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The Royal Mailbag: Session 9

Will returns this week to help Tim answer your queries.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Note: Please catch up on the previous edition of “Greg’s life as a twisted fantasy in Tim’s mind” prior to reading the following entry. This is a continuation of “Greg and Liam Neeson’s Fantastic Adventures”

(Editorial note: We are so, so sorry)


Greg awakens from his peaceful slumber, but refuses to open his eyes. It’s Saturday. He should be able to sleep in just once! Which of my kids is breaking what this time? Please don’t let it be the TV. Please don’t let it be the TV. Please don’t let it be the TV. Ugh, my head hurts. It feels like someone smacked me in the head with a gun.

With a grumble, a sigh, and a deep grown, Greg opens his beautiful eyes, a deep brown the color of fresh-made toffee. Confusion pours through his mind as he sees not the self-painted mural of the 2009 Sacramento Kings adorning his ceiling, but rather metal slats and a thin mattress above him. Why am I in a bunk bed? And who’s snoring above me???

Panic sets in as he turns his head. A metal toilet sits on a cold cement floor. Iron bars seal a too-small window in the corner of the room. And then it hits him. He’s not at home. He’s in prison!




The last sound is the loudest of all as his cell door slams open. Memories slowly begin to resurface in his cloudy mind. I was at the Liam Neeson convention. I actually got to meet and chat with my hero! The thugs and their guns pop into his mind. They took Liam! I opened the safe and then their leader hit me on the head…and…and…

That’s all Greg can remember. How the heck did I end up here?

“Morning, friend. I was wondering if you would even wake up.”

Greg turns and sees a man sitting upright in the top bunk.

“Who are you?” Greg asks

“I’m your bunk mate. My name’s John Lucas Vanderschwite, but you can call me JLV – it’s much easier.”

“Okay, JLV. What am I doing here? Someone kidnapped Liam Neeson! I have to go rescue him!”

“That’s good. That’s good. Proclaim your innocence right from the start. Maybe they’ll give you a plea deal or something.”

“For what? I didn’t do anything!”

“Brother, you don’t have to convince me of anything. It’s a ballsy move to coordinate the capture of Liam Neeson and all of his collectable items. Too bad your accomplices left you behind. I can’t believe they betrayed their ring leader.” JLV replies.

“I was a victim! I was Liam’s friend! How could they think I had anything to do with this?”

“Well, whose fingerprints were on the safe? Why were you the last person seen with Liam, and why would he dismiss his bodyguards and enter his trailer alone with you? It doesn’t add up. Sorry, friend. They’ve got you dead to rights.”

“I’m innocent. I’m dead serious, JLV. I had nothing to do with any of that. I tried to help Liam get away.”

“Okay, I’m convinced. If that’s the case, you’re gonna have to get out of here to prove your innocence.”

“You mean, like, break out of jail?” Gregs eyes widen in shock.

“No, dumbass. We have a system of justice in place that allows you to leave before your trial, but only if you’ve got enough money. Completely fair, right?”

“Sounds perfectly fair to me. I don’t think it would favor certain groups over any other certain groups. How much money would I need?”

“Lucky for you, I overhead the guards talking when they threw you in here. They set your bail at $10,000. I wish I had that kind of money. If I had that pile of cash I would…”

Greg stops listening to his newfound friend. He can’t believe his luck! His last Vivek check was for exactly $10,000, and he cashed it just before going to the Liam Neeson fan convention. He’s going to get out of prison after all.

“…and I would solve the problem of fans getting back to their seats at the start of the third quarter, and I would…” JLV has yet to stop fantasizing. “JLV, how do I give that money to whoever needs it? I’ve gotta go prove my innocence!”

“Well, you’re gonna have to fill out a form with your account information and transfer the money to a trust. They have the forms down in the library. I would go with you, but I’m going to randomly disappear once my favorite sports team randomly becomes good.” JLV slowly dissipates into thin air, leaving Greg to find his own path.

Greg heads down to the library, stopping for a juice box along the way. He meanders through the prison, simply wanting to go home, even if his kids broke every item in his house. Well, as long as they left the beer alone. He spots the library and approaches the clerk at the front desk.

“Excuse me, I’m look for the form on how to give money to the prison so I can go home to prove my innocence.”

“Oh, that’ll be Form PS-16. Let me grab that for you.” The clerk returns with not a form, but something the size of a small book!

“That’s huge! How long is this going to take?” Greg inquires.

“It’s forty-five pages, and if you make a single mistake, you’ll have to start all over. We don’t allow any cross-outs, re-done paragraphs, or white-out. You had better be careful.”

Greg lets out an immense sigh, walks over to a desk in the corner, and begins his journey to fill out Form PS-16. “Okay…okay…let’s see…print first letter of first name and last letter of last name on Page 10, Section F prior to starting any other portion of this form. Got it, not so bad.” Greg flips to Page 10, but can’t find Section F. It has a Section A, B, C, and D, but nothing for E or F. He turns to Page 11, but it restarts with Section A. “Oh boy, this is going to be tougher than I thought. Maybe the clerk can help me.”

Greg walks up to the clerk. “Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you again. I’m not usually aggressive. Could you help me fill out this form? I’m already confused.”

“Unfortunately, I can’t. If a mistake was made, I wouldn’t want to be held responsible.”

“Oh, I understand…”

The clerk interrupts “But, there may just be a book somewhere in the library that can help you with the form. Would you be interested in that?”

“Of course!”

“Perfect. Let me search all of our books and see what we can come up with. The clerks leaves for a few minutes.

He returns. “Alright, I’ve come up with three results. They don’t really seem to be related, but here goes. The first option is Basketball and Me: My journey to millions through blogging. It looks like it was co-authored by two guys named Zach Lowe and Tim Maxwell. Any interest?”

“No, I’ve already got a dozen copies at home. It’s really amazing how similar their writing abilities and styles are. You can’t tell them apart.”

“Alright, the second result is One Man’s Journey to Marrying an Apricot. It’s written by some weirdo named Bryant West. Do you think that will help?

“No, apricots aren’t even a top-five fruit. Whoever wrote that is simply a fool.”

“Agreed. Okay, last one. Cooking with American Cheese by Bradley Geiser. That doesn’t seem very relevant.

“Nope. And he was banished to the moon shortly after publishing that heretical piece of garbage. I can’t believe how unproductive this has been.” Greg begins to lose his temper. “You’re slower and less helpful than a Georgios Papagiannis post-up. How the heck am I supposed to fill out this paperwork if there isn’t a book to help me? It’s as complicated as a George Karl player relationship!”

“Well, why don’t we try a different section?”

“What do you mean, a different section?”

“You asked for a book on prison paperwork. These are the best results I’ve gathered. We could check the other areas that contain items like pamphlets, booklets, scrolls, and other random things.”

“Where is that located?”

“I believe it’s section214. Although to go there, you’ll have to remove your pants for security reasons. We’ve had too many inmates try to sneak items back to their cells by stuffing them down their trousers. There are NO PANTS ALLOWED.”

“Okay, that sounds very weird, but whatever. I’m desperate.”

The librarian leads the way to the mysterious section 214. The walls are littered with the names of those vanquished in argument, several crossed out, almost as if they had been…banished. Greg shudders in horror. The walkway leads them to a display case, sealed in six inch thick glass. Inside, sits a golden hammer, larger than life, more impressive than Mjolnir, more famous than MC of the same name. THE BAN HAMMER, a silver plaque reads. Tears run in rivulets down Greg’s tender cheeks as he falls to his knees in worship of the beautiful weapon.

“Stop your gawking. This is only the entryway. You wanna find your instruction manual or not? the librarian quips. Greg stands, legs trembling, and continues his journey through section 214.

“Here we are. Now you said you needed something on filling out prison paperwork? Specifically for Form PS-16? Let’s see here. I have a booklet on prison mealtime preparation and kitchen management. You think that’ll help?”

“Of course not!” Greg replies.

“Hmm…okay…be patient. There are a ton of items here. What about a pamphlet on how to turn clicks into dollar bills…fast!”

“Nope, I’ve read it countless times. The author is a guy named Akis. He’s okay, I guess”

“Alright, I’ve got one more. Would Form PS-16: Guide to Getting Out of Jail Early and Proving Your Innocence be of any assistance?”

“Yes! That’s exactly what I need! Why wouldn’t you start with that one?”

“Calm down, sir. It’s rare because it’s not a book, or a pamphlet, or a booklet, or a scroll. We really don’t see these anymore, so I didn’t think to look over here. It’s a magazine”

The librarian hands over a glossy book with about 50 pages filled with fun quizzes, short stories, how-to recipes, and of course, the guide to Form PS-16.

“I can’t believe I found it! It’s exactly what I needed: a bail mag!

Welcome back to the Sactown Royalty Mailbag! The wonderful Will Griffith will be rejoining the panel this week, and we’re eagerly awaiting your queries. To ask a question:

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