The Worst Halloween Ever
A "Spooky" Tale of Psychology and Stanchions
Tim Duncan: Hey, you guys, I'm so angry! Guess who I am!
Richard Jefferson: You're Tim Duncan.
TD: Oh gosh. Heh. Yes, Richard, but who am I pretending to be for Halloween?
RJ: If I didn't know better, I'd say Kevin Garnett. Given that you're obviously wearing his uniform and attempting to scowl constantly.
TD: Hey, you got it right! Richard, throw that gym mat and the duct tape over here.
RJ: Wait, what? Why? Don't wrestle me, old man.
TD: I need to complete the costume with a stanchion attached to my face.
RJ: Oh, heh. That's pretty funny, actually. Okay, "Kevin". Here's the "stanchion".
RJ throws the gym mat to Tim. Then he throws the roll of duct tape. Tim slams it back at his face with a bestial yell.
• • •
RJ (livid): What the hell, Tim? That really kind of hurt. Get it yourself! Last time I try to help a man dressed as Kevin Garnett.
TD: Sorry, RJ. I got a little wrapped up in the character. You know how Kevin blocks those dead-ball shots...
RJ: Whatever. Keep your character in check. I just hope to God we don't run into any ballboys or autograph-seekers... this is embarrassing.
TD: Sorry, RJ.
RJ: Just don't let it happen again, please. This was such a bad idea. You actually invest yourself into these characters, don't you?
TD: Yeah, you could say that. I am Will Hunting, you know, I studied psychol--
RJ: No. We're not talking about this anymore. Anyway, uh, we got everything for the party?
TD: Let's see, we got proximity mines, sticky grenades, we got Magnum .44s, we got Golden Guns... yeah, I'd say we're ready. I just need to load the, uh, pump.
RJ: ... were those just weapons you remember from Goldeneye, Tim?
TD: To be honest, those are the only weapons I'm familiar with. I'm starting to think that I wasn't cut out for this costume...
RJ: ... well, seriously, did you bring everything?
TD: I think we're just on the hook for punch, chips, and an N64 for playing Goldeneye. So yeah. Let's go.
Tim shoves RJ in the shoulder and then points indignantly at RJ as he backs away.
TD: Wasn't that just like him? Haha. He's done that so many times.
RJ: You know what? Executive decision, I'm going to drive. You just go sit in the back seat. Now.
TD: Alright, Richard.
RJ: In the meantime, while I'm driving, I want you to think about how you can do this KG impression...without alienating everyone in the Spurs organization. These characters are supposed to be fun, and you seem more interested in, you know, playing Kevin like this is a biography or a Christian Bale movie or something. Just think about how you can do this, Tim. And don't call Daniel Day Lewis. Deal?
TD: It's a deal.
20 Minutes Later
RJ: Well, here we are. The Spurs' Halloween get-together.
TD: I figured out how to do it!
RJ: What, you mean how you're going to pass as a reasonable human being while dressed as Kevin Garnett in uniform?
TD: Well, yeah, but I mean, I figured out how to be an unaccountable prick with no class. I figured out how he must justify it in his head.
RJ: ... wait, uh, Tim.
TD: Okay, it goes like this: You know how in the Matrix the Agents say "There are levels of existence we're willing to accept."? Well, that's how KG treats class and accountability: Not as basic parts of the human condition, but as variables that can be tuned as low as possible if necessary. There are levels of class he's willing to accept. Very low levels.
RJ: Okay. Look. He's probably just a jerk. You're overthinking his character. Like, can you even picture KG sitting through the Matrix trilogy? I'm not saying he'd fall asleep, but it doesn't really seem like it's up his alley. He's not exactly a philosopher. He probably just doesn't like to help his opponents feel comfortable. I mean, what, you think he watched Raging Bull before he punched his teammate that one time? You think he watches Annie Hall before trying to figure out what makes the opposing point guards tic? Maybe this is how you could play him, but it sure as hell is not how he is.
TD: Wow...you're probably right. By the way, probably the best thing I could do is just changing my costume to Bill Russell.
RJ: Oh, because same team and number, I got it! That's great. But what do you want to do about the stanchion?
TD: I was thinking it could be the weight of cultural segregation against him.
RJ: Tim... maybe you should just lose the stanchion.
TD: My name is Bill, or Mr. Russell, and I'll thank you to remember it. And I can't just forget the stanchion, Richard. Not after-
RJ: Tim, I don't care how good our Goldeneye session is. This is already the worst Halloween of my adult life.