In a densely settled village, which sat on a hill a few leagues south of Boston, a platoon of patriots prepared to battle a boomy legion of seafaring hawks. The pair of squadrons were set to engage in the sport of football, a peculiar game in which brutish men tossed around the skin of a pig. One match, four quarters, fifteen minutes each, and in the end, the winner would rule the entire land, from coast to coast. Each team’s brutish men were training accordingly: lifting weights, executing drills on the practice field, and even watching footage of other football games in a film room. This event, referred to as Super Bowl XLIX, was the center of attention not only for the patriots and seafaring hawks, but also for all the non-brutish, entirely unaffiliated citizens from across the nation. Rich and poor alike flocked to the site of the contest. The whole country was thinking about Super Bowl XLIX. Except, of course, for two patriots, each of whom sat idly by his locker, wearing an expression of bereavement.
“No. No! Ugh! I just can’t do it anymore!” shouted Julian, a superlative and versatile footballer who excelled especially at sprinting across fields, receiving passes in stride, and slipping through defenders to gain a multitude of yards after the catch.
“Oh, what does it even matter?” answered Shane, a similarly talented player who specialized in running forward for a few yards at a time, as well as catching short passes in an area known as the flat.
Julian and Shane were known to their teammates, and to the general public, as football players only. And they were widely lauded as such. Everyone loved them. Julian and Shane were grateful for this. They knew they were lucky. But yet, they had a secret. A secret they had barely shared with each other. A secret they were ashamed of. A secret that would leave the nation aghast if it were to find out. Because Julian and Shane — they weren’t only football players. Yes, they loved the sport of football. But they also loved the art of smoothie-making.
“I don’t know, man. It just doesn’t feel right,” grumbled Julian, the passionate one. “I don’t want to play in the game. Not if I can’t be my true self.”
“Fuck your true self!” cried Shane, the stubborn one. “Not playing in this game would be treason. You know that! I don’t care if it doesn’t feel right for you. It doesn’t feel right for me either. But we were born with an exceptional ability to play football, and damn-it, we’re gonna play!”
Julian and Shane were distraught. Not liking football was wrong. Hell, even being bad at football was wrong. But having talent and shunning it? Spitting on the skill you were blessed with? That was the worst crime imaginable.
“C’mon, man,” said Julian. “What does it say about us if we play? We’re weak? We can’t be true to ourselves? We don’t follow our passions?”
“Nah, I don’t know, man.” Shane rejoined.
“No, seriously,” urged Julian. “Listen to me. We gotta make a statement. We gotta do something. If you really love smoothie-making — and I know you do — you’ll skip this game with me.”
It was true. Shane did really love smoothie-making. They both did. They were all about it. Preparing ingredients, concocting new recipes, blending shit, drinking ‘em — they loved it all. They couldn’t help it. It was in their blood. And all they wanted was to leave behind their familiar world of football and enter something new, something exciting. But while this new world might be full of smoothies, it was bereft of acceptance.
“We can’t skip the game, man,” Shane insisted. “We’d be crucified.”
“Alright, fine,” conceded Julian. “So we’ll play in the game. But this isn’t over. We can’t give up.”
Then, silence. Minutes passed. Thin, scattershot echoes filled the locker room: metal clanging, players grunting, coaches yelling. But it was all very … diluted. Diluted by the voices inside Julian and Shane’s heads. Distracted was an understatement; they couldn’t think. The voices were loud, deafening even, and confusing. But eventually, they directed Shane down the right path.
“I have an idea,” he said, rising and walking towards his friend.
“What’s that?” Julian asked.
“Let’s make smoothies. Just like we always wanted,” said Shane, inspired. “But let’s play in the game, too.”
Julian looked up.
“We’ll record ourselves making smoothies,” continued Shane. “Then we’ll play in the game and show everybody the video. They’ll all love us for playing football, and that’s when we show them the tape. And then they’ll love smoothie-making, too. Just like us.”
Silence again. But only for a few seconds this time.
“It’s brilliant,” said Julian.
And so it was done. The Best Friend Smoothie: blending football players together since 2015.
I don’t know. I think it went something like that.