April 28th, 2020 – 9:30 am EST
Rick Dickulous sits at a table inside a Tim Horton’s donut shop, staring out the window at the cars passing by on Bay Street. Rich, pretentious, self-centred douchebags – always in their Porsches, or Audis, and always on their hands free wireless headsets, never looking around as they drive, always in a rush.
He takes a sip from the plastic lid of the takeout cup and shakes his head watching a taxi stuck at the end of a merge lane with its signal on to move over try to join traffic. The cars stayed bumper to bumper lining up to turn onto Queen Street West, one of the busiest intersections in downtown Toronto.
With an almost sympathetic look, Rick gestures out the window towards the scene, muttering to himself.
“Man, really? I mean, you’d really think someone would’ve paid attention to the signs, or maybe those road cones…man, that shit pisses me off…”
He shakes his head in disgust as he picks his phone up off the table, tapping and swiping at the screen. Suddenly half the screen shows a text message window pop up, with the recipient: Matt Klazzic. The cursor blinks for a few seconds before words begin to form.
“Hey, bud! I hope you get better soon! I’m sorry I left the gym early to go get us a table, I should have waited! I’ll get to the bottom of it…I promise. Be there soon.” A small arrow at the bottom of the keyboard highlights, and a small audio cue registered that it was sending, moments later a small check confirmed its delivery.
Moments later a response pops up on the screen underneath Rick’s message.
“It’s ok, buddy! I’m getting the best treatment ever here, you wouldn’t believe it! Now I know why you loved those sponge baths in the hospital in Detroit!” Followed by: “Turn it up to 11, good buddy!”
Rick turns the screen off and sets his phone back on the table, the text message window also closes, and the screen returns to normal. Rick takes another drink of his coffee as a younger female voice calls from off screen.
“Rick?…. Order up for Rick?!” Yells the voice, her annoyance jumping sharply with the second calling of Rick’s name.
The shot changes to a wide angled shot of the nigh empty coffee shop. Two ladies sit in a far corner enjoying their muffins and coffee, clearly catching up. Rick shoots a bewildered look at the employee, before looking across the dining area at the ladies, and then back at the employee.
“You mean me? The only male customer in here right now?” Asks Rick in a half sarcastic, but also half jokingly way with a smirk on his face.
She shrugs at him, placing a tray of drinks on the counter, along with a boxed dozen donuts.
“So, we have an Iced Coffee, an Oreo Iced Capp, a regular Iced Capp made with chocolate milk, and a ginger ale? And your dozen donuts…”
“So…no answer? No sorry? I mean, I thought we were in Canada… I totally expect this down in Chicago, but here?”
“I’m sorry, sir, but I–”
“Look, save it. I’m sorry, I’m under a lot of stress, I’m trying to get to the bottom of some shit, and really? I’m barely treading water. I’ve got no leads. I’m sitting in the dark waiting for someone to shine some light on th–”
He holds his hands up, admitting defeat.
“It’s just really getting under my skin…and then the whole calling out my name like some nonexistent other guy was gonna come bounding in for an order? Just, everything today is aggravating the shit outta me, y’know? It’s not your fault…”
She smiles at him, though it’s hard to tell whether it’s genuine, or a well polished and rehearsed customer service smile.
“Will you be needing anything else today, sir?”
“No, thanks. I’m just gonna try to get outta here before anything else happens to set me off. Again, I’m sorry…”
He picks up the box of donuts and balances the drinks on top, carefully picking it up and carrying it towards the door.
“Have a nice day!” The waitress adds as Rick turns around, walking backwards towards the door. Just as he turns to lean back and open it with his butt, a kind old man opens the door on his way in.
“You too! Do what my buddy Matt says – turn it up to elev–WHOA!!”
Rick stumbles through the door, drinks and donuts flying everywhere – all over the windows, the floors, the old man…and of course Rick. He breathes heavily, clearly trying to remain calm.
The waitress shakes her head as she mutters “Heh! Fuckin’ asshole…” under her breath and with a chuckle as she walks to the back, presumably to get a mop. A buzzing sound, followed by a high pitched “uh-oh!” Come from Rick’s pocket. He fishes in his pocket and wipes his hand on a clean part of his shirt before tapping the screen. Again, the same text message window pops up on half of the screen, with a new message from Matt Klazzic:
“The last thing I remember was someone saying something like: ‘Here’s your brotherly love,’ and then I got hit on the head. Hope you’re not gonna be too much longer with that Timmy’s run for you dad. He’s getting pretty irritable!”
Rick breathes deeply one last time, and with a stifled yell, he throws his phone at the wall.
May 4th, 2020 – 11:32 am CST
Sitting behind his desk deep inside the Allstate Arena we see the COO of HOW, Scott Woodson. He’s leaning back in his office chair with his feet kicked up on the desk, all while we can hear the distinct voice of Rick Dickulous on the other end of the speaker phone.
“Again, I appreciate you reaching out to me Mister Woodson. I think we could make a hell of a team together while Matt recovers. Plus once he does, HATE will have another soldier in their army.”
“Glad we could come to an agreement man… and they’re gonna HATE what we have in store for them come Refueled. I’ll see you at the arena on Saturday. Have a good trip back from Toronto” Finishes Woodson as he leans back towards his desk and hits the button to hang up the phone.
“Perfect… another piece in place.” Smiles Woodson as he strokes his goatee and nods his head.
“Rick Dickulous, Hughie Freeman and…” Woodson pauses as he looks over to his right at the camera and shakes his head.
“Franklin, how many times have I told you not to just randomly videotape me? Especially while I’m scheming on the phone?” Questions Woodson as he stands up from his chair and makes his way towards Franklin.
“I thought it’d be some good stuff for the future HATE documentary….” Retorts Franklin as you can see him backpedaling a few steps from Woodson.
“I just mentioned two of the new… surprise members of HATE on camera. You upload that by accident… or someone hacks what you call a password on that phone and we’re fu… screwed.” Scolds Woodson as Franklin nearly drops the phone on the floor sulking.
Realizing that he may have been a hair too tough on his son, Woodson takes a deep breath and takes a gamble.
“But I can see some value behind keeping it… so give it to Damien so he can pull it off your phone and keep it safe. This is all very fragile Franklin… I can’t afford to let it all go to Hell.” Explains Woodson as Franklin nods his head and the phone in unison.
“I have one shot to make this all work. If it falls apart… then I’m fucking done. I can’t let history repeat itself again.
before hitting the stop button on the recording.
May 10th, 2020 – 2:46 pm CST
Nearly one week removed, the office of the COO looks quite different. It looks like a tornado has ripped through and reeked total havoc on everything in sight. Sitting back in his chair, which now looks like it has been hurled multiple times across the room, is Scott Woodson. In front of him is Rick Dickulous, Damien Ryan and John Hitchin… while we presume Franklin is behind the unsteady handheld camera work.
“Not only do I lose to Jiles… but we get shown up by a man who was in A FUCKING COMA!!!” Screams Woodson at the end, catching the three members of HATE off guard for a second.
“HOW the fuck did you miss that backstage Damien? Too many brownies?”
“They were really good brownies.” Adds in Damien as he shoots a nod over to Rick.
“Thanks, bud! Did you get to try one Woodson?” Ask Rick as Woodson’s head cocks to the side.
“No I didn’t try one of your FUCKING POT BROWNIES!” Again screams Woodson as Franklin wobbles a step backwards from his father with the camera, afraid something else might get hurled across the office soon. But Woodson regains his composure and settles himself back down with any more items getting airborne.
“Now it was a hell of a good match against Jiles… and he just barely got the win by a cunt hair. I’ve been beating myself… and the office here up about it all night. So we need to make absolutely certain that doesn’t happen again this week and we get our revenge. We need to cut off Bobby’s miracle fucking story at the knees and get our names into that Tag Team Title picture.” Stresses Woodson, not wanting his group to get behind the eight ball so quickly. Not to repeat his past mistakes.
“What if I just send him some brownies?” Rick raises a finger in emphasis and shoots a smile at the rest of the group.
Woodson though just stares back at Rick for a moment… as all three expect the COO to fly off the handle at them again….
“That’s actually quite brilliant if you could get them in front of him. Torture the former fat kid with brownies. Tempt him with some delicious sweets that could flush his fairy-tale story down the toilet.” Schemes Woodson, with the vision of Bobby Dean gorging out on brownies until his stomach literally busts.
“Then while he’s eating them, I can whack him in the back of the head with a frying pan. Get it? Egg Bandits. Frying Pan. Eh? Eh?” Suggest Rick as Woodson just lowers his head, shaking it back and forth.
“You need to learn when you’re ahead and just stop there, Rick. We’re not gonna jump people before matches… not like other cowards in HOW. We can though totally fuck with Bobby Dean’s fragile willpower… see if we can make him crack before Saturday.”
“Wait, you mean because he’s an egg bandit, and…eggs crack…” Shoots back Rick.
“I wasn’t making a joke there… that’s just how you…. ugh… nevermind…” Woodson tries to respond.
“Ya sure? Snoozer would never see me. I’d sneak in and quickly lay out Booby with the ole frying pan shuffle. Then be out of there before anyone could lay a fuck you on me.” Again pitches Rick, as if it’s some big caper from one of the Oceans movies.
Hitchin fires a now empty beer can at the side of Rick’s head, who over sells it a bit like he just got smack with a frying pan and falls to the floor.
“Is there something fucked up inside that head of yours?” Asks Hitchin as Rick lay motionless on the floor for a second, fully committing to his bit.
Woodson motions his hand over towards Hitchin in a “calm down” way as Rick starts regains himself and climbs back into the chair.
“No, for fuck’s sakes! I just love when a plan comes together…” Smiles Rick back at Hitchin who just shakes his head and cracks open another beer.
“Enough. First, if anyone is Hannibal, it’s me. Second, we aren’t attacking anyone… and we aren’t using cheap slapstick names for them like Snoozer…
“That’s not his real name? I thought he was one of the Seven Dwarfs.” Seriously questions Rick as Hitchin can’t take it anymore and he heads out of the office as Damien chases after him.
“You mean Sleepy!” Chimes in Franklin from behind the camera as Woodson shoots his son a look to zip it.
“Jesus Christ, what crawled up his ass? What’s wrong, doesn’t Hitchin like me?” Ask Rick as Woodson chuckles for a second.
“No… John doesn’t like you at all. He doesn’t see how you fit in HATE. He thinks you don’t take this seriously at all. But he doesn’t understand that in an army… not every soldier can be the same. You need contrasting personalities to compliment each other. Plus… John doesn’t know the serious side to you Rick. The one behind the pun-name facade that the Bandits… and the rest of the HOW tag team division will be quite caught off guard by. Now you think we can get one the same page before Saturday? Because we aren’t going to win by out joking the Bandits.”
Rick doesn’t say anything for a moment as he ponders over Woodson’s words. He takes a deep breath as he seems to realize that Woodson may be right…
“This Thursday… Dick HATE presents… Baking with HATE! We can try and set the world record for most brownies baked in a day. That’s gotta be a thing right? Hey Siri, what’s the world record for…
“Stop it! FUCKING STOP IT” Snaps Woodson again as Rick nearly drops his phone.
“Getting results for What is the world record for.” Replies Siri as Woodson nearly reaches across his desk to kill the iPhone in Rick’s hands.
“Hey! This is my process Woodson. You want a sick son of a bitch in that ring who is going to try and crack Bandit skulls worse than Humpty Dumpty? Well then this is what I need to do. I’ll spare you the eighties flashback like when wrestling with Matt, but this, the jokes, the humor… it’s how I don’t lose my mind in a business where people take themselves way too seriously all the time.” Explains Rick with maybe his first serious comments of the night.
“I mean isn’t that how you used to be when you were Scottyw….”
“Don’t say his name.” Warns Woodson, cutting Rick off.
“Scottywo…” Rick tries again with a small smirk on his face.
“Don’t you dare….”
“Fine, but trust me Woodson. Have some fun and bake Bobby Dean a mountain of brownies with me… and then I’ll prove my worth to Hitchin and everyone when we murder some fuckers in that ring. I’m not gonna let you down, not like I let down Matt.” Rick reassures Woodson who nods his head and somewhat reluctantly accepts Rick’s request.
“YES!!! Baking brownies!!!! This is gonna be epic… I’m gonna have to order a shit ton of ingredients. Gonna cost at least twenty-four thousand dollars. Do you have access to a company credit card? I mean this is technically a work expense since they are for Bobby.”
Woodson just shakes his head at the references Rick is dropping… he imagines intentionally. But he tosses the 97Red HOW company credit card on the table and smiles at the thought of Lee getting the bill for thousands of dollars of brownies.
“Just keep it well under that amount though… and no way in fuck have we agreed on the name Dick HATE for our tag team.” Adds Woodson as Rick chuckles.
“Ok, ok… let’s leave it on the table for now though. I have a couple others in mind we can try out later. Now time for some shopping!”
Rick gets up from the chair in front of Woodson’s desk and looks around at the obliterated office and shakes his head.
“The janitorial staff is gonna be pissed as fuck at you man…” Surmises Rick, accidentally kicking some kind of sports figure hidden in the sea of papers that cover the floor.
“I’ll leave them a nice tip for their troubles.” Responds Woodson as he swipes the HOW credit card off the table before Rick can take it himself. The trust levels aren’t just there yet I suppose.
“Just the tip?” Asks Rick as Woodson gives a look of “seriously dude?”
“I meant you should leave them some beer too. I know I’d need a drink if I have to clean this pigsty up.” Smirks Rick as Woodson just shakes his head, knowing Rick meant it exactly how he thought.
Fighting through the sea of trash, the duo, followed by Franklin horrible handheld camerawork finally make their way out of the office and off… to make brownies….