Ask Exhibition Basketball Great Meadowlark Lemon

October 13, 2011

See, kids? While y'all are transfixed, watching me spin this ball, Curly and the rest of the Globetrotters are taking your wallets so we can commit identity theft. Because guest starring on Scooby-Doo isn't all that lucrative, and Globetrotters gotta get paid, son.


Dear Meadowlark-

My boyfriend and I recently got engaged, and I love him very much. Recently, he brought up the notion of us opening our bedroom to strangers we meet on the internet. He says that as long as we do it now, before we’re married, it isn’t wrong and couldn’t possibly have any negative repercussions. This is not how I was raised, but I’m scared if I say no, I might lose him. What should I do?

Three-Way Trepidatious in Tallahassee


Dear Three-Way-

Long before I was a Globetrotter, when I was a private in the Army, I had a grizzly old drill sergeant who used to tell me, “Lemon, there’s the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way.”

Now, it took me a good long time to figure out what he meant. Years, really. Long after he’d gone on to the Korean War and gotten himself killed in a brothel. I was practicing lay-ups before an exhibition match against some deaf school children (it was hard times in the late fifties for the Globetrotters, I can tell you), and the wisdom of his seeming oxymoron came through. The Army Way, whatever your Army is, supersedes right and wrong. Like how the Globetrotters play basketball. There are rules, and we do not play basketball according to those rules. Not even against deaf (or blind, for that matter) school children. So long as you adhere to the Globetrotter or Army or whatever way of conducting yourself, you are safe from right and wrong.

Not that that worked out too well for those guys at Nuremburg.


Dear Meadowlark-

My husband and I recently discovered that our nine-year-old son has been killing neighborhood cats. When we confronted him about this, he said he was sacrificing them to Satan. Do you have any suggestions as to how we might proceed?

-Deeply Disturbed in Dubuque


Dear Deeply Disturbed-

When Twiggy and Sweet Lou joined the team, there was a lot of grumbling-from Curly especially. Those guys just shined, and a few of the players (mainly Curly), didn’t think they’d paid their dues. I’ll tell you like I told the other guys (well, like I told Curly, since he was the only one that really raised a stink about it). You feel threatened by these younger players, but mostly you feel the encroaching of old age. The specter of death breathing on your neck. Your toes are tapping to that old mortal coil shuffle.

Then we all went to a strip club and ate steaks and watched some young things shake it.

We all felt better then.


Dear Meadowlark-

I recently turned in a story to my creative writing workshop wherein a young girl experiments with cutting. My creative writing instructor derided me, saying that cutting was incredibly passe. He then suggested looking for fresher, newer forms of physical demonstration of psychological unbalance. I don’t have any experience outside of bulimia, anorexia, cutting, and unprotected sex with potentially violent strangers. Any suggestions?

-Passe in Passaic


Dear Passe-

I’m not saying the Globetrotters are teetotalers, but there’s a reason we don’t drug test. Well, mostly we don’t drug test because there’s no reason to-I mean, the Washington Generals? Those guys shoot dope. Not mainlining, just skin-popping, but still. Nobody’s going to come to the Globetrotters and say, “Hey, I think you guys are winning your games unfairly through the use of performance-enhancing drugs.” After all, Cialis daily use isn’t the kind of performance enhancement people are worried about on the court.

Except when say somebody gets poked in the side with a semi-. But that’s just basketball. Oldest trick in the Globetrotter play book.


Dear Meadowlark-

I was amorous with a few different men within the two or three day period during which I got pregnant. I don’t want to go on Maury Povich, and I don’t want to damage my chances at getting one of them to support me and my child financially. How best can I go about figuring out which of them impregnated me, or does it even matter? Is it wrong to just tell the most well-off of them that they’re going to be a daddy?

-Up the Stick in Ogunquit


Dear Up the Stick-

A lot of people forget that Wilt the Stilt was a Globetrotter. And yes, seeing the way that dude mowed his way through the ladies, he could easily have hit ten thousand. If Wilt wasn’t dunking basketballs, he was scoring, if you know what I’m saying. Did he probably leave a few kids out there? Yes. A lot. I’ve got a suspicion that my second oldest is his, as a matter of fact.

The thing is, Wilt was a consummate lover. I think it’s a common refrain that no woman (or man-the seventies was a hell of a time) left Wilt’s bed (or elevator from the penthouse to the first floor) unsatisfied. And whatever came from that was accepted (Wilt never got burned by or burned anyone that I ever heard of-the guy was a lucky son-of-a-bitch where dodging the clap was concerned). If he had kids out there, I think they were seen as gifts from god. Almost like something out of Roman mythology.

Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, those guys don’t have anything on Wilt. I’m not saying they’re not talented or haunted, but nobody-nobody-can touch the Stilt.


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