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The Pavstache Tries To Pass The Baton

SCENE: The National Sports Center in Blaine. Early evening. It is cold; a few snowflakes drift through the air in the weird half-lit glow caused by the combination of an early sunset and the reflection of streetlamps off the snow. At a back exit from TwinsFest, Joe Mauer's new semi-spiky haircut - the JOECUT - steps outside, pulls its peacoat and scarf up to its chin, and walks toward its car. Suddenly, a familiar friend steps out from behind a 1987 IROC...

PAVSTACHE: Hello, Joecut. Funny seeing you here.

JOECUT (visibly startled): Pavstache! I thought... I thought...

JOECUT looks wildly around in the hopes that he can spot someone to save him. There is no one.

PAVSTACHE: Yep, you heard right, Jennifer. Carl shaved me off. But it takes a little more than that to kill the Pavstache. I'm the Rasputin of facial furniture.

JOECUT (still nervously glancing about): What... do you want from me? Money? Please don't hurt me. I saw what you and Sweet Drew did at that dog track, they're going to -

PAVSTACHE: WOULD YOU KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN! Jesus, kid, you're the most nervous personification of a hairstyle I've ever seen! Mauer needs to get out of the house once every couple of full moons. You've got a lot of living to do, son. Maybe you're used to your fancy mansions and your Saturday afternoon cocoa and hockey games, but there's more to life than that. You ever see what an Old Country Buffet baked-chicken jockey looks like when she's smoking a cigarette outside your motel room at 5:30 a.m.?

JOECUT (blanches noticeably): No.

PAVSTACHE: Well, you haven't lived then, kiddo. That look of murder in her eye when she tells you that her husband's on the way... the smell of the tires of your Camaro burning out of the parking lot... the sound of shotgun pellets ringing off your trunk as you turn back onto the interstate... you need to know about those things. That's why I'm here. I can help you. This team needs you.

JOECUT: I... I'm not sure what you mean.

PAVSTACHE: I know you don't, Melissa. But this team needs a little grit to it, a little fire, a little bit of a rallying point. I did it last year, but no lip cabana lives forever. Now I'm gone, and somebody's got to fill that void.

JOECUT (wildly): But that's not me! I don't know anything about that! I'm not cut out for that sort of thing! All I want is to sit around and listen to Sugar Ray CDs! Joe says that he's going to order a couple of Everclear CDs, even though his mom doesn't want him to - that's all I want.

PAVSTACHE, agitated, steps even more closely. JOECUT recoils from the scent of unfiltered cigarettes and weeks-old coffee.

PAVSTACHE: YOU HAVE NO CHOICE! It's not about you, buddy - it's about the team. Who's gonna step up? Michael Cuddyer's perma-stubble? Joe Nathan's rapidly receding hairline? Alexi Casilla's chin pubes? HE LOOKS LIKE HE DRAWS THEM ON WITH A SHARPIE! GOD HELP ME, YOU'RE THIS TEAM'S ONLY HOPE!

JOECUT: What... (gulps audibly)... what do I have to do?

PAVSTACHE: Nothing. That is... nothing YET. (smiles menacingly) This is the responsibility you're taking on: when the team looks down, when nothing's going right, that is when you have to step up your game. Your gelled-up mid-90's boy-band look, that's a start, but where are you gonna go when the team's just dropped four straight in Detroit and you're headed for a three-game series in (shudders) Cleveland? How are you going to pick up the boys' spirits then?

JOECUT (brightly): I could get frosted tips! Or just blond highlights! I've been looking at old pictures of Mark McGrath - now there was a guy who could -

PAVSTACHE: SHUT UP! (winces) Sorry, Guinevere, but it's better if I don't know about it. You just need to to be ready. This team needs a new grooming-related meme, and it's up to you to fill that need. Now get out of here, and get ready for when your team needs you.

JOECUT leaves in a Range Rover, with an LFO song blaring from the stereo.

PAVSTACHE: Oh, we're screwed.

The door of the Camaro opens.

SWEET DREW: How'd it go?

PAVSTACHE takes out a Lucky Strike, and makes a long show of lighting it and taking a dramatic drag.

PAVSTACHE: Let's put it this way, Sweet Drew - you better be ready to grow some muttonchops.