MANUTE GOES BOL-ING FOR DOLLARS
American Reporter Humor Writer
TAMPA, Fla -- He stands 7'7" in height, weighs about 225 pounds (the equivalent of roughly, oh, nothing for a person that tall) and hails from Sudan. He came to the United States many years ago to become, shockingly, a basketball player. After a few years at Villanova University, he went on to the National Basketball Association and launched his pursuit of the American dream with a lucrative contract and numerous endorsement deals.
Now, having turned 41 years of age on October 16th, he wants to become a jockey.
Happy birthday Manute Bol and, huh?
Publicity stunt you say with a heart full of skepti-cynicism?
Yep, and thank goodness for it.
Let us consider Manute Bol's track record before we hastily judge this great man's motives.
Manute Bol was born in poverty-stricken Sudan to a 5'7" mother and 5'10" father. Despite his parent's pedestrian physical stature, Manute grew to 7'7" and has a younger sister who stretched into a frame towering at 6'10."
What I'd like to know is just how tall the mailman is in Manute's hometown.
Once Manute, who was once warned by the FAA not to walk within 3 miles of an airport without written clearance, made the NBA, he began a campaign aimed at ending the eternal civil war raging in Sudan.
First, Manute, who was offered the job of painting the Statue of Liberty with the assistance of a step-stool, depleted his personal finances to the tune of $3.5 million in contributions for the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) - a unit staffed by many members of his family.
Next, Manute, who was warned that bungee jumping without a helmet molded from the same material used for the manufacture of airline black boxes, went into philanthropic mode. He established foundations and charities for those displaced by the interminable war, including the Hartford, Connecticut-based Ring True Foundation which still exists today to benefit effected Sudanese children.
Manute, who was recently asked to kneel down for safety purposes as the barge he traveled upon passed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, then took a hands-on approach to his nation's difficulties by returning to Sudan after his NBA career reached an end. Once back in his homeland, he assisted in brokering a peace deal with the northern Muslim extremists who fought to eradicate the SPLA and its Christian-based supporters of the south. For Manute, who plans to affix Old Glory to his head and go as a flagpole for Hartford's Halloween Ball, the peace agreement proved to be anything but a panacea, as he was forced to renounce Christianity and subsequently held against his will within the Sudan as the atrocities began anew.
He managed to flee to Egypt courtesy of a bribe and, after eluding the red-tape in the aftermath of 9/11, he returned to the United States.
The rail-thin Manute, who once stood on his toes so he could grasp the Golden Arch and perform 50 unassisted chin-ups to benefit the St. Louis chapter of LAFF (see "Monday Moron" of Sept. 29, 2003), insists that urban legend alleging that he laid flat on his back and had his sister fax him out of the country and into Connecticut is a blatant lie. However, when questioned about the legitimacy of his U.S. visa documentation, he refers all inquiries to a guy named Taco at a Hartford-area Kinko's.
Back in the States, Manute continued his charitable efforts.
He took to the boxing ring for a Fox network celebrity match with William "The Refrigerator" Perry, who once was was paid $1,000 per day to jump up and down in a citrus field to knock all of the oranges to the ground for easy pickings. (You may remember the event as the launching pad for Tonya Harding's second stab at a career in porn and/or topless ice shows.) Manute was the decisive winner in the match when he placed his hand on Perry's forehead by extending his 15-foot arm and remaining stationary, thus reducing Perry to standing in place and swinging at air until collapsing to the mat in a scene reminiscent of Jabba the Hut's cameo in the "Star Wars" series.
Next on the agenda for Manute's fund-raising endeavors was ice hockey. Manute, who inspired the invention of the doppler weather radar tower, signed a contract to play in the minors. Sadly, Manute's career was cut short (pun intended) when an un-named old lady would not move out of the only shoe expansive enough to be converted into skates for Manute - not to mention that management secretly feared he might ding himself on the scoreboard/jumbo tron suspended above mid-ice.
Thus, we have come to the prospect of jockeying a horse, Manute's freshly-ordained career.
May I be so bold as to suggest one thing with regard to Manute, who no mobster would dare whack because: a) his legs would never fold into the trunk of a Cadillac; b) he would be able to stand waist-high while wearing cement shoes in any body of water located in Connecticut; c) he would present an immeasurably-waiflike target just by turning to the side.
Never count out a man who honestly walks in the light of a purpose other than himself.
Remember, everything happens for a reason. I know that to be factual because I recently dismissed as a wasted expense the cost of proposed "privacy guards" between the urinals at city hall. As I mulled over the usefulness of such "privacy guards" while using the soon-to-be-effected restroom, a 6'5" guy next to me sneezed while in mid-stream.
I now know that the installation of a "privacy guard" serves a purpose far greater than to simply conceal one's "business;" just as Manute Bol serves the purpose of greater living conditions for the children of Sudan.
And now I must go change into my cheerleader uniform and take the final in my series of ten tomato soup showers in the sprinklers as a result of my experience with a fellow bathroom patron at city hall.
It'll be okay though. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and had Subway for lunch.