Pieces of Pie: An Update on the NBA Lockout
The players (and their agents) are down to 52%, but the owners and David Stern want them to come all the way down to 50%, so here we are with a month’s worth of games cancelled because the two sides can’t agree on what to do with the two percent difference. My suggestion: split revenue 51% to 49%, allowing players to feel more powerful than they are and, more importantly, making way for games to begin as soon as possible. Anyway, the situation is ridiculously petty, and here’s an anecdote that proves it:
The pie came at the end of the meal, as desserts typically do, but Billy Hunter wanted none of it. When the waitress placed a snow white plate in front of him, Billy nudged it toward the center of the table with the heel of his palm and looked out the window of the diner, disgusted.
Most of the protestors and picketers had dispersed after the Molotov Cocktail through the Mr. Stern’s Wall Street window disrupted negotiations by bursting whatever progress had been made into flames, and now the streets were lined with women in tight dresses and men in sports jackets trying to hail cabs to drunken destinations.
Billy looked at the pie in the center of the table, its crust brown and flaky, its blueberry core venting steam like a volcano underneath a national park. Perhaps, even if he didn’t want any for himself, he could take some of it home to his kids, maybe, after fifteen straight hours of stagnant negotiations, going home with a pie wrapped in tin foil might leave him feeling something other than tired and empty handed as walked through the front door, hung his keys on a metal hook, and slid into his Sunday morning slippers.
“Not gonna have any, Billy?” asked David Stern, stubble sprouting from his jawbone.
Billy looked at his adversary, whose sleeve was singed from the rage of a Molotov Cocktail. “No, David, you ordered it. If there’s some left maybe I’ll take it home–give it to the kids.”
David shrugged his shoulders, picked up a silver knife, and cut into the pie. Then he traded the knife for a fork like he was switching scalpels and carved a piece out for his mouth, and as he did so, the filling spilled out of the crust and covered the porcelain beach in a tide of navy blue oil. He lifted his fork to his mouth and took a bite. The warmth of the pie nearly burn his tongue, and while the blueberries overran his taste buds with the sweetness of a fading summer, he couldn’t help but detect a hint of smoke in the dryness of the crust–in fact, the whole late night dinner meeting he had tasted the smoke of their failed negotiations, in his tea, in his tuna melt, in his fries–even in the ketchup.
“Mmmhmmmmm, this is good pie, Billy,” he said, not looking at Billy, his mouth still full and oozing juice at the corners of his lips. He looked like a pie sucking Dracula, thought Billy. “Really good.”
David did not mention anything about the ashtray aftertaste.
The two men sat in silence, the only sounds coming from David’s mouth and the diner’s other patrons. Billy ordered a cup of coffee with a nod, desperate to stay awake, and was ready to ask for his share of the pie to be put in a box when David cut another piece and started eating it.
“Just delicious,” he said in between bites, and the hollowness of his grin as he said it made Billy wonder if Stern really liked the pie or if it was the fact that by eating it he could waste more of Billy’s time.
“I have to use the bathroom.” Billy excused himself form the table.
When he returned, David was on a different piece of pie, only now he was stabbing his fork into the uncut bulk of the entire pie, eating right off the serving dish, and Billy found himself full of anger, pressure building up inside him, for the first time in what had been a very long night, as David butchered the crust of the pie: cutting here, hacking there, flakes of crust falling to the table, and blueberry blood everywhere.
Billy looked for the waiter, raised his hand in despair like some geyser exploding into the sky, hoping somebody might come by the table and stop the heedless violence.
“Good pie,” said David. “Sure you don’t want some–”
He extended his fork to Billy, its prongs jutting through the dripping husk of a blueberry’s skin, and while eyeing the sagging bruise of a skull, something in Billy snapped; and he cried out like some fictional character, like Chinua Achebe’s Okonkwo, that yes! yes! he did want a piece of the pie! He grabbed the plate, still hot from the stove, and sprinted headlong for the door.
He spun around the waiter, sidestepped a drunk woman in a pink dress, but he could not dodge Derek Fisher as he scooted back his chair. And like all thermal activity that gets jettisoned into the air, Billy Hunter came splattering back down to Earth. There was the sound of breaking glass underneath his sternum, and he wondered if he had been stabbed as what felt like warm blood seeped through his shirt and onto his skin. When he rolled over, he couldn’t help but think how much the purple stains on his blue shirt gave off the impression that his heart had burst wide open.
Behind him, over the sounds of Derek Fisher apologizing, Billy Hunter could hear David Stern’s dry sense of humor: “Ma’am, we’re gonna need a box for that.”
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 2 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Attorney Actually Starting to Believe Own Bullshit
- 10 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook