Even though the trade deadline has passed, teams can still attain assets and get rid of dead weight by going through the waiver system. However, there is one reason that few waiver trades are ever made: no one understands the rules. The reason is simple. They were etched into the Ten Scrolls of Godiah by a giant in 4200 B.C., and no one has been able to find them. Until now.

After a mysterious map found its way into my mailbox, I procured the services of four warrior monks to locate the scrolls. Three of the monks perished in the task, and the fourth, as a sign of his disgust, refused to take my “dirty money.” Lucky me!

The translation (first, from the native Gohdin into Hebrew, the only language Gohdin can be translated into, and from there into English) took two decades, but I finally have the results, which I present below.

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Step 1

A team puts one of its players on waivers. The news must be delivered to the player by leaving the following cryptic message on the player’s answering machine: “The joker is on the bayou, waiting for some warm milk.”

Step 2

After the player hears the message, the team sends a similar message (replacing the word “milk” with the player’s name) to the Waiver Processing Center, in Leadville, Colorado. There, representatives for all 30 teams wait. Each sits in the middle of a large field, cross-legged on their own individual 3-foot-high mound of bananas, staring into the sky.

Step 3

When word reaches the WPC, a lime-green signal is projected from the Huddle telescope (a cheap knockoff of the Hubble) and directed at a specific star.

Step 4

With a compass and protractor handy, the representatives consult their official star-registry log to accurately determine who was put on waivers. If they make a mistake, the representative loses a toe. After the 10th mistake, one-half of their genitals is removed as punishment.

Step 5

The representatives put the name into a sealed envelope, tie a banana to it, and throw the bundle into a large sinkhole.

Step 6

A hunchback with a potassium deficit collects the bundle and places the envelope in the pneumatic tube connected with the correct general manager’s office. (Note: If a representative fails to attach the banana, there’s a 73 percent chance the hunchback will “accidentally” misplace the envelope.)

Step 7

Upon hearing the news, the team’s general manager must loudly exclaim, “Loud exclamation!,” signaling his team of diminutives living in his desk drawers to carry him into the team’s War Room.

Step 8

The team has a 47-hour window to put its claim in on the player. The claim must be placed with the Commissioner’s Office after the general manager has inhaled three puffs of smoke from the carcass of a Tijuanan donkey. If the claim is delivered in the correct voice, the Commissioner’s Office will respond by saying, “Forget about the Soul Man, he walks alone,” and the transaction will be complete.

Step 9

After the 47-hour window, the team who put the player on waivers can do one of the following: (a) send the player to the team that placed the claim, salary and all; (b) work out a trade with the same team; © take the player off waivers by legally changing his name; or (d) place the player on Super-Secret Waivers, in which case he can only be traded for 18 unicorns that have been put out to stud.

Step 10

If a player is not claimed, he is released from the team and must sing bass for the doo-wop group of his choice. After 16 free concerts at the local grocery store, the player can rejoin the team.