“Stop!” he yelled, jumping to his feet. He slapped his hands down on the chess sets, scattering the pieces across the sidewalk. People stopped to watch. His face went red, and he shouted, “I MUST TELL YOU THAT I AM THE GREATEST CHESS PLAYER OF ALL TIME!”
Read the rest, from Matthew Teague.
Or even better, play the chess king himself.
You aren’t wary of my colossal midsection. Most of you give up your naps and window positions and come close enough to be touched.
After a few minutes of small talk—kisses, clucking—I tell you my deepest secrets. I tell you that I’m afraid of becoming a mother. That I’ve never lost someone I love. That I don’t want to move to a place with long winters.
I know people are constantly taking things from you, but you seem to accept this role.
You converge, aggressively loving. You chew my shoelaces, headbutt my enormous belly, walk confidently across my lap, settle in next to my hips, rub your chins on my outstretched fingers. For the first time in weeks I am calm, refreshed. I am, like many, sustained by what you have to give.
Megan Mayhew Bergman, “Ode to the Blood Bank Cats” OA73
Outside the Winn Parish Courthouse on Main Street stands a bronze statue of Winnfield’s most famous son. He’s nattily dressed in a three-piece suit and appears taller and thinner than in pictures. A plaque nearby describes him matter-of-factly as a lawyer, administrator, statesman; in the “Home of Three Governors,” the legendary exploits of Huey Pierce Long, Jr. need not be oversold.
Read the rest of Eric Benson’s piece, from our latest issue.
Carson Sanders from Ain’t-Bad Magazine sounds off in #eyesonthesouth.
Photo by Sara Macel.
The dog show is not a show about dogs. It’s a show about people. It’s a show about their hubris and senselessness and absurd passion for ceremony. It’s about the queasy mimesis of animal-human relationships (dogs look like their owners; vanity on the part of the owner becomes mutually beneficial for dog and man, and uncanny to clued-in onlookers). And the dog show is about yelling. In other sports, passion has triggers: a goal, a collusion, a suspect call. In the dog show, it’s just the dog, that they exist, and how. The housewives in Labrador sweatshirts dotting the cheap seats don’t even know what a dewflap is, nor do they need to. When the Lab trots out, these complications disappear, funneled into blind shouting, true spectacle, an ocean of spittle and pomp coursing through Madison Square Garden, as indiscriminate as a flood, infinitely less natural but no less arresting.
Mike Powell, “The Most Allegorical Sporting Event in America?” OA59
"What about the Razorbacks? You a Razorback fan?"
102.9 The Red has a group of women called the Red Hots, who represent the station. The Hots are mostly twenty-somethings with ample upper arms who generously fill out identical tank tops. On the station’s website, there are photographs of the Hots and each is accompanied by a profile to educate the Hot’s public on her particular likes, dislikes, proclivities, and passions.
The Hots are Razorback fans.
Like most of the Hots, I grew up in a small Arkansas town. It was a hundred and eighty miles from the University of Arkansas, but my family watched the Razorbacks on television, yelling at our TV as if we had a personal stake, which we certainly did not, but Arkansas had no pro teams, and the Razorbacks were the biggest thing we had to get behind.
I went to school at the University of Arkansas. I live close to the stadium. I work for the university. A lot of the fans walk past my house on their way to games, wearing their red clothes, or drive by like a parade, with their whipping car flags.
"I like to see them win," I ad-libbed. "I went to school there."
A Hot would’ve said, “Go Hogs!” or “Darren McFadden is a babe!” She would’ve done the Hog Call if asked. The rare Hot who is not from Arkansas will admit on her profile that she is from, say, Wisconsin, then rush in to say, “But dont worry cuz I’m not a Badger fan! ;) GO HOGS!!!!!!!!”
In addition to being Razorback fans, the Hots also seem, disproportionately, to find bad breath a turnoff. Go figure.
Melissa King, “Radio Star” OA59