Our Hero: Josh McCallister is tall, a bit overweight, spiky pale red hair with a reddish countenance, he’s a computer and electronics salesman for currently a Big Box Electronics Store, but he’s done it for small companies and for cold calling as well. He made enough money from his private company that he was able to sell it off and if he lives frugally, he can do fine. He serves as a Little League coach on a football and soccer and baseball teams. He lives in a small town preferring such.
He’s gotten crossways with the local newspaper when he found himself the only one to stand up in a local town council and suggest that having a homosexual coach for young boys was not a good idea. Afterwards, many people thanked him, but as he’s gotten used too, nobody stood with him. So now the editor of the Local Times newspaper has in mind making a public example out of him doing things like when a local pol says something stupid, the editor will write ‘And Councilman Joe Smith pulled a McCallister last night in his speech…”
Positive: He’s quietly brave, both physically, mentally, and socially.
Negative: He does not prepare enough.
Interesting: He really likes coaching youngsters. ”I can help them grow, and thats for next week, but for today, its a fun game, and for some over the course of their life, why I see some that have such awesome potential.”….this confused manner of speaking is his usual…a manifestation of his Negative.
One advantage he has in his duel with the editor is that while calling him independently wealthy would be a serious stretch, he does have the ability to keep on eating even if he gets fired.
I might do a Better Angels of Joe Paterno moment. Also have a ‘he goes home and sees newspaper on front stoop with his pic on the front’. Also have his Facebook page be hacked and he goes to visit some neighbour lady and asks her daughter who is on the soccer team to sit at the dining room table and fix the page. Despite warnings of grossness which he is bothered by letting her see, he did not realize there was a death threat on his FB page, and so when the daughter hacker sees it, she is horrified, jumps up, spills over the ginormous glass of ice tea her Mom gave her…..and scriff out for our hero.
Scene Two: He wakes on a cigarette scented couch in a house in Harlem in the 20′s with ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ blaring in his ears. He looks up and sees a bunch of well-dressed in suits and dresses, black folk. The lights are incandescent. The phone on the wall is dial. He’s not sure what to do, or where he is, so he decides to sneak out. On his way out to the front porch he gets approached and is worried….but all the guy wants is ‘rent’ for the hat for the musicians. He drops in a five, and leaves for the street and hears some yelling behind him (they think he gave them fake money).
Scene Three: Up and down the streets as he sees what should not be. Its gets hammered home to him pretty quick that either he’s in a very large Greenwhich Village stage setting of a city or he has gone to the past somehow.
Scene Four: He is tired and sits and notices this ‘tug’, his scriff sense, and decides for lack of better to do to follow it. It leads him to a long line outside the Savoy Ballroom. And one of the fellows tells him he can’t get in without a suit and tie. He gets the guys name, and leaves, and finds a flophouse where he can sleep the night. Clearly he needs better clothing than his sneakers, brown pants and terry cloth coaching clothes.
Scene Five: He’s traded a stopwatch for some stylish clothes. He heads to the Savoy, and a couple tuxedo suited bouncers escort him after they find him snooping about, up to the general manager’s office.
“Rumor has it that my boss is a gangster. That being the case, he could find a way to get rid of you.”
“I just want my stuff.”
“Most curious stuff. A photo of Mom and Dad I suppose, hideous shorts. And that shirt, its either brilliant ;or awful, I can’t decide which.”
He’s speaking about our hero’s father’s Hawaian shirt.
“And then there’s this weird fake money…”
“You caught me. Its an act. I’m like a time traveller from the future, and I do my little number on stage. I got some friends to make me some gimmicks that look flashy but don’t do anything. I , ah, sure could use a job.”
The ballroom manager blinks and then nods.
“Its original, clever. I like it, but this is a dance hall, no room for acts. However, I know someone wno has aspot and can fit you in tonight.”
Our hero leaves, and the assistant says ‘you letting him go?’
‘He’s not going anywhere. We can keep an eye on him, and find out how he did his magic trick. Those items just appeared out of nowhere in my office when I was in the john, and I swear nobody opened the office door. So, Mr. Magic Act has some secret, and I want it. Keep an eye on him.”
Scene Six: Getting ready for the act, which means dressing in his uptime clothing. Worrying about the lack of power of his devices. He does not properly prepare for his act and stumbles through the first bit. He decides to leave them off, but later when he gets heckled he uses the light on his cell phone for a few seconds as a big finale. His act is to tell of his arrival on stage, comment on a few of the weirdities, answer some questions, turn back a heckler or two, and that’s it. Its an act that makes you think.
But the light on the cell phone attracts the attention of the guy following him.
Scene Seven: He’s invited to a table after the meal, and meets a couple of famous people including Nora who said that racism astonished her because who would not want to spend time with someone as great as herself. He also argues with W.E.B. DuBois. He also gets advised to have an opening round memorized for his act…and then you can improv after that. More music is listened to as well…stride music by Fats Waller. And there is a cutting contest which is a form of a musical duel like duelling banjos.
Scene Eight: On the way to the car, he and the rest are accosted by some KKK thugs. Happily, he’s armed. There’s more than six of them and they point this out to him….’so, my pistoli is a Glock and its got thirteen bullets, jacketed hollow points too.’ This is definitely anachronistic, but it succeeds. And one of his hosts says he’s going to take the NRA up on their offer for a free revolver. Another laughs at him for his ‘time traveller act….like you have a gun with thirteen bullets, hahhahaa’. But Nora is watching him more closely and sees past at least partially the clown act.
Scene Nine: He’s mentioned that he needed a job as a coach and so he gets a job teaching basketball. He’s astonished by the lack of paperwork and by the work ethic of the players.
Scene Ten: He gets interviewed by a reporter from a neighbourhood paper who asks him some insulting question about what chances blacks have in basketball. He responds by saying…’in the future…’ and then he pauses. ”Hey I recognize your voice. You’re one of those goons from last night.” This leads to a tussle in his office.
Scene Eleven: Against advice from his players, he goes to the newspaper office to tell the boss there that one of his reporters is a KKK goon. This leads to some laughter, and the news reporters lead him by force to the editors’ office. In the window is a KKK sticker and the shove him in so that he can talk to the editor and the local Democratic Party councilman.
Scene Twelve: At first because one of the news guys says something about ‘blacks’ they think he is there to complain about blacks and both heartily agree. They thank him for his Southern voice and wisdom. He grits his teeth and accepts their thanks and skedaddles.
Scene Thirteen: Its too late. He’s drawn attention to the new basketball league and there is a gang of rowdies showing up. He gets them free by turning off the lights and having them follow his cell phone light like a will o wisp, but this cannot be done regularly…leaving the patrons in the dark to stumble home.
Scene Fourteen: He goes to a gun shop. He finds that the cheap guns are illegal because of fears of immigrant, like many of those KKK thugs. And he doesn’t have a lot of cash. But there is an NRA guy there, and he remembers what that guy said about free revolvers, so he asks. The NRA guy says that he probably wouldn’t give him a gun as he does not know our hero, but he’s definitely not giving ten guns. To which our hero blurts out that he’s a lifetime member of the NRA….the NRA guy laughs, and asks to see proof to which our hero shows him the plastic card….and then the NRA guy says ‘hey, I remember you. You’re that time traveller comedian. Heh, sure, we can help you out.”
Scene Fifteen: More basketball toward the end of the game. Thugs stand up, and all the players on the far side put on their gun belts. At which point the thugs decide that discretion is the better part of valor and leave peaceably.
Scene Sixteen: Finishing his act, he sees Nora waiting for him. He’s added sensing quarters from the future to his act. She’s beautiful and perceptive and discrete.
“So, how come I get the feeling you’re telling the truth, that you’re Cassandra to poor Web and the other idiots?”
“If I took you out to a late night breakfast of fried chicked and syrup on waffles, do you think I could finagle the truth out of you.”
“I’d be willing for you to try.”
The End (but there’s a guy following him at a distance.)