Lessons from a portly chap

Lessons from a portly chap

Posted on July 26, 2020 at 11:09 pm by Jatt Starr

:::SCENE:  The De La Croix Wrestling and Boxing Training Center and Candlemaking Shoppe (or as it is known in some circles, “The Temple”).   The doors open and Jatt Starr, sporting his Mister Rogers ensemble (white dress shirt, khakis, and red cardigan), is being pushed into training center by his daughter and protege, Gilda Ockelman, who is dressed in a bland tan jogging suit and her left hand us bandaged.
The Temple has confusing, nauseating stench of sweat, vanilla, pine, and pumpkin spice (three of which are examples of the many, many scented candles on sale for the low, low cost of $19.99 each, which are on a wall display next to a counter and register on the right).
In the middle of the of spacious room is a ring.   There is medium height portly man standing in the center of the ring, his back to the entrance.  Between the King of Grapple from the Big Apple and progeny is the towering frame of Hugo Scorpio, a former Hero of Jattlanta protege.   A smile crosses the scarred face of Hugo as he approaches Jatt Starr and Gilda.::::
HUGO:  Nice to see you, Jatt.
JATT STARR:  I’m glad your boss could fit us in.  That him?
::::The Champion of Jattanooga motions to the ring.  Hugo looks over his shoulder and back to Jatt Starr.:::
HUGO:  That’s him.  I should warn you, he’s a little….dramatic.
JATT STARR:  I’ve wrestled Shane Reynolds, I know all about dramatic.
::::Hugo then looks at Gilda.:::
HUGO:  And you must be, Gilda.  Has Jatt shown you anything yet?  Moves, techniques, strategies.
GILDA:  A few things.  Dropkicks, Headlock, Clothelines.  A lot of punches and kicks to the balls.  Are those even allowed?
HUGO:  It would depend on the match.  Standard rules, any assault to the testicular area would be cause for a disqualification.
JATT STARR:  Only if you get caught.
GILDA:  It’s difficult to practice what I’ve seen without a wrestling ring or someone to practice with.
JATT STARR:  Excuse me for not being in prime physical shape.
GILDA:  I didn’t say anything, father.

JATT STARR:  Hugo, do you think “father” is too….I don’t know….too clerical?


HUGO:  Clerical?


JATT STARR:  Religious.


GILDA:  Father and mother are what all children call their parents where I grew up.
JATT STARR:  And I keep saying, “dad” or “papa” is fine.
HUGO:  Sooooo…You have a Tag Team Championship for your first match.  You must be excited.
GILDA:  I’m conflicted.
JATT STARR:  She wants to prove her value to Lee but at the same time she’s teaming with Kostoff, his mortal enemy.
HUGO:  Got it.
::::Hugo looks over at Gilda who is staring down at her white New Balance sneakers.:::

HUGO:  At least it’s a win-win.  If you lose, that means Kostoff loses and if you win, you’re a champion.


JATT STARR:  Glass is always half full with you.
HUGO:  I choose to think positive.

JATT STARR:  Do you know what a “bruv” is?


HUGO:  A “bruv”?


JATT STARR:  As in the Hollywood Bruvs?


HUGO:  Maybe it means “brothers” or “bros”.

JATT STARR:  Then why not The Hollywood Bros?


HUGO:  You might need ask them tha——
::::The portly man in the ring spins around facing the trio outside of the ring.  He is wearing a white linen suit and light blue tropical shirt with palm trees on it.  He has salt and pepper hair and beard.  A speaks in a deep voice with a faux British accent as if he were a Maine fisherman channeling his inner Patrick Stewart::::
:::Anton Sanchez De La Croix exits the ring and approaches Hugo, Jatt Starr, and Gilda.::::
ANTON:  Hugo, you must be fucking kidding me.
HUGO:  What?
ANTON:  How am I to train this filthy, wretch into a mean green wrestling machine?  He’s in fucking wheelchair!
HUGO:  Oh, you’re training her.
::::Hugo motions towards Gilda.  Anton looks at Gilda, who sheepishly smiles and waves at Anton.:::
ANTON:  THAT!!!….is a relief.
::::Anton now turns his attention towards Gilda.  Anton he studies her for a moment, stroking his regal beard, silently assessing everything he sees about her from her body type to her different  colored eyes to her short disheveled strawberry blonde hair.:::::
ANTON:  I can work with this, indeed.  Young lady, fortune is smiling upon you, this day!   For, I shall take you on as a student.
:::Anton suddenly turns to Hugo and whispers, but is still audible for Gilda and Jatt Starr to hear him.::::
ANTON:  They have paid, haven’t they?
HUGO:  Online credit card.
::::Anton whirls around back towards his new student and her father.::::
ANTON;  SPLENDID!!!  Fear not, my dear, for you are in the presence of a true legend!  During my time as an active wrestler in the early-to-nineties, the name Anton Sanchez De La Croix was known for his mastery of the Dirty Sanchez!
GILDA:  Was that your finishing move?
ANTON:  No.  I always used a piledriver.
:::Gilda is about to ask a follow up question, no doubt to inquire about what he “mastered”, but the Ruler of Jattlantis grabs her arm and shakes his head.  There is something in his eyes that tells Gilda she probably does not want to know any more about that subject.:::
ANTON:  Now, young lady!  You want to be a wrestler, do you?
GILDA:  I do.
ANTON:  What is your name?
GILDA:  Gilda Ockelman.
ANTON:  Your name disgusts me.
GILDA:  That’s a horrible thing to say.
ANTON:  I have this urge when I hear your name to rip out my own entrails and fornicate with them while my mother is watching and she’s been dead nearly thirty years.
GILDA:  I am getting the feeling that maybe you’re not a nice person.
ANTON:  I have three ex-wives that would agree.  Now, your first lesson is about “branding”.  No one will get behind someone with your name.  I’m thinking “The Glamourous Gilda” or “Gilda Glamour”, we’ll put you in a long blonde wig—-
::::Gilda is staring at Anton, she starts to feel anxious, the butterflies in her stomach are angry butterflies.  Her normally pale face becomes redder as she listens to this “pompous shit” (as her mother might say) ramble on about who she should be and ignoring the person in front of her.::::
JATT STARR:  She’s not a wig person.
ANTON:  Then we must pivot.  With her hair, maybe something with a little “pizzazz”.  “Gilda the Bad Bitch”.  Or something spicy.  “Ginger Curry”!  That’s the name!
:::Anton suddenly turns toward Hugo.:::
ANTON:  That reminds me, no Indian for lunch.  The last time we ate there, I had the shits for days.
::::Jatt Starr slowly and instinctively backs his wheelchair up.  Anton and Hugo jump and turn towards Gilda whose face is red, almost verging into purple, she is breathing heavily.   She takes a deep breath before continuing.::::
GILDA:  I….am….not…..I repeat, NOT, changing my name.  This is MY name.  This is the name given to me by my mother.  I will NOT, under ANY circumstances, go by any other name.
ANTON:  Fine!  No need to be a bitch about it.  We will simply forego the branding lesson and move on.  Let us see what kind of torque you have behind your strikes.  I would like you hit me in my—-
:::POW!  As Anton was bringing up his hand, Gilda gives him a quick jab to the face.  Anton’s head flips back and he brings his hands to his face.::::
ANTON:  Hugo!  Is there blood?  Am I bleeding?
GILDA:  I’m sorry….
::::Hugo examines Anton’s face as Gilda, turns around, embarrassed.  The Mayor of ManJatthan mouths the words “It’s okay” and holds his hands up.  Gilda nods and smiles remorsefully.  But her embarrassment….was it because she misinterpreted the instructions?  Or was she ashamed because a small part of her liked it?::::
HUGO:  You’re okay, boss.
ANTON:  Thank the heavens!
::::Anton begins snapping his finger and points to the Sovereign of Starrgentina.:::
JATT STARR:  Jatt Starr.  Ruler of Jattlantis.  The Sultan of Sea—-
ANTON:  I care not for your nome de plumes!  You are her manager, are you not?
ANTON:  Before I have your client take step inside that ring, I have some paperwork that requires signatures.  COME!
:::Anton snaps his fingers and struts off towards his office on the far end of the gym.  Jatt Starr rolls out, following him, leaving Gilda and Hugo alone in front of the ring.  Hugo awkwardly fidgets and smiles at Gilda.  Gilda nods and smiles back.:::
HUGO:  So, what’s it like training with Jatt?
GILDA:  It’s okay.  He makes me watch videos of his matches.
HUGO:  Cool, cool.
:::They just stand in silence for a moment.:::
HUGO:  He’s your dad, huh?
GILDA:  Yes.
HUGO:  So, you staying with him…?
GILDA:  Yes.
HUGO:  How long have you been staying with him?
GILDA:  About three months.
::::As the seconds pass, it becomes more and more uncomfortable.  Gilda looks around the gym and the auditorium as Hugo begins rubbing his hands as if doing something would alleviate the tension.  It does not.::::
HUGO:  So when did you find out that Jatt was your father?
GILDA:  About three years ago.  Mother told me on the eve of my twentieth Earth orbital rotation.
HUGO:  What?
GILDA:  I’m sorry.  I guess you call it a birthday.
HUGO:  Where are you from?
GiLDA:  Utah.  I was born New Jersey, but I’ve lived in Utah most of my life.
HUGO:  Are you a Mormon?
GILDA:  What’s a Mormon?
HUGO:  It’s a religion, I think, with some rule about marrying people and you can’t drink certain things.  I don’t know.
GILDA:  We were not Mormons.
HUGO: What were you then?
GILDA:  Not Mormons.
HUGO:  Okay.   Well…..what did you do in Utah?
GILDA:  I really don’t like talking about it.
HUGO:  Come on.  Your father once got fired from a McDonald’s for sneezing on someone’s food.   Intentionally.  Multiple times.
:::Gilda turns to Hugo and stares at him. Hugo notices her left eye is green and her right eye is amber colored.   Her eyes tell a story deep pain, he’s seen that look in his own eyes before.  He knows pushing her will not be a good idea.:::
GILDA;  I…will…not….talk about it.
HUGO:  Alright.  What’s it like living with Jatt?
GILDA:  It’s not what I’m used to.  It’s fine, though.  It’s an adjustment for both of us.  He’s was a bit disappointed that he had to buy all plastic cups.
HUGO:  Why?
GILDA:  I broke some of his glasses.
HUGO:  I see….Can I ask why?
HUGO:  Surely, there’s something we can talk about.
GILDA:  Maybe.  And don’t call me Shirley.
:::Gilda suddenly lets out a boisterous laugh at her own joke.  Hugo smiles as he is also taken aback by this sudden appearance of personality from Gilda.::::
HUGO:  Oh my gosh, was that…?  Was that a JOKE???
GILDA:  Last week, father and I watched “Airplane!”.  We try to watch one movie together a week.  It’s one of his favorites.
HUGO:  It’s a good movie.  May I ask you….why wrestling?  Why this?
GILDA:  It was father’s idea.  He said I needed a way to channel my anger.  Normally, I would take hammer to steel when something bothered me, but not anymore….not since….
::::Gilda’s lip quivers and her voice cracks slightly.::::
GILDA:  I’m not…I don’t think….No.
:::Gilda suddenly goes cold and silent.  Whatever she was feeling, she has repressed it to the point of shutting down..  Hugo looks at her.  Her face is stoic, emotionless.  Hugo kicks himself internally.  The awkward silence returns only now, there’s a thick cloud of tension in the air.
The scene cuts to Anton’s windowless office.  The fluorescent ceiling lights occasionally flicker.  The wall behind his desk is bare except for a poster of the Sex Pistols and Seinfeld calendar from 2018.  George Constanza is attempting to look provocative in this image by staring at the camera in his boxers.  The desk itself is a faded blue metal with a styrofoam cup which may or may not be empty and a small Acer laptop.  There are crumbs on the desk.  A feast for the inevitable ant infestation.
Anton looks over the liability that Jatt Starr has completed signing while the Starruvian Warrior adjusts his ridiculously obvious toupee.  Anton, whether subconscious or not sticks his pinky in his ear and digs in, perhaps he is scratching an itch?  He wipes the contents on his white linen jacket leaving a yellow stain.  Jatt Starr looks disgusted.::::
ANTON:  Everything appears to be in order here.  Prior to us proceeding any further, mate, I am compelled to bring up some concerns.   Her name is shit.
JATT STARR:  It’s non-negotiable.  She’s my daughter and I support her decision.
ANTON:  She lacks personality.
JATT STARR:  She’s a little closed off, yes.  But the Ruler of Jattlantis has enough charisma to go around.
ANTON:  While she has a quick right jab, I have yet to see her inside the squared circle and I can already tell that she is greener than my Auntie Millicent’s right foot before they amputated it.
JATT STARR:  I am in no condition to show her anything.  I strongly believe that while Gilda might be inexperienced, but once she’s in the ring, tag team titles on the line, she will show everyone her beast within.  Trust me, I’ve seen it.  it’s scary.  We have to use plastic cups now.
ANTON:  I’m not sure I—-
JATT STARR:  Sometimes during dinner we would talk.  She provides nuggets of information here and there but then she remembers something….something that makes her so angry, that she squeezes the glass so hard, it breaks in her hand.  There’s a lot of pent up rage that needs focusing otherwise we’re looking at “Whatever Happened to Baby Jatt?”
ANTON:  Baby Jatt grew up to be you, did he not?
JATT STARR:  It’s a movie.
ANTON:  I hate movies about babies.  “Look Who’s Talking”?  Total rubbish.
JATT STARR:  Nevermind.  The point is, her background is tragic.  Her mother died in some tragic way.  She may or may not have been involved in some weird cult.
ANTON:  Scientology?
JATT STARR:  No.  It was in Utah.
ANTON:  There are Scientologists in Utah.
JATT STARR:  It wasn’t Scientology.
ANTON:  Fucking Mormons?
JATT STARR:  I don’t think so.  Something creepy and weird.
ANTON:  Whatever the fuck she’s going through, I will teach her all I can in the limited time we have.  Who is she facing?
JATT STARR:  The Hollywood Bruvs. I don’t even know what a “Bruv” is.  Love Brothers?  It sounds incestual.
ANTON: Sick fucks.
::::Anton snaps his fingers at Jatt Starr and points towards the door.:::
ANTON;  Let us….AWAY!!!!
:::The cuts back to the gymnasium where Gilda is stretching her legs.  Hugo is staring at his cell phone, occasionally looking up at her.  Anton and Jattanese Samurai approach from the office.::::
ANTON:  Hugo!  Enter the ring!
::::Hugo puts his cell phone down and enters the ring, as Jatt Starr rolls up to his daughter.:::
JATT STARR:  Everything alright?
GILDA:  Yes.  I’m fine.
JATT STARR:  Has Hugo been treating you well?
GILDA:  He asks too many questions.
JATT STARR:  He’s harmless.
::::Gilda rolls her eyes like a teenager being asked to do her algebra homework and looks at her father.::::
GILDA:  I don’t like him.
JATT STARR:  He is a foppish dingleberry .  But he is the only wrestling trainer within fifty miles.  But I trust Hugo.  Go on.
::::Gilda rolls under the bottom rope and enters the ring.::::
ANTON:  You have a tag team match in few days against the Hollywood Bruvs.  I know nothing of them besides their incestuous relationship and the fact that they are the champions!  Tag team matches are based on trust!  Do you trust your PART-EN-AR????
::::Anton turns to Jatt Starr.:::
ANTON:  Who is her part-en-ar?
JATT STARR:  Kostoff.  He’s an unstoppable monster—-

ANTON:  Splendid!

JATT STARR:  —-who cares more about inflicting as much on his opponent as possible than he does winning a match.
ANTON:  Even championship matches?
JATT STARR:  If he cared about winning, he’d be the longest reigning HOW Champion in history.  But he only cares about destroying Lee Best.  He is a predator that is singleminded in nature.  It consumes him.
ANTON:  Well, shit.
::::Anton turns back towards the young woman in the ring.:::::
ANTON:   Your best bet is to let your partner do all of the work then tag in and score the pinball!  However, he might be garbage and tag you in, therefore, we must PREPARE FOR THE POSSIBILITEEEEEE!!!  Hugo, stand in the middle of the ring.  GIRL!  Knock him on his ass.
::::The five foot six Gilda Ockelman stares up at the six foot five Hugo Scorpio.  She stares at Anton and looks back at Hugo.  She charges at Hugo and hits the large man with a clothesline.   Hugo stands still.  She tries again, she charges the ropes, she bounces off, hits full speed and connects with another clothesline.  Hugo remains still.  Like a statue.
She runs, bounces off the ropes, runs at Hugo, leaps and hits a flying shoulderblock.  She bounces off Hugo, who staggers backwards a couple of steps.  Gilda hits the mat.  She shakes her head, frustrated.::::
JATT STARR:  HEY!  That’s my daughter!  If you say anything like again that I will kick your ass so hard you’ll be tasting Preparation H for a week!
::::Anton looks down at the HOW Hall of Famer both figuratively and literally.::::
ANTON:  I highly doubt that.
JATT STARR:  I am not paralyzed.  I can still find the strength to give the likes of you a beatdown.

ANTON:  Stop being such a diva.  I am motivating her!


::::Jatt Starr realizes the futility of arguing with Anton and turns his attention to the ring, where he sees Gilda attempt a flying back elbow.  Hugo stands his ground as Gilda hits the mat.::::
JATT STARR:  Don’t listen to him, listen to me!  You have value!  Your mother thought so!  She knew you could do anything and be anything!  Make her proud!
::::Gilda looks at her father.  His words resonate with her.  She thinks of her mother.  The feelings of regret, shame, sorrow, and rage do not just bubble to the surface, but erupts.  She gets to her feet and screams.  Hugo, standing in the ring across from her, suddenly looks like he is about to soil himself.  Gilda charges to the left of Hugo, leaps, lands on the middle rope, uses the momentum to fly in the air, and nails a beautiful spinning heel kick to the back of Hugo’s head.  The deformed face of Hugo looks stunned and then he flops down face first onto the mat.  She grabs the legs of Hugo and proceeds to lock in Jatt Starr’s modified version of the Texas Cloverleaf….the Jattaclysm.  Hugo starts screaming and tapping on the mat.
Anton and the Jattsylvanian Count look on, mouths open with shock and awe.  They both smile in unison.::::
JATT STARR:  That’s my girl….MY GENES!!!!
JATT STARR:  You didn’t do anything!
ANTON:  Haven’t I?
JATT STARR:  All you did was berate her!
ANTON:  And look at the result!  Motivation, old chap!  Motivation!
::::Hugo continues screaming until Gilda releases the hold.  Gilda has a menacing look in her eyes.  Hugo crawls to the ropes and pulls himself up.  Gilda proceeds to send Hugo out of the ring courtesy of a springboard dropkick to the face.
Gilda looks at Hugo, laying in a heap outside the ring, moaning and groaning in pain.  She drops down and rolls under the bottom rope out of the ring.  As Anton and Jatt Starr continue to argue over who deserves the credit::::
JATT STARR:  You think insulting her caused that?  No!  She shares that Jatt Starr natural ability.  You can take your motivation and shove it up your—-
ANTON: Fuck off!   She reacted to being called a whore like two of my ex-wives did.  With vile malice.
JATT STARR:  Stop calling her that or I will bitch slap that beard right off your face.
ANTON:  To make yourself another hairpiece?  You aren’t fooling anyone, you know.
::::Gilda just walks up to Anton and kicks him right in the balls.  Anton yelps, his eyes cross, and he drops to his knees.  Jatt Starr looks at his daughter, a certain feeling of parental pride overcomes him.::::
JATT STARR:  You know, I could have done that.
GILDA:  I want to leave.
JATT STARR:  After you…
:::Gilda, who slowly shows signs of calming down starts heading towards the door with Jatt Starr following.:::
JATT STARR:  Where did you learn that kick?  It was amazing!
GILDA:  I had this flash of mother teaching me fouettes when I was younger.
:::The Starrabian Knight nods like he knows what his daughter is talking about.:::
GILDA:   She loved dance and gymnastics, she taught me a few things in private, away from the Founder and the Tribunal….and it just popped in my head and I just, don’t know, did it.
JATT STARR:  I wish I had known her better than—-
::::Gilda turns her head and glares at her father.  A look Jatt Starr has been accustomed to seeing.   It is that icy stare that worries him.  It’s that icy stare that usually precedes breaking a drinking glass.  It’s that icy stare that he hopes is focused on other people and not himself.::::
GILDA:  Don’t.
JAtT STARR:  Okay.  But do you know a “bruv” is?
GILDA:  Hugo looked it up on his phone while you were with that awful, shitty man.  It means “mate”.
JATT STARR:  So it IS a sex thing!  I knew it!
GILDA:  I can’t deal….
::::Gilda opens the door and they are met with muggy, humid air as they leave.  The doors close behind them.  They leave Anton still holding his testicles in pain, groaning and Hugo who, on the other hand, has managed to sit up against the ring.  The scene fades to black.::::