TAMPA AM 2002

The following story is based on actual events.

Scene I

The story begins on a street in Queens, New York. Traffic is audible, as is the cry of a fishmonger. In a nearby apartment, Andy, a journalist, sits at the window watching businesswomen come off a bus across the street. The phone rings.

Andy: Hola. Hello. Speak to me!

Voice on phone: Hey, Andy–this is Eric at TransWorld. Listen, Shad is going to be busy next week, so we were wondering if you would go down to Tampa to cover the contest for us.

Andy: You're asking me if I want to leave the 30-degree weather to go to Florida where it's a warm 75? Hmm. Let me think for a second.

Cut to a jet plane taking off from John F. Kennedy International airport in New York City.

Scene II

Exterior. Skate Park Of Tampa. Andy walks toward a large warehouse-like building. There're many people around. All ages, colors, shapes, and sizes. Many of them are holding skateboards. In the background, there're five kids playing a game of SKATE. Another twenty to 25 people are watching them and applauding at various intervals. Strewn about the crowd alone and in small groups are beautiful girls. Some wear “Daisy Duke”-style denim shorts coupled with brightly colored bikini tops, while others opt for a more conservative sundress and sandals look. Andy closes the door of his taxi and weaves his way through the crowd stopping several times to give a “pound” (a handshake originated on the streets of Brooklyn) to people mulling about. He also stops dead in his tracks on several occasions to look up and down the bodies of passing women.

Andy: Lord have mercy, girl. You look very nice today!

Girl in bikini top: (Smiling) Thank you.

Andy: Hey, so umm … what brings you down to the skatepark today?

Girl: Oh, me and a bunch of my friends come down here to watch the contest and just hang out.

Andy: Oh, yeah? You like to watch all of the cute skater dudes, huh?

Girl: Is your name Andy?

Andy: Yeah, how did you know?

Girl: You don't remember me from last year?

Andy: Umm, should I?

Girl: It's me, Fantasia! Well, Stacy–when I'm not at work.

Andy: Ohhh shit, yeah! We met at Mons Venus last year, and you came to my hotel to hang out the next day.

Girl: Yeah! Remember? I brought my friend Greg and my little nephew to meet all the famous skaters.

Andy: (Sarcastically) How could I forget that? Err, I mean, how could I ever forget someone like you? Hey, so how's tricks? Umm, I mean, how's business?

Girl: Oh, you know. This is one of the busiest times of the year down here. The club gets packed during these contest thingies. I love it. For a couple of days, I get to dance for cute young guys instead of dirty old men.

Andy: Uh huh.

Girl: I haven't seen you since you went to get a bucket of ice that night at the hotel. What happened to you?

Andy: Well, umm … you know, I remember you showing up with that dude Greg and your twelve-year-old nephew. You … umm … asked me if I could get him an autograph from Andrew Reynolds, right?

Girl: Uh huh.

Andy: Well, I went to get that for you, but Andrew was at a different hotel, and then … umm … on the way to get you that autograph, I … errr–got arrested–yeah, that's the ticket. I got arrested! That's why I never made it back.

Girl: So then why did you take the ice bucket and say you were going to get ice?

Andy: Oh, that was for something else.

An announcement comes over the PA system inside the park.

Voice of Brian Schaeffer, SP owner: “And congratulations to Caswell Berry. He placed the highest in today's qualifying heat, so he gets the golden ticket Nice work, Caz. See you in the finals on Sunday!”

Scene III, Act I

Exterior. Howard Johnson Hotel. Andy walks up a flight of steps, and upon arriving at the top, he sees a group of people he knows: Jeff Pang, Todd Jordan, Zarred Basset, and RB Umali.

Andy: Ohh shit, New York is in the house!!

All four characters simultaneously: What's up, man?

Andy: Nada. What are youze hoodlums up to?

Todd: Ah, man. We just came here straight from Puerto Rico.

Andy: Must be nice.

Zarred: Yo, Todd–where are the paintballs?

Todd: Under the bed, man.

Andy peers into their hotel room. The entire sink area and a mirrored wall are splattered with paintball explosions. From under the bed Zarred and Todd grab a box of paintballs. On the table by the window are three slingshots.

Andy: Oh, man. You gotta let me try that shit!

For the next hour, a slingshot target practice is held utilizing the inside of the hotel room and the hotel's pool area and courtyard. The crew takes turns aiming at various cans and bottles, and inevitably, people. Jeff enters the room.

Jeff: (Angrily) What the hell are you doing, Zarred?

Zarred: What?

Jeff: They're gonna take this out of my charge!

Zarred: The place is already trashed. Who gives a shit!?!

Jeff: I give a shit. Cut it out!

Zarred shoots another paintball at the mirror. Jeff grabs the slingshot out of Zarred's hand.

Zarred: What are you doin', man?

Jeff: I'm breakin' these shits!

With that, Jeff cuts the slingshot in two.

Zarred: You're an idiot, man. I paid fifteen dollars for that thing!

Zarred picks up a bottle and throws it on the bathroom floor breaking it. While Jeff and Zarred argue in the background, Andy approaches RB.

Andy: Yo, what are you guys doing tonight?

RB: I dunno. Probably going to Ybor City.

Andy: All right. Call my cell phone when you leave. We'll share a cab.

RB: All right, man.

 

Scene III, Act II

Andy knocks on the Zoo York team's hotel door. Nobody answers.

Andy: Thanks a lot, guys.

A door opens down the hall. A kid, Josh, with a white-man's Afro comes out. He's wearing camouflage overalls.

Josh: (Thick Southern drawl) Hey, what's the matter, man?

Andy: Nothing. I just got ditched by the cool guys.

Josh: Aren't you the kid from TransWorld?

Andy: Yeah, something like that.

Josh: Well, come out with us tonight. We were just about to leave for Ybor. We gotta van and everythin'.

Andy: All right, man. That sounds cool. Let me get changed. I'll be right back.

Andy returns, and he, Josh, and three other kids pile into an old beat-up van. One of the kids' moms drives all of them to Ybor. Upon arrival, the mom comes to the lounge with them … much to Andy's surprise.

Scene IV

Interior. Lounge on Ybor City's main strip. Hip-hop music is playing. Andy is flirting with waitresses, when his peripheral vision spots the mom standing beside him.

Mom: So, you work for a magazine, huh?

Andy: This weekend I do.

Mom: You know, I own a skatepark in Missouri, and we put together a video. I'd appreciate any help you could give us.

Andy: Sure. Just send me a copy of the video, and I’ll check it out.

Mom: This is your type of music, huh? My claim to fame is that I toured with The Clash back when they first came out. Before they even came to the States.

Andy: Oh, yeah?

Mom: Yep, and I always liked the Sex Pistols.

Andy looks over Mom's shoulder, and through the front door, he sees the Zoo York guys walking by.

Andy: Excuse me for one second … Yo, Todd, Jeff!! Good lookin' out on the ride down here.

Jeff: Sorry, man. We totally forgot. What are you doing now?

Andy: What am I doing now? I'm hanging out with somebody's mother and talking about the Sex Pistols, for god's sake.

Jeff: What? That's hilarious, man. We're going to Masquerade, if you want to meet us there.

Andy: All right. See you later.

Andy spends the rest of the night with his new friends from Missouri–the friends who didn't diss him, the friends who offered him a ride, and the friends whose mom toured with the Clash.

Scene V

It's Saturday night. After a late sleep followed by a day at the skatepark taking notes for his article, Andy makes his way to the Annual SPoT party. The outside area of the park is crowded with revelers, women, and SPoT staff acting as bouncers. A group of men stand in a small circle, swaying on their feet. As Andy passes them, they yell out.

Patrick O'Dell: Hey, TransWorld! You can't be here, this is the Thrasher tour. This is a Thrasher party!

Hoisington: Yeah, take a hike!

Andy: Thrasher tour! Thrasher tour! Yeaahh! Hesh life forever! Hoisington: You know, I was in TransWorld once. They put a picture of me slamming in there. I told the photographer not to send it in, but he did anyway.

O'Dell: Yeah!

Andy: I'll file a grievance for you as soon as I return to headquarters, okay? But first we drink and smoke 'em peace pipe.

In the distance, people are chanting “Go Tato! Go Tato!” Andy walks over to investigate. An acquaintance of his from back home by the name of Tato is trying in vain to break a bottle over his head. Andy joins in the chanting.

Andy: Go Tato! ¡Viva los boriquas! ¡Viva los boriquas!

Tato takes one last hard swing and succeeds in breaking the bottle on his melon. Blood begins to run down his face into his eyes and then coagulates in his hair.

Tato: Shit, man. That's a lot of blood.

Andy: Don't worry, man. Heads just bleed a lot. It's probably just a small cut.

Now a small group is forming around a pickup truck. Andy walks toward the truck. Standing nearby is Salman Agah with skateboard in hand.

Andy: Can I see your board?

Salman: Yeah.

Andy proceeds to place the board under the rear tire of the pickup truck. As the truck pulls away, the board shoots out and hits someone who's standing a good twenty feet away right in the shin. The person hops up and down on one leg while holding the other. Andy surveys the scene: an injured, hopping kid alongside a profusely bleeding Tato, and behind them, a bunch of people throwing small dead fish at each other.

Scene VI

Interior. SkatePark of Tampa. It's Sunday, and the finals are under way. Tino Razo is trying to 50-50 the entire length of the vert wall. Caswell Berry is the odds-on favorite to win (Not that anyone's betting. Ahem, ahem). Andy sits atop the roll-in ramp with all-around good guy and ripper Steve Rodriguez.

Steve: Are you writing the article for TransWorld this year?

Andy: Yeah, man. This is my third year doing this contest. It's mad fun, but every year I struggle to find a new and interesting angle, you know what I mean?

Steve: I hear you, man.

 

Scene VII

Interior of an airplane. Andy sits by the window and gazes out at the cloud formations came to the States.

Andy: Oh, yeah?

Mom: Yep, and I always liked the Sex Pistols.

Andy looks over Mom's shoulder, and through the front door, he sees the Zoo York guys walking by.

Andy: Excuse me for one second … Yo, Todd, Jeff!! Good lookin' out on the ride down here.

Jeff: Sorry, man. We totally forgot. What are you doing now?

Andy: What am I doing now? I'm hanging out with somebody's mother and talking about the Sex Pistols, for god's sake.

Jeff: What? That's hilarious, man. We're going to Masquerade, if you want to meet us there.

Andy: All right. See you later.

Andy spends the rest of the night with his new friends from Missouri–the friends who didn't diss him, the friends who offered him a ride, and the friends whose mom toured with the Clash.

Scene V

It's Saturday night. After a late sleep followed by a day at the skatepark taking notes for his article, Andy makes his way to the Annual SPoT party. The outside area of the park is crowded with revelers, women, and SPoT staff acting as bouncers. A group of men stand in a small circle, swaying on their feet. As Andy passes them, they yell out.

Patrick O'Dell: Hey, TransWorld! You can't be here, this is the Thrasher tour. This is a Thrasher party!

Hoisington: Yeah, take a hike!

Andy: Thrasher tour! Thrasher tour! Yeaahh! Hesh life forever! Hoisington: You know, I was in TransWorld once. They put a picture of me slamming in there. I told the photographer not to send it in, but he did anyway.

O'Dell: Yeah!

Andy: I'll file a grievance for you as soon as I return to headquarters, okay? But first we drink and smoke 'em peace pipe.

In the distance, people are chanting “Go Tato! Go Tato!” Andy walks over to investigate. An acquaintance of his from back home by the name of Tato is trying in vain to break a bottle over his head. Andy joins in the chanting.

Andy: Go Tato! ¡Viva los boriquas! ¡Viva los boriquas!

Tato takes one last hard swing and succeeds in breaking the bottle on his melon. Blood begins to run down his face into his eyes and then coagulates in his hair.

Tato: Shit, man. That's a lot of blood.

Andy: Don't worry, man. Heads just bleed a lot. It's probably just a small cut.

Now a small group is forming around a pickup truck. Andy walks toward the truck. Standing nearby is Salman Agah with skateboard in hand.

Andy: Can I see your board?

Salman: Yeah.

Andy proceeds to place the board under the rear tire of the pickup truck. As the truck pulls away, the board shoots out and hits someone who's standing a good twenty feet away right in the shin. The person hops up and down on one leg while holding the other. Andy surveys the scene: an injured, hopping kid alongside a profusely bleeding Tato, and behind them, a bunch of people throwing small dead fish at each other.

Scene VI

Interior. SkatePark of Tampa. It's Sunday, and the finals are under way. Tino Razo is trying to 50-50 the entire length of the vert wall. Caswell Berry is the odds-on favorite to win (Not that anyone's betting. Ahem, ahem). Andy sits atop the roll-in ramp with all-around good guy and ripper Steve Rodriguez.

Steve: Are you writing the article for TransWorld this year?

Andy: Yeah, man. This is my third year doing this contest. It's mad fun, but every year I struggle to find a new and interesting angle, you know what I mean?

Steve: I hear you, man.

 

Scene VII

Interior of an airplane. Andy sits by the window and gazes out at the cloud formations that the plane flies high above. As his mind races, thinking about the weekend's events, he drifts off to sleep. Andy's sleeping head rests down to his lap. On his lap sits a notebook with a single word sloppily scrawled in the middle of the page … “Angle?” In the seat next to him sits a very attractive young woman. She's reading a copy of the script for the movie Barton Fink.

ions that the plane flies high above. As his mind races, thinking about the weekend's events, he drifts off to sleep. Andy's sleeping head rests down to his lap. On his lap sits a notebook with a single word sloppily scrawled in the middle of the page … “Angle?” In the seat next to him sits a very attractive young woman. She's reading a copy of the script for the movie Barton Fink.