“I’m here at the Olympic Trials with Rock Peters,” Will Wurdie began, then paused. “Um Rock, why are you wearing that mask?”

“Zippa,” Rock said. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Meaningful Looks and Midspring Misdemeanors: Piddling Froth. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….

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Note: Today’s characters appeared previously in The Halftime Speech, Jock Itch, The Winter Games, The Whirled Cup, and Something Wicket This Way Comes.

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“Zippa?” Will asked.

Rock nodded. “Yeah, that virus. Z-I-P-A.”

Will swallowed. “It’s Z-I-K-A, and it’s pronounced ZEE-kah.”

“Nuh-uh,” Rock said. “Zikas are the horses that look like referees.”

“Those are zebras,” Will said.

“So what’s a zippa?” Rock asked.

Will nodded to Rock’s lap and offered his most charming smile. Which, being A Famous TeeVee Play-By-Play Guy, was pretty charming. “Well, yours is down.”

Rock colored his commentary and corrected the problem. Not that the audience could see him color his commentary, because of the mask. “Oops. Well, at least my mouth and nose were covered.”

“Speaking of that,” Will said, “you don’t need the mask, Rock. Yes, people are worried about the Zika virus at the Olympics–”

“That’s why I’m wearing the mask,” Rock interjected.

“–but we’re not at the Olympics yet,” Will continued. “These are just the Olympic trials.”

“And how do we know Zika isn’t trying out?” Rock asked.

Dana the director giggled and thumbed her intercom. “Maybe for the shit put?”

Will glared at the control room. “I. Can’t. Say. That. On. TeeVee. Anyway, let’s check in with the decathlon trials. They’re throwing the javelin now.”

“Who’s catching it?” Rock asked.

“No one,” Will said. “It sticks in the ground.”

“So it’s incomplete,” Rock said.

Will sighed. “They take the longest of three throws.”

“And after three incompletes they have to punt?” Rock asked.

Dana giggled again. “Yeah, Rock. They punt the shot put.”

“That thing’s metal and it weighs a ton,” Rock said with a wince. “That’s gotta be hard to punt.”

“They wear special shoes,” Dana said.

Will shot her a don’t-egg-him-on-look.

Dana ignored Will. “With masks.”

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Have fun!

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Image Credit: Crissie Brown (BPICampus)