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CHOPS: A CRIME DRAMA FROM THE PLAINS

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Somewhere in this city, there's a man who fights beasts in the dark to keep them from ruining the perfect sunshine of your safe life. A cop with honor who nevertheless fights whatever fight he has to, no matter how dirty, in order to keep the demons at bay. A white knight stained with the red blood of an endless fight he knows he'll never win.

This is not that cop.

His name is Tommy Tuberville, but you can call him what everyone else does: CHOPS.

Scene: A police office. Shitty coffee. Shitty ties. Quality people. In comes CHOPS. He's wearing a grey suit, black tie, and heavy overcoat we call a bad attitude. CAMILLA, a curvy black lady cop in her early 30s, looks up from her casefile as CHOPS walks in. She undresses him with her eyes, and does so without a warrant.

CAMILLA: Morning, Chopsy. Hit the town last night?

CHOPS: Yeah. It hit back, but I didn't go down.

CAMILLA: Do you ever go down, Chops?

A saxophone flares in the background. No, really, in the background: David Sanborn rises up from behind a file cabinet and plays a sexy sax riff, and then disappears. Chops narrows his eyes and stares dead into Camilla's ebony sex-furnace-indicator-lights. They exchange a mindfucking of incalculable intensity in seconds.

CAMILLA: Chief wants to see you in his office.

CHOPS: This schoolboy needs a spanking, I guess.

CAMILLA: We'll see about that.

CHOPS: Will we?

CAMILLA: Hmm...go see the Chief first, big boy.

In the office, Chief Lowder waits. As Chops enters, he's stuffing cash into a lock box. When he sees Chops, he hurriedly shoves the box under the desk.

CHIEF: Chops, hand in your badge. What you did down at the docks was---

CHOPS:--effective? (Cocks an eyebrow.)

CHIEF: --against every regulation we have, Chops! Those men are going to limp for the rest of their lives!

CHOPS: Bad guys who can't walk can't steal, Chief. That's how I do my math.

CHIEF: And here's how I do mine, Chops. You minus badge equals happy mayor. The press is gonna be all over this, and I can't have that on my watch, Chops!

CHOPS: I get things done.

CHIEF: You're outta control! You're outta line! And you're outta my office for two weeks without pay, Chops!

Chops throws his badge on the desk.

CHOPS: The piece of tin stays here. A cop's still walking out of here whether you like it or not.

CHOPS begins to walk out.

CHIEF: And your gun, Chops. Your weapon, now.

CHOPS: Keep the gun. I never needed it, anyway.

CHOPS walks out of the office and into OFFICER MILES, his archenemy. CHOPS squints, smiles, and dives sideways into OFFICER MILES' knee.

OFFICER MILES: OH, GOD, MY KNEE!!! Chief, he did it again! CHIEF!!!

CHOPS: You'll miss me, Miles. See you in two weeks.

END SCENE.

Scene:You know the bar. Neon lights, stained local pennants, and a jukebox two days from retirement. CHOPS enters and stalks to his stool. The BARTENDER, a graying 50ish woman, opens a beer bottle for him and sets it next to his hand. She says nothing, and he doesn't make eye contact. Over Hank Williams, the voice of a newscaster floats from the screen bolted to the wall: "And here's Ted with sports."

CHOPS: Turn it down, Alma.

PATRON: Hang on a--

CHOPS: Alma. Please.

The BARTENDER mutes the television, but not before we hear: "Thanks, Robin. An Auburn defender underwent surgery on both knees today after a brutal onfield incident. His teammates tell WLAC-10 that before the scrimmage, they were ordered to--"

CHOPS kicks back his stool and makes his way to the jukebox, quivering with barely controlled emotion. The BARTENDER lifts the partition and moves with a speed belying her size to stop him, but the PROPRIETOR lays a hand on her arm and shakes his head grimly.

Clenching his jaw, CHOPS delivers a devastating hit to the jukebox. Once. Twice. Again. Again. Again, until the needle slides off the record and Hank screeches into silence. CHOPS fishes a quarter from his pocket, drops it in the slot, and punches buttons seemingly at random until he hears his Shania.

Shania knows. Shania makes it all go away. He walks with a bit more steadiness in his gait back to his stool, stares into space, and lets the tears come.

END SCENE.

SCENE A desolate stadium. CHOPS has followed SANCHEZ, criminal mastermind who threatened the city by tying bombs made of puppies to children holding kittens, and then vowing to have them fired into City Hall from his secret underground trebuchet. CHOPS huddles along the track, Desert War Eagle drawn and at the ready.

CHOPS: You better come on out, Sanchez. This gun is getting heavy.

SANCHEZ answers from somewhere unseen.

SANCHEZ: Maybe you're the one who needs to come out, Chops! You're the one who's got the hard-on for me, remember? All I wanted to do is have a little fun!

CHOPS finds a circuit box. Despite having no demonstrated understanding of electrical systems or wiring, he begins to fiddle with the wires in the dark like a CIA electrician.

CHOPS: I think I'd like to shed some light on the conversation, Sanchez.

The lights of the stadium come on. Revealed in the middle of the field: evil hippie freak SANCHEZ, dressed in black and holding a detonator.

SANCHEZ: I'll blow up this whole--

CHOPS fires his Desert War Eagle. A burst of red explodes from the side of SANCHEZ's knee. He falls and drops the detonator, rolling in agony and grabbing his leg.

SANCHEZ: MY KNEE! OH GOD, I'M CRIPPLED. I'll get you CHOPS! I'll see you dead if it's the last thing I do!!!

CHOPS: Get in line, Sanchez. And don't forget your crutches. It'll be a long wait.

END SCENE.

Battertooth Productions presents CHOPS, a new crime drama starring Tommy Tuberville. Only this fall on TNT: We Know Drama.