- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Flash-Forward Friday: I Saw Everything End

“Welcome, Mr. Fry. If you’ll just follow me this way, I’ll show you your suite.”

“OK. This is kind of a weird experience. Can you tell me …”

“It’s an adjustment for everybody, sir. We’ve found that it’s best if you take things in at your own pace. Now then, here we are. After you, Mr. Fry.”

“Hmm. Not bad. Not bad at all. Fresh flowers, really? Oh, wait, um…”

“Yes sir, they’re synthetic. Cuts down on maintenance costs. Very convincing-looking, though, wouldn’t you say?”

“Except for that spot of resin that’s supposed to look like a dewdrop. It’s always a dead giveaway. Oh, sorry –”

“That’s entirely all right, sir. Let me open the curtains for you. There we are.”

“Huh, I’d kind of hoped I’d be on the water side of the building, instead of looking at … what is that, a chiller plant?”

“And our freight dock. All the rooms have this view, sir.”

“They do? That’s kind of weird. Do these windows open?”

“Only a centimeter. Safety reasons, sir.”

“Safety? What does that matter now? No, don’t tell me. It’s an adjustment.”

“Indeed it is, sir. Here is your mini-fridge, stocked just for you.”

“Dr Pepper! This really is — wait a minute, this is Diet Dr Pepper. I’m happy to say I’m done watching calories. Could I get –”

“I’m afraid this is what we have, sir. Though there is ice cream.”

“Ah, now we’re — oh, Jeez. Look, I’m sorry to be That Guy, but this is chocolate, and I really hate chocolate. I know, weird, right? Any chance you could scare up some … oh. You know, I’ve already made the adjustment to knowing what that sad little smile of yours means. Just chocolate, I get it. At least could you have maintenance take a look at the fridge? It’s barely cold.”

“That’s the temperature it’s designed for, sir. There’s an ice machine down the hall.”

“The one with the out-of-order sign?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Ugh. Just tell me the TV works.”

“Certainly sir. You’ll find it right in here, sir. We have five channels, plus access to in-room entertainment. There’s on-demand music from several specially programmed digital stations — The Best of Auto-Tune, Jingoistic Contemporary Country, Strident Folk Utopianism, Christian Rock, Summer Novelty Hits of Yesteryear and the Best of Hackeysack Jam Bands. Plus movie libraries celebrating the work of Michael Bay and Rob Schneider. And if you push that yellow button you’ll be able to access adult in-room entertainment — edited for community standards of course.”


“And here you’ll see we’ve created some special channels just for you. For instance, let me show you this list of Star Trek titles.”

“Wait — I’m a big fan of Star Wars. Star Wars, not Star Trek. I hate Star Trek with a passion. I can’t believe — ah, never mind. We’ll all have to make some adjustments. What else do you have?”

“I’m glad you asked, Mr. Fry — let’s look at a preview of your special welcoming gift from our staff. Let me queue it up here. You just sit back and I’ll take care of everything. Note that we have extra foam pillows for your comfort.”

“The Mets Channel! All right, highlights! Now we’re talking!”

“Yes, sir.”

“Wait a minute, what year is this? My memory’s not what it used to be … let me think. Wow, David Wright is really young in this. Jose Reyes too. But there’s Citi Field, so it must have been early in our rise to National League hegemony. Man, those were the days, right? What a turnaround — once the front office really embraced rigorous statistical analysis and stopped being hysterical about the Yankees and bad PR it seemed like it was just one title after the other. And remember Daniel Murphy’s batting title? Johan’s five consecutive Cy Young awards? The night we crushed the Phillies to clinch the division with our first-ever no-hitter? Citi was sure loud in those days, particularly after they made it into a shrine to Mets history. Ah, good times. Some of the happiest times of my life, in fact.”

“Indeed, sir.”

“Wait a minute, what’s all this ceremony? It’s not Game 1 of any World Series I can remember, not with the other team in navy and beige. What team is that? Why is an opposing player hitting a home run?”

“Mr. Fry?”

“Give me that remote a second. Where’s the friggin’ fast-forward … ahh. Oh!”


“Wait a minute, what — just wait a minute. Who the hell is Valdez? Oh my. Oh my God. This is that year. The one in which everybody got hurt. It’s … it’s all coming back to me now. We lost the first game in Citi Field history with Pelfrey falling down on the mound and Pedro Feliciano balking in a run. That was the year Ryan Church missed third base. And K-Rod walked Mariano Rivera with the bases loaded and the friggin’ Mets gave him the pitching rubber. And Oliver Perez got like eleventy trillion dollars and he absolutely sucked. And our stupid manager laughed a lot about everything and played old broken-down utility guys and had a bunting fetish. And our new closer gave up not one but two walk-off grand slams. And we lost that game when Francoeur hit into an unassisted triple play. … And the Mets had that weird minor-league guy who tore off his shirt and threatened to fight minor leaguers, and they fired him but they couldn’t even do that right because our stupid GM turned it into this weird vendetta against a beat writer. And Luis Castillo … Luis Castillo … LUIS CASTILLO DROPPED A FUCKING POP-UP WITH TWO OUTS IN THE NINTH AGAINST THE YANKEES. Is that what I’m watching here?”

“Yes sir. It’s the 2009 season highlights video.”

“Did they even make one of those? No, never mind. What — why would you ever think I’d want to see that again, at any point in eternity? I mean, it might not have been the worst year in Mets history, but it was endless and embarrassing and just soul-killingly awful. And even when it was over it wasn’t really over, because the World Series that year was the Phillies and the Yankees, the worst of all possible matchups, and the Yankees won, they were absolutely unstoppable, and … WHY IS THIS HERE? DID YOU SCREW UP AGAIN? DID YOU THINK I MEANT 1969? OR 1999? OR 2019? OR EVEN 1989? THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT THE 2009 BASEBALL SEASON WAS THAT EVENTUALLY IT WAS OVER. WHY IS THIS HERE? WHY?”

“Sir, please don’t upset yourself.”

“DON’T TELL ME NOT TO UPSET MYSELF! I was trying to be nice, but this whole experience is … well, it’s a little underwhelming. In fact, it completely sucks so far! Fake flowers, no view, foam pillows, crappy music, warm fridge, diet soda. No, stop, don’t say anything. Just give me a moment.”

“You have all the time a person could ask for, sir.”

“I suppose so. OK, never mind. You said this is the Mets channel, right? So what else is there? Wait a minute, is this crappy remote broken? WHAT ELSE IS THERE?”

“That’s the only selection, sir.”

“The only … you’re telling me I’m going to spend eternity with no Mets to watch except a retrospective of the 2009 season? Is that what you’re telling me? You’re giving me that sad smile again. Wait … wait a minute. Oh my God. Oh. My. God.”

“Mr. Fry?”

“This isn’t … this is really … this is the other place, isn’t it?”

“Yes, sir.”


“I’ll give you some time, sir.”

“I … wow. Thank you, I guess. I’m just a little confused. I pictured … lakes of fire. Forked tails. Sulfur. This … no, it fits. You’ve modernized, I suppose.”

“Thank you, sir. We like to think it’s a different aesthetic.”

“I understand now. I just … I wasn’t that bad of a person, was I?”

“I’m not allowed to comment on other guests’ arrangements, sir, but I will say these are among our nicer accommodations.”

“So … if I’d really been an awful human being …”

“Between us, sir? I checked in a Mets fan this morning whose channel shows nothing but a loop of the first inning of the final game of the 2007 season. And his adult selection is security footage of Bobby Bonilla eating a box of Yodels while on the toilet.”

“That does lend a certain perspective to things, I suppose. Let me get you something … for your troubles.”

“Your money’s no good here, sir.”

“Oh. OK. Thank you, then.”

“Entirely my pleasure, sir. Now if you’ll excuse me, there are cases of alcohol-free Stroh’s that I need to bring over to the Applebee’s. Have a good eternity, Mr. Fry.”

The terrestrial edition of Flashback Friday will pick up again next week. In the meantime, don’t miss a day with Peter Laskowich, as introduced by Greg here [1].