Greg’s eyes spring open, heart pounding faster than a De’Aaron Fox fast break. “Not Richard the Bearded! Anyone but Richard the Bearded!” He cries out in a panic.
“Honey, wake up! You’re dreaming! Omer said you can’t afford to be late today and make a bad impression. You’ve gotta get a move on” Mrs. Greg calls from the kitchen.
Greg blinks away the tears streaming down his face, trying to erase the memory of poor Richard from his mind. Why am I meeting Omer? Does he owe me some clicks? His brow furrows in confusion. And then it all comes rushing back: meeting Liam Neeson, his idol’s kidnapping, fighting to post bail while in prison. That was all real and not the twisted fantasy of a mad genius!
Greg stumbles out of bed, dons his Vivek-approved velour sweatsuit, and heads downstairs. The sound of crackling bacon wafts through the air, and as he reaches for the newspaper, his phone chimes with a text alert. “What does Tim want now?” He mutters to himself. I’ve got offers from The Athletic, The Ringer, and ESPN, all in the range of $500,000 per year. Can you match? The message states. “I can’t afford to lose my best friend and the greatest writer I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.” Greg whispers as he types out his reply: $600,000 per year and you get to shave Richard’s beard. We’ll do anything we have to do to keep you.
With that almost daily negotiation out of the way, Greg glances at the Sacramento Bee, disgusted with the headline: “Newly elected President Victoria Beckham continues to appoint friends and family to positions of power. The masses question her direction”. Greg turns to his wife. “I’ve just about had it with these celebrities and their positions in government. When are we going to get a real American in there?”
“Did you hear she made Sporty Spice her Chief of Staff and Baby Spice her Secretary of State? And that’s not even to mention her Vice Presidential running mate, her husband, David Beckham!” Mrs. Greg replies. “Well, that’s what you get when you mix Hollywood with Washington D.C. Corruption, Corruption, and more corruption.” Greg says.
“Alright sweetie, we can talk politics later, but we need to get you on your way. You can’t be late to your first pre-trial date.” Mrs. Greg says.
Greg showers, dresses in his finest $6,000 Armani suit, complements of Mr. Ranadive himself, and arrives at the courtroom a few minutes early. Omer, his crack lawyer, hustles in just a moment later. “I’ve got some bad news Gregarooni.” Omer says as he sits down.
“Great, what could go wrong now?” Greg replies.
“Well, it’s actually three pieces of bad news along with a bit of good. What do you want to hear first?”
“Get the bad news out of the way.”
“Got it. First and foremost, Akis instructed me to tell you that clicks are down site wide over the last few months. We’re still ahead of literally every other Kings-related basketball site in the world, but that’s not good enough. Mr. Yercostas said there would be no more breakfasts for the rest of the season. Chef Geiser will no longer serve at your beck and call”
“Dammit.” Greg shakes his head in frustration. “Okay, what else.”
“Well, the other three pieces of information are all related. Apparently, detectives found several pieces of Liam Neeson’s hair, multiple unpaid bills in his name, an article of his clothing, and his fingerprints in a motel room in Florida last week”
“That’s great news! That means they know it wasn’t me. I’ve been monitored since I bailed out of jail!” Greg shouts joyously.
“Unfortunately, they’re still going to prosecute you for the crime. The government simply thinks you have accomplices who are helping you, which they believed from the beginning. The reason I bring up the new evidence isn’t because of a potential new suspect, but rather because the alleged kidnapping has now crossed state lines.”
“And that means…” Greg replies.
“That means that the FBI is now investigating the crime, and due to the fact that some of Neeson’s mail was stolen and transported across state lines, mail fraud will be looped into the charges.
“And that means…” Greg replies.
“That means that this is now a federal case, Greg. You’ll no longer be tried by the State of California. The State will now work in conjunction with the federal government to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. I even contacted them about the possibility of a plea bargain, just to gauge interest, and they laughed me off of the phone. They think they’ve got you dead to rights. They want you to pay.” Omer replies.
“That is just about the worst news I could heard today. First Tim almost leaves, then the clicks and the lost breakfast, and now I find out that the entire power of the United States of America is trying to nail me for a crime I didn’t commit! This is hopeless!” Tears begin to stream down Greg’s face. He sobs. It’s ugly.
Omer puts his hands on his friend’s shoulder. “Buddy, I’m sorry to say that’s not all. Due to the fact that this will be a cooperative prosecution between the state and federal government, the complexity of the evidence involved, the seriousness of the charges, and the celebrity status of the victim, the prosecution isn’t taking any chances. They’ve appointed the Attorney General to represent the government during the trial.”
“The Attorney General?! That’s awful! I thought you said you had at least a bit of good news, Omer? What is it? Did you find a five dollar bill on the ground in the parking lot? Did my kids get an A in school? What could possibly be relevant at this moment?!” Greg bows his head in defeat.
“Well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, President Beckham has made it her habit to reward her old friends, allies, and family members positions of power. I’ve just received notice that the existing Attorney General has been dismissed, and a new Attorney General was just confirmed by the Senate. She has no law degree, no history of trial experience, and has never even seen the inside of a courtroom.”
“What? How is that possible? Who the heck is it?” Greg replies.
“I’m not familiar with all of her friends, but I was told it was someone named Scary Spice?” Omer shakes his head in confusion and begins to check his notes. “Wait, that can’t be right. That’s not a real person.”
“Oh it’s a real person, Omer. The Spice Girls are my favorite musical group of all time. Scary Spice was my favorite of favorites.”
“So who are we actually facing? What’s her real name?”
Greg takes a deep breath. “My friend, it’s up to us to defeat Mel B, AG”
Welcome back to the Royal Mailbag! We’re going to do something a little unique this week and split the questions into two areas. First, we’re going to request the normal types of queries: free agent ideas, play-calling questions, playoff race implications, rotational suggestions, and any other Kings-related topics. Fire way with as many of those questions as you would like.
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