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Van Gogh-Goghs Invent New Sport

LOS ANGELES (Knight-Ridder Van Gogh-Gogh Press), Jan. 14, 1999 -- The Van Gogh-Goghs, a Los Angeles-based sketch comedy group, today announced that they had created a superior successor to all previously known games of athletic skill. The new sport, "Inflatable Chairball," will replace all other sports, according to group members.

The sport was invented in the research wing of the group's sprawling worldwide HQ complex. Van Gogh-Gogh scientists combined an inflatable chair and a soft, stuffed cloth globe with the giddiness typical of the group's nitrous-fueled "practice sessions" to create this new form of amusement.

"I purchased the inflatable chair as my typically belated Christmas gift to the group," project leader Rob Terrell said, recounting his crucial role in the sport's genesis. "I had planned to hog its comfiness all to myself, but I guess fate had other plans, dammit."

According to Terrell, Inflatable Chairball was created when he and several unnamed members of the group were busy shirking rehearsal in favor of horseplay and more nitrous.

While idly tossing around a soft stuffed cloth globe (a prop from the group's 'Battlestar Potemkin' skit), someone tossed the globe at the aforementioned inflatable chair. The "ball" bounced once on the outer rim of the chair, rolled across the center, then fell out.

"Right then and there, we knew something magical had happened," said a dewy-eyed Jason Torchinsky.

Both Torchinsky and Terrell credit Charles Rempel with helping turn mere goofing off into the "...greatest sport the world has yet to see."

"That [Rempel] encouraged all of us to take a break and continue playing," Torchinsky said. "Mainly because he was winning."

This infectious energy soon spread to the less sports-centric members of the group.

"Normally I avoid all sports like the Federation avoids Talos IV," T. Mike Childs said. "But that [Rempel] just wouldn't let the [matter] up (sic)."

From his home in North Carolina, expatriate Van Gogh-Gogh Galen Black was equally excited.

"Inflatable what?" he asked when contacted by phone. "Do you have any idea how late it is here? I'm on the East Coast! Think of the time change! Great, now you went and woke up the cats."

According to Van Gogh-Gogh officials, the game is an excellent alternative for those disenchanted with trouble-prone professional sports.

"For those of you left with a bad taste left in your mouth by the NBA strike, the baseball strike, the NHL strike, the USFL only winning $3 in its suit against the NFL, the air traffic controllers' strike, and Fatty Arbuckle's shabby treatment at the hands of William Randolph Hearst, we give you ... Inflatable Chairball!" Terrell said.

During a press conference earlier today, the group set forth the rules of the game on a napkin and distributed it to the assembled members of the press. The group's love of the game was evident as Rempel cautioned the press "heyheyhey, easy on the napkin! We only have the one, you know."

The rules of the sport, which is played on a court described "...as three Van Gogh-Goghs long and one Van Gogh-Gogh wide, " are as follows:

The findler tances one heel securely against the tancing plane. He pitches the stuffed cloth globe at the inflatable chair, attempting to make it stay in the chair's seat. A properly nonscrungy pitch will balinger and stay in the chair. If the next findler does not make his pitch, he receives the letter "c" and is soundly taunted. If he is successful, he receives no letter and the burden is passed to the next findler. In either event, the gully returns the ball to the next findler, billedges the inflatable chair, and play resumes. Letters are accumulated in the manner of 'horse,' the difference being the letters r,h,c,i,and a are used, and spell out 'chair' instead of 'horse.'

Rempel denied any similarity between inflatable chairball and "HORSE." "They are totally not alike," claimed Rempel. "Mainly inflatable chairball was invented by us and HORSE was not."

"Has anyone met this man called HORSE who supposedly invented 'HORSE?'" he added. "I think not! He is entirely fictional, a creation of Hollywood!"

"What the hell are you nitrous freaks talking about?" added Alan Benson, ending the matter.

The Van Gogh-Goghs also distributed a list of meticulously kept statistics written on a greasy donut box:

Game Standings
Game 1Game 2Game 3
SecondT. MikeAlanT. Mike
ThirdRobT. MikeCharles
Point system for league play:
1st place - 10 points
2nd place - 5 points
3rd place - 3 points
4th place - 1 point
5th place or lower - 0 points
Standings, by points
Charles25 pts.
T. Mike13 pts.
Rob13 pts.
Alan7 pts.
Jason1 pt.

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