Interior, The Sharper Image, King of Prussia Mall
Ruben Amaro has a sales clerk cornered. He hovers on the balls of his feet, his shoulders shrugged--he's in GO-MODE.
Dennis, Sharper Image clerk: Sir, I’m very sorry, but it’s not possible for us to put Bose speakers in your Blackberry. Besides the physical logistics of it all, there are manufact—
Ruben cuts him off, holding an index finger pointed skyward just in front of the young man’s face. He waits until the hourly wage clerk is silent for an uncomfortable length of time before he begins:
Ruben: Look at me. Look. At. Me. Yeah-- what you just said, everything-- forget it. That’s bull**it. Now, for the duration of our time together, Dale--and frankly it won’t be long because I have a manicure appointment--you’re going to shut your mouth and listen. Got it?
Ruben: Wait, is there an Orange Julius in here?
Dennis is statue still, and silent.
Amaro nods, with a look nearing pride on his face.
Ruben: See? You’re learning.
As the exchange plays out, Howie Roseman happens past the store and hears the sounds of Amaro’s negotiation.
Roseman: RUBEN, is that you?
Amaro: (Under breath) Oh, f*** me, not this clown....
(He turns to greet Roseman, a huge smile on his face)
Amaro: What’s going on, bud?!
Roseman: Ohhhh, not much. Just assembling the greatest free agent class in NFL history. Heyyyy I did hear something about you selling the farm for a guy from the worst team in baseball or something?
Amaro shakes his head, annoyed.
Amaro: Nothing! Shut up, Rosenfeld.
Roseman: You’ve got a lot of nerve, you know that? I’ll bet it just kills you that we’re stealing all the headlines back? That’s right, THE BIRDS ARE BACK, BABY.
Amaro: (snickers) Hardly. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re sold out through 2015 and we’ve annexed half the National League as our minor league feeder system. Good luck touching us. Hey, did you fire any handicapped kids yet today?
Roseman: Wow. Really?
Roseman hangs his head, knowing he can’t compete with the master.
Roseman: Anyway, since I’m here, I’d like you to say hello to my little friend.
Amaro: Oh. I get it, because I’m Latino. Great comeback--that’s hilarious. No really-- what’s next, you going to ask me to do some gardening?
Roseman: What!? No, I have someone I want you to meet…and hey… (whispers quietly)… maybe you can help me out…?
DESEAN JACKSON enters the store.
Roseman: (puts his arm around D-Jacc’s shoulder) Desean and I have been working on the particulars of a new contract, and since he has no intention of practicing this summer, he insisted we go to the mall to *makes air quotes gesture, rolls eyes*”look at new whips.”
DESEAN: Yaboi stunt’n homiez deep in the bentley taco bell, build a bear, K-O-P.
Ruben: Jesus f***ing Christ …these Cal guys...
Desean: Bet that. Out there in da CITY OF LA DOIN WAT I DO!! Da may-back benzo like da limo!! Make her say patty cake patty cake!!
Roseman: Desean, I think you know Ruben Amaro from the Phillies.
Desean: Holla sup dat’s tight Rizzo ya’ll dynastic prophylactic swingin that thang.
They shake hands.
Amaro: You’ve got a nice grip there for a little guy. How fast are you?
Desean: Freshest fo-two fo-oh ain’t no sweat in the hustle.
Amaro: Really. (To Roseman) Hey, Jacoby and Meyers, go ask my boy Darryl (points to Dennis, who has slowly escaped) if they’re done putting the Bose in my ‘Berry why don’t ya.
Roseman leaves to find Dennis. As he approaches, Dennis mutters, “Could that guy be more of a prick?”
Amaro: De Paul, I’m gonna be honest with you-- I don’t understand a f**king word coming out of your face, so just shut it. Now—I understand you’ve played some baseball at…Cal...
The word “Cal” slips out of Amaro’s mouth as though he’s just had a bite of bad tuna roll
Desean: Yaboi’s a natural yaheard slidin n ridin like a Sea Doo.
Amaro: What? Nevermind. Now--I’ll assume because you’re a pissant that you can play some shortstop. And he’s not giving you any guaranteed money?
Jackson somberly shakes his head.
Amaro pulls a reserve smart phone from his back pocket. With one screen tap he makes a call.
Roseman sees this from across the store, and with a look of panic across his face, begins to sprint towards the scene. He trips on a quad-action seven jet foot and calf massager and falls, yelping and flailing in anguish. The noise is more emotional than physical.
Amaro ends the call, and holsters his digital weapon.
Amaro: Alright, El Debarge, listen. You’re gonna be getting a check for eight million dollars tomorrow from the Houston Astros. TED!
Scott Proefrock appears immediately from behind a full-body Swedish massage chair. He’s carrying a wax-sealed manila envelope and a not-yet-released iPad 3 with a Stanford sleeve
Proefrock hands Desean a document.
Desean: SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESHHHH yaboi bess beleeev dat shhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Roseman arrives with swollen shins and a crushed spirit, a moment too late. He is carrying Amaro’s Blackberry, newly equipped with Bose speakers. He drops it at his opponent’s feet. The master has won again. Without a word, he stands up and mopes out of the store, sobbing.
Amaro: Good luck this year, Howie! Hope that Dream Team works out for you. And send my regards to Jeffrey and Joe, would you?
Desean is distracted, trying to post a Twitter update from an iPhone dock alarm clock/white noise/karaoke machine.
Amaro nods his head, smiles and strides into the expanse of King of Prussia's retail cavern, crotch first, Proefrock in his wake.
It’s good to be the king.