Highs & Lowposts – Chapter 1
Chapter 1 – Greetings From Williston
Three Months Ago…
SportsCenter Anchor: Commissioner David Stern has had enough. After Titus LeVont’s third drug offense — apprehended by authorities with over three pounds of marijuana in New Orleans this past weekend — the three-time All-Star has been banned from the NBA. The twenty-nine year-old LeVont is the first player banned from the league in twenty-seven years. Reached for comment, LeVont simply remarked, “[expletive] y’all.”
(Sports agent Theo Sellers is holding a press conference in Los Angeles, outside the Staples Center…)
Theo: Titus LeVont is here today to ask for your forgiveness. He has made mistakes, as have we all. And while our lawyers fight tirelessly to have Mr. LeVont’s ban dropped by league officials, Titus is here to make amends. And to say he is not giving up. Titus will be joining the Northern Independent Basketball League as a member of the Dakota Bollweevils. Titus?
(Gasps and snickers from the assorted media. Titus LeVont steps forward holding a piece of paper, his girlfriend Tamara and mother Shanice at his side…)
Titus: I come before you today a humbled man. I will play in the NBA again. That is my guarantee. But until that day, I am proud to call myself a… (hesitates, sighs) ..Bollweevil.
(Camera bulbs flash and reporters holler over each other as Theo leads Titus and his family to a waiting car…)
Theo: (sitting down across from Titus) I think that went pretty well.
Titus: I’ll tell you one goddamn thing right now. I ain’t goin’ to no motherfuckin’ North Dakota.
(Titus LeVont, his girlfriend Tamara, his agent Theo and his good friend Lucius are on a small plane landing in Williston, North Dakota; near the eastern border of Montana. They disembark the jetliner onto a small tarmac where the local high school band is playing and town-folk applaud. A dais has been set up and Theo leads Titus up to the podium where Williston Mayor and team owner Wilbur Hammond puts a big arm around the basketball star…)
Hammond: Titus LeVont, we’d like to welcome you to our small town and thank you for joining the Bollweevils.
(The crowd applauds and Titus leans into the mic with a fake smile…)
Titus: Thank you, Mr. Hampden–
Theo: (whispering) Hammond.
Titus: And thank you to the good people of Willis Town–
Titus: I hope I can make you proud.
(The crowd erupts with applause and Titus and Mr. Hammond step down off the podium…)
Hammond: You know, I saw that game a couple years back where you scored fifty-two against the Magic.
Titus: Oh yeah, that was a good one.
Lucius: If he’d scored seventy-two, the Hawks might not have lost by twenty.
Titus: Shut up, Lucius.
Hammond: Son, my team needs a leader. And I’m hopin’ you can be that leader. And maybe shoot a couple local commercials for my chain of pharmacies — Hammond Drug — while you’re at it.
Titus: I’ll do my best, sir.
Hammond: And no more of that ganja, you hear me?
Titus: Yes, sir.
(Wilbur Hammond chuckles as he shakes Titus’ hand for a newspaper photographer. Titus leans into Lucius’ ear…)
Titus: Tell me you brought some.
Lucius: We good, b.
Hammond: Now Titus, if you’ll just follow me to the Cadillac over here we can begin the parade.
Hammond: We like to do things big here in North Dakota.
(Titus turns back to Theo, who shrugs meekly…)
(In the Plainsman Hotel room that evening Tamara is unpacking her suitcase as Titus and Lucius enter, glassy-eyed…)
Titus: How you doin’, girl?
Tamara: (making a face) Ooh Titus, you reek. You ain’t even been here a minute and you’re high already?
Lucius: ‘Bout to grub on this jerky right here.
Titus: Baby, relax. Don’t get too comfortable, this is a pit stop. Theo’s got his lawyers working to lift this ban. We’re gonna be back in Atlanta in no time. Or Los Angeles. Or New York. Shit, there’s gonna be a bidding war for your boy.
Lucius: Just anywhere but Utah, man. That state makes me nervous.
Tamara: You don’t get it do you, Titus? Your NBA career is over. This is our home now. This is the only team that would have you. You’re a Bollweevil.
Lucius: (giggles) You a Bollweevil, son!
Titus: Shut up, Lucius. That just means you a Bollweevil, too.
Lucius: Aw, man.
Titus: Well, if my NBA career is over, why are you still here?
Tamara: ‘Cause I love you, you idiot. And…because I’m pregnant.
Titus: Well, there goes my high.
Lucius: (gets up, slaps Titus’ back) Congratulations, my dude!
Titus: (meekly) Hehe…yeah.
(A knock at the door and Lucius answers. A Williston Sheriff and his two deputies are standing in the doorway…)
Sheriff: Titus LeVont. I’m Sheriff Eric Donald and these are my deputies, Curtis and Bill. Just thought we’d stop by and welcome you to the neighborhood.
Sheriff: You know, I followed all the mischief you got into when you were a big-time basketball player. Thought I should remind you that Williston is a small town that prides itself on wholesome family values.
Titus: (fake smile) Yes, sir. I love Wallace Town–
Sheriff: Well Mr. LeVont, I’ll leave y’all to it. (turns to leave) Just remember, son: I’m keepin’ my eye on you.
Titus: Yes, sir. You have a good night now.
(Titus shuts the door and turns to Lucius whose purple face finally exhales a massive cloud of weed smoke…)
Lucius: (hacking cough) He seemed nice.
Contact this goof at firstname.lastname@example.org