Darkside of the Sun: When will Vronsky retire?

Mike Corrigan

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan

BN Columnist

Victor “Vroom Vroom” Vronsky, star linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, took a cigarette from a small boy, lit it, and burned his autograph into the young child’s forehead. “Oh, thank you, V, thank you!” exclaimed the lad’s father. “Let’s see Bill Dewar’s kid top this!” And the man strode off, dragging his sobbing child behind him and leaving Vronsky in peace, except for the 427 other people waiting in line this Friday afternoon to receive signed copies of Vronsky’s bestseller, Out of My &#*$%^ Way, You &#(&^&*!

A bald, hulking man with a powerful gaze and genetically-impossible biceps, triceps, quadriceps, quintraceps and sextraceps (most he had invented himself), Vronsky was one of the few football stars recognizable out of his uniform. Brute physicality was his persona and his calling card, but since his calling card was printed in his native Rumanian, most people had to figure out his persona for themselves. Though he wore no football helmet, tattooed on his skull — and not on the flesh covering his skull, but on his actual skull — were seven small helmets; these represented the seven opponents he had killed, mostly with “legal” hits, in 12 years of starring for the NFL’s most famous team.

In fact, Vronsky was professional football’s only living ace. The most opponents killed by any one of his contemporaries was only four, by Antwoine “The Assassin” Krunch, of the New York Jets. Since three of the players offed were New England Patriots, and none of them was the quarterback, the deaths were ruled “justifiable homicides” by Commissioner Winfield Teataster, though Kilroy did have to pay a $50,000 fine. Vronsky was never fined for any of his kills, and even had he been, he would not have paid. The man was his own law of nature. It was often said, mostly in his presence, that Vronsky was the most respected man in America.

And now he had written a book about his life, or someone had, anyway. The Legislature of Wisconsin had passed a law making it illegal for anyone to be found on the streets after seven o'clock at night without a copy, and in Green Bay, pastors were reading selections from the pulpit on Sunday mornings. At a hundred dollars a book, some seniors couldn't afford the tome and medicine, too, so naturally most went without medicine. The man next in line was in fact a senior citizen, and he looked familiar to the football player.

“Bret Favre!” Vronsky said. “Was being wonder when you show up.”

“No, no, it’s Barack. Barack Obama, former president of the United States!”

“Old people all look same to me,” Vronsky said, waving off his understandable error. He reached out and grabbed the old man's copy. Vronsky said, “What you want me to sign?”

“How about: ‘To the man who made the world safe for the National Football League,’” the ex-president said.

Then came a whine, and a terrific explosion. Glass blew in the front of the bookstore, and about a hundred people who had been standing outside the store’s blast shield lay scattered on the floor like shocks of wheat.

Vronsky barely batted an eye. “’nother drone tack, I suppose,” he said, and chuckled thoughtfully.

“National security, it’s a hard taskmaster,” concurred the ex-president, straightening and leaning over to rest his hands on the signing table.

Vronsky nodded. “Well, life goes on. Still a few hundred alive to want signing. How you spelt this ‘football’ again? I never remember. Is two v’s, or one?”

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