Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Dan Snyder's dumbass libel suit chokes on a crab puff at a cocktail party. (For those of you keeping track, this is "We Are All Dave McKenna CX.")
Today: the fourth installment of "The Snydering," our satirical, non-libelous Dan Snyder serial group fiction. For more about "The Snydering" and how to play, please read this explanation.
Part I: Our narrator arrives at Dan Snyder's mansion for a Spring Bacchanal and Cornhole Tournament and is greeted by Tony Wyllie.
Part II: The party password triggers a series of disturbing flashbacks for Dan Snyder, the last of which involves heavy man-on-man action with Tony Wyllie.
Part III: Our narrator, Cooke, descends into Snyder's fighting pit, where he encounters the terrifying Bligle, who, to Snyder's chagrin, prefers hors d'oeuvres to human flesh.
Part IV: Cooke And Bligle Jim Escape To The Potomac, by J.T.:
My body reacted with the instincts I'd acquired over countless hours of drills and practice snaps as a hustling white guy backup linebacker and special teamer at the University of Maryland. Turning and crouching, I quickly scanned the field, diagnosing the play, even as I flashed low and hard to the gate. In that brief moment, my eyes locked on those of the creature, which with its superior athleticism had itself already covered some 20 yards. Within this visual embrace between just-a-man and more-than-beast, across the span of space and evolution, was an instant acknowledgement: whether we liked it or not, our fates were intertwined.
"This way!" shouted the butler, his jarring voice now projecting the unnecessarily overwrought gravity of Christian Bale's Batman.
The bligle dashed through the gates, I quickly after it. As I passed the tuxedoed man I slowed only slightly, looking back as I ran, my eyes searching his own for instruction and understanding. Even in that moment, I wanted to know — why had he helped me, when he surely stood to face the wrath of Snyder?
"Follow the bligle," he called after me. What other choice did I have?
The bligle was ahead in the courtyard, its back arched and hands grasping something on the ground. I noticed with unease that the courtyard was littered with strange animal corpses and dried blood.
The call of the bligle. It melds a muscular, minotaur roar and piercing, avian shriek into a singular sound both hideous and desperately fearsome. The monstrous yelp dominated the fading evening. Digging its clawed raptor toes into the grass-covered courtyard, the beast pulled mightily on a large grate with gargantuan furry paws, attempting against reason to tear it from its heavy, welded mooring. As sweat materialized on the bligle's feathered brow, hope rose within me.
As I reached the bligle I looked back to Snyder and his cohort. They seemed strangely unmoved by what was, for me, an enormously confusing and panicked situation. Then I noticed something inexplicable: the crowd was all donning odd masks covering only their noses. Possibilities swirled in my head. Were they about to release some kind of gas to debilitate me and the bligle? But the masks were oddly familiar to me as a longtime why-can't-they-just-sign-hustling-white-guys-like-they-used-to-hey!-Kerrigan-was-a-great-pick Redskins fan.
Of course! It was the mask of the Hogettes — the treasured matriarchs of RFK Stadium who donned rubber pig snouts (and ladies' clothing) in honor of the Redskins' hustling white guy (mostly) offensive lines of The Real Joe Gibbs Era. This deeply cynical action only confused me further. Sure, by wearing the hogmask, Snyder and his fellow owners were openly mocking the NFL fans who yearned for a return of those days of yore — in particular, the long-suffering Redskins fans who wander aimlessly around purple, green, and orange-adorned FedEx Field with eyes amist and memories churning of the Hogs and the Posse, of bouncing stands, of Darrel Green and Dexter Manley and Chip Lohmiller and everything good and holy. But why now?
The bligle still worked feverishly, unleashing its mighty call with each attempt, when we heard another sound.
"HRRRAAWNNKKKK hrawnk hrawnk hrawnk hrawnk ...."
The bligle looked over its shoulder with a frustrated expression.
'Goddammit,' I thought, 'not another genetically manipulated Snyder freakshow superbeast.' But it was.
Suddenly the hog masks made (some) sense. Several men stepped forward from the crowd. I could make out Snyder, Jerry Jones, Al Davis, and three other decrepit white dudes. They wore thick leather arm covers, and perched on top of each was an ungodly sight — horned, winged, flying fucking wildebeest bird things, each hrawnking and snorting at the top of its lungs and lusting feverishly in the direction of the courtyard in which I stood, utterly exposed while the bligle struggled with the grate.
Snyder shouted: "Instead of fighting each other, let's see how these little guys do when they have a common enemy! A-ha-ha-ha!" The other owners joined in this insidious laughter.
At the command of their handler-masters, the flying fucking wildebeest bird things dropped from the sky in unison, gliding towards us with the fangs of warthogs and wings of falcons.
"hrawnk hrawnk hrawnk hrawnk ...."
As I entered the fetal position and prepared to accept my fate, I heard the distinct sound of metal tearing from metal, like a bad sound effect from a bad WWII submarine movie. The bligle had somehow pulled free the left corner of the grate, and now peeled it back to create a space to enter. I hesitated. The butler had told me to follow the bligle, and here I had been waiting like a child for it to do something, anything, to save me, but now I wasn't sure — What the fuck did the butler know anyway? And did the bligle really intend for me to go with it?
In that moment of doubt, the bligle looked at me with a shockingly human expression. Its eyes told me that it understood my fear, that it cared. I had assumed — as, no doubt, had Snyder — that the bligle was but a mighty beast, with only those aspects of human intelligence necessary for its intended purpose of being a goddamn sack machine and replica jersey-selling phenom. While admiring the sheer force of will and body it displayed in opening the grate, I had inferred but animal single-mindedness. I did not realize until this startling moment that this hybrid lion-bear-eagle-professional-athlete whatthefuckisthat had acted not only out of blind, instinctual self-interest, but also out of sympathy for my plight.
My temporary stupor at the bligle's emotional capacity was suspended only by an even more stunning development. The bligle suddenly shouted at me:
"Get the fuck in the hole. The flying hogs will fuck your shit up."
I dove headfirst, followed closely after by the bligle, who bent back the heavy metal grate to close the hole behind him. After doing a complete flip and landing on my back with a splash, it was apparent immediately that we were in some kind of drainage sewer tunnel system, just as one would expect in a narrative like this.
The bligle immediately set off running before saying another miraculous word, with me in pursuit. It was obvious that it knew these tunnels, which had various sizes and came and went in all directions. It navigated the maze with ease, slowing only for me to keep up. The bligle climbed into a smaller tunnel, barely squeezing through. I clambered in after. We crawled for what seemed like miles, my nose uncomfortably close to the bligle's foul-smelling ass, which was adorned in shit-crusted feathers.
The sky had long since turned to black by the time we finally emerged, but I immediately knew where we were. Through grit, strength, and cunning, the bligle had led us to the Potomac River. We worked our way down to the river bank, a silence lingering between us until I summoned the courage to speak. I lacked the stones to ask what I really wanted to know: 'What the jesus christ are you, bligle?'
"Why? Why did you help me?" I finally stammered instead.
"Don't matter now, anyway. We're on the run from Master Snyder," it replied. There was so much I yearned to unpack after hearing this, but I knew it had to wait until I had the bligle's confidence. "Shit, there's nowhere to hide from that dude."
"Yes, I suppose we are on the run from Snyder," I said. "And there may not be anywhere to hide. But if we get him before he gets us, we'll have a chance."
"What do you mean get to him?"
"I'll tell you about it on the way. We need to get on that river before morning light. We're 20 miles upstream of D.C. — there's a hack reporter on every street corner there. We just need a vessel."
We set to work immediately. The bligle snapped trees with its bare paws and sheared them of branches and leaves with its foot talons. I gathered strips of tree bark and vines and such, and together we assembled a makeshift raft.
"Now about the plan," I started as we eased the raft into the water. "You tell me everything you know about those flying fucking wildabeast bird things. I'm pretty sure I heard Snyder say something about using them for fighting. The bloody courtyard, the ritualized wearing of hog masks ... that shit is organized. You think it was bad for Michael Vick, wait til the media hears that Danny Boy and the other owners have been breeding flying horned pigs for single combat ..."
"Hold up." The bligle cut me off in mid-sentence. "If I'm gonna take your ass up to DC and save you from whatever hellacious shit Snyder sends after our asses, we need to back it up a minute. What's your name?"
"Of course, my apologies." Shit, I was going to do whatever the bligle said. "Raljon. And yourself?"
"Raljon. Word. Snyder and those muthafuckas just call me 'bligle,' but with my boys I go by Jim."
With that, Bligle Jim extended his paw. I reached out my fist and gave him a pound. As we pushed off down the mighty Potomac, dawn was just breaking on the eastern horizon.
Thanks to everyone who submitted entries for "The Snydering." Please keep them coming. They don't have to be long. The story is yours to run with from here. Anything goes. Anything at all. Submit entries for Part V of "The Snydering" to firstname.lastname@example.org.