STRONK AND SHELLEY’S HOUSE
SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA
AUGUST 3, 2022
“I can’t understand why you’re not more pissed about this. You’re, like, all zen and shit. Your calmness infuriates me.”
Shelley sits cross-legged on the living room floor. He holds a launch edition Game Boy, staring down at the blurry dot-matrix screen. He purchased the handheld game console at a local flea market in a bid to better understand what makes Conor Fuse tick. The poor, intellectually stunted guy is obsessed with childish bullshit; might as well make an effort to understand why. But the more Tetris he plays, the angrier he becomes.
Greene: What the absolute fuck is that shit? I hit the thinger twice and the fucking hex key-looking things turn three fucking times! No wonder Fuse is such a little bitch. Probably lost his marbles and his manhood fooling around with these moronic things.
Shelley Greene, self-professed science nerd, never played video games growing up. Parents forbade it. Said it would rot his developing mind—then turned a blind eye to his adolescent drug abuse and the several calls homes from school the principal made to inform them as to their son’s strange proclivity toward female bathroom perversions. They weren’t perfect people, but they tried as best they could to raise well adjusted offspring. With Shelley, they unfortunately failed. Badly.
Greene: And then the cube comes barrelling down from FUCK KNOWS WHERE! Where’d it come from!?
STRONK Godson stands, curling triangular weights—100 lbs. a piece—sweating profusely, while ignoring his manager and roommate.
Greene: You listening to me, big man?
Setting the Game Boy aside, Shelley rises to his feet. He places a hand on STRONK’s shoulder.
Greene: It doesn’t matter. We’re on the come up, my guy. Who cares what some no-talent halfwit with a video game fetish thinks? Exactly. No one, that’s who cares!
STRONK: HEAT STRONK UP A STRONKUMM.
Shelley works himself into a frenzy, scurrying into the kitchen to retrieve a STRONKUMM from the deep freeze. He sets it on the counter and pulls back the plastic film a quarter of the way. The stench hits him like a punch to the face. He plops it into the microwave for five minutes and returns to STRONK in the living room.
Greene: Today… we head to Tombstone. Might make a few stops along the way once we land in Arizona. I want us to get there nice and early, get a feel for the place. Take in its sights and smells. Make sure there are no surprises. I hear Tombstone’s like a time capsule of times forgotten. We’ll get there, get fed, maybe procure a tug job or two at the local saloon, and roll into the PPV spritely with freshly drained balls.
STRONK drops his triangular weights with a loud THUD. He cracks his neck. Stares out through the front window of their house. He doesn’t blink even as the sun shines directly into his eyes; he’s no bitch and he wants the sun to know that.
STRONK: WILL THERE BE TURKEY LEGS AND PROSTITUTES?
Most likely yes. There would likely be prostitutes, those precocious ladies of the night. There would be all manner of roast chicken and pig.
Greene: I can’t imagine… uhh… I can’t imagine there being a lack of turkey legs and prosties. HOW PPVs are like no other.
STRONK: WHEN DO WE LEAVE?
Greene: As soon as possible. And yes, I procured a horse trailer in which we can transport MONGO to the PPV along with some guys to oversee the whole thing. They’ll be leaving from here later this afternoon.
STRONK: STRONK ASSUMED STRONK WOULD RIDE MONGO TO DEAD OR ALIVE.
Shelley wipes his hand across his face, teeth grinding.
Greene: Like I said LAST TIME you mentioned riding the bull to Tombstone, that is a twenty six hour drive away from here. That’s a five hundred plus hour walk. We have a plane. He will be transported on the ground by three guys who could pass a drug test for meth.
STRONK: THEN FLY WE SHALL.
Suddenly their front door BURSTS open! A skinny-fat man with a mullet, wearing an AC/DC shirt, face-plants on the tile floor of their front foyer.
The disoriented man scrambles to his feet.
It’s their neighbour Peter. He’s day-drunk and looking for adventure. He’s really taken his divorce well; he’s grown out an unwashed mop of hair, he’s got a refrigerator that’s always stocked with brews, the nice people at the liquor store know him by name, and his bratty kids only visit for an afternoon once a month. He’s a man unchained.
Peter: Fellas, you hear the big news? I was watching porn when I got a Google Alert that the HOW Tag Team Titles are being retired at Dead Or Alive! To be replaced by the newly created HOTv Tag Team Titles! I’m so into this strange world of High Octane pro wrestling despite not knowing it existed three months ago! The Adderall works!
Greene: Yes, it does. Try and focus that energy on something productive, though.
STRONK: HE IS OUR NEWS BOY.
Greene: The HOTv Tag Team Titles, huh? That sounds big time. That sounds like something that gets a motherfucker doubly paid.
STRONK: THEN STRONK AND SHELLEY CAN BUY A RANCH WITH LOTS OF LAND WHERE STRONKUMMS ANIMALS CAN GRAZE BEFORE BEING FED TO THE GIANT MEAT GRINDER. AND MONGO THE BULL CAN RUN FREE IN THE ROLLING HILLS AND HUNT FOR HIS FOOD THE WAY NATURE INTENDED.
Shelley looks over at a stack of documents sitting on top of a couple milk crates. Crudely thrown-together marketing collateral for a special farm located in Eastern Europe, like something a seven-year-old would craft in MS Word upon discovering clip art.
Each page has wonky, pixelated Smart Art, a low-res picture of an animal that could very well be any animal (donkey, camel, bear, pig, etc.), and some poorly translated lines of text relating to said animal but making very little sense.
The letterhead reads CHERNOBYL ANIMAL REHABILITATION FACILITY #5.
Shelley wonders if the D-grade meat they’ve been procuring is actually closer to an F than a C, but quickly shrugs off the thought.
Greene: Peter, we have errands to run. We must begin preparations for Dead Or Alive. As our most loyal fan and chairman of our booster club, I need you to drive to the gas station and fill, like, six jerrycans with gasoline. The premium shit, don’t you skimp out on me!
Peter nods. His vision is awash, everything moves in slo-mo. Sixteen beers. He’s drank sixteen beers so far today and it’s only quarter past twelve.
Peter: You got it, buddy! I gotta pick up some more Petey fuel anyway, if you catch my drift. Ha!
Shelley and STRONK ignore him.
Peter: I’m sayin’ I need to buy more booze or else I get the sad thoughts and my leg starts to shake, and boy do I sweat like a pig. You know how hard it is to piss when you’re legs a-goin’ a mile a minute? You gotta piss sitting down. Which gets me thinking, shit, maybe I wanna find a dick to suck. Just to see what it’s like, y’know? But maybe that’s just me.
Greene: Yeah, that sounds like a ‘you’ thing, Pete.
Peter reaches into the back pocket of his denim shorts and retrieves a mini-fridge bottle of gin. He unscrews the cap and tips it back, guzzling it empty in under five seconds. He makes a satisfied ‘ahhh’ sound.
Peter: If I’m gonna be driving, I gotta get my mind right. Driving shitfaced is scary as hell unless you’re, uhh, real shitfaced.
STRONK: STRONK THINKS YOU ARE OF BELOW AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE AND MAY ALSO HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE.
Laughing, Peter pats Stronk Daddy on the shoulder. STRONK doesn’t immediately obliterate the drunkard for unwanted physical contact because he can see plain as day how inebriated Pete is and doesn’t want to break an already broken man.
Peter: That’s what my family doc says, but she’s a damn chick. Ex-wife’s idea. A friend of a friend of hers from college. She ain’t even that hot, neither, so it’s like, what am I paying for here?
Greene: (sighing) Just please go get the gas, and maybe some food and water and a new Bluetooth speaker and a prepaid credit card with five hundred bucks on it. If you want to help out, that is.
Peter turns and walks away.
Peter: You got it. And you know what? Why don’t I make it a thousand? It’s only gonna go to my ungrateful kids anyway!
Greene: Sure, whatever, just go do it!
Peter disappears out the front door, leaving it wide open. Shelley, annoyed, walks over and closes it behind him.
Greene: Was he born in a fucking barn or something? Learn to close the door like a normal person.
STRONK gazes out at nothing in particular, lost in primitive thought.
A big red barn. Green grass extending as far as the eye can see. No doors anywhere, apparently that’s a farm thing. There’s MONGO off in the distance, goring a thieving farmhand against a wood fence.
STRONK: STRONK AND SHELLEY WILL LIVE IN A BARN ON A RANCH AFTER STRONK AND JACE PARKER DAVIDSON WIN THE HOTv TAG TEAM TITLES. ICED TEA WILL FLOW FROM EVERY FAUCET. WE WILL MAKE OUR OWN BARBECUE SAUCE. JACE PARKER DAVIDSON WILL VISIT EVERY SATURDAY TO BRING NEWS OF THE WORLD.
Greene: Okay. Let’s pack our shit. We gotta hit the road in an hour.
STRONK does an about-face and steers his lumbering three hundred pound frame into the kitchen.
Meanwhile, Shelley’s taking a ‘me moment’ and sucking on an e-cig. Dead Or Alive is an important show for them. Perhaps the most important of STRONK’s career thus far. Losing the LSD Championship to Jatt Starr in the upset of the year was a setback. Being left to fight two men—the same two men who make up a quarter of the tag title match at DOA—when his partner Flag Man failed to show up (thanks to the dastardly Steve Solex), that wasn’t good, either.
It’s true. They’d lost a bit of momentum. Taking L’s when you otherwise shouldn’t (and aren’t expected to) does not make for a successful career. This level of inconsistency will NOT be tolerated.
A minute or so later, STRONK returns to the living room—in his right hand is a duffle bag and in his left is a tomahawk steak.
Greene exhales nicotine vapor through pursed lips.
Undaunted, he takes one look at the duffle bag and knows.
Greene: I presume you’re good to go?
STRONK: YES. STRONK IS PACKED.
Greene: And let me guess, the bag—it’s full of ground beef, ain’t it?
STRONK: YES. AND GROUND PORK. AND STEAKS. TWO DOZEN STEAKS.
Shelley stows the vape in his pants pocket and moves past Godson toward the staircase to the second floor.
Greene: We head out as soon as fuck-nuts gets back with our gas. Shit’s expensive these days; I can’t be buying it every time we need to go somewhere.
Greene leaves to go pack some clothes, while STRONK munches on the tomahawk steak.
What is a lady?
Depending on your age and upbringing, the friends you keep, the shit you read, your answer may differ vastly from mine.
To me, a lady… is a woman who is prim and proper and knows her place in the pecking order. She accepts this reality willingly and without even a tinge of discontent. A lady doesn’t have that extra scoop of ice cream after dinner. A lady doesn’t trundle around smelling of sweat and hair dye. No, a lady… is a woman who stands behind her man, and keeps her trap SHUT.
Robernette, you could have been an interesting fling for the King Stallion early on in his HOW career. A little side piece action. A slice of strannnnnge on the road. A receptacle of sperm and maybe a backhand if you step outta line. You could’ve had all that in your life, if only for a fleeting period of time.
But that was then, and this is now.
Stronk Daddy’s on the come up, y’feel me? He’s the hottest thing in the biz today. Fans love him. HOW management loves him. We’ve sold like a million of those cheap-ass ‘STRONK AF’ tees. Got our own custom entrance theme and video. We’ve already held two titles in six months, and we make Hall of Fame money as our fucking downside guarantee.
Oh, and don’t forget—we got STRONKUMMS, too, and it’s going to the moon! One day STRONKUMMS will be spoken of in the same breath as the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Apple, General Electric, and so on and so forth!
Everyone wants a piece of the Stronk Daddy—and you know why?
Because STRONK is the money fight in HOW. He’s the money fight anywhere and everywhere he goes! We got boxing and MMA promoters ringing us up—they wanna know can STRONK throw hands? Can he grapple? Would he fight this dumbass influencer or this retired NBA player?
To each of them I say, representing STRONK: talk to Papa.
We are grounded in HOW.
We’ve laid down roots.
Like the tentacles of the great and powerful kraken we have wrapped ourselves around the High Octane boat… we can drag this bitch to the ocean floor and walk into PRIME tomorrow and whip Brendon AIDSblood’s ass for his strap. Now, we won’t. Because we respect this fed and the people who run it. But we could. We could. Because we are that important to this enterprise. STRONK is a franchise player and a true once-in-a-generation athlete.
Soon, there will be no more talk of “BC” or “AD”—it will simply be “Before STRONK” and “After STRONK”. More food than EVER before, but everyone’s starvin’ but Stronk Daddy! Because Stronk Daddy eats first and he doesn’t leave the table until the marrow has been sucked from the bones. We’re taking this thing to heights never before seen or thought possible!
So, Robernette, all that to say, you could’ve been a diversion—a thing that lasted three or four weeks before STRONK won his first title and poured a gallon ‘o gasoline on the raging fire that is his career.
But in August of the year 2022, you just ain’t on our level no mo’, baby. You ain’t it, girl. Sorry, not sorry.
And so what do you do? You don’t accept it, that’s for sure. What does clout-chasing parasitic scum such as yourself do when they come to the realization they missed their one last chance at industry relevance? They dig into their little bag of emotionally manipulative tricks. You sent STRONK a half a cow. Not a whole cow; a half a cow. Brilliant tactical move. STRONK’s a simple man; he assumed the best in you since the day he met you. But I, Shelley “By Golly” Greene, see you for what you really are: a succubus leeching heat off the ‘It Guy’ in HOW.
That’s why these past few weeks, on and off cam, the new LSD Champ and myself have been brainwa—err, ‘educating’ the big man on the realities of the modern day woman. You cannot be trusted, Robernette.
I DO NOT TRUST YOU, BITCH.
And if Stronk Daddy knows what’s good for him, if he’ll put his faith in me and Jacey… he’ll open his eyes to what you truly are and, when the opportunity presents itself at Dead Or Alive…
…bury you six feet deep in the dry, dry ground of Tombstone motherfuckin’ Arizona!
That’s just you, Robernette.
There’s also your ‘BFF’ (BLEAAaaAaAAH!), the former HOW Champ Conor Fuse.
Fuse, you’ve been scared of us since we walked in the door. Let me paint a widdle picture in vibrant watercolour for you:
Imagine an Old West saloon. A blind man plays the piano terribly, just looking to scrounge enough coin for a pint. Men smoke cigars and down shots of bourbon. A whore walks around caked in makeup to cover syphilitic scars. And there you are, at the bar, with a warm glass of milk. You enjoyed a bit of time as the best gunslinger in town. But then, at the stroke of noon, STRONK Godson walks in. Everyone acknowledges the man has a presence about him. You know he’s a bad motherfucker just by looking at him. Did you step to this man and assert your place at the top, confident in your ability to beat him? Or did you cower in the shitter, watching through the keyhole as he effortlessly tosses the other patrons through tables and out windows, thereby earning his deserved reputation for being someone you do not try to ‘fuck on’!
You have ignored STRONK. He thought you were a good person when he first got here. But then you passed up drafting him for War Games, showing what an insecure little bitch that you are.
Because you didn’t wanna share the spotlight with someone you knew was poised to surpass you. You’re so fucking pathetic you’d rather lose than give an opportunity to an up-and-coming talent.
Conor, I’m pleased to say: you played yourself, bapa. You could’ve had a friend, a monster, at your back for the rest of time. You could have earned the loyalty of a man whose inner circle is small but tightly guarded.
Instead you fucked around and are fixin’ to find out.
And you will find out.
At Dead Or Alive.
That the Stronkest Man Alive is next in line… and you’re already halfway out the door.
STRONK and Shelley Greene arrived in Arizona later that day following an uneventful flight and a short drive. Shelley thought it prudent to get his client there as early as possible, giving him plenty of time to acclimate to the weather. They could be competing in stamina-zapping, skin-blistering heat; hot and dry and miserable. Shelley cunningly swapped STRONK’s baby oil for SPF 50. The big man didn’t notice even as he was rubbing it into his skin. “BABY OIL PAST ITS EXPIRY DATE TURNS WHITE AND CREAMY?” STRONK, at one point, asked Greene, who simply reaffirmed “Yes, yes it does.”
They walk along a sidewalk, somewhere in Arizona. It’s not Tombstone, but it looks kind of like it. It’s a town they stopped in after leaving the airport, thinking it would be nice to see some sights and maybe patronize a few local shops.
Shelley steps into a hat shop, causing a wind chime hanging from the door to jingle. STRONK follows from behind, having to step sideways through the unusually narrow door frame.
Greene: I thought we ought to buy a couple cowboy hats. Really get into character in the lead up to Dead Or Alive.
Shelley scans the display of Stetsons in front of him.
The elderly shop owner appears from an adjacent room, a younger man walking beside him.
Shop Owner: I told you, Timothy, if you’re going to be loitering about my store, you gotta wear a Stetson. Damn it, son, you’re almost thirty four!
Shelley looks at the young man’s hat—it reads ‘Dump Truck Specialist’ across the front.
Shop Owner: You’ve never operated a dump truck in your life, Timothy, which makes me think your hat is some kinda vulgar joke. You could offend my customers.
STRONK: YOUR HAT INDICATES THAT YOU SPECIALIZE IN DUMP TRUCKS—IS THIS TRUE?
The young man, who looks stoned out of his mind, like his brain is stewing in a vat of fun and good times, looks at STRONK, thinking he resembles the character Billy in the movie Predator.
Young Man: Dad’s right—I’ve never operated heavy machinery. I just like a girl with a big ass. The bigger, the better.
STRONK: STRONK UNDERSTANDS.
Young Man: You don’t, though. Like… I like a BIG ass. Like… I want my girl to have chronic back problems that adversely affect her ability to lead a normal, fulfilling life. That’s my stance on big asses.
STRONK stares at the words on the hat, transfixed.
STRONK: NO. STRONK UNDERSTANDS.
Young Man: Well, alright then. Love meeting another DTS in the wild.
STRONK: STRONK MUST HAVE YOUR HAT. YES. SHELLEY GREENE—YOU MUST PAY THIS MAN WHATEVER HE REQUIRES TO PART WITH HIS HILARIOUSLY TRUTHFUL HAT. BUT KNOW THAT HE HAS ALL THE LEVERAGE FOR HE IS THE ONE WITH THE HAT.
Leaving Shelley and the young man to haggle over the price of the hat, STRONK wanders over to the belt buckle section and is, quite frankly, aghast at what he sees. His initial reaction prompts the shop owner to walk over to see what all the fuss is about.
Shop Owner: Can I help you, sir?
STRONK points at the large, novelty belt buckles, like something you’d be awarded for winning a rodeo.
STRONK: WHAT FEDERATIONS DO THESE CHAMPIONSHIPS REPRESENT?
Shop Owner: Excuse me?
STRONK: WHY DO YOU POSSESS SO MANY CHAMPIONSHIP BELTS? ARE YOU A RETIRED COMBATANT OF THE RING?
Shop Owner: Oh no, sonny, these are just big ol’ belt buckles that folks around here, well some of ‘em I’d say, kinda wear for fun. Get a lot of businessmen wantin’ one.
STRONK: THESE BELTS REPRESENT NOTHING. THEY HAVE NO PRESTIGE.
Shop Owner: They’re just a fashion statement. Don’t think they’re meant to be anything more than that.
STRONK touches his ball bearing-loaded fanny pack—he could have a belt right this second if he wanted, maybe even wear the fanny pack over it, maybe even gain ten more pounds of delicious body mass.
STRONK: NO. STRONK WILL NOT PURCHASE YOUR FALSE IDOL CHAMPIONSHIP BELTS. JACE PARKER DAVIDSON AND STRONK WILL WALK INTO DEAD OR ALIVE AND DESTROY THE SIX OTHER HUMANS IN THE MATCH. STRONK WILL CRUSH CONOR FUSE’S SKULL AND GET REVENGE FOR THE WAR GAMES SNUB. AND JACE PARKER DAVIDSON WILL DO WRESTLING STUFF WITH ROBERNETTE THAT STRONK DOES NOT WISH TO WATCH. AND THEN THERE IS HARRISON AND BERGMAN. HARRISON IS TRYING TO MAKE STRONK NOT THE NUMBER-ONE RANKED HUMAN IN H-O-W. BERGMAN IS AN ASSHOLE. XANDER AZULA AND BRIAN HOLLYWOOD WILL BE PUNISHED. NO. STRONK WILL EARN HIS CHAMPIONSHIP BELT BUCKLE. YES. AT DEAD OR ALIVE.
The shop owner opens his mouth to respond… but closes it shortly thereafter. He puts a finger up, looking like he might reply… but again freezes.
Shop Owner: Goodluck in… all of that. It sounds… uhh… very important.
STRONK: IT IS. YOU ARE ALSO BEING RECORDED WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT—FOOTAGE SHELLEY WILL EDIT INTO A SHORT MOVIE ABOUT STRONK’S LIFE THAT GOES UP ONTO THE INTERNET OR SOMETHING. THIS HAPPENS SOMETIMES MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK.
The shop owner turns and stares down the barrel of the camera like ‘fuck the fourth wall.’
Shop Owner: Again, goodluck with your sports (?) thing? Anything else you’re interested in?
STRONK: MASS AMOUNTS OF MEAT. HUMAN WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AMPLITUDE. AND BEING BIGGER, STRONKER, FOREVER AND ALWAYS.
Stronk Daddy flexes.
Shop Owner: Right… Well, you just give a holler if there’s anything I can help you with, okay?
The hot sun beats down upon the duo of STRONK Godson and Shelley Greene. Shelley sports a brand-new Stetson, the money with which to buy it coming from the prepaid credit card Peter had given him.
STRONK wears the faded baseball cap with ‘Dump Truck Specialist’ embroidered poorly across the front. Shelley managed to talk the hat’s previous owner down from his initial ask of one hundred million dollars to the more reasonable sum of twenty bucks and the gram of weed in Shelley’s pocket.
They duck into a nearby ‘saloon’ (it’s a cheap franchise) and post up at the bar, taking the opportunity to escape the oppressive heat.
Greene: It’s hot as fuck here. Need to stay hydrated.
The bartender pops up from behind the bar, drying a drinking glass with a clean rag spotted with fake stains.
Bartender: What can I fetch ya?
Greene: Two fingers of mid-tier clear liquor. No ice. Let it sweat a bit, m’kay?
STRONK: A GALLON OF CREATINE AND SIXTEEN EGG YOLKS.
The bartender laughs, and then waits for Godson to laugh. But Godson doesn’t laugh—he just sits there wondering why the hell he hasn’t received his gallon of creatine and sixteen egg yolks.
Bartender: How ‘bout a beer and a chaser of whiskey?
STRONK: ALCOHOL IS POISON. STRONK IS TRAINING FOR THE FIGHT OF STRONK’S LIFE. STRONK WILL HAVE EVERY PEANUT YOU HAVE IN THIS BUILDING.
The bartender grabs a large bowl of peanuts from behind the bar and sets it in front of STRONK.
STRONK grabs a handful of them and crushes them in his giant hand, then picks through the pieces of shell to find pieces of peanut. One by one he pops a small peanut shard in his mouth, intensely focused.
From the back of the bar, nearly out of audible range, a pair of voices are heard.
“Is that the STRONKUMMS guy?”
“Yeah, I seen’t him on some wrastling program. Think he’s got a show in Tombstone.”
“Didn’t know he was a wrastler. I just like the man’s thinly sliced frozen meat product.”
“It’s cheap enough that I can afford to feed my whole family. My littlest one has STRONKUMMS to thank for his mother and I not abandoning her at a nearby church.”
“Yeah, and it keeps me and the missus regular, too!”
“Oh yeah, definitely, ain’t shit like this since I was in the army. It’s great.”
A rare smile forms on the face of STRONK Godson. He really cares about customer satisfaction.
One of the men stands up and walks over to STRONK and Shelley, sticking his hand out as he gets close.
STRONKUMMS Fan: Mr. Godson, I’m Bernie, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance! I just wanna say how important the STRONKUMMS brand is to my family. I tell my wife every night, heh… heh… I say to her, I say, ‘if given the opportunity, you can fuck Mr. Godson, you can fuck Jace Parker Davidson, just let me watch.’ We are a STRONKUMMS family. My oldest kid went blind off a bad STRONKUMM, but we still think it’s only temporary and, shoot, if the good Lord wanted my boy to see, he’d make him see!
STRONK: YOU MUST COOK THE BAD STRONKUMMS TWICE AS LONG AND AVOID THE EDGES.
The manic STRONKUMMS customer steals a pen from a waitress passing on by and scrawls those exact instructions on the palm of his hand, pressing hard enough to break the skin.
STRONKUMMS Fan: Thank you for the tip, Mr. Godson!
Shelley looks at the STRONKUMMS customer with disgust, gulping down his drink.
Greene: Alright, thank you, move along now, please!
The man waddles away, gawking back at STRONK with stars in his eyes.
Greene: These STRONKUMMS diehards are the biggest fucking weirdos, big man. They give me the creeps. Really makes me empathize with all the girls that got restraining orders against me.
STRONK: THEY ARE A FINE PEOPLE. A HUMAN MAN CONTROLLED BY HIS STOMACH IS A HUMAN MAN YOU CAN TRUST WITH YOUR LIFE.
Greene: I don’t understand that, like, at all, but I get what you mean. Maybe I should get a gun. You know, just until we make enough money to hire security. One day it’ll be a retired marine with PTSD who probably wants to go to prison for the predictable meals, so he’s like extra ready to ‘shoot first, ask questions later,’ you know? I’d feel safe with a guy like that.
STRONK is no longer paying Shelley any attention; he’s been carving something absentmindedly into the bar with a twelve-inch chef’s knife he snatched from behind the bar.
He carves a horizontal line across the name, then drives the point of the knife down into the bar.
Bartender: Ah man, why’d you go and scar up my bar for!? Ahhh mannnnnn, this is old oak, too, brother. Gahhhh… those are deep cuts, too. Shit. That’s a lot of damage. You know this bar used to be on a ship that sunk? Ahhhh fuccccck, my poor bar.
STRONK: QUIT YOUR CRYING. STRONK IS TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THOUGHTS RIGHT NOW.
The bartender continues to whine, louder than ever, but STRONK mentally shuts him out.
There’s plenty to think about…
The way things just are with Robernette in general—tense and highly sexual. And he knows he may be forced to seriously hurt her at Dead Or Alive if he wants to win the new HOTv Tag Team Titles with Jace. And he does. Very much. He made a promise to Jace that they would win—and STRONK doesn’t break promises.
Then there’s the radiating arrogance and in-your-face-about-it frailty of Conor Fuse—a boy in a man’s world who does things he says he won’t… and doesn’t do other things he says he will. What a shameful excuse of a man that Conor Fuse is.
And there’s the credibility of the Highwaymen as defending champions. The best tag team in High Octane Wrestling. Harrison is almost—or is already?—tied with STRONK at the top of the singles rankings. Truth be told, Harrison and Bergman would be a tough match-up for any team on any night… and then you go and throw two other tag teams into the mix, and things become a bit, shall we say, unpredictable.
Finally, the leftovers.
Xander Azula and Brian Hollywood.
They earned their spot on the PPV by narrowly beating the King Stallion in a two-on-one handicap match.
Good for them.
But at Dead Or Alive, Jace Parker Davidson will show up.
He alwaaaaays shows up! He’ll be there, ready to scrap!
And at full strength, the Board is unbeatable.
Greene: Let’s go, Stronk Daddy. There’s a boot shop close by that I wanna check out before we head to the hotel.
STRONK looks down at the bar again.
He’s carved something else in the wood:
‘SG + JPD = CHAMPS’
(Note: Neither of the words STRONK carved into the bar were written in what could actually be called English. They were complete gibberish because STRONK is illiterate and also doesn’t know even the simplest of math equations.)