One evening in late August,
As the golden sun did straddle the horizon,
I took my blushing bride-to-be, Sarah, upon a pilgrimage
To witness the Orioles compete against the White Sox at Camden Yards.

Yet, as we approached our seats in Section 342,
Rather than remain at the side of my betrothed,
In a wild flight of fancy I left her side so that I alone could
Mount the countless stairs that overlooked the vaulting streets of Baltimore.

Whereupon, arriving at the stadium’s highest peak,
I witnessed a door before me, cold and resolute, that read “Employees only.”
I, foolishly tempting fate, pushed open the forbidden portal
Whereupon, O King of kings, at once I saw Your horrid form before me.

So humanlike, adorned with headset, cables
And Metallica t-shirt, it was fearful to behold.
And not unlike the waning moon, its glaring darkness stole my joy.
And filled my heart with overwhelming dread.

And I cried out: O Lord of lords, so cruel of heart,
Please tell me who You are and what is Your design.
Alone, so high above the Baltimore Orioles, I offer myself to You;
I know not what Your purpose is, and I desire to know it.

You, O Loathsome King interrupted me:
I am become Kiss Cam Operator, the destroyer of worlds,
And I have come to bridle all peoples. With the exception of no man,
Those who are shown on My all-pervading screen will be made to kiss on camera.

Therefore return to your seat
And prepare for the coming of the fifth inning.
Wherein I alone, immeasurable and limitless, shall compell
Man to kiss wife. Sister to kiss brother. Dog to kiss child.
Team manager Buck Showalter to kiss Oriole third baseman Manny Machado.

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When I demand it of them, all shall kiss.

O King, supreme and vengeful, Your words corrupt
And fill my heart with fear cried I, falling on my knees.
Your domain, so vast and immeasurable, is limitless: spanning
From the Free State Pub to Boog’s BBQ, Your wrath condemns us all.

You taint the act of love and turn it into pageantry
For the sake of Your own esoteric pleasures.
Witnessing my agitation, You, O mighty one began to laugh and
With a frightful effort, shifted Your vast, limitless form towards me and spoke.

You said: Powerless to prevent My awesome wrath,
You and your kind, who are but ants beneath Me, shall witness the fall of the fourth inning
You shall hear the sound of “Love Shack” by the B-52’s on the loudspeakers
You shall witness a heart shape on the monitor, surrounding you and your beloved.

And you shall kiss. For I have commanded it.

And finally, grasping the incomprehensible depths
Of His abhorrent deeds and designs
I stared upon the sea of men beneath us, cheering and laughing
And performing the wave. Blissfully unaware of their own impotence.

And my heart filled with unspeakable dread
At how soon You, O Lord of lords would fill our world with darkness.

Wretchedly, after a pause that was both instantaneous and infinite,
I consigned myself to fate. And redescending the countless stairs once more
I returned to my seat in Section 342, breathless and disturbed.

Sarah, my betrothed, upon witnessing my agitation, tearfully demanded
What wrongs you, O beloved? What has brought upon your fearful agitation?
In response I said nothing and, like a wounded python, recoiled from her advances
For what could I say that would not taint her as well?

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Instead, staring ahead stone-faced and resolute, I watched
As the Baltimore Orioles closed out the fourth inning;
As the likeness of a heart appeared upon the screen before us;
As “Love Shack” by the B-52’s grew louder and louder;

And silently, I began to weep.

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