::::SCENE: The parking lot of the Best Arena on a balmy August afternoon in Chicago. The feel of the parking can only be stated in two words “Major Event”. There is a moderately sized stage that has been constructed behind a red parking space. A parking space that has been literally (or metaphorically) painted with the number “97”. The stage has three large crates in front of it. Security is tight as there are guards posted on either side of the stage and four posted behind the audience which consists of ninety-seven folding chairs (of which only fifty-two are occupied).
There is some talking amongst the crowd as the camera pans over them. The HOW fans in attendance are an eclectic bunch from a bald punk looking young woman with so many piercings it would impress even Elaine Davidson, the Guinness Book of World Record holder for most body piercings with over NINE THOUSAND. There is a trio of large Chicago Cubs fans sporting open Cubs baseball jerseys (all of them Ryne Sandberg). There’s rather well dressed gay couple sitting in the back. A couple of bikers, a gaggle of businessmen, several couples varying in age and race, and a healthy crop of college students between the ages eighteen to thirty (and maybe one forty year old in there).
All gathered for THE event of the summer, each one holding a sealed envelope handed to them by one of the security staff when they took their seat. There are three cameramen set up for the stage and crowd reactions.
The Baron of Boca Jatton has been promoting this moment over the past week on podcasts, radio interviews, talk shows, etcetera. The cost was excessive, but he’s Jatt Starr. He’s got money. More money than anyone realizes. The benefits of a couple of thoughtful investments, some lucrative endorsement deals in Latvia, Argentina, and Greenland.
A sellout this is not. Anton and Wabid Wabbit were utterly useless selling the passes to HOW fans. One on hand, there’s Wabid Wabbit who perpetually sounds like he is about to break into a rendition of “The Good Ship Wowwypop” and then there’s Anton who is about as classy a five dollar whore addicted to meth.
Not that addiction is anything to laugh at, it’s a horrible disease. But the point stands.
The Thane of Starrkarth stands with his back to the curtain, the humidity and mugginess of the August weather causes him to sweat, the sweat causes his red and black plaid sports jacket to cling to his skin. Why the hell did he decide to not wear a shirt to this soiree?
Because he likes to show his abs. A sticky suit is a small price to pay for looking good. Looking damn good.
The Marquis of MadagaStarr waves over one of the security guards, a hulking brute named Rufus (who has nor has he ever been a pimp).::::
JATT STARR: What time is it?
::::Rufus (not a pimp) looks at his watch, which to Jatt Starr, looks a little extravagant for a mere security guard. Maybe Rufus saved Lee’s life and was gifted with this watch. That’s almost possible right? Sure! Absolutely!::::
RUFUS: Almost two.
JATT STARR: What the heck is “almost two”? What is the actual time?
RUFUS: Six til two.
JATT STARR: Almost thank you!
::::Rufus (not a pimp) walks back to his station shaking his head and muttering something about needing a day off. For Jatt Starr it is six minutes until showtime. Maybe a couple more people will show up…..unlike the emcee he had lined up. Selfish prick decided to go and himself injured. No doubt anticipating that the Hero of Jattlanta would request his services. Jatt Starr decides to let it go. Today is not about him. Well, it is. But it is also about something bigger, something so much more.
In a couple of minutes, the deep bellowing voice of the sometimes British and sometimes Australian accented Anton the Fourth will start speaking and no doubt Jatt Starr will need to cut him off and come out because Anton is a egomaniac and will try to bask in the adulation of the fans, most of which JATT STARR managed to get in attendance, and ramble on and on.
Speaking of which, the Starrcelona Icon looks around backstage for his two “associates”. Wabid Wabbit, sporting a blue and checkered suit and white dress shirt holding up his phone to his face, no doubt trying to look at the screen through the eye holes of his massive Easter bunny-like mask. Anton is pacing back and forth stage left looking at index cards. Anton, who clearly dressed for the occasion, is wearing shorts, black socks with sandals, an “Amateur Gynecologist” t-shirt underneath his bright orange lounge shirt, and a Panama hat. Jatt Starr can only scowl at the ungodly sight.
“Deep breaths. As Frankie Goes to Hollywood says ‘Relax’”, he tells himself. Jatt Starr approaches stage right and takes a seat on a folding chair six feet from where the Wabid Wabbit is holding his phone to his face and using his free hand to type with his index finger. The Champion of Jattanooga closes his eyes and eliminates the world around him, focusing only on his breathing. A meditation technique Alea had shown him.
Jatt Starr cleanses his mind and he is transported to a plane of nothingness. No sight, no sound, no thoughts. Just tranquility.
Suddenly, Jatt Starr is jerked awake and there is a smile fucking bunny face in front of him. The Ruler of Jattlantis does what anyone would do in such circumstances. He punches the bunny in the face. The Wabid Wabbit staggers backwards as Jatt Starr looks around backstage and he is brought back to reality. Unfortunately for him, he hears Anton droning on and on in front of the curtain.::::
ANTON: —and that was the second time I got herpes. Now, the third time I got it, now that is a debaucherous tale involving a bachelor party,—-
::::If this were a mere three months ago, Jatt Starr would panic and probably have a small anxiety attack wondering how long Anton had been talking. But today? The Jattagonian Giant is more self-assured and confident. The personification of calm. He nonchalantly walks through the curtain and onto the stage, some applause is heard from the fifty plus in the audience as Anton continues.::::
ANTON: —cocaine, Russian nesting dolls, and a young chesty lass named Joanie, let’s just say she could feed an entire village with those funbags, am I right, gents? The year was two thousand—-
:::The Ruler of Jattlantis snatches the microphone from Anton’s limp grip, knocks off the portly man’s hat, grabs him by the hair and drags him backstage. All very nonchalant…by comparison to what he wanted to do. Jatt Starr returns to the stage and looks at the crowd as the sun beats down on him.::::
JATT STARR: Ladies and gentlemen, my apologies for Anton. The Grand Overlord of Jatturn had initially slated Steve Harrison to host this event, but alas, he is recuperating from an injury. May we all wish him a speedy recovery.
::::There is a polite applause to Jatt Starr’s well wishes.::::
JATT STARR: And Steverino, if you are watching, I hope the gift basket I sent of kipper snacks, hummus, and pita crackers found you well.
::::The Sultan of SeaJattle takes a moment, reflecting on his time away after “War Games”. The bulbous mass that he was lying in a hospital bed, the moments of darkness he had gone through when the doctors told him he may never step foot in a ring again. And now? He is makes Adonis and Hercules look like Beavis and Butthead. He smirks.::::
JATT STARR: Before we begin with the unveiling, just a couple of announcements. As the HOW Liaison of Health and Nutrition, I am proud to announce that “Sutler Kale Sucks” will have five concession stands here at the Best Arena to serve your Kale smoothie needs. And, at “Bottomline”, we will be opening up “HOW Hall of Fame Salad” which all of you can sample after the event. You can choose one of three signature salads – “The Chico Chickpea Salad”, “The El Nutso” which contains chopped pistachios and almonds, or “The Cecilworth Pearthington” which is a pear and goat cheese salad. But first…..
::::As rehearsed, the Wabid Wabbit comes on stage from stage right, Anton enters the stage from stage left. The Wabid Wabbit takes hold of a rope, awaiting the signal. Anton waddles off the stage next to one of the crates.::::
JATT STARR: You have come here today on sacred ground, probably the most sacred of grounds without actually being INSIDE the Best Arena. The Ninety-Seven Red Parking Space! I know, I know….most of you are here because of the free food and free merchandise, is the King of Jatten Island right?
:::There is an enthusiastic response from those in attendance.:::
JATT STARR: That’s right! Because that is the generosity of Lee Best. He gives you, the fans, what you want. You want to see someone murdered in a match? He gave that to you last year! You want quality matches week after week? He gives you that! You want someone to fail so miserably bad that Lee Best gets pissed off that he takes their eye? He’s got a pen with dried blood on it to prove he’s given you what you want. You cheer the HOW and boo him, but you, for the most part, shell out your cash, show up at the shows and sit your asses down and enjoy the violence. Be assured that Lee Best is your G-O-D.
::::The Marquis of MadagaStarr looks at the audience and nods to them. Some nod in agreement, some shake their vehemently in denial of the truth, and one pervy bastard with a receding hairline, a moustache, and a trenchcoat (looking like an emaciated John Sektor who enjoys flashing random people) yells “Show us your feet!” which causes one of the security staff take to notice and position himself closer to the creepy guy.::::
JATT STARR: I am by no means some prophet from the Church of Jatter Day Saints spreading the word of Lee Best and I would never claim as such. I am, however, a messenger of sorts. I owe my “Mes-Starr-morphosis” to that man. He called me a “fat fuck” and an “old fuck” in a rather colorful voicemail after my less than stellar performance at “War Games” and told me to “shape the fuck up”. And, eventually, I did. Just look at me now.
::::The Jattinum Standard removes his suit jacket, the sweat on his arms stick to the liner of the sleeve resulting in the aforementioned suit jacket becoming inside out. Jatt Starr tosses the jacket to the Wabid Wabbit who releases the rope from his grip and has to take a couple steps to catch it. As the Wabbit corrects the jacket, the creepy Sektor looking guy yells another foot request before being escorted out by a rather large and intimidating security who will now be called “Frank”. Meanwhile, Jatt Starr flexes his muscles and shows off his physique as if he were competing in a Mister Universe competition. In doing so, he eyes a few of the more attractive ladies in audience (and to be fair, eighteen of the now fifty-one seats are female and only six of them are attractive by Jatt Starr standards) in hopes they swoon. They do not. It must be the heat. He stops showing off and focuses on the audience.::::
JATT STARR: But there’s some people who are reluctant to follow. People who believe that Lee Best is just a blind, selfish ass. People like Zippy A-Loser. Does his goddess sign his checks? I know his goddess didn’t help him beat some Girl Scout dropout claiming to be a gymnast claiming to be a wrestler. A seventh rate wrestler at that. This cheap prick has the balls to call me out when he owes me twelve dollars for a dry cleaning bill? And a pen! That was a sturdy pen I chiseled into the eye of that Manos statue’s head. That was an eighty-five dollar pen Lee Best gifted me for my birthday two months late about fourteen years ago…or was it fifteen? Either way, it was one of my Lee Best pens! I’m off on a tangent, aren’t I?
::::The Wabid Wabbit nods and Jatt Starr ponders if it is hotter than Satan’s asshole underneath mask and questions whether or not the Wabid Wabbit will pass from heat exhaustion before this is finished.::::
JATT STARR: Sorry about that folks, but that is partially why you have come today. Wabid Wabbit!!!!
:::::Wabid Wabbit pulls on the rope and the curtains open revealing nothing. A moment of confusion as the Wabid Wabbit grabs another rope bringing down a large blacck banner with ninety-seven red lettering that reads…..
JATT STARR: That’s right people! Today begins my weeklong campaign called “Fuck Eris”! What has she done for you? Absolutely nothing! Fuck Eris! Does chaos pay the bills? Hell no!!! Fuck Eris!!! You know who enjoys chaos? Junkie scumbags!!! Fuck Eris! Feeling a little froggy after diving down a deep, depraved internet rabbit hole? Well….Anton?
::::Anton proceeds to open the crate on the far right first revealing inflatable sex dolls with a likeness to the goddess Eris. Anton, acting like a “Price is Right” model shows off one of the dead eyed dolls whose mouth is in a perpetual state of shock. On the “buttocks” of the doll it reads “Fuck Eris”.:::::
JATT STARR: That’s right! You can ACTUALLY fuck Eris…sort of. OR….infuriated by something? Anton, if you will….
::::Anton tosses the doll he has in hand onto the stage as Wabid Wabbit disappears backstage. The Ruler of Jattlantis grabs it, mockingly pointing at it while a smug smile creeps up on his face. He drops it on the ground and steps on the head eliciting loud pop, thusly killing the doll.::::
JATT STARR: Just curb stomp the hell out of Eris. Look at it, Ziggy. This is you in less than a week, at “Bottomline”, the air seeping from your lungs until your body goes limp and motionless. But hey! This isn’t about you. This is about Eris and we are giving away twenty, yes, TWENTY of these “Fuck Eris” dolls! I will be personally giving away two tickets to “Bottomline” to the person who can provide the most disgusting and demented sign tearing down Eris and yes, these tickets WILL be ringside so the whole world will see your badass signage! Be creative! There’s no bad ideas! The more tasteless, the better!
::::This prize results in a more lively audience with cheering and applause. Jatt Starr nods and almost bathes in the adulation before continuing.::::
JATT STARR: But that’s not all!!!! Wabid Wabbit?
::::The Wabid Wabbit comes back out on stage, his suit jacket and dress shirt has been removed and he is wearing a black t-shirt that reads “FUCK ERIS” on the front and the “Bottomline” logo on the back. He is carrying a t-shirt gun.:::::
JATT STARR: We have FREE T-SHIRTS!!!!
::::POP! The Wabid Wabbit fires one into the audience and it is caught by the pierced punk rocker looking lady. The Wabid Wabbit begins loading another in the cannon.::::
JATT STARR: These shirts will be on sale in the merchandising booths ONLY at “Bottomline”! Collector’s edition to be sure!
::::POP! The Wabid Wabbit fires another and it is caught by a middle aged man wearing a Chicago Fire Department t-shirt. The Wabid Wabbit reloads.::::
JATT STARR: We have only two shirts left! Two more, people!
::::POP! The Wabid Wabbit launches another into the crowd and it is caught by one of the large Cubs fans. Jatt Starr looks almost pained as the Ryne Sandberg fan catches it and starts jumping up and down, his entire body jiggling as he does so. The Wabid Wabbit begins reloading for the last time.::::
JATT STARR: These are larges. So, you might want to lead a healthier life in order to fit into it. We do not carry quadruple XL’s. There’s ONE left! Who will be showing their disdain for Eris by walking the streets of Chicago with a “Fuck Eris” t-shirt???
::::POP! The last t-shirt goes sailing into the air and is caught by an attractive woman in her twenties wearing a “Teletubbies” t-shirt. The young man sitting next to her, probably her boyfriend (if they are in a monogamous relationship), stares at the t-shirt in her hand with jealousy and disappointment as she smiles. The Wabid Wabbit once again disappears backstage.::::
JATT STARR: But you know what? I am the Duke of Jattmandu. I am Lee Best’s Champion. I think everyone should win. And when I say “I”, I mean Lee Best and me. We don’t have time for whiny little babies who don’t get their way and blame society so they turn to some bullshit goddess. No! Lee Best, while he hates most of you, also loves all of you….
::::Jatt Starr cannot help but think to himself “and by ‘loves you’ he means ‘loves your money’”. He cannot help but smile at the crowd and a broad and deceivingly genuine smile.:::
JATT STARR: ….because there is a fine line between love and hate, after all. When you came in today, you were given an envelope. You may open the envelope now.
::::The sound of crumpling and ripping can be heard on the stage and Jatt Starr nods approvingly, looking almost cocky as he does so.::::
JATT STARR: That’s right! You each have been given one hundred dollars and a voucher for a free “Sutler Kale Sucks” smoothing at any live HOW event! That’s right! You’re all winners! And fuck the losers who didn’t show up in support of Lee and Fuck who?
:::The crowd is enthusiastic and some of them respond in unison “ERIS”, while others cheer, and a couple of people look somewhat disappointed, entitled bastards.::::
JATT STARR: Oh come on! You can do better than that! Fuck WHO????
::::About forty-eight members of the audience scream loudly “ERIS!!!”. Jatt Starr triumphantly pumps his fist.::::
JATT STARR: And who do you love????
::::The crowd splits their response between yelling “Lee Best” and “Jatt Starr”. The Jattlantic City Idol can only laugh, almost giddy with self-satisfaction.::::
JATT STARR: Both answers are right!!!! Now, if anyone is entering the sign contest, submit your submissions to Anton over there! Everyone else, follow Wabid Wabbit inside for a light, healthy snack!!!! And FUCK WHO????
::::The screams in unison “ERIS!!!”::::
JATT STARR: There we go!!!! Have a great day everybody!!!
::::The crowd begins dispersing, each one a hundred dollars richer. Jatt Starr looks at the masses. The Baron of Boca Jatton looks at them condescendingly, as if they are sheep who will support anything or anyone who gives them free merchandise (which to him they are, as all who worship consumerism and “stuff”). But, if he has learned anything from watching Steve Harrison, it’s all about branding. In these fans’ eyes, they see Jatt Starr not only as the Saviour of Starrkham, but also the Saviour of the HOW leading the crusade against an admittedly inferior and weaker opponent, but an opponent whose belief system drives him. However, this Eris worship of Zippy Assfinger-Arugala-Azalea is a delusion from, what Jatt Starr perceives, is either psychological problem rooted in some traumatic event or a poor diet. It’s most likely the latter, too much trans fats and not enough fish. An opponent who is a zealot for a weak, pathetic “goddess” that promotes chaos over order. A zealot whose beliefs will be shattered as he bows before the true G-O-D of the H-O-W….Lee Best. And for breaking a believer’s spirit and faith, Jatt Starr will be rewarded. END SCENE.::::