::::SCENE: “Aspirations Acting Studio”. A newly formed acting class headed by failed Z-movie star Unger Tremaine whose credits include straight-to-video releases such as “Cannibalistic Hookers from Outer Space”, “Serial Killer Stepmom”, and “Mickey: The Unauthorized True Story of Mickey Rooney”.
The theater, which sits about one hundred, is as barren as Lindsay Troy’s nether regions. The stage, painted black, is empty save for a simple wooden folding table and a steel chair. The sounds of footprints coming from stage right echo through the cozy auditorium, with no one present to hear them.
A video camera is set up in the booth behind the house filming, with a medium shot on the table.
Emerging from the wings is Jatt Starr. The LSD Championship over his left shoulder, the HOW Tag Team Championship rests over his right. He places them on either side of the table and takes a seat. The Jattlantic City Idol is sporting his red HOW Hall of Fame polo shirt, white casual pants, and black Adidas sneakers with red stripes.
The King of Grapple from the Big Apple ponders for a moment on what to say. Should he thank Unger Tremaine? Why should he? That codger is billing him one hundred and fifty dollars per hour. Screw him. This isn’t about the star of “Ninja Gaiden”, the failed independent film based on the popular video game.
The Thane of Starrkarth clears his throat.::::
JATT STARR: I have been thinking of new, fun ways to mock you. I mean, Teddy Suckspin, that’s just a classic. I’ve been going through a few ideas in my head and none of them land. Drop Dead Ted, Teddy Poo-sevelt, Teddy Falmer, although I would need to assume that you would catch the “Skyrim” reference. But then it hit me. Why am I calling a grown ass man “Teddy”? So, Theodore it is. Ooo! Theodore Suckstable! Dang, it’s not funny unless you watch “The Cosby Show”.
::::The Champion of Jattanooge looks up, pensive, as if he is trying to figure out what an algebra question is doing on a high school English Test about “The Catcher in the Rye”. He shakes it off.::::
JATT STARR: Forget it. This is just you and me, right? No Yokel Local Random Number Union. No Best Alliance. It’s just us. I meant what I said, Theodore. You are not LSD Championship material. Who did you beat to get this shot? Brian Hollywood, a loser. Darin Zion? The guy’s a walking pimple. Hughie Freeman? Meh. Zeb Martin is a moonshinin’ hillbilly whose more concerned about cracking open a cold one at NASCAR while pondering the moral repercussions of dating his cousin than he is about winning an actual match. He’s a sidekick. First he was the Egg Bandits’ sidekick and now he’s yours. That group does not strike fear…or even worry in the minds and hearts of their opponents. It’s a fact.
::::The Jattagonian Giant shrugs as if what he has been saying is common knowledge, which, it very could be.::::
JATT STARR: But now, you have it in your head, that this is an “us” versus “them” scenario. That this is some kind of “war”. This isn’t a war, Theodore. It’s a hissy fit. All you have done is brought together a bunch of people that the Sultan of SeaJattle has already beaten. You and Zeb? Lost to Sektor and I. Lindsay Troy? Lost to me. Conor Fuse? Conquered by the Hero of Jattlanta. Who’s next? Are you going to dig that old relic, Darkwing? Or maybe you want to seek out Aceldama? It doesn’t matter. And I want to be clear on this, this not about blind arrogance or cockiness, this is the cold hard truth.
::::The Jatti Master pauses, moreso for dramatic effect than anything else, he is on a stage, after all.::::
JATT STARR: There is no way in hell you deserve the LSD Championship. An LSD Champion has to be on alert twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You didn’t just let your guard slip once, but TWICE. Yeah, you beat Sektor, good for you. While you were patting yourself on the back, you gave me the opportunity to lay you out like you were Marvis Frazier taking on Mike Tyson. I can already sense a glazed look of befuddlement on your face. What? You want me to explain it to you? Who am I, Joe Google? Look it up yourself, moron. I’ll wait.
::::Jatt Starr proceeds to put the miming skills he learned during a Marcel Marceau workshop he attended about twenty years (which was taught by someone whose uncle performed with him or something) to the test. After all, a mime is a terrible thing to waste.
The Jattvian Prince pulls out an imaginary laptop from an imaginary carrying case and places it on the table. He opens the imaginary laptop and types in his imaginary password (“BOOBS”) and then types, one finger at a time on the imaginary keyboard, much like Teddy Palmer would, or so he assumes. He waits. He checks the imaginary Casio on his unimaginary left wrist and impatiently taps his fingers on the table. Finally, he reads the imaginary article on the imaginary laptop, in much the same way Teddy would.::::
JATT STARR: That should do. Where was I? Right, your extreme lack of awareness. You would think getting blindsided by the Mayor of ManJattan once would have taught you something. But it didn’t!!! Sektor and I assaulted you again! You didn’t suspect it! You never saw it coming! It makes you wonder, doesn’t it Theodore?
:::The Baron of Boca Jatton stares off, no longer looking in the direction of the camera, but more to side, his eyes narrowing slightly.:::
JATT STARR: Where was your “Union”? Where was Moonshine and the Skank? Too busy trying to sell that Eight-Bit dimwit on joining your little gang instead of watching your back? What does that say about them? See, that’s why this little experiment of yours will fail and why you and the rest of your little island of Misfit Turds will not succeed. There’s no solidarity, there is no forward thinking, and let’s face it, there is no leadership. Don’t get me wrong, i am not delusional enough to think that everyone in the Best Alliance has my best interest at heart, By the HOW gods, Hughie Freeman, Steve Solex, and Steve Harrison would not urinate on me if I was on fire! But there is something I do have something you don’t….
:::Jatt Starr leans in and eyes the HOW Tag Team Championship on the table in front of him, smiling, the pride emanating from him.::::
JATT STARR: Sektor. Sektor and I are simpatico. The Gold Standard and the Jattinum Standard. For as different as we are, we both want each other to succeed. I will always have his back and he will always have mine. Butch and Sundance. Sam and Dean. Peralta and Boyle. In other words, who is watching your back? Because from where I’m sitting, you haven’t got anyone in your corner, “bro”.
::::The Marquis of MadagaStarr takes a deep breath and exhales.::::
JATT STARR: But that is merely one small reason why you will not defeat me. Do you know what really makes an LSD Champion?
::::Jatt Starr stares expectantly towards the camera, almost anticipating a response.::::
JATT STARR: It’s not grit or heart or determination. This isn’t “Rocky”. It’s PAIN. How much pain are you willing to put your body through to win? I have spent months, Theo, on increasing my tolerance for physical pain. Whether it’s spending two hours performing self-flatulation, oh, I’m sorry, that means I whip myself. Some demented sickos perform it as some sort of penance or something, but for me, it’s about increasing that threshold for pain.
::::The Sultan of SeaJattle rises, turns around, and straddles the chair so his back is to the camera. He removes his shirt revealing over a dozen crisscrossing scars and scabs, twice as many welts and bruises (some have more a black and blue color while others a more faded green tint). He puts the shirt back on, gets up, does an about face, and resumes sitting forward toward the camera.::::
JATT STARR: Being an LSD Champion isn’t about who the better athlete is or who the better wrestler is. It’s about how much punishment you can take before your body gives out just as much as it is about beating your opponent bloody. An LSD Champion isn’t concerned with health. An LSD Champion does not concern themselves with bullcrap causes. An LSD Champion lives for one thing, being the LSD Champion.
::::The HOW Hall of Famer’s face becomes redder and redder, his eyes become more and more intense almost to the point where he looks constipated. He puts up a hand, realizing perhaps he is getting too passionate about the ways of the LSD, takes a moment, closes his eyes, meditates ever so briefly before opening them.::::
JATT STARR: Years ago, I saw a movie called “Gattaca” with Ethan Hawke, who plays someone who is deemed genetically inferior by some futuristic society. Whereas, his brother who was played by….I forget…is deemed genetically superior. Anyway, they go to this lake and they would compete on who could go out the farthest and the first to turn back lost. Every single time, Ethan Hawke’s character would be bested by his brother, time and time again, because Ethan Hawke’s character knew how far he could go before he would need to turn back otherwise he would drown. One day, they go out and swim again, this time Ethan Hawke’s character wins and he explains to his brother, quite simply, “I never saved anything for the swim back”.
::::The King of Grapple from the Big Apple takes a moment and lets that quote sink into the thick, Cro-Magnon skull of Teddy Palmer, looking oh-so-smug while doing so.::::
JATT STARR: “I never saved anything for the swim back”. Come Saturday night, I want you to remember those words. Because make no mistake, I will. For me, there will be no Sunday. There will be no following week. “War Games” will be nonexistent. When I walk down that aisle, there is one simple goal, keep what’s mine….by ANY means necessary. So, Theodore, while I am placing my hand on a piping hot furnace, testing how much pain I can take, I will be thinking of you. I will be thinking how absolutely repugnant it would be for a cumberworld like you brandishing my LSD Championship around your waist, gloating.
::::The Jattsyvanian Count has a disgusted, contorted look on his face as if he had just had large helping of raw chicken livers and brussel sprouts. He opens his mouth as if to say something and thinks better of it and turns away, looking to his left. There is nothing left to say to him. Instead, he pulls out a remote control from his pocket, points it in the air, hits a button and the video goes black.::::
VOICE: Bravisimo. Cecil B. Demille would be overjoyed.
:::::The voice startles Jatt Starr, causing him to fall backward in the chair and onto the floor of the stage. He looks up and sees an athletic, more self-assured, and goateed version of himself. The F.A.R.T. (Fusion Alternate Reality Transporter) Jatt Starr, the Alternate Reality jumper. He is sporting a black dress shirt with a paisley print and black dress pants.
Jatt Starr gets up from the floor and brushes off the bits of dirt and dust from his clothes before picking up the chair and having a seat.::::
JATT STARR: How did you find me?
F.A.R.T. JATT: I am omniscient. I know all. I see all.
:::The F.A.R.T. Alternate Reality Jumper waves his remote in the air.::::
JATT STARR: What do you want?
F.A.R.T. JATT: I am just checking in.
JATT STARR: Do you check in with all the Jatt Starrs?
F.A.R.T. JATT: Some. Not all. Interesting note, eighty-eight of the Jatt Starrs I have encountered are certifiable douchebags. One percent of them are deceased.
JATT STARR: Where do I fit in?
F.A.R.T. JATT: Douchebag.
JATT STARR: Comforting.
F.A.R.T. JATT: Nonetheless true.
JATT STARR: What do you want?
F.A.R.T. JATT: Just a little tete a tete.
JATT STARR: It sounds obscene. Whatever it is, I am not into it.
F.A.R.T. JATT: It is conversation.
JATT STARR: About?
F.A.R.T. JATT: The future.
JATT STARR: Lay it on me, Doc Brown. Does the world end depending on the outcome of my LSD Championship match?
F.A.R.T. JATT: Not at all. However, I cannot help but sense a lack of commitment lately.
JATT STARR: I beat the crap out of Teddy—
F.A.R.T. JATT: I did not say you were not trying. All I said was there seems to be a lack of commitment. In my experience, the best Jatt Starrs fight for something. There is a cause that drives them to achieve great victories. Whether it is something as insignificant as fighting against the impending zombie threat. Or it could be a cause such as fighting for the declining bee population. Or it could be fighting for the glory of Lee Best and the Best Alliance.
JATT STARR: What’s your point?
F.A.R.T. JATT: In this reality, you seem to be….
:::The F.A.R.T. Jatt, who is standing towards stage left, is physically waffling by swaying his head back and forth as he decides which terminology he wants to use.::::
F.A.R.T. JATT: ….going through the motions.
JATT STARR: So, hating Teddy Palmer, feeling disgust at him possibly beating me, that’s “going through the motions”?
F.A.R.T. JATT: But do you hate him? And I mean REALLY hate him. Do you despise him?
JATT STARR (clearly lying and overcompensating): Uh, yeah. Of course I do. With the burning of a hundred, no, a thousand suns!
F.A.R.T. JATT: That is about as convincing as Mickey Rooney in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. And just as offensive from a personal standpoint. You cannot lie to me. The verity of the situation is this – You fear him. And much like seventy-three percent of all the Jatt Starrs I have encountered, you allow your anxieties and neuroses get the better of you. When you have a cause to fight for, those anxieties disappear.
:::Jatt Starr, still sitting in the folding chair, feeling his back tighten up from the lack of comfort this metal piece of furniture holds, decides to rise. He looks over the LSD Championship and the HOW Tag Team Title on the table before him.::::
JATT STARR: StarrSek Industries. I believe in that.
F.A.R.T. JATT: That will not be enough.
JATT STARR: Fine. The Best Alliance.
:::The reality jumper just tilts his head and gives Jatt Starr a look, a simple look that says everything that needs to be said.:::
JATT STARR: Okay, bad example. What the hell do you want me to do? I can’t just flip a switch in my brain and suddenly become Jatt Starr – Hero of the Downtrodden. It’s difficult. Not having….
::::The Jattlantic City Idol trails off, not able or not willing to finish that thought. To speak that thought into existence, as true as it might be, would be an admission of something he knows about himself all too well. F.A.R.T. Jatt gives a knowing nod.::::
F.A.R.T. JATT: Fear not, old bean. I already know and—-
JATT STARR: Knowing is half the battle?
F.A.R.T. JATT: Sure, we will go with that. The sands of time are running out for your career. I know you sense it. You really must ponder, with all your posturing, why you are putting yourself through so much pain and the deviant way in which you execute it. It cannot be winning for winning’s sake.
JATT STARR: I wouldn’t say “deviant”.
F.A.R.T. JATT: ‘Twould be beneficial to you to determine how you want this whole thing to end, with a blaze of glory or a whimper. Now, if you will excuse me, I have another Jatt Starr to visit. He is the Cross Continental Champion and he is betrothed to one of Zeb Martin’s sisters and the nuptials are today. It’s a good old fashioned shotgun wedding. Quite literally. Ciao.
::::F.AR.T. Jatt points the device over his shoulder and a swirling black hole appears, swirling colors of black and purple, he steps through and it closes. The Ruler of Jattlantis is left alone on stage, left to ponder who he is, who he wants to be moving forward as the scene comes to an end.::::