:::SCENE: It is the basement of Saint Ignatius Catholic Church which is where they host BINGO every week as indicated by the large BINGO board behind the stage which has not been updated since 1987. The basement reeks of stale pastry, coffee, and despair. We have been transported not to a weekly BINGO game but a weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. There are eight folding chairs forming a half circle in front of the stage. All but one of the chairs are occupied.
Jatt Starr, sporting a green and white track suit, sneakers, and a black crewneck t-shirt. He stares at Bella, the current alcoholic that is sharing her struggles with the group. Bella has stated she was twenty-eight, but behind the heavy makeup, she looks about ten years older. Her thick Bostonian-Brooklyn hybrid accent accompanying her nasally voice is pure torture. She has big black hair with blonde streaks as if she were auditioning as an extra in a dinner theatre version of “Flashdance”. Bella’s fashion sense is almost as offensive as her voice with her leopard print shoulderless top and tight, form fitting black leather pants. It was as if she chose the most Peg Bundy-est ensemble from her closet.
The King of Grapple from the Big Apple sits, sandwiched behind Al (whose last name is NOT “Coholic”….at least it probably isn’t) who is an overweight truck driver that smells like bologna and Ruth, an elderly woman with her eyeglasses perching near the tip of her nose, who is crocheting a scarf of many colors – brown, orange, dark green, tan, white.
The Starrabian Knight is staring dead-eyed at Bella as she drones on and on about her latest drama with her sister…that is, he can make out what the hell she is talking about..:::
BELLA: ….like it’s my fuckin’ fault that she vawmited awn the flooah. Like I’m the fuckin’ FDA or some shit. She was bein’ a fuckin’ bitch. She’s lucky this didn’t happen five months ago when I woulda hawpped in the cah and gawn to the closest bah and gawten pissed, come home, and told that bitch that I made out with Sal DeLorenzo while she had the flu and then I woulda lit that fuckin’ chihuahua of hers on fire. Fuckin’ little rat dawg. It shat in my Jimmy Choos, last week! It woulda been justified, right?. But I didn’t do it. I remembuhed that anguh is just a temporary feelin’, so I counted to ten and just told her to fuck awff and left the room. I thank you awl and Gawd for awl the help these last few months.
::::Bella steps down to the obligatory applause and takes her seat as Ned, the moderator stands up and walks to the podium. Ned is a balding, middle aged man with salt and pepper hair and a we. He looks like he would be more comfortable moderating a mathematics symposium rather than this Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He stands behind the podium and in a deep, bellowing voice that does not match his physical appearance.::;
NED: Thank you, Bella for another colorful share.
BELLA: I nevah woulda hurt the fuckin’ dawg. Just sayin’.
NED: I feel the need to remind everyone that we are in a church and to please TRY and limit your vulgarity to a minimum. It seems we are almost out of time, is there anyone else who would like to share?
::::The Hero of Jattlanta raises his hand with a disinterested look on his face. The indifference he has for the majority of these people is apparent. He does not hide it well..:::
NED: Yes. Please come on up.
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis stands up and approaches the podium, thankful for the time away from the stench of expired, cheap lunchmeat.::::
JATT STARR: Hi. Simon and I’m an Alcoholic.
GROUP: Hi Simon!
JATT STARR: I know, I’m probably less anonymous than all of you.
:::Nervous laughter from everyone except Angie who hysterically laughs an unforeseen high pitched laugh that would cause a dog’s ears to bleed if it were any higher..:::
BELLA: Oh my GAWD! That’s so funny cuz he’s Jatt Stah!
AL: We know.
JATT STARR: Yes, well. Thank you.
BELLA: You’re welcome!
JATT STARR: As you know, I have been dealing with a lot lately. Gilda running off with her dead mother who turned out to be alive after beating an obsolete, degenerate scumbag and shoved a freaking potato in his mouth. It’s been rough. Lonely. I mentioned how I wanted to dedicate my last match…well, she was scheduled to wrestle, so technically HER last match to her.
::::The Jattsylvanian Count rubs his chin as he looks at his fellow addicts. A mixture of normal people that relied too heavily on the drink and depraved slime. He looks into the narrow gray eyes of Mark, the chiseled jawed musician who spent time in prison on three separate occasions for three different assaults. The Ruler of Jattlantis looks over at Al, then Ruth, then Ned, then Jerome (he is twice divorced, has a girlfriend who will only marry him if he stops drinking), and then Angie, who smiles and winks at him. Her bottom teeth, a crooked mess. It makes Jatt wonder if her parents could only afford to get the top teeth fixed, which are perfect.::::
JATT STARR: Actually, before I continue, I feel compelled to discuss some of the exercises that were discussed in a previous meeting. Sometimes, when we get the urge to drink we need to place our focus on other things, like hobbies, Like, Jerome, what do you do again?
JEROME: My girl and I are taking ballroom dancing. Best thing ever, because after she is—-
JATT STARR: Okay, stop bragging. We get it. You have a girlfriend. Get over yourself. And, uh, Al, what is it you do to help with your drinking?
AL: I do jigsaw puzzles.
JATT STARR: Yes! Improve your mind. Ruth?
RUTH: I crochet.
JATT STARR: Right on! Sports at your age is certainly something else. Even if it is just whacking a ball with a mallet. The point is, we’re told that some of us need a distraction to help us. For me, it was Gilda. After the initial month of terror, what with her outbursts and breaking every drinking glass I own. But I really started to feel a connection to her, a real father-daughter bond was forming and BOOM! Just like that, she’s out of my life. I felt empty. That night, after the police had left….that’s when the craving first struck. I desperately wanted nothing more than a smooth, smoky scotch. A twelve year aged Macallan.
::::Al’s eyes light up as he no doubt has fond memories of that particular scotch.::::
JATT STARR: But I relented. I decided to focus my attention on beating Simon Loveless in Gilda’s honor. And I did just that, I defeated Simon Loveless and for a brief moment, I felt alive again. It faded as quickly as it came. I went home, the emptiness, the loneliness all came back and so did the craving. But in that ring…..something clicked.
::::The Jattvian Prince of Polka pauses a moment.::::
JATT STARR: But, as addicts, we are supposed to eliminate the toxic environment that causes us to drink, right? That includes friends and family. John Sektor came back and, yes, we were adversaries for a time, but we looked around at the state of the HOW and we were like, what the hell is this? A lot of so-called talent either coasting or doing the same old schtick week after week. It was insulting to us as Hall of Famers. We formed StarrSek Industries. It’s a waste management company, so to speak. I was feeling good, great even!
::::The Champion of Jattanooga takes a deep breath. Anxiety begins to build in his stomach. He wants to continue, he needs to be a stand up guy. He needs to make this admission.::::
JATT STARR: And then Lee Best happened. The reformation of the Best Alliance, a celebration ensued, and I had a drink.
NED: You had a weak moment.
JATT STARR: Weak.
::::The Mayor of ManJattan nods and looks down. The anxiety has turned to rage. He can feel his body shaking. He smiles for the briefest of moments as a thought passes through his mind that what he is feeling right now, in this moment, is a link to his daughter. While he can only suspect the cause of her rage, there is a part of him enjoying that they share something in common. He looks up at Ned.::::
JATT STARR: Let me ask you something, Ned. What has the program done for me? I worked the program. I worked the steps. I did what was expected of me. What has it given me? I am stuck in a house, by myself. No friends, no family. My daughter freaking ditched me! Oh! And this Conor Fuse prick gets an ICON Title after four matches???? I did everything right! And what do I get? Nothin’! “Day by day” my Jattacular ass! This program is a turd. I’m not ashamed that I drank. I enjoyed it! A bunch of guys, toasting to the future. I was given a purpose! I felt….whole again! I came here to tell you guys that I’m done. I don’t need to give myself up to a higher power. I don’t need to sit here and listen to your depressing freaking stories. The only thing I take from these meetings is the comfort in the fact that I’m not any of you! You know what? Saturday night, when Sektor and I crack some Egg Bandits heads and win, we will celebrate with a bottle of Dom Perignon. And I won’t let any of you sad sacks make me feel bad about it.
:::Jatt Starr suddenly starts laughing, his face getting redder and redder the more he laughs.::::
JATT STARR: Holy crap. That felt good! It’s felt good to let that out.
::::The King of Grapple from the Big Apple exhales.::::
JATT STARR: Now, if you will excuse me, I have a business meeting. Good luck with your “higher power”, losers!
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis makes an “L” on his forehead on “losers” but he uses his left hand, so the losers of which he was referring, it looks like a backwards “L” As he starts towards the door, he turns.:::
JATT STARR: Except you, Ruth. Keep swinging those mallets.
::::The Best Alliance’s Five Starr General makes an about face and continues towards the exit.:::
BELLA SIMON WAIT! Where’re ya goin’?
JATT STARR: Where you aren’t, babe!
::::The King of Grapple from the Big Apple heads towards the double doors.:::
BELLA: Did he just cawl me a babe?
::::Bella turns back eye fucking the the Starrlite Sexpress with her blue eyes.:::
RUTH: Oh honey…..
::::The doors slam behind him and in front of the stairs leading up to the foyer of the church, The Switch waits.:::
THE SWITCH: I don’t think this is a good idea.
JATT STARR: I don’t pay you to think.
THE SWITCH: You haven’t paid me at all.
JATT STARR: The Ruler of Jattlantis is in the Best Alliance the money will be rolling in.
::::The Sultan of SeaJattle starts heading up the stairs followed by The Switch.:::
JATT STARR: Or you could go back to work for Anton.
THE SWITCH: That’s not happening.
::::Both men climb up the stairs and the scene cuts to Dooley’s, a small Irish pub which is a twenty minute drive from St. Ignasius. The Monday night crowd is limited. The large, hairy bartender dons a black Dooley’s polo shirt exposing his heavily tattooed arms, left of which depicting Ariel, Elsa, Belle, and Esmerelda is handing a sorry looking college student a draft beer. There are two men sitting at the bar wearing dress shirts, both of their ties are down and their top buttons undone – one enjoying a Bud Light, the other enjoying a Corona. The sounds of RATT’s “Round and Round” play in the dimly lit bar. The door opens and Jatt Starr enters (he has The Switch waiting in the car as the designated driver).::::
BARTENDER: Welcome to Dooley’s. I’ll be right with you.
JATT STARR: No worries, barkeep!
::::The King of Grapple from the Big Apple walks to a booth, where John Sektor is sitting, enjoying a whiskey on the rocks. Sektor’s bright orange cuban styled shirt is the brightest point in the bleakly illuminated bar.::::
SEKTOR: You’re late.
JATT STARR: I’ll be on time tomorrow. You’ll be ugly forever.
::::Sektor looks up at the Marquis of MadagaStarr as he sits across from him.:::
SEKTOR: What the fuck are you wearing?
JATT STARR: It’s called a “track suit”. I heard all of the waste management execs wear them.
SEKTOR: I don’t—-
::::The Bartender appears at the table.:::
BARTENDER: What can i get you?
JATT STARR: Cognac neat. Please.
JATT STARR: Sorry, I’ll have a cognac, please. Thank you, HENNESSEY
SEKTOR: Hennessey is fine. Just get him the drink.
::::The bartender walks away to fix the drink.:::
SEKTOR: You need to move.
JATT STARR: Why?
SEKTOR: All of the ladies in this town are a Miami six.
JATT STARR: It’s Montana, what did you expect?
SEKTOR: Hotter babes.
JATT STARR: Yes, well, I don’t know about the Miami sixers. Shall we move onto StarrSek business then?
SEKTOR: What’s there to talk about? We go in, crush these Egg Fuckers until they look like Humpty Dumpty getting run over by an eighteen wheeler after falling off the wall.
JATT STARR: This isn’t about winning. It’s about the message we’re trying to send.
JATT STARR: I really don’t think we need to quite go that far. Besides, we don’t have a branding iron.
SEKTOR: No, that’s not—
:::The bartender arrives and places a coaster in front of Jatt Starr and places the cognac on top.
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis checks his watch.:::
JATT STARR: It’s actually twenty after nine.
BARTENDER: Eight DOLLARS and fifty CENTS.
JATT STARR: Ohhhh!
BARTENDER: Is he drunk already?
SEKTOR: No. He’s just….him.
::::Jatt Starr hands the Bartender a ten dollar bill.:::
JATT STARR: Keep the change, my good man.
::::The Bartender heads back to the bar and the Starrabian Knight takes a drink. The Hennessey. The woody and fruity notes are not appreciated by Jatt Starr who just feels the smooth liquor burn his throat. The Jatt-i Master lets out a high pitched yelp, much to the embarrassment of true liquor connoisseur, Sektor.:::
JATT STARR: Hoo boy! I should just stick to Scotch. Where were we? AH! Our message. The Egg Bandits are cracking. Pun intended. You heard TOOL Giles on Saturday night. If they are fracturing then what are they?
SEKTOR: Scrambled Egg Bandits?
JATT STARR: They’re nothing! They are of no use to the HOW. They are on the verge of becoming OBSOLETE. If they are obsolete then they are trash.
SEKTOR: So we waste’em..
JATT STARR: Oh my gosh! That’s it!
JATT STARR: Our motto: “StarrSek Industry: We’ll Waste You”!
::::Sektor leans back and begins stroking his most excellent moustache, pondering the motto as “Round and Round” ends and leads into “Against the Wind” by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band begins.:::
SEKTOR: I think we can do better.
JATT STARR: We can spitball ideas later. As long as we are on the same page, as far as the match goes. We can’t have any mistakes.
SEKTOR: Say what you want to say.
JATT STARR: We need to win and you might be a little rusty.
SEKTOR: Fuck that. It’s like riding a bike.
JATT STARR: Eight months ago, I tried riding a bike after ten years of not riding one. You know what happened? I fell off twice and tweaked my back. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if it didn’t happen in front of a bunch of teenagers. They were really mean. One of them called my “Fat Starr”.
::::Sektor begins stroking his moustache again, but this time, it’s to cover the smile forming on his face.:::
JATT STARR: Yes, I may not be in the same shape I was four or five years ago, but I am NOT fat. Do you think I look fat?
SEKTOR: What the fuck, Jatt?! What are we? Fucking girlfriends here? Are we going to start going to the men’s room together? Man up! Grow a pair!
JATT STARR: Testicles don’t grow back when you lose one.
SEKTOR: You know what I mean! Who gives a rat’s ass what some fucking dipshit dropout says? You should have curbstomped the fucker.
JATT STARR: You’re right. When you’re right, you’re right. Except the curbstomping children part.
SEKTOR: You said they were teenagers.
JATT STARR: I may have exaggerated a bit.
::::The Earl of GlouStarr takes another sip of cognac and winces.::::
JATT STARR: Back to your ring rust.
SEKTOR: I’m not rusty.
JATT STARR: You say that now, but I worry that your ring rust is so bad, I’ll need a Tetris shot.
SEKTOR: Tetanus! Tetanus shot!
JATT STARR: Close enough!
SEKTOR: Jatt, you don’t have to worry about me. RICK and Zeb Martin are worthless sacks of crap. We’re Hall of Famers, dammit!
JATT STARR: Zeb Martin….
JATT STARR: It’s that pissant’s fault that Conor flipping Fuse is getting an ICON Title shot! He’s no ICON! We’re icons! He’s just some dude that lives off a diet of Lunchables, Yoo Hoo and Welch’s Fruit Snacks.
SEKTOR: Preach, brother.
:::The Jattlantic City Idol feels the anger building inside of his gut (or maybe the cognac).::::
JATT STARR: That ICON title should be mine, not his. After everything I did for this company, they hand this ninnyhammer a title shot? This is why the HOW needs StarrSek! Let’s give the title shots to those who are the face of the company…..not some reject who will use the title as an example of another level achieved, Fricking nerd.
SEKTOR: We need to make this shit happen.
JATT STARR: If he can beat Zeb Martin, you’re damn tootin’ that the Mayor of ManJattan can!
::::The Ruler of Jattlantis downs the rest of cognac and his face contorts like he was just hit in the gut with a Louisville Slugger. Sektor, on the other hand, begins looking at the other patrons in the bar. He counts two women in the bar, neither one look all that appealing – one is in her sixties sitting with another elderly gent and the other looks like Bobby Dean with a moustache.:::
JATT STARR: We can’t lose to those two. We just can’t.
SEKTOR: This bar sucks.
JATT STARR: The Switch is out front. We can go somewhere else, but don’t expect too much on a Monday night.
SEKTOR: Fuck it. Let’s go.
::::Sektor downs the rest of his drink as if it were water. They both rise from the booth.::::
BARTENDER: Good night guys.
:::The Ruler of Jattlantis and Sektor begin heading out the door. Suddenly, Sektor stops and approaches Bobbi Dean (that’s what they will call her for the rest of the night), writes something on a napkin and hands it to her. He comes back to Jatt Starr.::::
JATT STARR: You gave her your number?
SEKTOR: Fuck no!!! I gave her RICK’s number.
:::Jatt Starr chuckles, feeling a little buzzed and feeling better than he has since Gilda, the exit the bar and the doors close behind them as the scene ends.::::