Deleted Bits From OOP4

So yeah, as I mentioned somewhere, the first-edited draft of OOP4 is being read by other people FOR THE FIRST TIME, which is always a little nerve-wracking (I have daymares about people coming back holding the paper and shaking their heads and saying, “this needs…a LOT of work” or “I dunno, it took me forever to get through it”), and anyway, I thought I would dip into the file of stuff I have cut OUT of the book and toss a few random lines up here. You can read whatever you like into them, but remember, these were all discarded from the actual draft going forward.

(Oh, and if you haven’t read “Divisions” yet, then there may be some minor spoilery things. Very minor. Probably more “confusing” than “spoilery,” to be honest.)

“You’re not makin’ life easy on yourself.”

“Not everyone on your team thinks the same.”

He laughs. “What, eighty-three? Ah, he’s a fuckhead. They were talking about how to get into your head. We told ‘em, he’s used to it and all you’re gonna do is piss him off.”

“Thanks.” I grin. “It’s been pretty surprising so far.”


“Well.” I gather my thoughts again. “There’s a pretty good chance that if I just call her up, and we start talking about Families United, she’ll hang up on me.”


I know he knows what I want from him, and he’s just making me say it. “So I want your advice on how to not make that happen.”

“You mean, on how to not come off as completely judgmental of her choices?”

“Her completely wrong, bigoted, hurtful choices. Yes.”

He clicks his jaw. “Well, I think I have a suggestion on a place you can start…”


And after that, I don’t feel like saying much. Even when I walk back into the sandwich shop, I stay pretty quiet. Dev tries to draw me out, but I remind him about focusing on football and he shifts topic, to yet another commercial he has to do, another interruption in his football schedule that has nothing to do with standing up for the people who really need someone to stand up for them. I know it’s not his fault, I know Ogleby signed a shitty contract, but I still want to yell at him, “Why can’t you take just an hour and do an interview with Equality Now? Take two hours and film a spot they can use?”


I get a glimpse of some tighty whities as the shorts come down and past the towel-wrapped ankle, but I don’t try for any closer a look.


I shake my head. “Wow, all these things going on I never knew about.” I look at my paws and wonder how my blunt claws would look with glowing purple claws. Or rainbows. “Can you turn them off?”

“Oh yeah. The light-up ones, they’ve got a magnet switch or something, you just wave ’em to turn them on and off.”

“Specialized market,” I say. “But I guess he’s got people willing to pay for ‘em.”


“Just so you’re good on the field. Hey, you know, Colin has this pre-game thing he does to calm down. I could ask him about it…”

“I don’t want anything from that prick,” I say as we walk out of the restaurant. “He can keep his prayer-circle meditations to himself.”

There you go!

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