Leonard Fitzmurdle’s personal log
October 25, 2114
The game features four players: one in each corner of the arena, using what look like modified lacrosse sticks to toss a melon from player to player. Eventually the fargan notice what’s going on and start trying to catch the melon, which is when the mayhem and carnage this event is known for begins. I find bloodsports distasteful, but at least in this instance the fargan do no more damage to themselves than they would in the course of their normal daily blunderings. The people who play the sport often do not fare well, but they know the risks involved.
Toward the end of the day, Commander Briswald convinced the Dekendi to let him into the arena, wanting to get, as he put it, “The true, authentic experience.” The fargan had already been through a game and were primed and alert. The moment Briwsald stepped into the ring they came charging toward him. Briswald hurled the melon behind him and beat a hasty retreat—wisely, in my estimation.
Octavio Briswald’s field notes
October 25, 2114
The Fargan Melon Toss is not a sport. Rather it is a tragedy; the death of the melon, which is executed, more or less well, by the fargan and the men involved, and in which there is danger for the men and certain death for the melon. The danger of goring, which the men create voluntarily, can be changed to certainty of being caught and tossed by the fargan if the men, through ignorance, slowness, torpidness, blind folly or momentary grogginess break any of the fundamental rules for successful melon launching.
There is absolutely nothing for the Tosser to gain except the inner satisfaction of having been in the ring with a fargan, but that is a thing that anyone who has done it will always remember. It is a strange feeling to have an animal come toward you, completely oblivious to your presence, his eyes cast upward to follow a melon’s flight, and to see the oncoming of the lowered horn with which he could unknowingly kill you. In this instant can a man get a full glimpse of the nature of the Universe: powerful, forward rushing, not even indifferent to our presence because our presence is of no import to it whatseoever. But just as the Tosser twirls out of the way of the fargan charge at the last minute, so do we, mankind, triumph in the margins, dancing around the edges of that cosmic dispassion and exulting in our peculiar talent for reverie and revelry.