It’s silly, really, that it has come to this. That this man continues to plod forward, and that many shout encouragement. “You can do it, Emperor!” “We’re with you 110%, Emperor!” “Look my way, Emperor!” “Sign my souvenir crown, Emperor!” “Smile at the cameras, Emperor!”
They watch his every move. They read every thing about him that they can get their hands on, unless it’s news of the naysayers. That news? “It’s old news.” “You can’t prove a thing.” “They’re just trying to sell newspapers.” “They’re just trying to sell their silly magazines.”
If they’re willing to cede anything, they’ll say, “He didn’t know.” “It was the jester that gave it to him.” “He just did what the jester told him to do.” Meanwhile, as the Emperor gets closer and closer to the magic number, the jester stews in jail, refusing to name names, refusing to turn on the Emperor. Those of us not caught up in the fury hope the Emperor is paying his jester well.
The ambassadors of the sport, the ones who originally said there would be no hoopla, who said they would not even be there, have finally proven themselves to be as gullible and beguiled by the Emperor’s jewels as the man on the street. “Innocent until proven guilty,” the head pooh-ba says, now, months after repeatedly telling anyone who would listen that he’d be damned if he’d be part of the celebration.
Go on, then, Emperor. Put all your steroid-generated fury into hitting #755. Many will cheer around here. Me and mine? We’re going to toast Hank, the real home run king.
[For the prompt of "phenomenon" from the phenomenal Sunday Scribblings.]