Horticulture Squares: March 2 Glory returns from the Grassy Knoll.
Cue the catchy jingle and flashing applause sign.
The show’s prophetic host, Cancer Jiles, stands center stage behind the 6×4’ podium. Doozer, the Fraggle Rock Red X contestant, is to Jiles’ right. Bobby Dean, the Beautiful Blue O contestant, is to Jiles’ left. A costume change has clearly occurred for one of the three yolksters. Gone is the host’s savvy cream-colored suit and yolk-yellow tie, and replacing such fine threads are essentially those same threads but reversed in color.
Think Big Bird.
No, not Max’s new nose.
Rather, the Sesame Street character.
Bobby, still without a chair, now has an oxygen tank feeding him a steady supply of the life juice.
Doozer looks the same as always.
Apparently the plain clothes and life support budget for the 45 and up club was cut. Here’s what Jiles had to say about it during rehearsals, “It’s not gonna fit you in a year. It’ll be too big. Ya know, once people reach your age they start to shrink. Rapidly. Everywhere.”
It shouldn’t be a surprise, but there was never a budget in the first place. That, and Dooze couldn’t be bothered to go through with yet another costume change for the sake of show. He has made enough sacrifices for The Squares. He looks more tired than usual, staring down at his shadow before him.
The full-body, 97red paint job for authenticity, even though he was given a costume, really took a toll.
So did the commercial as D.R. Green Thumb that took nine hours to complete because of lighting issues.
That’s the life of a sidekick.
“Enjoy the grass?” COOL as a cucumber, the host with the most answers his own rhetorical question, “I know I did.”
“Hello, and welcome back to Hollywood Squares: March 2 Glory. You know who I am. You’ve met the eggstraordinary contestants, and you’ve sadly witnessed the Squares. Now, a quick rules rundown for OUR game.”
Smells like a fix could be in. Might have a Quiz Show situation on our hands.
“I’ll ask one of our prestigious Squares a question. They answer it. Hope I haven’t already lost Dan. Then, it will be up to the contestant to determine if the answer provided is on the level. If the contestant is correct, the Square’s square will light up with the contestant’s corresponding color, a little X or an O will appear at the bottom of said square, and they will be awarded 100 points up here on the big board.”
Priming with properness, The Maestro concludes, “Squares can not be stolen. Once locked in, the square is locked in. The first contestant to get tic-tac-toe wins. If tic-tac-toe is unachievable, the contestant with the most points wins.”
Simple enough. Hope the Bruvs are paying attention.
“And remember, the winner of Hollywood Squares: March 2 Glory goes on to the Coliseum to join me in the mega, five team, HIGH OCTANE Tag Team Championship Matchup of the DECADE!”
The stakes are high.
And so is the host.
“Before the show we flipped a coin to see who would go first. Doozer won the flip after Bobby Dean intentionally swallowed the quarter.” No, there was not supposed to be an UN at the beginning of that word. The host continues, “We think he believed it to be one of those chocolate coin treats. Anyway, Doozer, who shall it be?”
The Dooze carefully surveys the landscape. “Hmmm, me being the only gentleman up here, seems like I should set an example. Ladies first, right? LaQueendra Troy, please.”
There will be no arguing that.
The Maestro shuffles through some cue cards before taking aim. “Our first question is for the always beautiful, LaQueendra Troy. LaQueendra, true or false, you are actually Moana from Mata Nui.”
LQT straightens her jerry curl and adjusts her rather large mammaries, In reality, she was just groping herself. “I’ve always wanted boobies.” You know the look on your face when you realize you said an inner monologue thought out loud? Well that’d perfectly describe Bo-, I mean, LaQueendra right now.
Taken aback a bit, Cancer calls out uncomfortably, “Uhm, LaQueendra, the question?”
“Oh, yeah, definitely. That’s me, alright! TA_RUE.” The money mover answers as her hands quickly drop from her expansive bosom.
“Well Dooze, what do you think? Is LaQueendra telling the truth? Is she really Moana from Mata Nui?”
Dooze thoughtfully scratches at his chin. “I want to say yes, but I know better. The answer is no…” He hesitates, seeing as insulting women isn’t his cup of tea. “…she is actually Moana’s cooky, little grandmother who dances with fish.”
A suspenseful pause.
“Doozer…” More pausing. More suspense. “You sly fox! I guess it takes one to know one, because that is correct! Put LaQueendra in the red light district and throw an X up on her! How about 100 points, too!” The ever jubilant Maestro is stunned. More Hollywood minute stunned than anything, but still stunned nonetheless. “This old tool’s sharper than he looks, folks! Though, I don’t quite understand why you didn’t go for the all important middle square, Dooze?”
The aged ring vet doesn’t miss a beat. “I get my fill of Cancer Jiles, as is. I don’t need any interaction with the generic version.” Happy with the ribbing, the faintest smirk appears on one side of his face.
“Couldn’t have put it any better myself.” The host quips back, then switches his focus to the other Bandit at arms. “Well, Beautiful Bob, pick your poison.” He motions, in an inviting fashion, toward the Squares.
The beautiful man from Honalee removes the mask pumping fresh oxygen into his lungs and wheezes out, “CBD.”
“My man!” The host exclaims, excited to interact with his old chum. “Cardboard Dan! Great seeing you again. How have you been?” An awkward spell of dead air takes over the show while the host waits for an answer. “Uhh… so, yeah. How about another Square there, Blobby? Seems like old Danny Boy is still stuck in the Green House.”
About to press on, Jiles quickly has a change of heart. “You know what, he looks so peaceful over there, why bother him. Let’s just say whoever gets the next square, gets Cardboard Dan’s as well. Points, too.” What a charming fellow, that Cancer Jiles. He is always looking out for his Bandits. “So, Bob, it is still your turn. Pick another Legend of the Ring, or at least the closest you can come to one!”
Before Dooze can protest such shenanigans, Bobby quickly points to the top right square and screams, “My bestest friend in the whole wide world, Likeable Michael!!!!”
Aghast, Jiles shoots Bobby a deranged look followed by a “Well, I’ve never!”
Doozer, ready to capitalize on the recent turn of events, joins Bobby in his adoration for Likeable Michael. “WTFC! Represent! Miss you, Mikey!”
WTFC is a former stable that Bob, Dooze, and Mikey Unlikely were in together back in the annals of wrestling history. Data Stevens doesn’t even spelunk that deep.
The not-so-cool-anymore host fiercely grits his teeth. His glassy eyes ballon into his precious T-Shades almost knocking them from his face. “Oh, I do not like this. Not one bit. Cut to commercial. Now.”
Hi, I’m Likeable Michael.
I like things.
Don’t be afraid to like weird things like me.
I’ll stand with you.
We’ll start The Frappening.
And don’t forget to listen to The eFed Podcast every Monday!
And we are back from the impromptu commercial break. Being the consummate pro that he is, Cancer Jiles presses forward without incident. Straight faced, he begins, “Mr. Fist Fuck Pound Hound, your question is as follows. Do you truly love a good Frappe?”
“Oh this will be easy!” The Beautiful Blue O proclaims with glee.
Likeable Michael smiles obnoxiously to the camera. Trust us when we say it’s true the camera adds 10 pounds, too. And judging by the size of Likeable’s triple chin, he must have about six cameras on him. Give or take. Probably give.
“Like my best friend down there said, this is oh-so easy. I love me some Frappe!” Oh Bruvver, we all knew he’d say that.
“Hold on,” Cancer calls out, holding his hand up. “Can you speak with a little more nasal in your voice? I’m not getting the expected level of douche.”
“How’s this?” The fat Michael asks in his newly adjusted pitch.
“Perfectly douchey, thank you! Just like the real thing!” Jiles snickers with satisfaction before motioning for the show to continue. “Well, Bob? Seems like a layup to me. For two squares and two hundred points…”
Bobby nods his head. “Hmmmmm, I get what’s going on here.” He raises a pointed finger to the sky. “This is a trick question! Mikey’s fibbing! He’s secretly lactose intolerant!”
“Uh… that’s incorrect. He does. Obviously judging by the number of pictures he posts incessantly of him with his favorite drink, I think it’s clear that he loves himself Frappe.” Jiles informs his fat friend while giving him a look of pure incredulity.
Bob blushes from embarrassment, or his heart is getting ready to explode. Hopefully it’s the former. “Wait, it wasn’t a trick question?”
The COOL Host hangs his head. “No trick. No points. No O. Doozer, who shall it be next?”
With the early lead and more importantly a chance to end the contest as quickly as it began, Doozer ostracizes the all important middle square yet again. “Hmmmmm, alotta wicked talented squares up there. How’s about……. let’s go with…. I choose Pep Nips!”
The host with the most clarifies the selection. “Doozer has chosen, Scoots McWoodson, from the HATE clan!” Quick to explain, he raises a flexed pointer. “No, it’s not what you think. They HATE everyone equally. Big proponents of diversity and inclusion, too.”
Bobby chides, “They gotta hate their parents.”
The host nods in total agreement. “Scoots, your question comes in two parts. However, in the interest of time and brain constraints, I’ve decided that we will skip the first part. So your question is; have you ever eaten glass before?”
Scoots McWoodson chins up, viewing the question as more of a challenge than anything. He grabs one of the empty IPA bottles he’s been plowing through and violently shouts toward the host, “You tell me!!!”
Pep Nips shatters the bottle against his square desk and takes a bite of the glass.
The camera cuts back to the Bandits right as the HATE monger was about to get his fill. Dean’s eyes roll into the back of his head. That could be due to the exhaustion of standing for so long, though.
Doozer’s jaw drops.
Jiles nearly vomits.
The shot cuts back to Scoots McWoodson chomping glass. He’s bleeding from the mouth like a river while flailing around like a fish out of water.
“Jesus H. Christ. I could be wrong, but it looks like Scooty likes it.” The host shockingly quips. “Crazy bastard, good thing he’s on the bottom row.” The shot then comes back to the Bandits and Jiles continues with the festivities. “Anywho, Dooze, care to take a wild guess as to whether Scoots McWoodson has ever eaten glass before?”
Before Dooze can answer, Scoots McWoodson lets out a visceral roar from off screen. “HATE!!!!!!!!!” Then, his head rolls from off his shoulders and into a pool of blood that has collected on the floor.
The three Bandits shrug, just another day at the office for Scoots.
“Yep, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, yes, he has eaten glass before. Paint chips. Tide pods. Hockey stick varnish, if there is such a thing. You name it.” The Dooze answers with unmatched confidence, proving to Jiles that maybe he hasn’t lost all those marbles just yet.
“That is… correct.” The host says in his most disappointing tone. ”Doozer, you now have control of three of the four corners. You’ve also banked 300 points and are in a commanding lead.”
The Dooze smiles at the victory within his reach. Not that the win means much to him. Sure, the ribbon is nice. More importantly, he won’t have to deal with Jiles’ antagonizing remarks. However, he’s MOST happy because The Maestro was so confident he could swindle Bobby to the victory that he promised Doozer nothing but training, match prep, and strategy sessions until the opening bell rings. If he won, that is.
On the holy egg, he swore.
With the game nearly out of his grasp, Jiles takes pity on the other contestant. “Bobby, you’re in need of some serious help here. If only you knew someone with the power of attorney who could help you right this second. Now I ask you, who shall it be? Who will be your lifeline? Who can fix this game for you?”
Dean digs his feet in. His back against the wall, he answers, “I know when the chips are down, you rely on your friends to get you through.” Jiles nods his head righteously in anticipation of Bobby’s groveling. “You know who it is! Likeable Michael, one more time! Let’s do it!”
Out of commercial breaks, Doozer imposed a limit of two, all the host can do is bite his bottom lip. He sneers at his overweight acquaintance. “Okay then, Bob. If that’s how you want to play it, fine. I said we were going to keep it light until the end, but now you’ve forced my hand.”
Bobby gulps. He is so nervous right now he’s trying to eat his own Adam’s Apple.
“The following question is for Bobby’s best fucking friend, Likeable fucking Michael. It goes as follows, yes or no, do you think you will be victorious at March 2 Glory?” Before anyone else can say or do anything, Jiles answers for the Square. “I heard a yes, yes? Your answer is yes. Yes. Now Bobby, do you think Likeable Michael is right and the Bollywood Newbs can whip the eGG Bandits and win the High Octane Tag Team Titles at March 2 Glory?”
Poor guy. Bobby sulks. If the weight issues weren’t bad enough, now he’s let Jiles down and is facing his scornful wrath. “No, Cancer. That’s false.” His spirit deflates like Lee wishes his body would. “The eGG Bandits are going to win at March 2 Glory.”
“Damn right, you fa–” The host bites his tongue after remembering the amount of pressure Bobby has been under. “Oh, and that square is pointless as far as you winning is concerned. You dolt.”
Bobby mutters under his breath, “Pointless to you, maybe. I got to pick my best bud twice. SCORE!”
Jiles takes off his shades with precise action in mind. “You’re going to regret that one, Bobby Dean. 24 hours. Straight. Quiy Nei’s. Lock box. Sweatsuit. Trash bags. Wool hat. Driving gloves. One of those weighted blankets that are apparently a thing now.”
Bobby stomps like a child suffering his first defeat. The action shakes the building and leaves small foot indentations on the studio room floor. Dust particles even start to float down from the ceiling above.
“72. Keep it up and you’ll be wearing it on the plane.”
Bobby stops, realizing Jiles is aware of his ulterior motive.
“Good boy. Maybe for dinner you can dip your carrots in some fat free ranch dressing. Maybe.” With Bobby tucked in, Jiles returns to his host duties. “Dooze, three sqaures can win you the game. They are, Sir Andrew Murray, King of Wrestling and Original Guy Number One. Not Me, who let’s face it, isn’t getting picked. Lastly, the always incredulous, Devil Boy. Tough choices, I know, but it is for the win. Tell us, who is it going to be?”
“No to Not You. No to Devil Boy. I cringe remem-, I mean… imagining what it’d be like to pull off that look. I guess that leaves Sir Andrew Murray.”
Jiles looks over at the King of Wrestling. He unimpressively chuckles. “So, Sir Andy. True or false, are you a dangerous person?”
The King of Wrestling with as much Originality as Humility jumps from his chair and quickly flips the desk in front of him like a piece of cardboard. Not because he’s super strong. It’s literally a piece of cardboard. Then, he shark-eyefucks all three of the Bandits at the same time and exclaims, “ME TAKEY SCALPIES.” His eyeballs, still ghost white, pop out as he begins to violently pound on his chest in a gorilla like manner. “ME PUNISH YOU.” THUMP. “I BREAK YOU BONEZ.” THUMP. “I READY TO SHINE.” THUMP. “I SWIM IN SHIT.”
Color Cancer bewildered. “Where’d this guy come from again? Is this Dan’s cousin?” The host playfully jests. “Scratch that prior question. New question. Sir Andy, do you know Cardboard Dan? Is he one of your relatives?”
Sir Andrew still thumps away with his pupils pointing in different directions. His lips roll up, exposing his gums and teeth. “SNAKE HISSING NOISE!”
Doozer watches carefully while trying to discern if Sir Andy is more garden verse cobra. “Seems to me that this guy should be called the King of the Jungle instead of the King of Wrestling. That said, both seem very dangerous. I say yes, he is a dangerous person.”
The host throws the remaining cue cards high into the air. He wipes a tear from his visibly emotional face. “YOUR WINNER, AND GOING TO THE COLISEUM TO ONCE AGAIN BECOME TAG TEAM CHAMPION WITH YOUR’S TRULY, Old Man Doozer! Congrats, and a HUGE thank you to Beautiful Bobby Dean for taking up space. For your trouble, you get a board game.”
Jiles adds, “A waterboarding game.”
Bye-bye Bob’s smile.
“Ladies and gentlemen, that’s it for me. Thank you for tuning in. Thank you to our contestants. And thank you to the Legends of Ring for taking the time out of their busy lives for such a great cause. That’s it! We will see you next time! Maybe!”
The catchy jingle plays one last time.
With the mics turned off, all that’s left to do is watch the Bandits shake hands out of respect for a competitive game. After what we could only surmise to be a few last Dan Ryan jokes, they head over to CBD’s square to strike up a livelier conversation.
So, essentially, they never stop.
Along the way, Jiles winds up and blasts Scoots McWoodson’s head to the moon.
Doozer as Fraggle Rock Red Contestant X
“You’re gettin’ too old for this shit. You know that, right? ” A downtrodden Doozer asks as he looks back at himself in a bathroom mirror.
He cups his large, hard-worked hands under the faucet. After they fill with an adequate amount of water, he brings them up and splashes his face. His focus returns to the familiar face staring back at him. His blue eyes dart around, watching the droplets trickle over wrinkles and barely visible scars.
“You knew better, old man. Goldilocks always tells ya whatever ya wanna hear. Always has… why would he stop now?” Another rhetorical question to the aether.
The aged wrestling vet grabs a nearby paper towel and pats his face dry. His electric, blue eyes narrow focus onto themselves.
“You shouldn’t, either. You still got shit to prove here. That’s really why you came back, anyway.” He nods, convincing himself. “So let the two kids have their fun. Get this show over with. Then it’s time to hit the books hard and the weights harder. Gotta be sharper than Troy, more sly than Unlikely, more Cancer than Perfection, less drunk than Woodson, and stronger than Ryan.”
The moment of serene introspection is interrupted by Cancer’s COOL shout, “OLD MAN SNOOZE, YOU FALL OFF THE POT IN THERE? C’MON, IT’S TIME TO GET BACK ON IT!”
Doozer sneers while tossing his damp paper towel into the trash. He mutters to himself, on his way out the door, “Guess some things never change.”
Doozer as Not Sir Andrew Murray
The Bandits are sitting around a table. All of the props for Hollywood Squares: March 2 Glory presented by HOTv are in front of them. Doozer picks up a wig seemingly made of rat hair and asks, “Wait, so this asshole goes by Andy Murray, why don’t I just be a tennis player then? Beats the cape and wig, no?”
Jiles gags from the lameness of Doozer’s suggestion. “Sure thing, Scotty. Here, go drink your piss venom and I’ll wear the cape.”
Doozer as HATE Boy Incarnate
Shaking his head in pure shame, the DREAM Hall of Famer stripped down to his skivvies. He released a deep sigh, then turned and grabbed a costume out of the nearest locker.
You know what the costume is.
Don’t make me type this shit one more time.
I hate this one almost as much as Doozer does, which only comes second to the next one.
What a waste.
Doozer as CSWA Champion Dan Arnold
“Be yourself, but way dumber.”
Doozer grunted at the sight looking back at him in the dressing room mirror.
Jiles however, did not care and continued with the vivid instructions on how Dooze should play the part. “Channel the energy as if you sat and watched every minute of a beautiful pot plant grow to maturity… only to realize you can’t smoke it.”
That one made Dooze chuckle a little, unbeknownst to Jiles of course.
Bobby Dean as Beautiful Blue O Contestant
Bobby and Doozer are walking laps around a track.
It’s the cooldown period. Scout’s honor.
Bobby stops for a moment to shyly inform The Dooze of some shady happenings. “Ya know Dooze, he’s been telling me he wants me to win.”
“Yeah.” Dooze calmly responds. “He’s been telling me the same thing. He wants you to win, and then for me to beg you for your spot. Which, when you think of it, is really just me begging to be his tag team partner.”
“Oh. He sure does have a way of motivating people!”
Bobbelly Dean as LaQueendra Troy
“I’m woman, hear me RAWR!”
What a cliche!
“I’m a big beautiful woman, who enjoys long walks on the beach, kicking boys in the testes, and boobs!” Bobbelly said to her reflection full of life and spunk. She finally received some mirror time after Doozer got over feeling sorry himself.
It was one costume.
Anyway, Bobbelly continued to gush over her new feminine self. “I can’t believe how real these things look. Top dollar, bitches.”
Bobby Dean as “Watch Tower” James Kendrix
“I think his name is Jesse.” A winded Bobby blurted out. His ass was sweating like a hooker in church while he tried to master the ever strenuous walking rope. “Outside of that, I honestly don’t know anything else about him.”
“James it is.” Cancer said, ready to close the subject.
“Except…” Bobby stopped with the walking and got intense from like when before he was fat. “ …he’s the man who stole the man of my dreams away from me! Fuckin’ Hollywood Bruvs! For what he’s done, he shall be destroyed!”
Bobby Dean as Best Friend, Michael Likeable
When this idea was put forth between the guys, before anyone could call dibs on any one role, Bobby Dean immediately called dibs on the role of Michael. There could only be one Michael Likeable, and if Mikey couldn’t be it, then why not the next best thing?
That was Bobby calling dibs.
What you can’t see is his erect penis.
It’s hidden, if you will.
Cancer Jiles as The Host with the Most
“I’m going to be the host. I guarante a better number than Murder Mysteries. Oh, and before I forget, does that animatronic head spit blood?”
Cancer Jiles as Not me
“It will be fine. It’s for the show. Doozer is doing Big Red. I can do this.”
Distraught, Cancer tries with trembling hands to mess up his oil slicked hair. After almost succeeding, the clearly perturbed Mongoloid Slayer places a pair of pre Judgement Day sunglasses on his disgusted face.
“These just feel fucking Mongo.”
Jiles then holds up his pair of sunglasses and uses their lenses to further inspect. “Oh my god! How does he even live like this?! You can see my eyes! What is wrong with my spare liver!?”
Cancer Jiles as Scoots McWoodson
A quite annoyed Cancer Jiles is at the liquor store. He is talking to someone on the phone. “I can’t believe they have all these flavors of beer now. I also can’t believe people pay twenty-seven dollars for four of them. Fruit Berry Jasmine? Piss Berry Nectar? Like, I’d rather wake up with a red goatee and look like I’m on the Bravo version of Sons of Anarchy than buy, let alone drink this swill.”
Jiles swipes his card and looks up at the cashier, acknowledging his very existence for the first time. “Oh, hey Damien. See you in Rome.”
Cardboard Dan Ryan as Cardboard Dan Ryan
The three Bandits are back sitting around the props table. Jiles holds a phone out with the call on speaker. He excitedly proposes, “Say nothing if you’ll be able to make it?” Seconds pass. “GUYS! He’s in! We’re getting the band back together!”
The eGG Bandits as …
The show is over.
Not all is bad for Bobby Dean. Although victory escaped him and the chance for the Bandits to forfeit the titles after winning at March 2 Glory, he has found refuge atop a chair. Being so, his life juice has been cut.
Doozer is standing in front of the podium. His visage is a stern one, meant to burrow a hole through one’s soul.
Jiles is sitting on top of the podium. No longer in his suit, he wears his company issue 97red jumper that he looks oh-so good in. His legs dangle. He looks up and smiles. “Oh good. You haven’t left yet. We still have a few things to discuss.”
And like that, any levity that was once inside the HOTv studio is now gone.
The smile fades from Jiles’ face. He hops down from his perch and tags in the pipe hitter of the group. The Dooze marches forward into the spotlight. He cracks his knuckles, then his neck.
Those lazer blue eyes don’t blink. Not once.
“March to Glory. The Coliseum. Mike Best depreciation night.” Copious amounts of disdain bathed the last four words out of Doozer’s mouth.
“Fuck him.” Jiles shouts out. Confidently.
Dooze smirks, sharing similar sentiment, but wipes it almost as fast as it showed up. He tilts his head down toward his shoulder and speaks out the corner of his mouth. “Not another word gets wasted on that walking ego.”
The command catches Cancer off guard, who cocks his head like a confused dog. In the history of their long tenured tag team partnership, there isn’t a single record where The Dooze directs The Maestro. Just as Jiles begins to lift a hand in response, his elder Bandit almost owls his head straight backward. The electric blues of The Dooze paralyze The COOL on spot.
Doozer’s head slowly returns to its normal, upright position.
Hard telling not knowing, but odds are your computer monitor just auto-dimmed to avoid screen damage from the Jedi lightsabers beaming from his eyes.
“First things first.” The menacing tone is so alien to The Dooze, you could be convinced it wasn’t really him. “It doesn’t take a genius to see the talent that constitutes High Octane’s tag division.”
The forty-seven year old nods, never breaking eye contact with the camera in front of him.
“While the likes of Dan Ryan proves that in-ring talent in no way reflects mental prowess, the way you all choose to view us… jokers.” His blue eyes roll. “Well, it continues to amaze me.” Doozer shakes his head in disbelief.
“Lindsay Troy. You’re honestly the biggest disappointment of this Brady bunch. I would’ve expected you to sharpen Dull Ryan up a bit. The fact that he’s still going off about Jiles marketing Head ‘n’ Shoulders and making the same stupid, fucking jokes we’ve heard about eggs for the last five years – WHICH, is twice as long as Andy Murray, so desperately wants us all to know, has been in the game- well, let’s just say I expected more from The Queen. Way more.”
Sometimes less is more.
And some things never change.
Sadly for you poor fucks, some things do.
“Speaking of disappointments, Hi Mikey.”
That melted the dumbfounded glaze off Cancer’s face. Elated, he adds, “Yeah, you were never a Ban-”
“Shut it, Jiles. You had your fun.” Do you remember that look The Maestro gave Bobby Dean for calling Unlikely his best friend? This one was even more appalled. Doozer, not even glancing back to his partner, trudges on. “My point is, with all the years of experience you people have accumulated, you still don’t get it. Do you?”
The laser focus breaks into an inquisitive staredown.
“You all really think I even like this guy?” Doozer lifts his left hand and points behind him; at our host. Cancer’s eyes pop. He picks his jaw up from the floor as his teammate continues, “How many times must you idiots see me grimace with every other word out of his mouth? There’s no way that ANYONE with a shred of social awareness couldn’t see my skin literally crawling with every half baked scheme.”
“Fuck this shit.” Those were Cancer’s last words, as he walked off set.
Doozer doesn’t seem to notice.
“Let me clue you dumb fucks in on something. Something I saw when researching a no name I got charity-booked against back a decade ago in the days of Dream. What I saw, after getting past the weird ass name, was the biggest charade I’d seen in well over a decade in the sport. That’s right. I’ve been around for EIGHT Andy Murrays. He seems to care a lot about that.”
He pauses to breathe.
Some people have to do that, ya know.
“Not the typical horse and pony show from this one, though. It was the opposite. Genius, really. As your opponent, he wanted nothing more than to lose your respect. He acted like he cared about everything except the fundamentals.” Doozer humphs. ”…and of course, you.”
Doozer drops his head in contemplation for just a moment, then brings it back.
“And that’s how it’d start. You convince yourself he’s nothing. But, he persists. He survives. And he continues. He infiltrates your thoughts and emotions to the point where you’re no longer controlling them. Why the fuck do you think we call him The Maestro?”
It’s not because he likes Seinfeld.
He does like Seinfeld. That’s just not the reason.
“Then, after he’s taken your best beating, and when your guard is finally down and you’re about to unknowingly falter, he’s ready. He’s waiting. He’s studied your every move and prepared for the exact moment. A dodge step to the left. A quick crouch. A barrelroll out of the way. A well timed low blow.”
King of Cheating?
I wonder if that one is taken from the wrestling store.
“Now, you’ve underestimated him. All of a sudden, it feels as if you’re running uphill. That’s when rage’s white lights leave you without sight, and he slides into your blind spot. He grabs his throat and sprays your face yolk yellow. Then, he puts his foot through it. The end. Who’s laughing now? Not the guy with the egg on his face, that’s for damn sure.”
Another deep breath.
“Why tell you all this? Well, if you really knew The Dooze, you’d know I have as much appetite for Cancer’s shenanigans as Dan Ryan. You’d also know, if I hate that shit as much as I say I do, that there must be a damn good reason I’ve kept this partnership over the last ten years.”
Doozer checks a nonexistent watch on his left wrist, then returns his focus to his front.
“And now you know why. Ya see, unlike Andy Murray, this isn’t a game for me. It’s a profession. And the eGG Bandits is a partnership. A god damned successful one, at that. And grand events, like the one happening this weekend in Rome, are our specialty.”
They do tend to thrive in the most hostile, outlandish, death defying situations.
It’s when the chips are up, they drop the ball.
“Card subject to change? Like we give a fuck. 24k has four people? Cool, dudes. The Bandits are going into this clusterfuck as if it’s going to be two on eight, anyway. It’s always been Bandits against the world. Inside the squared circle and out. That doesn’t change now, and it won’t change after we win either.”
They do seem to have a target on them.
According to everyone but Kendrix, anyway.
Doozer pauses for a moment, grimacing in preparation of his next words. “Any surprise stipulation isn’t going to phase me. I might not like him, but I have to admit that I’ve grown a level of respect for Lee Best. But it ends there. No HATE. Just sayin’.”
A twinkle in his eye comes and goes. Another brief moment of silence passes to let his audience digest the material.
“Now why… Why in the world would good, ol’ Dooze suddenly change his tune?”
He pulls at an invisible goatee on his chin.
“You see, I’m still as observant as I was when I scouted Cancer. And what I’ve… observed, at HOW, is that business is done differently here. And if there’s one thing that’s crucial to long term success in this business, it’s the ability to adapt. And I plan to do just that.”
He brings his fists together for another round of knuckle cracking.
“I’m gonna let Jiles continue to do his thing. There’s always a use for his skills. But me? I’m just ready to Dooze. And Abuse.”
Doozer winks so quick you’re not even sure it happened.
“Take it home, Bob.”
Yeah, he’s out cold.
He was standing for a really long time today.