Shannon and Bill guide me slowly into the house, my hand and face wrapped in ice packs.

“I still think we should go to the hospital,” Shannon says.

“I’m fine,” I say through my tightened jaw. “The other team’s third baseman checked me out. He said I’m ok.”

“But he’s a veterinarian,” she says.

“Humans…animals…we all have…bones and stuff,” I say, and look to Bill. “I think I might be able to pitch next week. They’re gonna need me.”

Bill eyes me like I’m crazy.

“Tell me something, Doug,” he says. “Have you ever had the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit at McDonald’s?”

I nod.

“Greatest breakfast sandwich ever, right?” he says.

“I guess,” I say.

“You ever take it apart to see what that rolled up piece of processed egg tastes like on its own?”

“Hasn’t everyone?” I say.

“How’d it taste?” he says.

I make a sour face.

“That’s right,” he says. “Doug, you’re a good egg…you might even be a good egg substitute made from a mass-produced powder, but you need that bacon, you need that biscuit, you need that cheese to be something great.”

“I don’t understand what that means,” I say.

“It means that you could be a very good contributor on a talented team,” he says. “But you’re not anyone’s savior.”

I stare back him with resentment.

“I’m a flimsy, tasteless piece of processed egg,” I say.

Shannon giggles. “An egg,” she says.

“Don’t sell yourself short,” Bill says. “Without the egg, there’s no sandwich.”

“So you’re calling me a…” I spit out the term in disgust, “a role player.”

“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with being a Danny Ainge,” he says. “You’re a white guy with some pretty good game, but you need a Larry, you need a Kevin, you need a Chief.”

Bill and Shannon lower me into a chair at the kitchen table. I pull the ice pack off my head.

“You need any more ice, honey?” Shannon says.

“I’m good,” I say.

Shannon tells to Edwin and Fiona to get into their pajamas. The conga line heads upstairs.

I have that melancholy look. Bill sits down across from me.

“Hey, man, I know,” he says. “You want to be bacon. I want to be bacon. Everyone can’t be bacon. If everyone were bacon, you know what you’d have?”

“What,” I say.

“The Atkins diet,” Bill says. “And I’ll tell you what – that’s an unpleasant existence. I tried that diet for a week. By day 5, I was dreaming about doughnuts, bagels and bread, and eventually bacon didn’t even taste good anymore. The world needs eggs like you and bread like me. We make the bacon taste good.”

“Why do you get to be bread?” I say.

“Because I’m often toasted,” he says.

I grin and as Bill stands.

“Good one to finish on,” he says. “Tip your waitress. Try the veal.”

Devlin comes into the kitchen. Bill looks to Dev and points to me. “Good egg, your dad,” he says, then to me. “Alright, later.”

“Thanks,” I say. “Later.”

Devlin takes the same seat across from me.

“So,” I say, adjusting the icepack on my hand. “What did you think? Embarrassing, huh?”

“Kind of,” Devlin says, “but I was kinda proud too.”

“Really? Why?” I say.

Dev thinks. “Well, we spend a lot of time on sports,” he says. “We play, we coach, we cheer, we watch Sportscenter all day long. If we didn’t try hard, if we didn’t care a lot, what would be the point? It wouldn’t make sense. It would be a waste. Tonight, I could tell how much you cared. It was a little embarrassing, but it was…who you are. Who we are.”

“You think I should quit?” I say.

“Yes,” he says. “But you won’t.”

“Do you want me to quit?” I say.

“No,” he says. “It’s not you.”

“We’ll see,” I say. “You and Bill might be right.”

“I just don’t like seeing you get hurt,” Dev says. “As for Bill, he just wants you to spend more time on the couch watching games.”

“How’d you get so smart?” I say.

“Mom,” he says.

Dev stands and circles the table. On his way past me, he pats me on the shoulder.

“You’re bacon to me, Dad,” he says.

He bounds upstairs, oblivious to the impact he’s just made. My chest swells with pride.

In spite of the evening’s humiliating events, I feel like I’ve just…I don’t know...

Won.

Epilogue

Two weeks later, I call out Larry Bird’s name during an intimate moment in bed with Shannon. I have no idea why. To this day, if you listen closely on a quiet summer night in Chicago, you can hear the distant echo of her reaction in the breeze.

**********************
THE END
**********************

Well there you have it, folks – my over-the-top therapy-session-slash-response to the Celtics’ gut-wrenching loss in the 2010 Finals. I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. If you did, please comment, even anonymously, to let me know.

And if you really enjoyed it…

You can buy the book. Yup, that’s right, you can buy Traveling, the novel.

Now I know what you’re asking yourself: “Why should I bother to purchase what I just received for free?” Well, that’s a pretty damn good question, actually, so I guess I better come up with something. Ok, here it goes – each book contains:

- A special Author’s Note enjoyed only by those who have made this special purchase.
- The official text version of Traveling on actual, physical pages that you can turn, like a real book.
- A version that allows you to enjoy Traveling without a WiFi connection, or even a computer.
- An item you can use as your virtual Wonka golden ticket, entitling you to meet me, Evil Ted, if you are ever in the downtown Chicago area. You will receive:
o One face-to-face meeting, during which I will talk to you as if you are a person I care about for a period of at least five minutes.
o My signature on your copy of the book (or of any other copies of my books you may have purchased). I will be happy to give you either a personalized signing (as in, “Hi Joe, glad you liked my book…”) or an I-want-to-sell-this-on-eBay-version-someday-when-you’re-famous signing (just my signature and nothing else).
o Special mention in our Basketbawful “Fan of the Day” segment, which will include a photo of the glorious meeting and a special ET write-up of the encounter.
- For purchasers of three or more books, I will wear special accoutrements, such as the Larry Bird wig and stache made famous in my Larry Bird Theme Park video.
- For buyers of six or more books, I will basically debase myself in whatever way you choose. If you are a Laker fan, bring a Laker jersey and I will wear it in said Larry Bird hair and stache, prance around like a drunken fairy, and scream “Lakers rule!” at the top of my lungs in a public place.

Now much would you pay? But wait… there’s more!

Purchases of any of my books (even the much more thrifty downloads) will contribute to the make-Traveling-a-movie fund. You’ve already seen what kind of magic I can create on a budget of virtually zero. Imagine if I can sell a whole ton of books and stockpile some cash for a better camera and lunch money for a few good actors….

And finally, if you have trouble parting with your hard-earned cash for a narrative you’ve already read online, consider my other works. There’s The Art of Reprisal, a cool, dark psychological thriller that took me about fifteen years to complete… and oh yeah… I do have a couple of books that…. let’s see…. hmmm…. how to describe them….. ok…. imagine, if you will, the easily digested humor of Traveling, but as a hilarious, disgustingly filthy, dystopian male satire that would burst into flame if you brought it anywhere near a church, or even near, like, an optimistic person. That’s Modern Man. Now imagine I’ve cast aside my conscience and decided not to only have gut-bustingly funny filth, but also decided to eliminate any redeeming qualities from my characters whatsoever. That would be Hot Mess.

Piqued your interest? Thought so. Perverts.

I know what you’re saying: “How sad to debase this great and pure literary experience with a tawdry money-making scheme, ET.” To that, I say – money making? HA! Given that I’ve been writing for 20 plus years, adding up the profit of the books I’ve sold would give me approximately…10 bucks a year – hardly something on which to make a living. I do it because I love it. Of course, if I could be successful enough to do it full time someday, awesome. But if not, the Clark Kent job continues.

Again, I hope you enjoyed reading Traveling as much as I enjoyed writing it. I was thrilled to be able to share it with you in this way.

If you have any questions, comments, or inquiries for me directly, contact me at: ted.evil@gmail.com

Regards,
ET

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37 Comments:
Anonymous EuroGuy said...
Where did this Hollywoodesque feel good-ending come from? I suspected that Doug would be battling demons for the rest of his life as punishment for his deeds on this adventure.

Is the morale that if Larry Bird shows up before the ending, every Celtics-fan can get atonement?

Anonymous EuroGuy said...
And one more thing: I loved spending the summer with Doug and his family. Great read.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
ET -

I was very entertained. You used some strange techniques, but I loved the story and read it every day. Well done.

- W

Blogger Dafydd said...
152 Pages? It really comes to 152 pages? Wow. I really enjoyed this, but it seemed so... bite sized? I guess it was, now that i think about it... one a day bite sized.

Anonymous JJ said...
ET - Thank you for the great story. You're a great writer, and maybe some day, you can take your talents to South Beach. =)

Euroguy - Since I read, "Two weeks later, I call out Larry Bird’s name during an intimate moment in bed with Shannon," I was actually thinking the moral of the story was that Larry Bird can get Celtics fans very "excited."

Anonymous spinetingler said...
When it comes time to film, I want to read for a part, even if it's just "appalled crowd member at ball game."

I'll wear my Bird jersey and circa-86 short-short uniform pants if that will help in the audition.

Anonymous mavsfan said...
Loved the story! Best chapter was the Yarthies - There is something wrong with the baby! Still makes me laugh. Great job.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Dafydd - Yup...it chugged along...actually around 140, but there are a few bits and pieces that take up space.

JJ - Perhaps the LeBron, D Wade, the Boshstrich and I can start up a publishing company. And I'm sure LeBron will manage to take an extended vacation in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year.

Spinetingler - give me your general geographic location and I may take you up on that. I'd love to have as many Bawful fans in the movie as possible, and if I do it, I would likely reinact the trip out West to make it authentic...

Mavsfan - Yes, that was definitely one of my favorite moments of the book. That and the Star Wars allegory chapter.

Anonymous Asad said...
This was very funny I just couldn't figure out which parts were real and which fake. The star wars section had me laughing on the couch with the wife giving me weird looks.

Anonymous Dburr said...
I'm a long time reader, but rarely a commentor. This has been a great read, one of the few things I looked forward to each day. Thanks for all the hard work that went into writing and editing it, and the honesty/vulnerability that it takes to write something that's even semi-autobiographical. I just hope the Yarthies win actually happened, passing the baby is genuis.I laughed out loud when I read it. I've even thought of engaging my friends with kids in Yarthies just so I can use that move. Maybe I'll just turn them onto traveling instead. Thanks again.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That was an awesome book...just want to say that I really loved it...

Anonymous Tree said...
Great job, ET. Did not see that ending coming at all, and I enjoyed every word of it.

On another note: now what?!? This is not meant to come across as a complaint ... this site has become my 'afternoon coffee diversion material' at work, and with the lockout, the end of the story - what do we do now? (And I mean this only half-facetiously).

Again though - great read!

Anonymous Cristi said...
Sorry for going off topic but here is Stan van Gundy showing you how you handle a goddamn ball.

http://deadspin.com/5827351/the-orlando-magic-youth-basketball-camp-is-too-small-to-hold-all-of-stan-van-gundys-swag

Blogger chris said...
now what?!?

Wall to wall Yarthies coverage until the next season actually starts!!!!!

Anonymous JJ said...
Chris - If that's the case, I only have thing to say. Babies everywhere, beware!

Blogger Javi said...
this was simply awesome... thank you ET

Anonymous Koggz said...
This has been awesome. Ahh, again I feel the same bittersweet feelings I had when Livin' Large by Bawful was done. If only he and you could team up for something super epic. Travelin' Large; my mind is blown and my body shivers at this imaginary team up.

But yes, I am now a knight of Yarthies. I will do my best to spread the word across the land.

Also, this is unrelated to Traveling and it goes out to Bawful (and I don't want to take from Evil Ted's awesomeness), but I reread Livin' Large in my downtime and out of sadness that Traveling was coming to a close, and you might not remember this, but I just realized.... are we getting a Year Five Epic???

Anonymous Grizzly63 said...
great read, I really enjoyed it, and hope you or Matt can give us bawful fans more great entertainment.


By the way did you guys see the Samaki Walker story, the guy got pulled over and tried to eat all his weed. http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/NBA-washout-Samaki-Walker-gets-pulled-over-trie?urn=nba-wp7023

Blogger temple_hill said...
Hahaha. you called the old man Yoda. Thanks for the summer read.

Anonymous celts33 said...
although i fear LB would creep into my mind in heated moments from now on, this has been wonderfuly entertaining. thank you, ET, and keep up the good work.

Blogger Rhett said...
thanks ted. one of the best parts of my day all summer. not only fun to read but you write great dialouge and are wonderfully clever. however, you suck for letting the story end before the lockout does. now what? now what????
as a side note about yelling larry's name I am a life long mavs and have 'dirking' my wife all summer. soon, she will ask me if i feel like dirking and my victory will be complete!
thanks again.

Anonymous WD said...
I don't suppose Art of Reprisal is a golden ticket too?

Blogger Evil Ted said...
WD - Any and all of my books are golden tickets. Fans are fans.

I do hope that people check out my other stuff. If you're looking for something to enjoy for the rest of the summer, I'm very proud of my other works.

ET

thanks

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well done, ET.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Rhett - dirka dirka dirka...Bawful should be addressing his adoring public tomorrow to talk about his plans to persevere in the face of a lockout...

Hmmm, I imagine Traveling 2 will need to be some sort of European vacation...

Glad you enjoyed my stuff and that it could add to your summer days. And remember, I've written other great stuff you can read to pass the time! ;)

ET

Anonymous Anonymous said...
At first i was a little bummed i wouldn't get any Basketbawful over the off season, but this was great fun to read - i looked forward to it every day. Thanks!

Blogger Wormboy said...
Pure gold, ET. Thanks very much!

My wife self-published a book with some cheesy cover. Lulu looks much more professional.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Worm - Lulu puts out a good, professional product (although part of it being able to do your own cover, layout, etc.). Having used them for a long time, I can say the quality of the output is top-notch.

God, listen to me. Turned into a pathetic salesman.... ;) But I wouldn't do it if I didn't believe in my product...Christ, there I go again!

Blogger Rhett said...
et - youre not a pathetic salesman. oh, wait, just remembered that bit about whoring yourself out dressed as a laker larry bird. that is pretty pathetic.
but, i did buy the book, so you are a good pathetic salesman. you may beg but you get results (so many places to go with that). so thats something to hang your hat, er, wig on.

Blogger chris said...
Ted, next, you'll be working for Fuller Brush in no time with those sales skills!!!11!11!!!

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Chris - Those brushes are good, but I will only use a Verticoli. No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby as much as I love that brush. And given that my head is shaved, I will not divulge how I use it.

Rhett - Thanks for your purchase! I will be happy to sign it whenever our paths cross. I assume you bought Traveling?. It appears I have sold one Art of Reprisal, one Modern Man, and one Traveling. Ergo, we have at least one crime lover, one filth lover, and one Traveling lover.

Anyone else want to admit / gloat that they made a purchase?

ET

Blogger Rhett said...
Yeah, i bought traveling. i mean, why not? its only ten bucks and will look intresting on the bookshelf and always be a reminder of how i killed time during the lock out.
besides, it makes me seem more hip if i have a self published book that i read first as a serial on the interweb.
they dont have to know its about starwars, yarthies, and puking in buckets. i still look cool.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Amen Rhett! - I forgot to add "conversation piece that makes you look hip" to my list of reasons to get it.

Be sure to leave it out on the coffee table for a while, and eventually....maybe...well...your cat will poop on it or something.

ET

Anonymous Leonard said...
Thanks for helping us through the (now extended) off-season. A great read, highly anticipated each day, and one that will be missed. Thanks for sharing your work in this project, and each day on the blog.

Blogger GonzoPal said...
Thanks! Bought the other stuff. Why? Because i could... thanks capitalism! What could go wrong? Have surely spent equal money on things making less sense. And i wanna support that flic. Or its just my german craze. One out of those.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
The entire 50.5 chapter read was well worth it for the one line Epilogue. Goddamn I'm dying.

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