March 25, 2009 at 8:41 am | Posted in The Knave | Leave a comment

A zebra is an animal specifically bred to referee sporting events (not to be confused with the Xebra, which is an American electric car manufactured by the ZAP Corporation and most often found crushed underneath Ford Expeditions).  Human beings began the slow process of selectively breading the zebra for this purpose shortly after the first recorded instance of hooliganism, which occurred during a championship dodge-rock match.  Ugh the Tigerkiller, the head rock thrower for the Big Rock Place Flintknappers, was hurling a particularly large stone at Grung the Cousinlover, the best rock dodger for the Dead Mammoth Skull Bonesplitters, when a group of drunken Knapper fans decided to get in on the action. Realizing that there was really no difference between the officially endorsed throwing rocks used in the sport, and the various rocks found everywhere, they began joining Ugh in attempting to stone Grung.  The Cousinlover, a true athlete, dodged the first twenty, but then a rock caught him in the stones and he went down.  Meanwhile, several of the Bonesplitter fans had taken up rocks of their own and began pelting the Tigerkiller and his fans.  When the Knapper fans retreated, the Dead Mammoth Skull fans began looting Big Rock Place.  They knocked over stacks of rocks and bones, tossed piles of fur, mixed all of the short spears together with the long spears, and punched out the one-eyed medicine man.


Later, when cooler heads prevailed, it was agreed that something had to be done.  Since no human being could be considered to be impartial, only an animal would do.  It was quickly determined that mastodons and saber tooth tigers would do more harm than good.  Sloths were not nearly fast enough and there would be logistical problems with importing them from South America.  Antelopes were held to be too indecisive.  They really needed an animal for which decisions would be black and white.  As soon as they said it, they realized that there was only one solution.  For many months, the cavemen trained a herd of zebras in the intricacies of dodge-rock. This basically amounted to teaching the animals to kick anyone who threw a stone that was not supposed to be involved in the game.


As sport evolved through the millennia, societies trained zebras to perform ever more demanding tasks.  In order to keep up with their refereeing responsibilities, it became necessary for zebras to grow more and more human looking, while still maintaining their zebra impartiality.  Towards these ends, with very careful breading, Homo sapiens features began appearing on the animals’ posteriors.  They began learning how to vocalize with their backends and even evolved thumbs on their rear hooves.  It became possible for them to referee ever more complicated sports, from wrestling to tennis to jai-alai.  Nowadays the decedents of that original herd look like normal zebras when they are eating their feed from a trough or wandering around a pasture, but when they stand on their front hooves and raise their hindquarters in the air, they can pass for human and can referee any sport from football to baseball to soccer and so on.  They will even wear human clothes to perfect the illusion, no longer relying solely on their natural stripes.  You may not want to believe that referees are actually zebras in disguise, but the next time you find yourself watching a sporting event and you comment that the ref is a horse’s ass, know that you are not far from the truth. – The Knave


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