundered and welcomed the visiting combatants, a pygmy tribe from the land called Long Beach. Mighty Jumbotron thundered again, heralding the arrival of the Wildcat warriors, at which point I witnessed a display of emotion unrivaled since the people of LeBron greeted King Olajuwon, at the Festival of Yao Ming.
Drums thumped, horns wailed and vestal women called “cheerleaders” chanted war prayers and shook tinsel bouquets at the combatants. As tall as the Globetrotting peoples of the Harlem Islands and as graceful as the Mantelopes of Kerr, the Spartans from beyond the Sea of Nike walked onto the court.
The village reverently stood for an anthem consecrating the imminent mock war and then a shaman, wearing a cloth of black stripes, tossed what appeared to be a pumpkin in the middle of the two tribes. Wearing ceremonial silk pajamas, the combatants bounced the pumpkin up and down and then proceeded to take the pumpkin away from each other, struggling in earnest to fling the pumpkin through the metal hoops at both ends of the court.
The village elders clapped, hooted and slapped each other’s backs like the Hakeem
celebrants of old St. Jordan while a giant cat, “The Wilbur,” performed a war dance wearing a ceremonial hat favored by agrarian cattle herders in the 19th century.
Mighty Jumbotron shouted at the worshippers below, shared visions of the past and future, and kept an account of the sphere lobbing, while the tribesmen defended their basket totems with a ferocity I had not seen since I saw Kareem Abdul defend his harem from the armies of Jabbar.
At the top of the patriarchy was a mighty chief called The Sean Miller,
who resembled the peoples of the Jimmy Kimmel tribe. It was unclear to me what he milled, but his sage counsel was heeded by his warriors. During the game he talked with his hands to the sky.
During the pumpkin lobbing the natives shouted rhythmic chants of support, believing their vocalizations had a magical effect on the flying orb and the skill level of their team, calling to mind the Kobe shamans of the Shaquille Islands who believed they could levitate coconuts by yodeling.
Clearly, the hoops represented some kind of fertility totems because the tribe with the greatest number of pumpkins passed through the hoops behaved as though their crop yields would be extraordinarily bountiful.
The “A” tribe, having lobbed more pumpkins than the Long Beach tribe, had won the day. Days later they crushed the Sand peoples of Diego. At this time the villagers spoke of a mysterious “Final Four,” an event occurring around the spring equinox that must be some kind of apocalyptic rite of purification.
I wish to return and study these people and with this noble objective in mind I am requesting a Sherpa, a guide, supplies for an extended expedition and season tickets.
Your humble servant,
Sir Woolworth Carruthers