COACHES OF ARABIA

Cold winds sweep off the jagged teeth of the Hindu Kush. A UH-60 Black Hawk chops through the thin air; as it passes through the azure sky, it seems to be constantly recalibrating its flight path, listing slightly to the right side, correcting, and then listing again. It finally lands on a flat, dusty patch of land surrounded by razor wire, sandbag bunkers, and a lone American flag flapping in the bastard breeze.

The blades come to a slow crawl: four coaches exit from the left side of the plane. All wear black fleece vests and cargo pants. One coach remains in the helicopter, visibly rocking the chopper from the inside as the machine sags to the right.

(A muffled voice yells from the inside:) A little fuckin' help here? Huh?

Randy Shannon: This place is NICE.

Tommy Tuberville: Smells like...Afghanistan.

Mark Richt: Guys, maybe we should go back and help Charlie.

Tommy Tuberville: Hell, no, padre. I didn't fry fish in backwoods Tennessee for years just to help some gravity whore yank his whale-sized kiester out of a helicopter.

Randy Shannon: No, I mean it, y'all. This place is really, really nice.

Mark Richt: I'm going back, guys. He really needs help.

Soldiers, looking slightly alarmed at the rocking helicopter: Coach, with all due respect, you are about to damage $5.9 million of taxpayer property.

Weis: So fucking what? I'LL BUY YOU A NEW ONE I'M SIGNED FOR THREE HUNDRED YEARS. Get me a fucking crowbar!

Tuberville: Have fun, Boy Scout. Me and Shannon are going on patrol.

Shannon: That sounds so much more pleasant than living in Miami, Tommy. And: safer.

Tuberville: Fuckin' right, man. (They fist pound.)

Richt: Language, guys. Language.

Weis: Crowbar! CROWBAR!!! And a hot pressed sandwich, assholes. Doesn't anyone have a hot pressed sandwich in this bullet-infested dustcrotch of a country? AND WHY IS THERE NO HAM TO BE FOUND???

Tuberville: Have fun. We're going to blast some terrorist ass. HEY, CHARLIE! If you make it in five minutes, I won't make you do the Truffle Shuffle later!

Weis: Up your ass, Tuberville! I hope you eat an RPG!

Tuberville: You could!

Shannon: Let him go, man.

Weis: Go to hell, TUBERVILLE! Who made these seats so frickin' small....

Richt goes back to help extract Weis. Shannon and Tuberville suit up and join a battalion of Rangers on patrol. They creep through a ravine choked with boulders, guns at the ready. The icy caps of mountains are visible over the tops of the ravine, and pine trees on its edge whistle slightly in the wind.

Shannon: This is so relaxing.

Tuberville: Are you kidding me---oh, yeah. Forgot.

Shannon: I'm learning things this trip, Tommy. I think I'm meant to be an artist.

TT: Really?

Shannon: Yup. Mixed media, I'm thinking ceramics, fireworks, and woodcut. Perhaps with some old lithography thrown in there.

TT: Sounds like you're collaging there, Randy.

Shannon: Damn right I'm collaging. I've never told you this, but Dada's always been one of my faves. Not the fruity Dali dorm-poster surrealism, either: I'm talking straight Duchamp, man.

TT: Of course. You're no dillettante.

Shannon: If they only knew what we really talk about in Miami coaches' meetings, man. Remember Dave Wannstedt's presentation on Volition, Will, and Chance in the works of JM Coetzee?

TT: I found it too precious. He's such a close reader. No room for me as the subjective reader? Please. It's---

Shannon: SHHH!!!

The soldiers stand at the ready, crouched over the lip of a huge boulder. Before them sits a camp. There are five men: four in traditional tribal dress and combat boots, and one in white, a tall man with an immense beard shot through with gray hair.

TT: Holy shit.

Shannon: It's---

Soldiers: Lock and load, boys. Coaches, stay behind me.

Gunfire erupts, and the four tribesmen drop to the ground dead. The lone man in white looks around, panics, and then begins to run toward the dark mouth of a cave in the wall of the ravine.

Officer: Anyone feel like hauling some ass and capturing the most wanted man in the world? HUH?

TT: Lemme take him, lieutenant. I know just how to take someone down for good.

Officer: All yours, coach.

TT: CLICK CLACK, OSAMA!!!


Capture, Tuberville. Photo: LSUFreek.

TT: This terrorist capture was sponsored by Under Armour, motherfucker.

Osama Bin Laden, in Arabic: Oh, god! My knee! You've permanently mangled my knee!

TT: Oh, did I? Purely unintentional. I apologize.

Shannon: Yes, Osama. Purely unintentional. Won't happen again.

Osama: Infidel scum, that's clearly an illegal technique! I'm maimed now! MAIMED!

(They fist pound.)

Randy Shannon, Charlie Weis, Mark Richt, Tommy Tuberville, and Yale coach Jack Siedlecki will be touring the Middle East this May. This may or may not happen, but if it does it will be purely unintentional.

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