When Veterans Stadium came down in 2004, it’s destruction was thought to end both an era of drunken mayhem during sporting events, while simultaneously ending an era of horrifying specters, hovering through the corridors from previous events that happened there.
However, the Phillies chose to leave one leg of The Vet standing, so that it could jut into the view of the city skyline from Citizens Bank Park, so the barf-splattered past could constantly intrude on the present. Finally, after nine years at CBP, the team has determined there’s actually no reason to have a giant ‘Phillies’ sign standing there for no reason, and the tower will be shortened and turned into a two-sided message board.
But what had gone overlooked was the fact that ghosts of the Vet still resided there, and may even have contributed to the abysmal failings of the Phillies past two seasons.
“Yeah, it’s been great,” said a ghost whipping a full beer can at a little boy wearing a Cowboys jersey. “Tell, ‘um Marv.”
Marv, a morbidly obese ghost currently peeing ghost-piss onto a vision of some opposing football players as they jogged out of the tunnel, grunted in agreement.
“Marv don’t speak so good, after I smashed a mini-bat on his head until it broke that bunch of times,” the first ghost explained. “Just nod along with him; I think someone’s really wrong in there. See that dried blood around his ghost-ears? Cant be good, right? Eh, maybe it’s just a headache.”
It was not just a headache, as medical documents indicate Marv had apparently died when his head filled with blood and his brain drowned. But as the first ghost explained to me while trying to grab me by the collar but his hand would just pass through it because he is an otherworldly demon, “I ain’t a god damn doctor, cock-for-brains.”
A mulleted ghost wearing a Steve Carlton jersey hurled a ghost-beer at me and laughed as it passed through my head and skittered across the ghost parking lot, knocking over another wraith’s baby stroller to a chorus of horrified gasps. manic laughter rose when it became clear that the stroller contained zero babies and was merely the vessel for more beers.
“Yeah, it just started to seem like more of an unnecessary monstrosity than anything else,” said one currently alive city official, as a group of antagonistic apparitions he either could not hear or see or was just ignoring hurled perverse insults at him about his wife and mother. “I’m not really sure why we felt a ‘Phillies’ sign was needed, all the way out here. Nostalgia, I guess. Some people actually want to remember the Vet.”
“I’m a vet your mother remembers!” one of the intoxicated phantasms shouted. “A Vietnam vet! And I’m having a flashback about the time I porked her brains out!”
“Just seemed unnecessary,” the official reiterated, removing his helmet and wiping sweat from his brow. “And we have a new stadium now, full of kind, decent folks.”
Whether or not the ghosts of the Vet have been the cause of the team’s struggles – they may very well have been around during the good times, too, but were most likely so confused by the idea of a Philly sports team’s success that they found nothing to say – remains to be seen. But as one man I decided to call a ‘scientist’ put it, they may have seen the Phillies’ considerably worse recent years and felt more at home.
“Something about teams in Philly colors losing all the time really coaxes them out of the tower,” the scientist said, taking another deep whiff of glue. “I always run up to people as they enter the stadium, screaming at people that the ghosts are everywhere, and that they’re going to get them, but they don’t listen. I try to find families with small children to yell it to, too; but they’re even more angry at my warnings.”
It’s a bookmark in the page of a bygone era, but now, it is gone, and with it, the ghosts of the Vet and of Philly’s brutal past have gone elsewhere, too. May they be at peace.
“I got some peace from your wife last night,” that same ghost from before shouted. “A piece of ass.”