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Monday, 13 August 2007

"Who's On First"

Abbott: Well, Costello, I'm going to New York with you. Bucky Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.

Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.

Abbott: I certainly do.

Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.

Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.

Costello: You mean funny names?

Abbott: Strange names, pet names.

Costello: For example?

Abbott: Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third…

Costello: What?

Abbott: He's on second.

Costello: No, I'm asking you. What? What are their names?

Abbott: Well, as I said, we have Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third…

Costello: Are you fucking kidding me?

Abbott: What do you mean?

Costello: Those are their nicknames? Who? What? I Don't Know?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: That's fucking stupid.

Abbott: Stupid?

Costello: What the fuck kind of nicknames . . . you're totally fucking with me.

Abbott: Not at all.

Costello: Knock it the fuck off. What are the real nicknames? Hambone? Knuckles? Wolfman? What?

Abbott: He's on second. Like I said, Who's on first-

Costello: Stop that shit or I'm going to bash your fucking mouth in with this Adirondack Special.

Abbott: There's no need to get hostile. I'm just telling you that Who's on first-

Costello: An interrogative pronoun.

Abbott: What?

Costello: Who is an interrogative pronoun. It's not a nickname.

Abbott: What?

Costello: Oh, I thought he was on second, right? Straighten the fuck out.

Abbott: No, I'm asking you, what?

Costello: And I'm telling you. What is a relative pronoun. Again, a shitty nickname. How do you earn the nickname What? What the fuck do you do to earn such an insipid nickname? It's just not plausible. If you have red hair, they call you Red. If you throw left handed, they call you Lefty. Simple. What on god's green earth would you do to earn the nickname What? Maybe he's deaf or something, but then he wouldn't be a professional baseball player. Maybe he's a bad listener? Then call him Dipshit or Dickhead or something. But What? Come on . . .

Abbott: I was just trying to-

Costello: Trying to what?

Abbott: He's on-

Costello: Don't fucking say it.

Abbott: What?

Costello: Oh, so you're asking me now? You understand that using pronouns as nicknames is asinine?

Abbott: I don't know.

Costello: You're goddamn right you don't know.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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