Posse Payroll

A nerdish man in a white, short-sleeve shirt sits behind a large desk. He adjusts his bow-tie and looks up as he hears a knock at his door.

Mr. Smith
It’s open. Come in.

Several scraggly eastern European men decked out in American “gangsta” garb stride in and stare at Mr. Smith. One of them slams the door behind them.

Mr. Smith
Please take a seat, gentlemen.

The men grumble. Only one sits, sees the others standing, then gets back up and scowls even more.

Mr. Smith
Suit yourselves, gentlemen. I’m Mr. Smith. Welcome to Posse Payroll.

More grumbling.

Mr. Smith
Can I have your applications please?

Ambiance
This is bullsh@t, man. I’m history!

All of the men erupt in a barrage of ghetto profanity. Ambiance turns and starts to walk out.


Mr. Smith
So is your free ride, Mr…?

Ambiance turns around.

Ambiance
They calls me “Ambiance” cuz I-

Mr. Smith
-set the mood. Got it.

Ambiance is puzzled. Mr. Smith checks a list from the desk.

Mr. Smith
Gentlemen, my understanding is that you’re all Lithuanian nationals and that none of you is now – or ever has been – a rap artist.

Grumbled assent from the men. Ambiance grabs his groin and gives a little “humf”. One of the others hits him in the shoulder.


Mr. Smith
Yes?


Velvet Rope
We thought it help to sound like gangsta.

Mr. Smith
I can assure you that it makes no difference to us here at Posse Payroll. Your income is based solely on the services you provide. We might as well start with you, Mr?

Velvet Rope digs an application out of his pocket and hands it to Mr. Smith.


Velvet Rope
They call me “Velvet Rope” cuz I gets all the bitches. (realizes how he’s speaking) Sorry.

Mr. Smith (reading application)
Ah yes… And just how much “action” do you obtain for the famous Mr. Tevoch? He is averaging 1 rebound and 14 minutes a game.

Velvet Rope (puffing up)
I don’t keep count.

Mr. Smith just stares.


Velvet Rope
Ok, ok. Maybe two bitches a day. Damn! Two women.

Mr. Smith
Bitches is fine.

Velvet Rope
You bet they are!

Mr. Smith
No, I mean…Forget it. (stares again at paperwork) Does one a week sound more realistic?

Velvet Rope
No way! (stares indignantly for several seconds) Ok, ok – but they’re hot!

Mr. Smith
And the gonorrhea Mr. Tevoch contracted last year?

Velvet Rope
She looked so sweet.

Mr. Smith (again reading list)
He missed ten games due to “groin pain.”

Velvet Rope (shrugging)
I just find them. It’s “No Baby’s” job from there.

No Baby steps forward and hands Mr. Smith his application.

No Baby
I forget condom one time and he sleeps with Typhoid Larry.


Velvet Rope
Typhoid Mary! Idiot!

Mr. Smith pulls another piece of paper off his desk and glances at it.


Mr. Smith
No, Mr. No Baby is correct. That was no “Mary,” and that’s part of what led to all of you coming here today.

No Baby hits Velvet Rope in the arm. Velvet Rope hits him back. They start to go at it until the much larger Goodnight separates them.


Goodnight
Enough! Is bad enough he slept with Larry – don’t make it worse.

Mr. Smith
Just so I document this correctly, Mr. No Baby – your only job is to have a condom available at all times?

No Baby (straightening up his gear)
Yes. Is correct. Exactly.

Mr. Smith
Can you show me the one you have with you now?

No Baby smiles as he reaches into one pocket, then another. He stops smiling as he goes through the rest of them and ends up back at the first empty pocket.

No Baby
Dah!

Mr. Smith
I see…and you must be Mr. Goodnight?


Goodnight fishes his application out, flattens it on No Baby’s head, and then hands it to Mr. Smith.

Goodnight
Yes. I am he.

Mr. Smith (reading)
You put down here that your job is to, “Say goodnight and then hit Mr. Tevoch in the temple with a roll of coins wrapped in a tube sock?”

Goodnight
Yes. Is correct. He drink too much then like to drive.

Mr. Smith stares at him, alarmed.

Goodnight
What? He 7’5” and 20 stone. He too big to stop.

Mr. Smith (alarmed)
So you tell him “goodnight” and knock him out with a roll of quarters?



Goodnight
Is Euros actually but yes. Drunk driving very bad.

Mr. Smith
Have you ever thought that the problem might be better fixed by not getting him blind drunk every night?

All of the boys huddle up to discuss. Much grumbling, then agreement.

Goodnight
No, roll of Euros is fine.

Mr. Smith
It’s odd that Mr. Tevoch didn’t mention any of this to me….

Goodnight
He no remember real good. That why he needs us!

Mr. Smith
That’s one way of looking at it. (puts papers down) Look, gentlemen, now that I have a better understanding of what each of you actually do for Mr. Tevoch we can discuss the main reason you’re all here. Money.

Velvet Rope
Is good. We need more though.

Mr. Smith
Actually it’s the opposite. You’re going to start learning to live off of a lot less.

They crowd in and push Mr. Smith back against the desk.


Mr. Smith
Gentlemen, please! Mr. Tevoch has retained posse Payroll directly. Nothing you do will change that.


Goodnight
(reaching into pocket)
We see after some Euros maybe?

Mr. Smith
(bowing up his small frame)
Back off, Goodnight. If I can handle Jennifer Capriati’s posse, why would I be scared of you?

They immediately back off.


No Baby
Capriati posse bad. Mean.

They huddle up again. More grumbling.

No Baby
We sorry. We behave.

Mr. Smith
Good! (flips over the first page of a flip chart with large figure across it) Now, you all know that as a backup, backup center Mr. Tevoch earns $2.9 million per season.

Grumbled assent. Ambiance counts with the fingers on both hands, gets stuck. Stops.

Mr. Smith
(flips chart again to a picture of the posse drunk at a bar with the figure $10,000 at the bottom)
With Mr. Tevoch’s help, you are spending money at the rate of $10,000 per day.

They stare at him, not comprehending.

Mr. Smith
(exasperated)
You’re spending more money than Mr. Tevoch makes – even before taxes!

Ambiance starts to count on his fingers then changes his mind and puts his hands behind his back.

Ambiance
We will be better.


Mr. Smith
Yes, you will.

He reaches back to his desk, pulls out a clipboard with several pages on it and makes some hasty marks. One on each sheet. Then he hands a sheet to each of them. They stare, mystified.

Mr. Smith
I’m starting each of you on the same salary-

Ambiance, who’s looking over at Goodnight’s paper, squawks angrily.

Mr. Smith
-except Ambiance, who gets somewhat less.

Ambiance
What give!?

Mr. Smith
There’s one of you in every posse (grimaces). Find something to do, Mr. Ambiance. No Baby forgets condoms, Velvet Rope picks up transvestites, and Goodnights knocks your free ride out every night. The bar is not set that high.

Ambiance relents, and Mr. Smith addresses all of them again.

Mr. Smith
Your rent at the penthouse will continue to be free, but all other expenses, including meals and entertainment, are on you.

Goodnight
(looks down at the number and then up again)
Is not possible!

Mr. Smith
I got Willie Nelson and his whole entourage through this. I can get you through this.

No Baby
Red Haired Stranger…

Mr. Smith
(thinks about correcting No Baby but decides to let it roll)

Cheer up, boys, it’s not all bad news. There are performance bonuses, and you get full medical.

Velvet Rope
401(k)?

Mr. Smith
Maybe next year. I can’t wait to see what you want to invest in.

Mr. Smith claps his hands and starts herding them towards the door.

Mr. Smith
We’ll look to see how you’re doing next month. On your way out, can you please send in Mother Tevoch?

Goodnight
Momma?

Mr. Smith
Her son really seems to adore her. It’s too bad he’s going to have to cut her off.

The door opens and a short, squat woman wearing a “Tevoch” basketball jersey that reaches her knees, a “do-rag” and a large amount of gold jewelry pushes her way in. Her right hand is full of shopping bags, and a cell phone is clenched in her left.

Momma Tevoch
I wait no more! Where is man who will give me money?

Ambiance is still in her way, and he nervously tries to move away.

Momma Tevoch kicks him in the groin.

Momma Tevoch
Imbeciles!

Momma Tevoch storms right back out.


Momma Tevoch (off stage)
Hello? Hello? Where is money?

Goodnight reaches in to his pocket and pulls out a tube sock with a lump at the bottom. He hands it to Mr. Smith.

Goodnight
Aim for base of skull. I go to call Capriati’s people for you.