Wednesday, July 24, 2013
An expedition with America's favorite two college quarterbacks and summer camp roommates.
Editor's Note: One of my goals for the next few months is to try and produce one humorous short scene per week. I will be submitting all of these to the "Shouts and Murmurs" blog on The New Yorker Website and all the entries that don't make it (whether funny or not) will land here from time to time.
[The scene opens on the storeroom of an old-timey clock store. The room is packed to the brim with cuckoo clocks, heavy wooden grandfather clocks, bulky electronic clock radios, slick silver nightstand alarms. Through this space, walking side by side, are Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and University of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. Walking in front of the pair is an old man with a drooping white moustache and pointed billy goat beard. This is Dr. Clock. Dr. Clock wears a monocle and a finely tailored, red and white checkered shirt with tan suspenders. He points to a black, smiling cat clock.]
Dr. Clock: Now that’s a fine time keeper. Classic rolling “cat eyes.” Cheshire grin. Its second hand is made of a sharp ruby plastic. Minute and hour hands an elegant, matching black.
Johnny Manziel: I don’t know.
Dr. Clock: Did I mention that similar models were once used by Doug Flutie, Vinny Testaverde and Charlie Ward?
Johnny Manziel: Didn’t Charlie Ward end up playing for the Knicks?
Dr. Clock: Yes, but first he won a Heisman. Plus, he went to the 1999 NBA Finals. I’d expect someone like you to know your history!
[Johnny Manziel shifts his eyes.]
Johnny Manziel: No, no. Sure, I knew that.
[Johnny Manziel looks over to A.J. McCarron who is peeking at his chest tattoo under his shirt.]
Johnny Manziel: What do you think A.J.?
A.J. McCarron: You’re your own man, Johnny. I’m not going to speak on another man’s business. That’s just how I was raised.
Johnny Manziel: Sure seemed like you were quick to “speak on another man’s business” when you decided where we went on vacation.
A.J. McCarron: When it comes to Cancun, I was raised to speak my mind on the matter.
Dr. Clock: You need a clock with a robust alarm, correct?
Johnny Manziel: Robust?
Dr. Clock: Forceful. Loud. A clock like a strong black cup of coffee!
Johnny Manziel: Definitely. You heard about what happened at the Manning Passing Camp the other week?
Dr. Clock: Of course.
Johnny Manziel: See, I’m a real heavy sleeper even when I haven’t been out drinking, which I didn’t do there because I was too busy picking Peyton and Eli’s brains for quarterback tips late into the night. Then, while I was in one of my classic "deep sleeps," my phone died so my alarm never went off. And A.J. here didn’t even have the decency to wake me up.
A.J. McCarron: My name is A.J. Your name is Johnny. You’re your own man.
Dr. Clock: Boys, there’s no need to worry; I have just the thing for you.
[Dr. Clock ushers Johnny Manziel and A.J. McCarron past rows and rows of clocks until they reach a back wall with a bookcase. Dr. Clock looks around, as if checking for any unwanted witnesses, and grabs a book from the top shelf.]
Johnny Manziel: What is this, Doc? Some kind of secret passageway?
Dr. Clock: No, I just wanted to read this book later.
[Johnny Manziel looks down and sees Dr. Clock holding a copy of Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.]
Dr. Clock: The Harry Potter girl wrote it you know.
A.J. McCarron: Oh, my girlfriend wants to read that!
Dr. Clock: Maybe when I’m done.
[Next to the book shelf is an office door. Dr. Clock walks Johnny Manziel and A.J. McCarron into his office. They sit down in chairs facing an old, large wooden desk with bronze cabriole legs; each one is in the shape of an eagle. The desk is stacked with folders and books. The walls are covered with sports memorabilia—faded pennants, signed boxing photos, broken bats, and footballs coated in dirt.]
Johnny Manziel: You’re a sports nut, huh, Doc?
Dr. Clock: You could say that.
Johnny Manziel: So, what do you have for me?
[Dr. Clock nods and opens a drawer in his desk. He pulls out a platinum case and sets it across two towering stacks of books. He presses a button and the case opens, revealing a small, pocket mirror. The mirror is kept in a gunmetal gray frame.]
Dr. Clock: What do you think?
Johnny Manziel: A mirror? C’mon, Doc! What is this, some kind of symbol that I should “take a look in the mirror” and see what I’m made of? This is bull!
[Dr. Clock looks at Johnny Manziel and cocks his head.]
Dr. Clock: No, it’s also a high powered cell phone/alarm clock with a diamond-lit screen, Chinese Invasion level alarm volume, access to the Second Internet, and it has a dual-powered energy source: part solar and part nuclear. Press that small button on the side.
Johnny Manziel: This one?
[Johnny Manziel presses the button and the mirror/phone/clock exhibits all of the features described by Dr. Clock.]
A.J. McCarron: My God is dead!
Dr. Clock: Pretty impressive, huh? You know who loved that? Tim Tebow.
[Johnny Manziel and A.J. McCarron immediately bow at the mention of Tim Tebow’s name.]
Johnny Manziel: Well, Doc. I can’t thank you enough.
Dr. Clock: My pleasure.
[Dr. Clock leads Johnny Manziel and A.J. McCarron out of his office and back through his cavernous storeroom of clocks. He shakes hands with the two quarterbacks and shows them out the front door. As they are leaving, Johnny Manziel turns back.]
Johnny Manziel: Hey, Doc!
Dr. Clock: Yes, Johnny?
Johnny Manziel: I just gotta know. Why do they call you Doctor Clock?
[From behind Johnny Manziel, a handsome, athletic man with a puffy, black head of hair appears. On the back of his head is a yarmulke. It’s Milwaukee Brewer’s outfielder, Ryan Braun.]
Ryan Braun: Hey, Doc. Looks like it’s back to the drawing board.
Dr. Clock: I’ll meet you in my office, Ry Guy.
[Johnny Manziel stares at Ryan Braun in awe.]
Dr. Clock: And you thought that you had a bad week?
[Dr. Clock pats Johnny Manziel on the back and turns to follow Ryan Braun back to his office. Johnny Manziel looks down at the mirror/phone/clock in his hand. He shrugs.]
Johnny Manziel: Eh, seems alright to me.
[Johnny Manziel runs out into the parking lot outside of Dr. Clock’s shop. He hits A.J. McCarron on the shoulder, shouting, “you’re it,” and then continues jogging out through the afternoon sunlight.]