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Artwork: ghost
72

Waterboy

Author: NGH '23
As seen in: The Mental Health Issue #

It’s my first day as waterboy. The rest of staff is nowhere to be found, so I guess I gotta get all these behemoths ready all on my own. I know nothing about football, which won’t hinder my ability to get the players their jerseys and fetch water. But my outright fear of them will likely present a challenge. Little does everyone know, I eat Challenges for breakfast, which is the actual name of my morning cereal. In regards to my mental state, I’m freaking the fuck out.

“Um, here’s your jersey, mister captain sir,”  I rehearse to myself quietly as I approach the team captain. This is one of the many important tasks that I almost do before hiding myself in a locker and hoping they don’t eat me. “Hey buddy, are you the new waterboy? Would it be okay if I grab my jers—” I pass out. 

Next thing I know, I’m on the floor in front of the water bottle station. I play it off by praying no one cares about me. “Hey, um, do you need help?” one of the players asks me, to which I quickly wet myself. “Um, I, um—” I say into the towel as he swaddles me with his jumbo hands. My shrieks and squirms are held back by my deep-down desire to feel like his lil monster baby and a lot by the towel.

The locker room is packed now, and I can tell the players need a leader before the game starts. I take a deep breath and run emphatically into the locker room, passing right through it into the janitor’s closet. “Please, these guys need you” I beg the janitor, who mutters something about being the head coach and me needing to leave his office because practice is starting soon. 

“That’s it, kid, you’re fired!” I yell to myself, tired of the stress and not understanding workplace dynamics. The giant, retired-NFL-star-turned-alcoholic-coach-looking janitor picks up his clipboard and leaves. “Shit” I realize, “he must be the coolest janitor in the whole world.”