STRONK AND SHELLEY’S HOUSE
SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA
JULY 27, 2022
STRONK walks into the living room in just a 97RED thong, with an 80s boom box on one shoulder belting out his new entrance theme “STRONKER” by FLAV RILLE.
Shelley’s skin crawls, an involuntary physical reaction to having heard the song a hundred and fifty times already and being forced to endure it once more. It’s a great song, let’s be real—Shelley and Lee Best gave it their stamp of approval—but too much of a good thing can be quite maddening under the right set of circumstances.
Greene: Glad you like the song, big man.
STRONK: ALL MUSIC IS TERRIBLE EXCEPT FOR THIS MUSIC. THAT IS OBJECTIVELY TRUE.
Greene: That’s great. But can you maybe turn it off for a minute or two? I have something I need to talk to you about.
STRONK’s face scrunches up in confusion. He looks at the boom box on his shoulder, then back to Shelley. Seconds later, he smashes the boom box on the floor by his feet and stomps it until it’s shattered into pieces and the music shuts off.
Shelley frowns—the boom box had been a gift from his dying grandfather who used to like to take it to city hall and blast Hitler speeches at max volume. He wasn’t an anti-Semite; he saw it as his way of raging against the machine. He was, in effect, making a statement that the small town city council was akin to one of the most evil men to have ever existed. The city council possessed no real power, was not corrupt, and more often than not rendered decisions at the level of ‘Should we reroute the 4th of July parade to X street given Y construction project on Z street?’ Nevertheless, he hates all forms and machinations of government.
Greene: Nice. Thanks.
STRONK: WHAT DID YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO STRONK ABOUT?
Greene: Well, as you know, you’re tagging with the HOW World Champion this week. Turns out, the Board wants a psychological evaluation done to make sure you’re good to go for Sunday and can fulfill your duties as Secretary of Defense. Chris America needs to be protected at all costs so that he’s in proper fighting shape for Dead Or Alive. Don’t take this the wrong way; Papa Best trusts you. This is just, uhh, like, red tape, I guess.
STRONK: NO NUMBERS TESTS. STRONK IS NOT A NUMBERS STRONK. STRONK ONLY KNOWS POUNDAGE.
Shelley stands back up after momentarily kneeling down to grab the volume dial from the pile of broken stereo parts and stowing it in his pocket as a keepsake, a singular reminder of his crazy dead grandpa.
Greene: I don’t think there’ll be any math problems you’ll need to solve. They don’t need to know whether or not you’re proficient in calculus, big man.
The former LSD and HOTv Champion stands there for a moment, scratching at his impressive chin.
STRONK: STRONK HAS NEVER BUILT A ROBOT AND STRONK NEVER WILL BUILD A ROBOT.
Shelley looks at him, brow furrowed, trying to decipher what part of what he said STRONK interpreted as relating to the building of a robot, but ultimately deciding to just move past it.
Greene: Yeah, I know that.
Greene: Let’s go. I gotta drive you to the facility.
SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA
JULY 27, 2022
STRONK and Shelley sit in Shelley’s powder blue Cadillac Deville in a mostly abandoned parking lot somewhere in Minnesota.
Greene: Here we are.
STRONK: THE TESTS ARE IN THIS PLACE?
STRONK: IN A STRIP MALL NEXT TO A TIRE SHOP?
Greene: That’s right. Why? You think Papa Best would send you to anyone but the absolute best and brightest? A truly reputable practice doesn’t need a fancy sign, or an expensive downtown business-y office, or even for the homeless man that is standing outside to stop jerking off onto the window.
STRONK: YES. THAT MAKES SENSE TO STRONK.
They exit the vehicle and walk to the unmarked door.
The front desk is a card table with a disinterested early-twenties woman sitting and staring at her phone, oblivious to her surroundings. She blows a bubble with the chewing gum in her mouth; it expands slowly before popping just as STRONK and Shelley approach and her eyes rise from her lap to greet them.
Greene: We’re here for the Secretary of Defense Evaluation.
She tilts her head quizzically.
Shelley leans in, hands planted on the card table.
Greene: You know, the STRONK Evaluation?
It takes another second for it to click, but when it does her facial expression morphs instantaneously into that of a professional, welcoming receptionist. Like a director shouting “Action!” to prompt an actor to jump into character.
Receptionist: Oh yes, of course! I’m so sorry—it’s, like, been super slow and boring here today, so I was just on the ‘Gram seeing what Chloe be up to. No cap, I think she’s a genius. In a hundred years peeps are gon’ be like, what’s an Albert Einstein? Smartest person to ever live? Oh, you must be talkin’ bout my girl Chloe.
Greene: Right. No problem.
He turns back to find STRONK gawking at a Home & Garden magazine in the waiting area. That is, if you can even call it a waiting area—there’s no seating and the magazine, of which there are no others like it around, looks as though it was left there by the previous commercial tenant. The publication date on the magazine reads: November 1997.
Shelley walks over and snatches the upside down magazine from his client, tossing it aside.
STRONK: DID YOU KNOW WE SHOULD BE MULCHING?
Greene: Uh, sure. We’ll get right on that when we get home.
He has two questions at the forefront of his mind in that moment: when did STRONK learn to read (he hasn’t—he just so-so remembers certain words paired with certain pictures once upon a time and puts two-and-two together, which… sure… that is kind of what reading is at the end of the day, but think of STRONK’s method as far more primitive in practice)… and how did he do so with the magazine turned upside down? He gives his head a shake, quickly rids himself of these annoying brain worms. There’s shit to be done.
A kind-looking older woman in her early-to-mid-fifties enters the waiting area through a blanket that has been hung to act as a makeshift divider leading to the room where the evaluation will take place. Her hair, silver and smoothed perfectly straight, lands just below her chin and sways subtly as she walks. Her bespectacled eyes find Shelley and STRONK. She waves them over.
Doctor(?): Hello, gentlemen. My name is Doctor Gillian Shaw. I’ll be running the evaluation today. Pleasure to meet you both.
STRONK: ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE TO OPEN UP STRONK’S HEAD TO LOOK AT STRONK’S BRAIN? PLEASE PUT THE TOP BACK ON ONCE YOU ARE DONE SO THAT STRONK IS NOT EXPOSED WHEN STRONK FIGHTS ON SUNDAY.
The doctor chuckles, interpreting what STRONK said as a joke.
Doctor Shaw: Oh, yes, of course, we’ll make sure you’re all put back together before you walk out the door. Don’t you worry!
STRONK stands stoic and unflinching and devoid of emotion.
STRONK: THANK YOU.
The doctor looks at Shelley.
Doctor Shaw: You’re going to have to wait here. Everything we say in my office is strictly confidential. My findings will be rendered and summarized at the aggregate level. None of what this man tells me will be repeated to anyone else.
Greene: Understood. I’ll just cozy up on the, uhh, floor, I guess, and read up on how to keep my petunas from dying.
Doctor Shaw: Good. All right, this way, please.
STRONK follows Doctor Shaw back through the blanket-door into her “office.”
STRONK sits behind a card table, not unlike the one in the reception area, with Doctor Shaw on the other side. She has a pad of paper on the table in front of her and an expensive fountain pen gripped in her hand.
There are no windows in the room. There is no art adorning the walls. The only furniture is the card table and the two steel folding chairs on which STRONK and the doctor sit. The Stronkest Man Alive feels safe and reassured—being a professional wrestler, if some evil terrorist scum were to infiltrate the building and attempt to murder the good doctor for reasons unknown, he’s confident he could eliminate the threat with a just few overhead swings of the chair that is bending gradually (at an imperceptible pace) beneath him.
STRONK stares forward, offering no words, waiting for the doctor to engage. Doctor Shaw continues to look down at a few handwritten questions on her legal pad before glancing up at STRONK, smiling.
Doctor Shaw: Let’s begin, shall we? I am going to ask you a series of questions. Please answer truthfully. There are no right or wrong answers. None at all. Just say whatever you feel.
STRONK: VEGETABLES ARE A SCOURGE ON THE FOOD INDUSTRY. THEY MUST BE ELIMINATED. EVERY YEAR THEY EXPAND THE VEGETABLE SECTION AT THE FOOD STORE AND EVERY YEAR THE MEAT SECTION GETS SMALLER. THEY THINK STRONK DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING BUT STRONK KNOWS AND STRONK IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.
Doctor Shaw: Who is they?
STRONK: STRONK DOES NOT KNOW. STRONK THINKS IT COULD BE THE SAME HUMANS THAT STEAL MONEY FROM STRONK’S PAY EVERY TWO WEEKS.
Doctor Shaw: I see… Well, maybe we’ll circle back to your theories around the disproportionate amount of produce in your local grocery store. For now, let’s stick to the questions I’ve prepared. Is that okay?
Doctor Shaw: Good. Thank you. First, over the past month, have you felt down, depressed, or helpless?
Sitting back in his chair, the seat now bent at an irregular angle under his weight, STRONK tries to remember the happenings of the past thirty or so days. He remembers losing his LSD Championship. He remembers not being three hundred pounds (which prompts him to touch the fanny pack fastened around his waist that is filled with just enough ball bearings to bring him to 307.1 pounds). He remembers STRONKUMMS almost becoming bankrupt due to Shelley’s negligence.
But he can’t recall how he felt at any point in response to those events in his life.
STRONK: STRONK DOES NOT UNDERSTAND.
Doctor Shaw: Have you felt… despair?
STRONK: WHAT IS THAT?
Doctor Shaw: It’s like… the world is closing in on you… and you feel like nothing you can or could do will make your situation better.
STRONK: STRONK WAS NOT THREE HUNDRED POUNDS FOR A FEW DAYS. THAT IS BAD BECAUSE NOT BEING THREE HUNDRED POUNDS MAKES STRONK A NORMAL HUMAN MAN. BUT THEN STRONK BECAME THREE HUNDRED POUNDS AGAIN AND GOT A MUSIC SONG AND A MUSIC VIDEO AND NOW STRONK IS ALL BETTER.
The doctor scribbles a few things down on her legal pad, nodding.
Doctor Shaw: Okay. It sounds like you handle stress well enough. No signs of clinical depression. Good. Next question. In the past month, have you ever felt that you were, say… not just good, but better than good? Did you feel a sense of high energy, maybe a decreased need for sleep?
STRONK: STRONK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN GOOD. NORMAL HUMANS ARE GOOD. STRONK IS STRONK.
GODSON rips his STRONKER muscle shirt from his body and throws it at the wall. He flexes. Doctor Shaw notices that STRONK is covered in baby oil despite having walked in wearing a shirt. Interesting.
STRONK: STRONK IS ALWAYS HIGH ENERGY. THAT IS WHAT EATING NINE THOUSAND CALORIES OF MEAT A DAY DOES FOR A HUMAN MAN.
Doctor Shaw: And your sleep patterns? Do you have any trouble sleeping?
STRONK looks at her, puzzled.
How is sleep hard? You just… do it.
STRONK: STRONK SLEEPS THIRTEEN HOURS A DAY. NOT ALL AT ONCE. STRONK CAN SLEEP HIMSELF AT WILL.
To demonstrate this, the King Stallion shuts his eyes, instantly powering down.
When he awakens, Doctor Shaw is standing beside him, visibly annoyed and wrenching at his arm, screaming, “Wake up, Mr. Godson! Wake up!”
An hour has passed.
STRONK: STRONK CAN SLEEP WHENEVER STRONK WANTS FOR HOWEVER LONG STRONK WANTS.
The frazzled doctor returns to her seat, feeling flush. Ten minutes after STRONK put himself into a deep, undisruptable slumber, she poked her head back out into the waiting area to look for Shelley. Shelley was nowhere to be found as he’d stepped out to smoke his twentieth cigarette of the day and leer at a perv pic he sneakily snapped of the receptionist when she wasn’t looking.
Doctor Shaw: That’s very impressive, but if you could please remain awake and engaged throughout this process, that would be greatly appreciated. Moving on. Do you experience any unusual, repetitive thoughts that you find disruptive throughout your day?
If STRONK’s brain were a computer screen, pop-ups showing different cuts of meat would constantly be appearing and stacking with no end in sight. STRONK’s train of thought is a veritable meat-wagon chugging along at a breakneck pace, stopping only to collect various trinkets (championship belts) and pursue sexual gratification.
STRONK: NO. STRONK’S MIND IS ALWAYS CLEAR. STRONK HAS NOT LOST FOCUS SINCE STRONK’S FATHER DIED.
Doctor Shaw: Oh my, I’m so sorry for your loss. That must’ve been very difficult for you. How did it make you feel?
STRONK: GOOD. STRONK RELEASED A FART TO THE OLD BASTARD’S FACE AND WATCHED HIM CHOKE AND GASP AND DIE. THEN STRONK WENT TO NOT-AMERICA AND GOT SLAMMED THROUGH A BURNING TABLE.
The doctor writes “Potentially toxic upbringing?” down on the paper. She looks at her watch, realizing that most of the time they’d set aside for the evaluation had been eaten up by STRONK’s power nap. She has to be on a plane out of Minnesota back to Los Angeles in just a few short hours. She bites the end of her pen, then scratches out a few questions she knows she won’t have time to ask.
Doctor Shaw: Do you trust the people around you? Who is your closest confidant? Do you have any reason to believe they are being untruthful to you?
Stronk Daddy thinks about the people in his life. Raccoon Guy, an old neighbour of his when he and Shelley were still living in the trailer park, seemed to be trustworthy enough. He just likes to watch raccoons mate and get shithouse drunk on malt liquor. The deranged plumber that came to his and Shelley’s house to fix their broken toilet gave him very good advice. The Best Family has been nothing but great to him, bestowing upon him a contract for a sum of money that doesn’t even make sense to his simple brain. And Chris America, the man he’s sworn to protect, while he skipped out on a training session with him, is Chris America—who would not trust Flag Man? He may, in fact, be the most complete human walking the face of the earth; if he were fifty pounds heavier, STRONK would be forced to retire. He’d be redundant.
Then, of course, there’s the one person in his life that’s always there for him. Maybe the guy he is most grateful to have met. And without whom perhaps none of what he’s accomplished would have been possible.
STRONK: JACE PARKER DAVIDSON IS A HUMAN MAN WHO STRONK TRUSTS WITH HIS LIFE. JACE IS STRONK’S BEST FRIEND FOREVER. AND PAPA BEST. PAPA BEST IS THE FATHER STRONK DEFINITELY WOULD NOT KILL WITH A FART. STRONK WOULD DIE FOR PAPA BEST.
The doctor nods, tapping the paper with her pen. There’s silence after STRONK finishes speaking, as if she’s waiting for him to drop one final name to cap it all off.
Doctor Shaw: Anyone else you might be forgetting? Maybe a roommate, or a business partner, a manager perhaps? Someone who you spend a lot of time with.
STRONK: JACE PARKER DAVIDSON IS A BUSINESS PARTNER OF STRONK.
Doctor Shaw: Yes, but aside from him, anyone else?
The King Stallion thinks.
Then thinks some more.
STRONK: OF COURSE. HOW COULD STRONK HAVE FORGOTTEN.
Doctor Shaw: Yes?
STRONK: MONGO. STRONK’S FRIEND WHO IS A BULL. DOES STRONK TRUST HIM? NO. BUT THAT IS WHAT MAKES STRONK AND MONGO’S BOND SO STRONG. IT’S A ‘WILL THEY, WON’T THEY’ THING BETWEEN STRONK AND MONGO.
Doctor Shaw: Will they or won’t they what exactly?
STRONK: EAT THE MEAT. THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS YES. BUT SOMETIMES MONGO IS FUSSY. SO MAYBE IT IS A ‘STRONK WILL, MONGO WON’T’ ONE DAY BUT STRONK HOPES THAT DAY NEVER COMES. STRONK LOVES MONGO FOR HIS RAGE AND APPETITE AND THE FACT MONGO IS NOT A PUSSY THAT COLLAPSES BENEATH STRONK’S MASSIVE BODY WHEN WE GO RIDING WITH PAPA BEST. YES. MONGO IS THE LAST ONE. THERE ARE NO MORE.
After taking down a few more notes, Doctor Shaw’s gaze rises to meet STRONK’s once more.
Doctor Shaw: Just one more question. And please be as open and as vulnerable and as honest as possible with this one.
Doctor Shaw: What is your greatest fear or regret? That one thing you would never want an enemy to know. That one thing that could potentially be used against you to great effect.
GODSON takes an usually long time to process the question, thinking hard about it, but just as he is about to respond…
The scene ends.
STRONK walks out into the waiting area with Doctor Shaw following behind him.
Shelley pops up from the floor.
Greene: How’d it go?
Doctor Shaw: Excellent. We lost a bit of time in there for reasons I don’t need to go into, but I think we have everything we need.
STRONK: STRONK SPOKE AND THE HUMAN LADY SPOKE AND STRONK SLEPT FOR A BIT AND THEN STRONK AND THE HUMAN LADY DID MORE SPEAKING.
Doctor Shaw: (chuckling) Yes, Mr. Godson and I had a wonderful conversation.
Shelley turns to STRONK.
Greene: Hey big man, do you mind waiting in the car? I want to see if the receptionist can make change for a hundred.
STRONK: OKAY. GOOD BYE.
STRONK turns and lumbers away, exiting the building, leaving just Shelley and Doctor Shaw.
Doctor Shaw: You need change for a hundred?
Greene guffaws, rolling his eyes.
Greene: Yeah, like I still use analog money. I’m all digital, baby. That was just a ruse to get him to leave us alone. So, what did you find out? Anything useful? These… friendships… or whatever they are… that STRONK’s built with Jace, and Lee, and whoever else comes along, I’m concerned they could disrupt my position within the big man’s inner circle.
Doctor Shaw: Listen, sweetie, I’m a fifty two-year-old GILF escort from LA with an associate’s degree in business management. I’m no fucking psychologist. But I asked him the questions you wanted, at least the ones you put a star next to, so I’ve done what I could. He’s a tough nut to crack. I gotta get to the airport, though—got a ‘date’ tonight. I’ll type up my notes on the plane and send them to you, all right?
Greene: That’s fine. I’ll Venmo you the two hundo I promised.
Doctor Shaw: My hourly is three hundred. That’s what we agreed on.
Shelley gives a deep, exasperated sigh as he digs out his phone and goes about sending the fake doctor the full three hundred. He turns and heads for the exit.
Greene: I want those notes before the end of the day. Make sure you send them.
Well, if it ain’t everyone’s favourite manager of champions, the illustrious Shelley Greene, back again to talk a little shit because the big man doesn’t want to cut a promo on two losers he already beat.
Hey Bryan Skidrow, hey Zander Arugula—how’d that diggg taste the first time he squashed you?
Fuck, I’m funny as hell. Fucking Arugula, amirite? Guy sucks.
Both those turds aren’t worth our time, but this week we find ourselves teaming with the champion of the woooorld, Mr. Chris America.
What an honour.
STRONK’s first tour of duty as Secretary of Defense.
His mission is simple—keep America healthy and aid in fucking up two jabronis who shouldn’t even be able to sniff such a high profile match until they’ve proven themselves not to be completely worthless fodder.
To keep this short and sweet, the Board is gonna walk into CHAOS, take out some trash, and move onto Dead Or Alive to compete in their respective championship matches, shit actually worth their very valuable time—America defending the most coveted belt in the entire industry, and STRONK and STRONKUMMS Chief Brand Officer Jace Parker Davidson slumming it with a bunch of bozos for a shot at winning the tag team titles. Oh, and hopefully Stronk Daddy wises up and breaks that fat bitch’s neck with the Loop Hold. Fuck that whore Robernette.
Oh, would ya look at that, just got an e-mail from Miss Shaw… let’s see what she has to say…
Now fuck the fuck off.