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Rudy and the Rona

Updated: Nov 17


Rock Hudson was NOT just a movie star. Rock Hudson was the Rudy Golbert of AIDS.

—Mrs. Jerry


The Nice Doctor asked about Uncle Jerry’s dream journal again. Then she wrote two big prescriptions for herself.


Conversation at 4 a.m.

INNER PARSON: What game you watching?

INNER PIRATE: Lakers at Celtics, 1984 finals.

INNER PARSON: The 1980s? You’re watching basketball from 40 years ago?

INNER PIRATE: It’s Magic and Larry. Say no more.

INNER PARSON: You're joking. Mo and Larry were two of the Three Stooges.

INNER PIRATE: Leave the room if you’re just going to mock.

INNER PARSON: Only kidding. Magic Johnson transformed the game.

INNER PIRATE: And Larry Bird transformed the Celtics.

INNER PARSON: He didn’t teach them to say “Keltic.”

INNER PIRATE: Out!!!

INNER PARSON: Nah. They played pretty well. Tough. I mean for a sloppy gang of white boys.

INNER PIRATE: Robert Parish wasn’t white. Dennis Johnson. Cedric Maxwell. Coach Jones himself. You know nothing.

INNER PARSON: I know how to press your buttons . . . Celtics are Catholics, too.

INNER PIRATE: Stop! They didn’t want to be Catholic. It was in their contract.

INNER PARSON: The good Lord works in mysterious ways.

INNER PIRATE: Hmm. True that. I tried to be an atheist once, but I felt so guilty.

INNER PARSON: So 1984. Is this just a lockdown distraction or what?

INNER PIRATE: Gotta watch something. There’s no new NBA right now.

INNER PARSON: Blame Rudy Golbert for that.

INNER PIRATE: His name is pronounced “GO-bear.” Don’t be a yutz.

INNER PARSON: Really? I thought it was like Stephen COAL-bear.

INNER PIRATE: Stephen Colbert doesn’t play for the NBA.

INNER PARSON: Although he is Catholic. Maybe they’re cousins.

INNER PIRATE: You’re weird.

INNER PARSON: Besides the Celtics were way better in the 50s. Bill Russell? It hardly needs saying.

INNER PIRATE: You’re dating yourself.

INNER PARSON: Ha! If I were dating myself, I’d never leave the house.

INNER PIRATE: Ba-da-boom.

INNER PARSON: Didn’t Magic Johnson have AIDS?

INNER PIRATE: Magic had HIV, that’s all.

INNER PARSON: He didn’t have symptoms—aside from very naughty behavior? That’s just like Rudy Colbert. Did Magic touch all the microphones, too?

INNER PIRATE: Okay, stop that right now. You are deliberately working my last nerve.

INNER PARSON: Don’t you think the NBA is a lot handsomer than it used to be?

INNER PIRATE: What??

INNER PARSON: I mean the 1980s Celtics had the certifiably ugliest sport franchise since pro wrestling lost Dusty Rhodes and Andre the Giant. It was almost criminal how ugly that Boston team was. They should have been group-quarantined and delivered to Queer Eye for urgent treatment.

INNER PIRATE: Yeah . . . Bird, Parrish, Dennis Johnson. You’re not wrong.

INNER PARSON: Kevin McHale looked like a 7-foot Herman Munster in hotpants.

INNER PIRATE: Kind of all the teams back then, really. Not celebrity caliber looks.

INNER PARSON: Well, Jordan was dreamy, but OMG Scotty Pippen! Is that a nose or a peninsula?

INNER PIRATE: Ha! Someone fetch my beach umbrella—those delicate colors fade in the sun!

INNER PARSON: Thank God the whole NBA has taken it up a notch. We got handsome everywhere you look these days. A shame that D. Wade is retired now. What a loss.

INNER PIRATE: The Jazz are the handsomest, I'd say, if you include the bench. Lakers don't even place.

INNER PARSON: Lakers? Please! You're gonna bookend a hunk like LeBron with A.D. and K.D?? How did that even happen?

INNER PIRATE: You realize the whole approach to recruiting has to be revamped, don’t you?

INNER PARSON: Immediately. There is so much more to basketball than dribbling between your legs. I shall write to commissioner.

INNER PIRATE: Who would you want to spend a lockdown with?

INNER PARSON: From the NBA? Maybe Donovan or Ben Simmons. Not Rudy. Handsome man, but he shouldn't have started the Rona. So sad—all those poor dead sports writers.

INNER PIRATE: Okay, that's it. You need to go upstairs now. Pray. And think about what you’ll confess to the priest in the morning.

INNER PARSON: But I’m not Catholic.

INNER PIRATE: We’re all part Catholic. Now go.

INNER PARSON: Which part is that?

INNER PIRATE: The part that needs locking down. And forgiveness.

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