The Star Spangled Tennis Tour



CONSORTIUM CONGLOMERATES (C/C) is an extremely wealthy, multinational banking corporation specializing in credit cards. Its chairman, ALPHONSO RAND, is a tennis fanatic. Consequently, when it’s decided by the C/C board to sponsor a sporting event as a promotional vehicle in C/C’s secondary markets, Rand cleverly maneuvers the emphasis away from golf (the obsession of the company’s president RON LAZAR) and creates the STAR SPANGLED TENNIS TOUR (SSTT), a second level men’s tennis circuit for aspiring players.

The management of the SSTT settles on AUDREY CUTENICK, a close friend of Lazar’s (especially promoted from Word Processing for the task) who knows nothing about tennis and even less about management. She makes decisions with her glands instead of her head and is susceptible to any male under sixty-five. Thus, when BARRY HONEYCUT, a southwestern land-sales swindler, appears at C/C headquarters in New York City, Audrey is smitten and agrees to the following. Barry is the owner of the non-existent FERTILE VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB near Yucca Flats, Nevada. He was stuck with acres of sand when the government exposed desert land-sales swindles. He decides that if C/C can be convinced to use the Fertile Valley Country Club as the site of the grand finals of the SSTT, he will be able to raise enough money to develop his land and build his club. 

What Barry doesn’t realize is that the middle-level executives running the SSTT are totally inept, almost as inept at tennis management as he is at developing land and raising money. One misunderstanding leads to another as the SSTT moves ever closer to an unprepared Fertile Valley: 

  • Army General ADELAIDE CRANE, a fanatic, right-wing tennis mother, drops in on various tournaments with armed men; 

  • NUNCIO CICCARELLA, a New Jersey casino mob boss and a determined tennis father, not only sponsors an entire tournament, just so his clumsy son can play tennis, but also (for the same reason) loans Honeycut enough money to at least partially develop his club. Of course, he comes in at the end to “collect”; 

  • JOHN O’LUNNEY, the charming Irish sports P/R “expert,” makes off with $10-million in SSTT checks. 

This is further complicated by a cast of off-the-wall tennis players, the sudden demise of Rand during a pro/am at his own country club, and the subsequent rise of C/C’s golf loving president, Ron Lazar. Naturally, the tournaments are a series of fiascoes. The rogues get away with the money and the Fertile Valley tournament becomes a melee of immense proportions when General Crane, in a fit of pique, raises a billowing mushroom cloud in the not distant enough distance.