The Top Deck
Of Men and Mice
“I remember when Clay was thrown from the deck of the USS Octane. I guess you could say he left his hopes and dreams in the ocean on that fateful night. It’s funny, for the life of me I can’t seem to remember who did that to him though.” — Jiles’ Journal, November 11th, 2022.
Fe fi so dumb.
Clay Byrd is a crumb.
He wears a hat.
He’s kind of fat.
Something, something, boring.
“Hello again, High Octane. It is I, Cancer Jiles, one half of your beloved and cherished HOTv Tag Team Champions. Thank you for checking in with me. I have something very important I’d like to share.”
There is fake applause. I googled how to do it on my phone.
For the stalker crowd I’m where I belong. In my domicile aboard the ship. There isn’t much to my room. A porthole. A bed. A watercolor portrait of the Captain. And the red couch on which I sit.
“This Sunday in the MAIN EVENT at the BEST ARENA me and DOOZER, or Fred, or whatever he wants me to call him, will be defending our coveted TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS against two men who go way high.”
There is a drum roll. Yes, I also googled how to do it.
“Clay Byrd, alleged second cousin of Scott Stevens…”
Then there’s some boos. And yes, I also googled how to do it. And I know, this is a very heavily produced piece. More so than usual. I didn’t want to say it, but I did want to show that I go above and beyond for my fellow murderers out in Chicago.
“…and my friend, my pal, my buddy. My former protege. My former understudy. Steven Jerome Harrison. A man who can directly attribute all of his success to me. Yes, that is to say I taught him everything he knows.”
I smile. Wide. It’s very pearly, to match all the cool sound effects.
Explains Steve losing so much.
I begin to well up as I remember the good times Steve and I had when we won the tag titles on the back of all my hard work. Twice we did it. Won. Sickos. But yes, twice, because once wasn’t good enough. I think it was twice. I’ve won them a lot. Not to brag.
Oh, and you wouldn’t be able to see the salty discharge forming in my eyes. I have my precious T-shades on to protect me from such atrocities being witnessed. While I’m on it I also have on my 97red tracksuit that I look so goddamn good in. The one with the black Adidas stripes, and has the constant collar popped.
The kids call it “the Bobby Dean”, since he always gets a pop.
“Maybe this time it will be Steven teaching me a few new tricks.”
I snicker. As if it were possible. Me. Learn. HA!
“I will say I am very much looking forward to testing not only my mettle, but also my fortitude against two awesome and formidable competitors. Clay and Steve are special talents inside that ring. They are more than worthy and plenty deserving of being TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS. You might even say it’s a Texas miracle that neither of them has been a WORLD CHAMPION yet.”
Actually, that last bit probably didn’t have to be said at all.
It’s out there now.
“As much as it pains me, but it is going to take everything Fred Doozer and I have to defeat Cleve and retain that which we Bandits hold so dearly.”
My face is arrow straight. Every word spoken is meant. No, there isn’t someone holding a gun to my head, either. I’m not joking. It is hard for me to be sincere. When I am, it always comes off as me being a pompous playboy who thinks he is infinitely COOLER than all. I get it, because that is me like 99 percent of the time. But this is that one percent.
“Now, it’s no secret that since coming back I haven’t been able to find my footing. My salty shoes haven’t been able to melt or better yet skate across the thin High Octane ice. Sure, I am a tag team champion, but it hasn’t been pretty. I had to cheat to get it. Then, I went to pound town in Scottsville, and just recently I rang the bell at Camp Solex.”
I nod. It’s true. All of it. Every last word. I guess High Octane isn’t the pit of soft penises I once flourished in. Gone are the days of BEST, and now are the days of GREAT. It truly has become a collection of the upper echelon.
The true pinnacle of half hour television.
“But I’m not about to complain about a bumpy road, or some choppy waters. That’s not the point of all this. After all, what is High Octane if it isn’t a bumpy road?”
I nod my head no like I’m a man of integrity, and of honor. I act as if I do not complain, and am just happy to be making more money than all of the highwaymen combined. Oh, and also unlimited access to the ship. Truth be told the USS Octane has some of the best rehabbing facilities across all of the seven seas.
“No, the point is I want to tell Clay and Steve I know eggsactly who they are, and I will do all that I can to hold onto the HOTv TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS. If that means learning Doozer’s new name, or speaking French, or tipping over a cow, or pulling down on an utter, or kicking an old friend in his yellow face…”
“So be it.”
“I should have noticed it wasn’t his COPD that was keeping him down.” — Jiles’ Journal, November 11th, 2022.
I sat there.
There we sat.
I didn’t know what to say.
No one did.
I should have known Dooze was hurting like that. I am unbearable. I am insurmountable. It isn’t right he’s been the one to carry the gold instead of winning it. It must have been hard. Even now I just realized it because if I may be honest I am too focused on other endeavors, but I didn’t even know that I alone had won the tag titles for us.
Sure I did.
Even when I am distant I still manage to outshine him.
To outdo him.
I feel for him.
But, this wasn’t even my idea. This was supposed to be his way back. His way to start over. He was going to find himself– I didn’t know he meant he was literally going to start over. I didn’t think he was going to find a new version of himself. Maybe blow the dust off the shoulders some and turn back the clock a couple years, but not Fred fucking GodBlessYou.
Alas, here we all are.
Fred and Cancer.
Poor guy is probably so confused.
At least Bob doesn’t have to worry about defending the tag titles with him. Shit, come to think of it I don’t know if Fred wrestles the same way. I don’t know if his finisher is the same. I don’t know if he knows what a hot tag is. I don’t know if he knows he has to block the ref when I’m cheating. I don’t know if he knows I whistle before the mist? I don’t know if he knows he takes the pins and I make them.
So much uncertainty, against such formidable foes.
He fucking better.
For his sake.
Cause if he don’t…