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THE USC TROJAN RECEIVES A VISITOR

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SOMEONE NEEDS A ROOM

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Poolside, Malibu. USC relaxes in yellow bathing trunks. The sound of the breeze and the inconsistent strokes of poolboy skimming the surface of the water.

Then: USC senses someone watching him. Without turning to look.

USC: No. No, no, no, no, no.

USC turns to look, and laughs for twenty seconds straight.

USC: Jesus, take that thing off, you’re embarrassing yourself. Skew function much?

Chargers: I thought it made me look younger.

USC: Like you strapped clip art to your face, man. Take that shit off.

Chargers: I’m sorry, it’s just that people recognize me with this.

USC: Do they? I’m asking seriously. Like, even in San Diego.

Chargers: I just need a few weeks. It’ll only be a few weeks, I promise.

USC: No. I’ve already got company. Also, you’ll bring all those Rivers kids in there. This is a mansion and there’s not room for them here.

Chargers: You don’t know how bad it is. Philip made them all little bindles like they were Okies. They sing by a fire they built in the backyard like that’s something you can do at an AirBnB.

USC: That deposit’s not coming back.

Chargers: THERE ARE 37 OF THEM AND THEY ALL WANT FRUIT SNACKS AND THEY ARE KILLING ME.

USC: The answer’s still no.

Chargers: I’ll be so quiet. I promise. I just can’t stay in a place with just 30K seats. It’s a soccer stadium, man. They don’t even have the mandatory things I, as an NFL franchise, need and crave.

USC: Spanos didn’t get the human hunting range by the city council did he?

Chargers: There’s scarcely room for a orgy parlor, much less the customary owner’s laborer-hunting parlor! Savages.

USC: I feel for you, I really do. But you’re not staying here.

Chargers: I’ve got some auditions.

USC: No.

Chargers: This screenplay—

USC: No.

Chargers: A place that makes smoothies, but with grass-fed meat in them, and getting in on the ground floor—

USC: No.

Chargers: Phillip. Rivers. Zumba. For. Men.

USC: The door’s over there. Have fun getting outdrawn by an MLS team.

Chargers: YOU’RE THE MLS TEAM.

USC: Say hi to that other player from your team everyone can name. You know, the other one.

Chargers: One more thing. Can I borrow a Ronald Jones II from you, I—-

USC: [points to door]

Chargers puts new face on and leaves. USC turns to LA RAMS.

USC: When you gonna be finished with the pool, buddy?

LA RAMS: Oh, around seven to nine minutes, from now, sir.