by Mac Callihan

         The name I was given at birth when they saw I was a boy is Smith W. Holbrook. I never asked what the W stands for, and it’s good all the same. I hope it stands for Whiskers! Prophet Naaaaaaatiooooooooooooooooon!!! Here I am!!! I’m eating alligator beef jerkey, I’m praising Jesus, and I’m dancing a lot lately. My siatic nerve has been nearly crippling me at the most unexpected times, but I’ve learned to deal with that. Anyway, it’s Prophet time. We got a good one today, a hot one even, my dear basketball bruisers. The NBA Playoffs have been packed with thrilling expertise, which isn’t surprising! There have been barbaric type brawls waged on the court throughout the tourney, with tempers flaring and sometimes erupting. Meta-game psychology, deceit, love, humor, hubris, drama, crime fiction, and forgiveness…yeah, they have all been at play in each game I’ve covered. It’s an honor, here. Commissioner Adam Silver and I always have extra buttery popcorn on tap because yeah, it’s a movie! Egos collide, sides are chosen, players and fans either rebel or persevere. Or both. Coach Steve Kerr angrily punched a referee in the stomach a couple of weeks ago, causing both a hefty fine and suspension to boot. In an eastern conference first round game, the Cleveland Cavs’ Lebron James actually slapped his own teammate across the face as punishment for acting like an arrogant clown. I can get behind something like that. Before said slapped player could even react, LeBron had him in a bear hug, whispering calming suggestions that were stern but loving, yes.

         OKAY. ANYWAY! My lovely, worshiping, god fearing listeners, listen up. That’s all past, and it led us to this point. We are now down to the final two teams, and thus…the NBA FINALS! LeBron and Cleveland will take on Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors for the big world title. Each and every one of these players are multi-millionaires, and they deserve it. Not one Wurtland Prophet is on either team, which is awesome, ‘cause that means we get to hang out during the finals! Okay. So, lovely faithful, the first game is tonight, actually, only 9 hours from now…in Oakland, California. I am currently aboard an airplane and en route to the game. I’m going to broadcast this podcast from now till the end of the game! Pardon the unexpected sounds and interuptions that will undoubtedly come because of this. It’ll work out. And just think, if this plane crashes right now, you’ll hear it all! Bahah! Sick stuff! Pray for us, dear Propheteers. There are reports of brutal spring thunderstorms hovering somewhere still unseen in the distance. We are going to just plow through that. If it kills us, well then, Heaven, I hope you are prepared for a crazy like me. Heaven. Ah! I hitched this plane ride with a farmer I know from Georgetown, Kentucky. I was gonna just hop the early flight from Columbus, was actually about to book it, and then my old friend Thomas called me up. Hadn’t talked to him in years, but we were great college epics, so it was quite fortuitous he called when he did. He raises horses, races them, sells them, owns a lot of land here in Kentucky and out west…he splits his time between his two homes. Anyway, he told me to hop the flight with him, and that his plane was delivering his horse Bright List to a race this evening! Psycho luck. I’m not even surprised anymore. The jet, my friend Thomas tells me, is owned by “Tex” Sutton, a man who makes a good living by providing “first class equine travel.” Earlier, I hurriedly drove down to his farm and was amazed by its vastness before hopping aboard the horse friendly jet.

         Right now, I’m 35,000 feet above the middle Americas…the dusty, wholesome chunk of our freedom grounds. I’m reclining in my chair now, but I’ve been feeding the promising horse Bright List for a while. Carrots. The feeling on my open palm is amazing when he scoops it up. His eyes convey a lot, it’s quite amazing and unexplainable. I’m a fan. Smith Holbrook is a horse fan now, in addition to basketball. Okay, let’s get back on track…I fell asleep for a while. We are landing now, the speakers just told me via pilot’s commands. Here we are!

         Thomas and I are now leading Bright List down a wide and cushioned runway from the jet airplane. Oh, Prophet faithful, this is a wild one! A podcast with an hour gap that has me snoring aboard my flight?! Wait! Who is it at the bottom of the runway??? This guy is someone…I know this guy well…it’s Adam Silver! Okay, I’m running to him.

         “We aren’t going to the basketball game,” Adam says, “we’re going to the racetrack. Whatever horse this is, we are following it. I gamble too much, Holbrook. Just entertain me for the evening; there’ll be other NBA Finals in the future. Let me latch onto this horse. What is it?! Who’s is it?! Let me talk to the owner. Smith, it looks STRONG.”

         Okay, Prophet faithful, bear with me now! I just got into Commisioner Silver’s limo and we are heading toward San Anita racetrack. Seems the NBA Finals are on the backburner. Hell, no Wurtland Prophets are in action, so who cares anyway?! I’m gonna send you all to SOUND EFFECTS while I try to subdue Silver and his absolutely insane antics right now. Talk to you when we get to the racetrack in a couple hours. Hold strong, my lovely bunch. I love you. I’m praying for patience, not only for you, but for me.

         **SOUND EFFECTS**:The song “Dreams Come True” by Brandon Flowers blasts. Okay, it’s me now, Sound Effects. Your sister had an innocent crush on me because I was funny one night about 8 years ago. Nothing happened, I’m just a camera without an author. Ferris wheels creaking and adolescents screaming profane things is the next thing you hear. Then you hear 414 people doing cartwheels at a roughly simultaneous time. Just a bunch of stomps at the end, but they all shout at the different indiscernible things during the group cartwheel. It’s really bad. Okay, let’s eat fettucini now. I love you.

         I’m back, Prophets! We are in the racetrack, and I’m confused. Lots of movement and sound. It’s exciting! Commisioner Silver relapsed and is out of his mind. He keeps punching me. Thomas went to be with Bright List and do what needs to be done pre-race. I’m having a good time! Who cares about basketball?! The horses are lining up, I heard the intercom. Adam is next to me, and he’s actually drooling. Spit just ran down my left hand. He has a horse racing brochure clutched in his hand, his knuckles are white, and he is now confessing he laid down $3 Million American Dollars on Bright List to win. I’m confounded! They are getting ready to hit it, they are in the starting gates! Bright List is in the 4th slot, which, I’m told, isn’t that bad?! I placed a $5 dollar bet on Unwanted Refrigerator, and a $4000 bet on Bright List to win. I fed him carrots. I don’t care. Wait, Prophet Nation, I see something! WHAT?! Bright List has a small white triangular wing tip that seems to be appearing out of his right side. This is unreal madness. Please tell me I’m not hallucinating! Ah!!!! The gun fired, and they just exploded from the gates! ADAM SILVER JUST THREW HIS WHISKEY IN MY FACE! HEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

         And they are off! A rich kid fired a bullet into the air…I wonder where it will land? But they are off! Bright List seems to have gotten a horrible start. Blinding White wingtips are still emerging from his sides though, and I guess that’s promising! He’s in 8th position as they are now rounding the half mile mark. The wingtips are now in their intermediate stage, becoming half wings. Adam Silver just kissed me on the forehead and said, “Let’s fly this bitch to the moon. Buy me a shot, baby bird.” I shoved him away! I’m freaking out! The horse I fed carrots to on the TEX aircraft is now growing wings? Seems like this may be an unlikely and crazy spectacle. Oh God. He just sprouted full wings, suddenly, around the 3 quarters mark. Oh wow. He just went inside, pushing hard, about to take the lead! His wings are scaring the other horses and riders; they are bright white, and strong. They are flapping harder and harder now, and he is about to take the lead! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…Bright List is flying. He just lifted off the ground with the smoothness of a jet. He just hooked left and flew off into the sunset. I don’t know if he won or not, but Adam Silver just passed out in my lap. Fainted. This can’t be real. It can’t be. I love you. It’s Prophet reporting.