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by Charles Rempel

The Return of Evel Knievel

"Good evening and welcome to the International Sports Showcase on this lovely October weekend. I'm Bill Reynolds..."

"... and I'm Danny Kroduce. Tonight you'll see caber tossing from Scotland, a balance contest from India, and an ice cream pie-eating contest from the Ohio State Fair."

"But first, it's off to Las Vegas, Nevada, for another death-defying stunt by America's favorite cheater of death, and no, Danny, I'm not talking about Dean Martin."

"You said it, Bill. It's been just over two years since Evel Knievel attempted to jump the fountains of Caesars Palace, and today he's back for more."

"I don't think any true American will forget where he or she was on September 8, 1974. Evel did clear the fountains, but during the landing his motorcycle lurched out of control after hitting the ramp, and Knievel flipped end-over-end for what seemed in the collective breaths of our nation to be an eternity."

"That's right, Bill. He spent a month in the hospital after that fall, and to be honest, I guess they couldn't fix that head bone of his, because Evel is back, and with a added twist to his jump."

"Yes, people, Evel Knievel will attempt to jump the fountains of Caesars Palace not on a motorcycle, but while sitting on the back of a pig wearing roller skates."

"Bill, you're making this up."

"I wish I were, Danny... I wish I were."

"Well, let us describe the jump in more detail. Evel Knievel and his pig on skates will start from the top of a giant ramp, created by the designers and Frump and Crendall, the foremost amusement park ride firm around."

"They're the ones who made the Puke-alizer, the tallest ride in the Dakotas."

"That's a great ride, Bill."

"Yes it is. But back to today's ramp. It stands 800 feet high, with a downward grade of 20%."

"It sure makes those roads in San Francisco look wimpy."

"The ramp curls back up near the fountain, and a safety ramp with 50% more "give" has been placed opposite the big ramp on the other side of the fountain."

"It sure looks impressive."

"Yes, but impressive won't bring Evel Knievel safely in one piece."

"Will God?"

"Excuse me, Danny?"

"Will God bring Evel safely in one piece?"

"Sure. I see that Evel Knievel has finished scaling the side of the ramp and is now mounting the pig."

"You know Bill, I heard they had to airlift the pig to the top of the ramp."

"That's true, Danny, because since pigs can't climb ladders on their own, our good friends at Las Vegas Chopper Rides have airlifted the pig for free."

"That's nice."

"Also, please note that the skates the pig is wearing is not the garden variety you may find at your favorite roller rink. The wheels were constructed by NASA to withstand heat and friction similar to the type encountered by the Apollo capsules upon re-entry."

"Bill, I also understand that the pig has been fed nothing but firecrackers, to add an extra jolt of excitement to the proceedings."

"Knievel has strapped himself into the saddle and has given the signal to start. If you're a praying man, Danny, now's the time to pray."

"Okay. Which way's Mecca?"

"And they're off! Evel and the pig are descending the ramp, they're at the base of the ramp, they're lifting off..."

"Oh my God."

"The pig has exploded! The pig has exploded! Ambulances are swarming around the fountain and emergency personnel are scraping the pork off the sidewalk, looking for our beloved Evel Knievel."

"I didn't know pigs exploded into fireballs, Bill."

"Well, you fill anything with fireworks and, odds are, it will. They've found Evel! He looks a little shaken up, but I think he's going to survive this stunt."

"That's great, but just to be sure, the ambulance has whisked him away for examinations. I guess that makes it Caesars Fountains 2, Knievel 0, eh, Bill?"

"Ha ha, I guess it does, Danny. We'll be back after this commercial break."


© copyright 2001 The Van Gogh-Goghs