by William Reick
Air hockey. It’s America’s fats’ national pastime. The clickity-clack of that puck. The swish swish of those things that you use to hit that puck. The salty tears of defeat as you older brother cheats his way to his sixth consecutive victory. It must be air hockey season. But what if it’s not? What do you do with that table during the nine months out of the year that AREN’T air hockey season? We’ve asked ten of the nation’s foremost passersby what they do with their air hockey tables during the off-season.
“Heck, it feels like I’m always playing. But when I’m not, I leave the table on. I pour a little water into each goal and use it as a humidifier. Hoowee it keeps my basement nice and moist.” – Terry, 37, walked by me at 7:04.
“In addition to being a air hockey-player, I’m a model sailboat enthusiast. So when it ain’t puck season, I strap the whole thing to one of my precious sailboats and watch as the air from the table fills the sails like the wings of an angel.” – Oswalt, 84, walked by me around lunchtime.
“Me and my brother have been trying to patent this idea, actually. We figure, since you have that air blowing out of the top of the table, if you just flip the whole thing upside down, well you got yourself one big ol’ hoverboard. It’s hoverin’ time, baby.” - Unnamed small German boy, walked by me at 1:32.
“You and your cousins haven’t touched that thing in years! I’ve been stacking completed puzzles on it for as long as I remember.” – Mom, made me my lunch.
“Here’s the key to staying in shape during the off-season. Now, this might seem a little strange, but I assure you, it’s Kosher. What you do is, as soon as the season is over, you turn off the air switch. Bare with me. What you have now is referred to in some circles as table hockey. Sure you gotta try harder to move that puck, but that’s only going to make you better come next season.” – A strong man. Walked by me at 1:50.
“Have any of you seen a small boy wearing lederhosen? I’d love to answer your questions some other time, but right now, I’m searching for my missing son, Wilhelm.” – Some asshole, walked by me at jerk o’clock.
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain, dead since 1910.
“Please help us. Our son has been missing for two days now! He kept repeating over and over ‘It’s hover time, baby.’ You’ve got to help us!” – That asshole’s wife, probably.
“Holy shit, was that the ghost of Mark Twain? I bet he’d know a thing or two about knocking them pucks around.” – Bryce, 22, walked by me a little closer to mid-afternoon.
“I think what’s best for everybody in the village is to scrap the table for firewood. We’ll keep the young ones warm while we go out to hunt.” – Ilyaana Woloszczowski, 33, walked by me at 4:00 on the dot.
Bill Reick is a sketch comedy writer from Philadelphia