“What now?” I ask again (canned laughter). Shall we celebrate 25 by shutting the column down?
David: Can we just skip to the part where you make fun of me, and then I get bathtub-level sad.
Gary: I’m serious, the end approaches. You’re not grasping the gravity of the situation. I feel like Butch and Sundance in their foxhole.
David: Thelma and Louise, please.
Gary: David, what if we broke character just this once and did something . . . What’s the word I’m looking for?
. . . Positive!
David: What!?!? We talk about Justin Gatlin all the time!
Gary: No man, like, “good.” We’re always talking about doing it, consensually.
David (shaking head in embarrassment): Gary?
Gary: Being positive. We should go out in a blaze of glory, ending it all on a positive note. Truthfully, I feel the weight of negativity is taking a toll on my health, and youth league soccer coaching.
I wonder if the tactical psychology techniques that I employ in the Dave and Gary column are not perhaps seeping into my coaching approach?
Just the other day I told a seven year old girl on the team that I was going to put a kitten in a blender for every goal that she missed this season and that her face reminded me of throw up. The smell.
David: My therapist tells me to shut up whenever I bring up the column. Gary? While we’re sharing, I uh…I think I might talk too much.
Gary (initiating constraint with a deep sigh): . . . Positive.
Unfortunately, due to litigation, I feel that coach of the year accolades are just out of my reach.I also think that the PCP (that’s Point? Counter Point) column, which started out as an experiment in creative journalism is starting to take over my being, like Mr. Hyde in that classic tale of Dr. Jackal and his epic struggle with undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
David: Is there some medication you can take?
David: I’m a fan of Gilmore Girls.
Gary: And I can see it’s working. A professional colleague the other day asked how I come up with some of the stuff that we include in our D&G (Dave and Gary) column.
David: Can I step out of character? What? And uh, huh? . . . Actually, wait, how do you get these ideas?
Gary: I bang my head against a hard desk, hard, repeatedly, until I get ideas. That and plagiarism.
David: I thought you were embracing this writing project? Didn’t you study journalism?
Gary: True Dat! I studied it all the way up! At F K, Foolio!
David: F K?
David: You’re fine, I’m sure this…
Gary: RYAN LOCHTE IS LIVING PROOF THAT RAP MUSIC RUINS YOUR BRAIN!!!
David: Breathe Gary. Breathe.
Gary (clutching hair in hands) See?! That was totally unprompted! PCP, I’m telling you. And I happen to really like Ryan Lochte. Even if he does micturate in the pool.
David: Gary, let’s do a little Frankie Goes to Hollywood here. I know we are terrible at this, but that’s our angle. Plus, we’re getting much less bad.
Gary: Getting better at being bad means getting worse. But maybe we have come a long way. I was so proud of the first PCP banner that I made on my $9.99 app. Compared to the banner masterpieces that I crank out now? Whichever way we’re headed we seem to be making great strides, in a hand basket.
What has been your favorite PCP banner?
David (suddenly turning chipper): The next one buddy! Always the next one. Do you know how boring it is being me? What would I do without looking forward to our Chat Room Deer Hunter Roulette sessions? Or Video Pilates Conferences? Or private swim meets?
Gary: We’ve never done any of that.
David: But we could! It’s like NBC said, We Are Young! It seems a shame that we have only one last column to post on Swim Swam.
Then again, like every band that gets more than 5,000 fans, I suppose we are no longer cool in my book. You’re right. I quit.
(putting on his best Danny-Glover-I’m-getting-too-old-for-this-Riggs face)…it was quite a ride though.
Gary (interrupting): I’m getting too old for this!
David: Oh man, we have had some good times too.
Gary: Some good times to be sure! It’s fitting that the end accompanies Fall, a season of dying. And scotch.
David: I guess message board critic “Scott Waterman” wrote Swim Swam over 742 hate letters requesting our removal from the site. At least that’s something to be proud of. It’s a shame he died.
David: Before his time…
Gary: Flowers die, Dave. All beauty withers.
David (speculating): We may have inspired someone along the way?
Gary: Katrina Radke? I doubt it.
David: Yeah…So what was your favorite column?
Gary: So many to choose from! The one that stands out, where the magic was realized, was the North Korean swimmer interview.
That’s where we started to hit our stride. There were quite a few columns in there that felt edgy for a swim site. You edited out of every column what I thought was the funniest (and most vile) material. I’m still disappointed that you vetoed the “Ruprecht T. Firefly” pedophilia column. That was hilarious!
David: I know we’re both all about using humor to point out that it’s really weird how little is talked about how awful that particular issue continues to be in swimming…
Gary: Amazingly, because it seems too pervasive from the start, how the issue of pedophilia continues to escalate in the sport.
David: Right. But anyway, you would be in jail right now if it weren’t for my editing. You compared the sex scandal to…
Gary (cutting off David): Imprisoned with my own funniness as a bunk mate! Sounds like a hilarious sitcom. I wonder who gets top?
David: That’s the horrible person I love! You’re back.
David: If we aren’t going to do PCP anymore, what will you do with yourself?
Gary: I might start volunteering my stand up services down at The Laugh Suppository, the local comedy club.
David: Are you serious?
Gary: I’m not serious, Dave. I’m positive.