About Red Tales

Here's an evolving electronic collection of short prose pieces, with a poem contributed occasionally. Brevity guides. Although sometimes a piece will run to 900 words, most pieces are much shorter. Here one may find erotica, flash fiction, brief observations, and modest improvisations. Another rule is that each piece must have something to do with"red"; at least the word has to appear in each piece functionally. . . . All pieces are numbered and titled, so there's a de facto table of contents running down the rail below, under "Labels" (scroll down a bit). Browse for titles that look interesting, if you like. Thank you for stopping by. Look for some red today, tonight.

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

Sunday, August 31, 2008

18. Legend

Roland "Red" Redson, age 123, having coached at the University of West Central Tech State College (UWCTSC) for 98 years, announced his retirement at a press conference today.

Redson, the oldest living football coach in the United States and human being anywhere, told stunned reporters that his epic, successful career was the result of a scheme that he and God had cooked up. Redson also revealed that he "never liked football."

"As some of you may not remember, my daddy was a fine football coach last century," Redson reminisced. "I followed in his footsteps, but in my second game as head coach at UWCTSC, the whole thing seemed totally pointless. I lost interest."

Ironically, Redson that year led the Fighting Feral Housecats to the first of twelve conference championships and an appearance at the Mammal Bowl.

Redson claims he thought of retiring after that season but was visited by God. According to Redson, God expressed surprise at the existence of football in the universe, understood Redson's predicament, but told Redson that as long as he coached, that's how long he would live.

Asked why God would get involved at that level of detail in the universe, Redson would say only, "He has quite a sense of humor, That One."

As for Redson's decision to go along with "the gag"--"It was a no-brainer. I was guaranteed a long life, plus at least a 6-4 season every year, no matter what. I always had time for my family and hobbies--like orchids--and I did enjoy the pageantry surrounding college football."

A reporter asked if Redson had any regrets. "It's no fun outliving your grandchildren," he said. "Also, I felt sorry for all those coaches who imagined they could change the outcome of games against me by practicing and yelling. When we were to win, we won; when we weren't, we didn't. On the other hand, this knowledge of the machinery behind fate gave me a great sense of peace, especially in the fourth quarter."

After the press conference, Redson died.

Asked for a comment, UWCTSC President Wanda Oparto said, "Red Redson was extremely old, and he will be missed, sort of."

Redson reportedly left his retirement fund, totalling one billion dollars, to several great-great-grand children, to an orchid-preservation society, and to the nation of Chad.

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