Lightbulbs and Epiphanies

Lightbulbs and Epiphanies

Posted on March 18, 2022 at 10:09 pm by Jatt Starr

::::SCENE:  Backstage in the Argonauts of Awesome dressing room at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   An EMS is flashing a light in Simon Sparrow’s eyes, one stage of the concussion protocol the medical staff has in place for the wrestlers of the HOW.   Sure, a sledgehammer to the head knocked him out (replace the word “sledgehammer” with “Mike Best’s Knee” but surviving a blow with a sledgehammer is far more impressive) leaving him drooling and humiliated by his tag team partner after he triumphantly won the match for the Best Alliance.   But the fault was his own because he should have expected a classless act like that from the soon to be allegedly retired Son of Best.  


Simon Sparrow sits on the bench, his vintage “JATT STARR” baseball jersey with the words “RULER OF JATTLANTIS” emblazoned on the back is unbuttoned.  Mario Maurako, fashionably dressed in a purple designer suit, black dress shirt, and black leather shoes which cost more than a pair of midfield Super Bowl tickets, is pacing.   Whether it is concern or nervousness, Simon cannot tell….mainly because this fucking nimrod EMS is making him watch this light!!!   Enough is enough, he knocks the penlight from the EMS’s hands and falls on the floor, rolling between Mario’s feet.  With an inadvertent step and a highly audible crunch, Mario steps on the light, leaving bits of plastic and glass on the ground.::::


MARIO:  Sorry.


SIMON SPARROW (to the EMS):  I’m fine.  Just a little headache.  Nothing more.


EMS:  We have to follow protocol.


SIMON SPARROW (to the EMS):  And that’s great and all, but can I at least have a few minutes with my associate here?


:::The EMS looks over at Mario who flashes him a smile.  The EMS lets out a small sigh as he rises from the crouching position.::::


EMS:  Okay, a few minutes and then I’ll be back.


::::Simon Sparrow nods and the EMS picks up his bag and exits the dressing room.  Relief washes over the Professor of Sparrowdynamics as he rises from the bench.   He stretches his arms over his head and feels a slight twinge in his neck causing him to wince.::::


MARIO:  You should consider apologizing.


SIMON SPARROW (pointing to the door):  To that guy?  I didn’t even do anything to him.  I was very restrained.


MARIO:  Not him.  I think you should maybe apologize to Zion.


::::The words left Mario’s mouth and infected Simon Sparrow’s ears, into his brain, down into his esophagus and right into his stomach which immediately caused a sudden bout of nausea.  Simon’s legs began to feel like jelly and he began to feel the water he took a sip of ten minutes ago come back up with a more acidic and acrid taste.   Rather than vomit on Mario’s shoes, Simon swallows it back down, like a gentleman.::::


SIMON SPARROW:  Fuck you, not happening.


MARIO:  What about Conor, the HOW World Champion who also happens to be a fellow Argonaut of Awesome?


SIMON SPARROW:  Sure, I can apologize to him.  For what though?


MARIO:  No.  Conor likes Darin.


SIMON SPARROW:  He also likes Cheetos, juice boxes, and pogs.  He doesn’t have the greatest track record as far as his likes go.


MARIO:  It’s for the greater good.  We don’t have any drama, he sees we’re a respectable group who take accountability when we’re wrong.  


SIMON SPARROW:  But I am not sorry.  


MARIO:  You punched Meredith in the face with iron knuckles.


SIMON SPARROW:  It was an accident.  If Darin Zion didn’t have such feminine features, I would have been able to tell right away it was Meredith.


MARIO:  Think of it from my perspective.  Conor Fuse is with us.  If he’s happy, then he stays with us.  There’s no worry that Darin Zion or Bobbinette Carey poaches him from us.  Because you know they will try.  They’re dastardly and manipulative and Conor is an impressionable youth.  Do you want him singing karaoke at a Multiverse bar while preaching about consent and women’s rights?  Do you want him to be Bobbinette Carey and Darin Zion’s champion puppet?


SIMON SPARROW:   I suppose not…..


MARIO:  Then apologize.


SIMON SPARROW:  After what that little lickspittle has been saying and the fact that he wouldn’t apologize to me for his insensitive remarks about Gilda?   I don’t think I can.


MARIO:  Do it for me, Simon.  Do it for the AoA.


SIMON SPARROW:  Except for one little thing.


MARIO:  Which is?




MARIO:  You can’t or you won’t?




MARIO:  What does that mean?


SIMON SPARROW:  It means it would make me physically ill to apologize to that…that…jive turkey.


MARIO:  “Jive turkey”?  




::::Nothing comes to Simon Sparrow.  No reasonable explanation for the comment.  All Simon can do is shrug his shoulders.::::


MARIO:  Look, all we need to do is roleplay.


SIMON SPARROW:  Whoa!  Hold up!  I like you Mario, but I don’t think it so.  Sure, you’re a good looking guy, I’m a good looking guy….and, sure, maybe I am a little curious…but you’re like a brother to me.  It would be, you know, incestuous.


::::Mario narrows his eyes.::::


MARIO:  Uhhhh…..noooooooo…..that’s not what I meant.  I’ll pretend to be Darin Zion and you pretend be you….but a you that actually cares about people.




MARIO:  Name six people you care about.


SIMON SPARROW:  Gilda, you, hm, Linda…um, Lee Best, if he truly is alive, Rose McIver, and ummmmm….Catwoman.


MARIO:  Real people.


SIMON SPARROW:  The actress that plays Catwoman!  


MARIO:  Which one?


SIMON SPARROW:  You know which one….she was in that thing with that guy.


MARIO:  Halle Berry?




MARIO:  Anne Hathaway?




MARIO:  Zoe Kravitz?




MARIO:  Eartha Kitt?




MARIO:  You know she’s been dead since 2008, right?


SIMON SPARROW:  Oh, then it’s not her.  It’s the other one.


MARIO:  Julie Newmar?




MARIO:  Are you sure?


SIMON SPARROW:  Is she still alive?


MARIO:  I think so…yes.




::::Simon Sparrow goes to pick up his duffel bag.::::


SIMON SPARROW:  Now that we have that settled, I think it’s to head back—-


MARIO:  Hold up.  We need to talk about you apologizing to Darin.


SIMON SPARROW:  Oh…right….I forgot….


MARIO (not buying it):  Uh-huh.


SIMON SPARROW:  Right, you pretend to be Zion and I pretend to be me.  Or rather, I’m me and you’re Zion.


MARIO:  Right.  Just let me get into character. 


::::Mario closes his eyes and begins breathing as if he were the top student in a Lamaze Class while shaking his hands at his sides like he was trying to remove slime from them.::::


MARIO:  Mee-Mah-Moo!  Mee-Mah-Moo!  Mee-Mah-Moo!  Peter picked a patch of pickled peppers.  Peter picked a patch of pickled peppers.  Peter picked—-


SIMON SPARROW:  Will you come on!


::::Simon Sparrow, channeling his inner Ralph Kramden, shoves Mario Maurako.::::


MARIO:  Okay!  Okay!   


::::Mario closes his eyes and appears to enter a meditative state as Simon Sparrow looks impatiently with his arms folded across his chest.::::


MARIO:  I am Darin Zion.  I enjoy karaoke.  My favorite song to sing is “Barbie Girl”.  Every relationship with another wrestler ends miserably because I ultimately push them away with my irritating behavior.  Brian Hollywood.  Conor Fuse.  I am the hemorrhoid of High Octane Wrestling.  I am the High Octane Hemmorhoid.  


SIMON SPARROW:  And I’m the Preparation-H.  Can we move it along?  It can’t be that hard!  Just act like you are more important than you actually are.


::::Mario opens his right eye and brings up an admonishing finger.:::::


MARIO:  Never rush an artist.  Al Pacino does the same thing to get into character.


::::Simon Sparrow holds up his hands as Mario once again closes his right eye and clears his throat.::::


MARIO:  Look at me and Meredith.  We’re a power couple like Barney and Betty Rubble.  I watch documentaries on unicorns and dolphins.  Hi Simon!  Do you have something to say to me?


::::Simon Sparrow narrows his eyes and furrows his brow.   Mario, with goofy looking smile on his face, starts nodding his head exuberantly.::::


SIMON SPARROW:   Okay there “Darin”.


MARIO:  I made a bad, bad comment about your daughter Glitter and I meant it.  Derpy-Derr!!!




MARIO:  Darin!  I let Meredith touch my wee wee.


::::Simon Sparrow lets out a bellowing laugh.   Mario seemingly snaps out of character.::::


SIMON SPARROW:  Oh my Lord….I literally cannot….


MARIO:  Bro, you need to take this seriously.


SIMON SPARROW:  Maybe tone down the, what is it, “Zionisms”?


MARIO:  It’s not as fun for me, but that’s cool.


::::Mario cricks his neck and tries again.::::


MARIO:  Hi Captain Jatt Sparrow!  It’s me, Darin!  Do you have anything to say to me?


SIMON SPARROW:  I’m—-This isn’t gonna work.


MARIO:  Come on!


SIMON SPARROW:  Darin, that whole business with Meredith, I’m so very, very….


::::For a brief moment, Simon Sparrow thought he could go through with it.  But, alas, he cannot.::::




::::The word “sorry”, he could not say it.  Saying it would be spitting on the tragedy that his daughter has gone through….IS going through.  Apologizing would be a sign of weakness.  Apologizing to Darin Zion would lose the respect of all the HOW wrestlers.  And most importantly, how could he look himself in eye if he apologizes to DARIN FUCKING ZION.  It is DARIN FUCKING ZION!  Has Simon Sparrow fallen so far?  What’s next?  Informercials with Jimmie “J.J.” Walker and Danny Bonaduce?  Hell no! The thought just builds the fiery rage he has against Zion and it just erupted.:::::


SIMON SPARROW:   Fuck that little prick!   That phony fucking shitstain!   He’s fucking lucky I’m a gentleman or it would have been far fucking worse.  Apologize?  To him?  Maybe when the Detroit Lions win a Super Bowl or maybe when Judy Greer shows up at my house and offers me a million bucks to sleep with her.   Let’s see how that plays out, shall we?


MARIO:  I was merely suggesting you be the bigger man.


SIMON SPARROW:  Can I be honest with you?


MARIO:  Of—-


SIMON SPARROW:   She fucking deserved it.  She deserved getting punched in the face.  There, I said it  If it revokes my membership from the League of Non-Toxic Masculinity, so be it.  But, it’s not like I’m getting my kicks by slapping women around, like you, in your old life, of which you are completely reformed.


MARIO:  Yes…”reformed”.


SIMON SPARROW:  It’s a repulsive thing to do what I did, the act itself, yeah, maybe there’s a twinge of guilt.  HOWEVER, it occurred to me, that, as horrible as it was, this was no random act.  This was an act of karma.  He has the balls to disrespect my family?   To humiliate me in the middle of the ring?  The little shit doesn’t have the DECENCY to apologize to me, face to face, mano y mano?   The universe picked up on the insincere little lickspittle and used me as their weapon.   Now that rotten little fuck knows what it’s like to have some depraved lunatic assault a loved one!   Oh, I hope she’s in the hospital right now, getting a battery of tests.  I hope Darin Zion is in the waiting room right now worried for the health and safety of his…..what?  Girlfriend?   


MARIO:  Mail Order Fiancee.  It’s the only theory that makes sense to me.


SIMON SPARROW:  As far I’m concerned, she got off easy.   She’s not comatose.  She’s not getting her jaw wired shut.  But maybe little ol’ Lickspittle Darin can empathize with me, instead of acting like a he’s the cock of the walk…when he’s just the wart of the genitalia.  


MARIO:  So, apologies are off the table, I take it?




MARIO:  Then might I suggest bringing the iron knuckles to your match and clocking him in the mouth them.  I think there would be a poetic sense of irony to that.


SIMON SPARROW:  That little fucker thinks he’s gonna use me as a stepping stone to get out the quicksand of mediocrity that is his career?  Fat chance!  Jeffrey James Roberts had to get himself disqualified to retain his title, that’s the biggest fucking accomplishment of Darin Zion’s pissant career.  I’m a motherfucking Hall of Famer, damn it!!!


::::As if on cue the EMS worker enters the room.  Simon Sparrow spins towards the door.::::




::::The EMS worker immediately turns and walks out as if he were Grandpa Simpson entering the Maison Derriere and noticing Bart sitting at the host position.::::


SIMON SPARROW:  Zion thinks he can apologize AFTER our match at “March to Glory”?  What’s he gonna do, Mario?  What does he think he will accomplish by doing that?  I beat him into a bloody mess and he seems like a little bitch when he—-


MARIO:  I don’t think calling Darin Zion a “little bitch” is Non-Toxic Masculine behavior.


SIMON SPARROW:  Fine, he will seem like a little ninnyhammer when he apologizes after I beat him into a bloody heap.  Or, conversely, should he pull off a miracle and actually does win and apologizes, he comes off as a gloating little douchebag grandstanding for the fans to show what a “nice and decent person” he wants them to believe he is.  There will be no apology.  Not from me, not from him.  And if he tries, I will kick him in those Tic-Tacs he calls balls, hock a large, gloopy, viscous loogie onto the ground, and rub his phony fucking lickspittle face in it.


MARIO:  Classy, Simon.  Very classy.  It will be the closest thing to the Hall of Fame Darin Zion will ever taste.  You’re giving him a gift.


::::Simon Sparrow stares at Mario for a moment, almost unsure of Mario’s intentions with his statement.::::


SIMON SPARROW:  I can’t tell if you mean that or if you’re messing with me.


MARIO:  I think you know the answer.  You want to sneak out so that fancy nurse doesn’t come back to poke and probe you?




::::Simon Sparrow lifts his duffel bag and places the strap over his left shoulder.  Pain radiates from his neck and lets out a mild groan as Mario walks over to the door and opens his slightly and sticks his head out.::::


MARIO:  The coast is clear, Sundance.


SIMON SPARROW:  Just one sec.


::::Simon takes a moment to allow the twinge of pain to subside before following his fellow HOW Hall of Famer out into the hallway.   “March to Glory” is still a ways away which gives him plenty of time to prepare.  A No Holds Barred match can be punishing for someone with an extensive history of injuries.  But there are things that Simon Sparrow has that Darin Zion doesn’t.  Respect.  Rage.  Life Experience.  Taking Gilda’s tragic circumstances out of the equation, Simon Sparrow has not suffered the multitude of indignities, the psychological and emotional  scarring, and a litany of injuries just so Darin Fucking Zion can upstage him.  


Darin Zion has not suffered even a fraction of what Simon Sparrow has suffered in his career.  


But some “March to Glory” that will most certainly change…..