Cue the corny television theme music as the scene fades in. A drone shot from above the front yard pans in slowly as the words “Filmed in front of a live studio audience” are shown on the lower third of the screen. The music begins to fade as the shot from above quickly transitions to a wide angle from the street, showing Steven Solex in the front yard of his home having a catch with his son. The two toss a baseball back and forth, as the crowd cheers in the first line.
“Daddy, I’m a little upset,” Jebidiah says with a frown weighing down his bottom lip. He drops his arms to his sides and lets his baseball mitt slide off of his hand and onto the grass. The crowd in attendance lets out a collective ‘awe’ as the gloves crashes into the ground.
“What’s the matter, son?” Steven says, cautiously approaching his son with his arms stretched, and his mustache glorious.
The boy hugs his father, and wipes his tears and snot all over his Dad’s freshly pressed #1 Dad white t-shirt. The crowd laughs in sync as Steven looks down at his shoulder and into the camera with a shrug.
“It’s just. I feel bad for Mr. Scorpion. I still can’t erase that image from my mind, and now you’ve beaten him into retirement.” The little one pulls away from his dad, and looks up to him. “Is he going to have to live in his car now, Dad. Is he? Like that one man who sleeps in the scary looking van down by the pier?” The inquisitive boy stammers through the question, holding back the knot in his throat. The crowd lets out another awe at the boy’s sincerity.
“I don’t know son, but I’ve thought about it every day since ICONIC. I never thought that I would be the one to retire Scott Stevens. Heck, it wasn’t even a stipulation in our match. But Mr. Lee Best knew that Scott Stevens would never rebound after taking a beating like the one that I gave him.” The crowd cheers.
“But, Daddy. Aren’t you worried that you’ve ruined him? That he won’t ever work again? Are you worried, that he’s going to be a homeless person?” The crowd awes. You get the hint.
“No, son. I’m not worried. The good Lord above has a plan for us all. It just happens to be that his plan had me retiring Scott Stevens. I can’t control His will, son. He will provide for Scott Stevens to. God loves Texans just as much as He loves us, son.”
“You’re right Daddy,” Jebidiah says behind a sniffle.
“Besides, Jebidiah. That’s in the past . We have to focus on the future now. The future of my career, my legacy, this family and our friends. We have to focus on…”
“Rick Dickulous!” The boys calls out, rudely interrupting his father. The crowd laughs, but quickly switches to “oo’s” as Steven is taken aback, and gasps his lungs full.
“That is not the kind of language we use in this family, son,” A stern tone from Steven quickly changes his sons posture into listening mode. “We’ve already discussed this Jebidiah. His name is now Penisulous.” Steven Solex drops down on one knee positioning himself eye to eye with his “tweenage” son. He waves a finger the boy’s face, while he lectures, but his eyes wander skyward as he thinks to himself for a moment. Steven quickly looks back down at his son. “In fact, that’s too dirty. We’ll just call him Richard, for now.” The crowd in attendance laughs.
“But, Dad!” The boy is defiant responds in a half-aggressive, half-whiny tone. The crowd against “oo’s,” they know the little guy’s about to be in bad trouble. “That’s not his name, his name is Rick Di…,” Steven quickly covers his son’s mouth an open palm.
“Jebidiah! You march right into that house and go into your room this instant!”
The crowd “oo’s again.”
“But, Dad! I’m hungry!”
“Hi, hungry. I’m Dad,” Steven couldn’t stop it, the jokes are second-nature at this point. Steven lets out a small chuckle and gently socks his son on the arm and the crowd laughs hysterically. The little boy grimaces and clinches the spot where he was hit.
“Now, Jebidiah. You do what I tell you, and you go to your room.” The lad rolls his eyes harder than the World Champion could ever dream of and heads into the house.
Steven stands up, in all of his Dad-glory and places his hands on his hips. He raises his chin and stares into the sky, soaking up bright sun while simultaneously enjoying the cool breeze in the air. The sunshine glistens off his freshly combed mustache as his salt-and-pepper hair flows beautifully in the wind.
“Steve-o!” A monotone shout from the distance grabs Steven’s attention. The crowd goes silent.
“Mikey! How’s it going, hoss?!”
The crowd cheers as a middle-aged man comes jogging up onto the well-manicured and lush green front yard. The man is dressed in typical suburban white-male attire. He gets about two feet from Solex and sticks out his hand for a shake. Steven sticks out his hand to reciprocate, but just as Mikey goes to clinch Steven’s hand, Steven bends all of his fingers, except for the index finger. Mikey looks up at Steve, gripping onto his finger.
Steven makes a raspberry sound with his tongue, and the two share a belly laugh as the crowd erupts in laughter.
“Oh, Steve-o…that never gets old!” Mikey can barely get the words out and he and the crowd continue to chuckle.
“How the heck are ya, Mikey?” Steven asks, with a shit-eating grin on his face.
“Same ol’, same ol’. You know, livin’ the dream!” Steven laughs at Mikey’s reply, as does the crowd.
“That’s a good 10-4 buddy. Same thing happening over here at Solex-land.”
“Sorry, I haven’t been by lately,” Mikey says. “I’ve just been so busy working a whole lot lately.”
“Work? Or hardly workin’?” Steven responds with a smile. The crowd goes dead.
It’s basically a reflex now.
The two share another corny little laugh, but the crowd doesn’t react.
“Look, Steven,” Mikey begins, his face turning serious. “Sheryl has been riding me all day (Steven laughs)…not like that, Steve-o! You nervous pervous! Sheryl has been on my case, and has been begging me all day to come over here and ask you…”
“Just stop right there, Mikey. I know what this is about. Sheryl’s upset, because I have a wrestling match against a Canadian, right?”
“Well, no. She…”
“Honestly, Mikey. Your wife needs to get a hold of herself. Just because, Rick Di…Richard is a Canadian doesn’t mean your wife can be so prejudice. I mean sure, I’m worried about this match too. With Canada’s government run health care system, I’m not sure if he’s had the proper blood work done, so I’ve got to be careful that I don’t bust him open and get blood on me. Do you know what kind of pressure that is, Mikey? To want to sock a man right in the mouth, but have to worry that if I bust him open that I could somehow get infected with whatever kind of diseases they have up there in Canada? I’m concerned, Mikey. I’m concerned for my life!”
Mikey looks perplex while Steven rambles.
“Steven. She’s not concerned about his Candadianship. She…”
“Oh, then it’s got to be his name. Tell Sheryl she can rest assured that I’m going to be taking care of that situation. We can’t have that kind of language displayed on every television set in the good ol’ United States. I am personally going to be speaking with Lee Best, as soon as I get to television this weekend.”
“Steven, that’s not it.”
“Then what is it, Mikey?”
“It’s. Look, Sheryl…”
“Is it the fact that the guy is clearly a steroid user? Tell Sheryl not to fret, Mikey. I will also be voicing my concerns to Lee Best about that very thing!”
Mikey is now visibly frustrated. He places his hands on his hips and looks down at the ground.
“Don’t worry, Mikey! I’m taking care of everything,” Steven says as he slaps Mikey on the shoulder.
“Steven, Sheryl just wants to know if she can get Karen’s brownie recipe (crowd laughts). The kids are having a bake sale, and she’d really like to have it.”
“What?” Steven asks with a puzzled look.
“Not a chance Mikey, that’s the Solex special. There’s no way that she’ll give that recipe away. She’s been working on that for years!” Steven seems a little perturbed that Mikey would even ask the question.
“C’mon, Stever. It’s for the children.”
“Well, since you put it like that, Mikey.” Mikey’s eyes light up. “No.” Mikey is immediately disappointed. “There’s no chance in heck, buddy.” Steven chuckles. Mikey kicks around at the grass, visibly frustrated.
“I’ve got an idea!” Mikey exclaims, his arms thrown out wide, and his eyes bugged out. A bit of rumbling begins in the crowd as they wonder what this idea could be.
“If you beat Rick Dic…” Steven, cuts him off immediately. “Richard,” Steven affirms.
“Right, Richard. If you beat Richard at Refueled, I’ll make sure that Sheryl gives Karen her sweet-potato-pie recipe,” Mikey begins to place his bet, and Steven is instantly intrigued.
“I’m listening,” Steven says in an awkward tone, crossing his arms and nodding his head. The crowd laughs at his tone and defensive posture.
“And if you lose, Karen has to give her recipe for Solex Special Brownies to Sheryl.”
The crowd cheers at the excitement of a bet. Steven turns his back to Mikey and places a hand under his chin, doing his best thinking impression. He quickly turns back around and shakes Mikey’s hand.
“You’ve got yourself a gosh-darn deal, Mikey.”
The two men laugh and rigorously shake each other’s hands as the crowd cheers loudly.
“I wouldn’t be so happy if I was you Mikey. In fact, I wouldn’t be optimistic at all. This time next week, you’re going to see a sweet-potato pie cooling on that window sill right over there, and I’m going to be eating a brownie right over there,” The crowd laughs as Steven points to the window and the lone rocking chair on his porch in succession.
“Richard doesn’t know that the stakes just got raised around here, and I’ve finally found the motivation that I’m going to need at Refueled. You might say my motivation has been…refueled.” Steven arches backward, and places his hands on his belly as he laughs at his own joke. Mikey barely cracks a smile at the wisecrack, but the crowd explodes into laughter.
“You sure are a wisenheimer, Solex.” Mikey says, still not really enjoying the back and forth the two are having. The crowd, however, is over the moon for the joke and is still laughing.
“Steven, all kidding aside. I’ve got this old washer and dryer I need to get loaded up into my truck. I was wondering if you could give me a hand,” Mikey cringes. He and the hysterical crowd know what he just did, and Steven is quick to oblige with a round of applause right in Mikey’s face, which further ignites the riotous laughter in the audience.
“Alright, alright, Steverino,” Mikey says with a smile. “Really, think you could help me load them up in my truck?”
Steven is finally able to shake off the giggles, and nods.
“Let’s do this, partner!” Steven says, as he claps his hands and rubs them together.
The two walk off the front lawn and across the street.
Steven stops as Mikey keeps walking, snaps his head around and throws finger guns up at the camera.
“He’ll never guess what the secret ingredient in those brownies is,” Steven says, in what can only be described as the most stereotypical television tone ever. Steven winks, as the scene pauses and a “ding” is heard.
The crowd cheers the scene into total darkness as the television theme song once again begins to play.