The Ruler of Jattlantis placed the briefcase on the conference room table. Jatt Star could barely stifle a smirk as he unlatched it. He paused as Ezster put a hand on his shoulder. She looked at him and if she could smile without pain, she would. It was hard enough fitting a straw between the stitches without feeling even a twinge of pain much less smile. She had come a long way from being captive in some hovel in Upstate New York. Now, she lives in modest comfort in a two bedroom apartment with her narcoleptic friend, Bela (although, “friend” might be overstating it as there was a massive lack of communication between the two of them, Ezster unable to speak and Bela unable to stay awake). But they were bonded by a similar traumatic experience.
Ezster modeled her style after her “guardian angel” and he did not seem to mind. In fact, she could tell, he ate it up. He enjoyed it. He was more than happy to shell out five hundred dollars for her red and black suit, perfectly tailored to fit her slender figure. She watched Jatt Starr as he looked at the official security officers of the HOW, the EPU. They never said a word from what Ezster could tell but the one not wearing a mask did say two words to her “What’s up?”. It was almost insulting that he paused to wait for a response before the Jattinum Standard intervened.
The EPU and HOW’s assistant officiating director, Miles Skrootaalsach were there to retrieve the implement of destruction that would be placed atop the cage in the inaugural “PACO MEMORIAL EXTREME CLOWN ZOMBIE CHICKEN BLOODSPORT DEATH CAGE MATCH”. Ezster could see the gleam in the Baron of Boca Jatton’s eye as he opened the case. Resting up on a pile of bubblewrap was “Pacito”. The rubber chicken was filled with lead, tightly wrapped around an official Major League Baseball Louisville Slugger with razor sharp barbed wire. As the Marquis of MadagaStarr lifted “Pacito”, he had to pull the pieces of bubblewrap that had become attached to the sharp-edged spokes. Miles and the EPU looked on stoically. Ezster noticed an expectant look upon her mentor’s face as if the guards and that scrawny, ghoulish little man with the circular glasses would be impressed.
JATT STARR: Behold! Pacito! Remember, he is to be placed atop a neutral corner. And be cautious. The only blood that should satiate Pacito’s thirst for….um….blood….should be Evan Ward’s. Understood?
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: There ain’t gonna be no problem. This here rubber chicken is in good hands.
JATT STARR: Do not do that!
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: What? What’d I do?
JATT STARR: Do not make Pacito some corporate shill! Take your insurance slogans and propel them up your rectal cavity! Pacito is pure! Not corrupted by capitalist ideals, like a small child. A small psychopathic child whose bloodlust cannot be quenched.
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: Relax. It’s just an expression.
The Thane of Starrkarth gingerly placed Pacito back into the case, closed it, and latched it shut. The unmasked EPU officer, whose name Ezster wants to say is “Cody”. All Codys Ezster had ever met had been massive douches. Both of them. This EPU agent had “massive douche” vibes. The EPU agent took possession of the case. Jatt Starr snapped his fingers and Ezster knew that was her cue. She sauntered over towards the front of the conference room and picked up a backpack. She brought the backpack to the Mayor of ManJattan and he smiled at her. If only she could smile back…..
JATT STARR: Is she just not the most magnificent and resplendent woman you have ever seen? My beautiful assistant, gentlemen.
The EPU Agent (whose name may or may not be “Cody”) and Miles Skrootaalsach shared a questioning and perhaps skeptical glance. The Savior of Starrkham places the navy blue backpack atop the table and unzips it.
JATT STARR: As per the rules of the EXTREME CLOWN ZOMBIE CHICKEN DEATH CAGE MATCH of Bolivia, the referee must don the traditional officiating garb for the match. Who is the ref going to be?
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: If memory serves, it’s gonna be Hortega, I think? I don’t got the call sheet with me.
JATT STARR: It matters not. The garb is one size fits all.
The Jattlantic City Idol pulls out a pair of large blue, red, and yellow shoes about two feet long. A little red and yellow beanie with a propeller on top. A white clown outfit with red, green, and purple pom-poms. A bright orange and black plaid jacket.
JATT STARR: Ah, the clown. Shakespeare, especially in “Twelfth Night” and “King Lear”, held the jester in the highest regard. Two semesters of classical lit in Princeton.
Miles Skrootaalsach picked up and looked at one of the shoes between his fingers as if he were lifting a freshly poopy diaper with an especially foul stench. The disrespect he was showing the Champion of Jattanooga was almost enough for Ezster to lose her “shit”. That dweeb was lucky she did not claw his eyes out. Doing so, however, might cause a rift in her continuing relationship with Jatt Starr.
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: Is this really necessary?
JATT STARR: Absolutely.
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: Why?
JATT STARR: Were you not listening? Do you have a massive buildup of wax in your ears? Do you need a Q-Tip?
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: You know that Q-Tips just push the wax deeper into the ears, don’t you?
JATT STARR: I will not stand for such derision, pencil penis.
Ezster could not help it. She let out an amused snort. The Starrson City Icon snatched the shoe from betwixt Miles Skrootaalsach’s bony fingers and deposited next to it’s colorful twin.
JATT STARR: It is tradition. Besides, it is a perfect example of how farcical the officiating in the HOW has been over the course of the past few years. Need the King of Jatten Island cite the battle royal that Scott Stevens won when he was supposedly officiating?
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: An irregularity.
JATT STARR: A joke. And now, they will dress as one. You say “irregular”. I say “fitting”. And Matt Boettcher, Joel Hortega, or “Even” Stevens, heck, you can get Darkwing as a special guest referee, whomsoever it is, they will be putting on the floppy shoes, the ridiculous hat, and pounds of clown makeup! Or maybe you would like to voice your concerns with Lee Best?
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: Okay! Damn!
JATT STARR: If Darkwing puts on white clown makeup, would that be racist? Should I have suggested someone like Darin Zion or David Black? Forget it.
Miles Skrootaalsach began putting the clown outfit back into the backpack from whence it came.
JATT STARR: I am reminded of the painting, you know the one, the forlorn jester sitting in a chair….
The HOW Hall of Famer was met with blank stares by all but one. Ezster was interested. Jatt Starr had introduced her to a multitude of culture. “Wicked” on Broadway (she felt transported to Oz and had “Popular” stuck in her head for weeks). Beluga caviar smoothies (disgusting). The Macarena (she would be a hit at weddings and bar mitzvahs). “Three’s Company” on Pluto (the humor and styles she felt was dated and did not compare to “M.A.S.H.”).
JATT STARR: …Stanczyk….
More blank stares.
JATT STARR: ….by Jan Matejko?
Nothing but the sound of Miles Skrootaalsach zipping the backpack closed after shoving the clown contents inside. Ezster hoped that the clothes would not get too wrinkled. She hated ironing so most of her clothes are wrinkle free.
JATT STARR: Boorish cave people. Is the Rembrandt of Wrestling the only person here to take an Art History course at Princeton?
Ezster nodded in agreement.
JATT STARR: Be careful with that. And make sure every item in that bag is used.
MILES SKROOTAALSACH: I’ll try.
JATT STARR: Do not just try. Do not make me Yoda you!
Without saying another word, Miles Skrootaalsach and the masked EPU agents exit the room leaving Ezster, Jatt Starr, and the unmasked EPU Agent.
JATT STARR: Yeah Stu?
STU! It was STU! Ezster had no idea where she got the name “Cody” from. Although, Stu did look like a Cody. He just needed a hookah shell necklace and a manbun. Ezster hated manbuns. Stu clutched the case.
STU THE EPU: You chose this match.
JATT STARR: I did.
STU THE EPU: I need not remind you how imperative it is that you win this match.
JATT STARR: I need not remind you that I am the PWA Co-World Champion.
STU THE EPU: This match matters. Evan Ward cannot win.
JATT STARR: Evan Ward will end up as a Wardichoke when I get done with him. Why do you even care?
STU THE EPU: I don’t. The big guy upstairs? He cares quite a bit.
JATT STARR: You tell Lee what I said. Evan Ward will be rendered as useless as a soggy tissue.
STU THE EPU: Results matter to him. Not words.
Without giving the Grand Overlord of Jatturn the opportunity to respond, Stu the EPU did an about face and marched out of the room carrying the briefcase containing Pacito. Jatt Starr adjusted his black and 97Red checked jacket and turned towards Ezster.
JATT STARR: The gonads of that intrusive fopdoodle. Where does he get off delivering a message from Lee Best to me? ME! The PWA Co-World Champion! Those EPU tools should be seen and not heard! That intestinal sepsis is lucky I did not go total Tony Montana on him!
Ezster was not familiar with the name “Tony Montana”. Perhaps he was another wrestler in the HOW or some old acquaintance of the Sultan of SeaJattle. She tilted her and shrugged her shoulders to communicate her confusion as Jatt Starr crossed his arms across his chest and scowled towards the door.
JATT STARR: “Scarface”. Forget it. That louse! He cannot talk to me like that! Rest assured, my dear, once I bash Evan Ward’s brains in, watch a pie get smooshed into his stupid face, and then bash whatever of Evan Ward’s gray matter is left, I will find Stu and shut his mouth permanently.
Jatt Starr looked over at Ezster and she could almost see the pang of guilt hit him in the gut.
JATT STARR: I apologize. I didn’t mean….I was not considering your….Sorry.
Ezster waved her hand in the air signifying to him that she was fine. Perhaps one day she will have the stitches snipped. Perhaps she will once again belt out “Call Me” by Blondie. Perhaps Jatt Starr will even enjoy her singing voice. That would have to wait. She knew where Jatt Starr’s head was at. He was currently stewing and boiling and bubbling over with growing rage that an EPU agent, people paid to keep their mouth shut, took it upon themselves to speak to him in a disrespectful tone. She knew he would channel that rage into his match against Evan Ward. She could almost imagine herself feeling bad for him. Almost. Instead, she placed a caring hand on his shoulder. He looked at her. She looked at him. Were they having a moment that would lead to something…..? She could attempt to speak and through the grunts and hums and groans and other nonverbal yet audible clues, he almost always knew what she was trying to say. She told him right then and there: “Jatt, I adore you. What you have done….what you are doing for me….I can never repay. Know that I will always be here for you.” It came out as “Mm Hmm Mm Mmmmm Mm Mmm Hmm Hm Mmmmm.”. He responded, his eyes locked with hers.
JATT STARR: No, that’s too heavy and it gives me indigestion. Maybe Mahi Mahi atop fresh ravioli.
Well, he ALMOST always understands her…..