Written by Joe Janes
90 of 365
COACH REDFERN, 40S
ASS’T COACH BURKE, 30S
PLAYER ONE, 17
PLAYER TWO, 17
PLAYER THREE, 17
(Lights up on a high school basketball coach, his assistant and four players on the bench. One of the players, Mitchell, is big, awkward, and breathes through his mouth.)
COACH REDFERNNot too bad. Not too bad. Keep hustling, Timmy!
ASS’T COACH BURKELooks like we got it in the bag, Coach Redfern. Only five minutes left.
REDFERNWell, never take anything for granted, Burke.
BURKEDid you see that kid on YouTube? The autistic kid?
REDFERNYeah, yeah. Made twenty points in four minutes at the end of a game. Very heartwarming.
BURKECrowd went nuts. Made the school, especially the coach, look real good.
REDFERNYeah, yeah. Oprah even mentioned it in her magazine. … My wife told me.
BURKEWell, look, why don’t we send in Mitchell.
REDFERNWhat? Are you crazy? The closest that moron has gotten to handling a ball is rinsing out the team jock straps. Look at him.
(They look at Mitchell who has taken off one shoe and is picking the toe jam out between his toes through a hole in his sock. He eats the toe jam.)
BURKEWe’re up twenty points. We can’t lose. If he goes out there and makes a basket or two, you’ll be a hero. Everybody will love you.
REDFERNThe school is looking at cutting back on sports funding. Some lovin’ might be just what we need to cover our asses. Mitchell!
(Burke takes out his phone and starts videotaping. Mitchell comes running over, slobbering and dripping.)
REDFERNYou’re going in, Son!
REDFERNYou are! Now, go out there and play some ball.
(Mitchell runs out onto the court, which is offstage and out of sight. We hear the crowd cheer wildly as he goes out. )
REDFERNHustle, Mitchell! Grab the ball!
(We hear the crowd make giant, collective “ew” sounds. The other guys on the bench are repulsed. “Boo’s” are heard. A whistle is blown. Mitchell comes shuffling back to the bench, his shorts around his ankles. )
MITCHELLI do good, Coach?
REDFERNYou licked and humped the basketball, Son. And then you wiped your bare ass on it and threw it into the stands.
MITCHELLWant me to try, again?
REDFERNGrab some wood, Mitchell. Bench! Bench! Just take your damn seat. (Mitchell does) Well, at least we don’t have to worry about that fiasco being on the YouTube.
BURKE (having just uploaded it from his phone)Uh. Too late. I just uploaded it.
REFERNYou’re going to hell.
MITCHELLHey, I found gum!
(Mitchell picks gum off the bottom of the bench and puts it in his mouth.)
BURKEYes, I am.