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"Well, I do hope that at least the game was exciting."
"No, not at all. It was perfectly dreadful. The team from San Francisco absolutely eviscerated the Midwest club."
"Oh, I'm so sorry."
"No matter. It didn't bother a soul, because they assured me that they were all quite resigned to this circumstance—that it was almost always a terrible game, and certainly always when the Minnesota club played."
"And this didn't upset the fans?"
"Oh, no. The league and the press have convinced the fans that the only important thing about the Super Bowl is that it be played in nice weather. I came to understand that the Super Bowl really was very representative of America—at least of the worst of modern America. It is all flash and no substance. A duel of transients passing by, played before transients. Of course the games are always going to be awful. Even the players must sense that they are the end result of a programmed, franchised society. The Super Bowl is the ultimate remove in this nation, luv."
"I do hope you kept these sentiments to yourself, dear."
"Oh, I was the perfect guest. Besides, we were kept busy in the stadium. Soon enough the public-address announcer advised us: 'You are sitting in the world's largest card-stunt section,' and for all of us to get ready our cards."
"Michael, what in the world?"
"Well, darling, we were programmed rather like those poor Chinese in Peking on Mao Tse-tung Day, holding up these cardboard sections to form rather infantile color patterns. I did ask why we were expected to perform these maneuvers, and Nick explained to me that it was for the convenience of the TV audience. It seemed to me that this was all rather backward, inasmuch as we had paid $20 a seat—a hard seat—while the people watching on the telly were enjoying the proceedings more comfortably and gratis, but since I was a guest myself, I agreed to quietly go along with this dreadful mass exercise."