500 Words:  Fourth and Long
By Maureen B. Ocks
 
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Unbeta'd, which for me is never a good idea.
 
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Camp Idelwood Lodge
International Falls, MN
February 1, 2004
5:15pm, CT
 

Interviewing prospective park workers for terrorist connections, in
Minnesota, in February, was punitive even for the Bureau.
 
Since the weather warmed up to a glorious four degrees, minus
eight with the wind chill, John Doggett was able to do a
supermarket run.  With chips, dips, beer, soda, some food and a
small cake shaped like a football, Hank Williams Jr. would think
they were ready for some football.
 
Doggett wasn't so sure.
 
Lounging in his hotel room on Super Bowl Sunday was not how he
wanted to watch this game.  At home was his new flat screen TV
instead of this 19 inch piece of crap.  There would be pizza and
canollis from Enzo's instead of a prefab hero and barbecue chicken
wings from the Stop and Shop.  Guinness not Budweiser - that's
how he wanted to spend his Super Bowl Sunday.  
 
"Got an under/over for the length of the National Anthem?" Monica
asked as she opened the room's little fridge.  She pulled out a pair of
Bud Tall Boys.
 
Well, at least his game-watching companion would be the same.
 
"Over a ninety seconds."  He guessed. 
 
"You're on."   She opened the bottles and passed one to him.  "You
think Mulder's rooting for the Patriots?  He grew up in
Massachusetts."
 
"Never really saw him much as a football fan.  The last time we
were out there, he was still apologizing for waking Dana and
William from a sound sleep when Boone hit that home run against
the Sox."
 
"The boys were happy."
 
"Yeah, for about ten days."
 
"You happy?"
 
"That Boone hit that home run, damn straight."  He smiled at her.
 
"Are you happy you're here?"
 
He stopped smiling.  "I thought sleeping in Prospect Park,
pretending I was a homeless man in the middle of January in 1988
was the worst assignment I ever had.  I was wrong."
 
She was quiet for a few minutes.  Plopping down on the room's
other queen size bed, she looked at him.  "You really hate this
assignment?"
 
"I really liked being on the job in New York.  I liked my time with
VCU, I was good at that.  I was fine with our work on the X files.  
This,"  he pointed to the room's log cabin styled walls, "isn't why I
joined the F.B.I."  
 
"So you admit you're not enjoying this fine Super Bowl Sunday in
the northern part of Minnesota?"
 
"No.  Sorry.  It's not the company, though."
 
Reyes smiled at the almost accidental compliment.  "Well, there is
one upside to being here in February."
 
"And that is?"
 
"By the time the game is over and we watch "Survivor", it will be
too damn cold to go back to my cabin.  I guess I'm stuck here with
you, the beer, the fine sandwich meats and if I'm not mistaken, this
bed has magic fingers."
 
"Oh, and look at this."  He pulled some money out of his pocket.  "I
have some quarters.  Lucky, lucky me."
 

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One note:
 
The New York Yankees have a female announcer who use to be a B'way
actress.  She sang and danced in a number of productions before getting
into sports.  Whenever the Yankees have a person planned to sing the 
National Anthem and that person either doesn't show or is too sick to go
on, she does the Anthem.  She is quite good and usually is just plucked
out of the booth minutes before the game is to being.  
 
Anyway, she can sing the Anthem in a minute, six seconds.  She doesn't 
know how anyone can go past a minute, fifteen seconds.  Somehow at the 
Super Bowl, they always do.

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