::::SCENE: Movie theatres have always been a safe haven for Jatt Starr. The first movie he can remember seeing in a theatre was “Star Wars”. It is such a cliche. Everyone he has talked to in his age range remembers “Star Wars” as the first movie they remember seeing in the theatre. The scrolling text, the Rebel Cruiser attempting to escape the Star Destroyer which seemed like it was just over the audience’s head.
If there was one thing he could take from his childhood, it is the love of the movie theatre. The smell of popcorn and butter that punches you in the face once you enter. The occasional sound of Velcro with each step on the floors caked with sticky, gelatinous soda as you try to find a seat. The excitement of watching the previews for the next big comedy or sci-fi epic or latest animated family fare attempting to be Disney but failing miserably.
“Back to the Future”, “The Last Starfighter”, every movie of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, “Ghostbusters”, “Tron”, “Time Bandits”, the list of films he watched as he flipped his cushioned seat down and took a seat in the empty theatre filled his mind as if he were taking a nostalgic trip through a photo album. Instead of photos of him and his brothers and sister dressed up for Halloween or opening presents on Christmas morning or coloring Easter eggs, there are just images of the lights dimming, the green preview screen, the anticipation of how they were going to adapt He-Man for the big screen. As a young lad, he enjoyed the movie. As an adult, the movie is giant pile of corn filled turns topped off with nuclear waste.
But today, at this moment, he rented out Theatre 14 at the American Cinema Movie Experience Megaplex. Three hundred and fifty bucks for three hours. Just the thought of a bunch kids, in about four hours, are about to come in and watch some ridiculous movie starring Zac Efron as a talking police horse teaming with Jason Mamoa to stop a kidnapping. Part of him wonders if it will overtake “Ghost Dad” as the worst movie he has even seen.
Today, the Jattlantic City Idol is watching footage from two years ago. Tokyo, Japan. “War Games”. This is the third time he has seen this portion of the match today.
The third time watching Dan Ryan clock him with the brass knuckles.
The third time watching Conor reach down into his trunks for tampon only for brass knuckles which he uses to clock Sektor in the face. Those stupid “UP” and “DOWN” brass knuckles. He wants to punch Conor Fuse for that ridiculousness.
The third time watching Dan Ryan powerbomb the Thane of Starrkarth out of the ring onto the cold, hard floor.
The third time watching Conor Fuse hand Dan Ryan the chair.
The third time watching Dan Ryan place the Mayor of ManJattan’s head inside the steel chair.
The third time watching Dan Ryan stomp on the chair.
The third time watching the Champion of Jattanooga’s body go limp.
The third time hearing Benny Newell exclaim “DISGUSTING move by Dan Ryan there! DISGUSTING”.
The third time watching Dan Ryan yank the steel chair off of the Baron of Boca Jatton’s head, the third time watching himself flop like a dead fish as the chair leaves his head and is tossed aside like a snot soaked tissue.
As Dan Ryan lifts up the unconscious and damn near crippled body of the Starrabian Knight, Jatt Starr raises his hand in the air.::::
JATT STARR: AGAIN!
SKIPPY: AGAIN????? REALLY?????
:::Ted Nestlehoeffer, an HOW intern in his late twenties with a strange resemblance to a particularly nerdy character in a eighties sitcom featuring Tina Yothers and Justine Bateman, hence his nickname. Whether or not Skippy minds being called Skippy has never crossed the Ruler of Jattlantis’s mind. Probably because he does not care. Skippy, Jatt Starr imagines, is still wearing his HOW polo and khakis with his dark hair flopping into his eyes over his wire framed glasses as he yells from the projectionist’s perch. Perch? Is it a perch? A nest, perhaps?::::
SKIPPY: UH, MISTER STARR, SIR, NOT TO SPEAK OUTTA TURN OR ANYTHING, BUT DO YOU REALLY WANNA WATCH THIS THING AGAIN?
JATT STARR: I AM JATT FREAKING STARR AND YOU DO WHATEVER THE FLIPPY FLOP I SAY, COMPREESH?!
::::The Sultan of SeaJattle grimaces to himself and silently mutters a string of obscenities as he intended to say “comprende” but then at the last second wanted to change it to “capice”. Skippy is a diligent worker and, for all intents and purposes, a toady. A real suck up. Jatt Starr figures Skippy has a lifetime supply of chapstick somewhere with all the ass kissing the intern does. He almost reminds the Jatti Master of himself twenty some odd years ago when he arrived at the HOW a fresh faced rookie. Almost.:::::
SKIPPY: I’M MORE THAN WILLING TO DO IT, BUT IT SEEMS, I DON’T KNOW, A BIT, AND I DON’T MEAN TO OFFEND, MASOCHISTIC?
:::::The Marquis of MadagaStarr puts his head down and kind of slumps a bit into his seat, his knees meet the plastic back on the empty seat in front of him.::::
JATT STARR: GET DOWN HERE!
JATT STARR: NO! NEXT WEEK! YES, NOW!!! THE DUKE OF JATTMANDU IS NOT GOING TO KEEP SHOUTING! YOU WANT ME TO LOSE MY VOICE????
SKIPPY: NO! OF COURSE NOT! I WOULD NEVER—-….I’M ON MY WAY NOW!
::::As Skippy skippity-do-dahs his way from the projection booth (that’s it!), the Sovereign of Starrgentina stares up at the large screen, the paused image of Dan Ryan covering his nearly lifeless body. When he was a kid, movies represented an escape from his stark, bleak reality. Whether it was a week of getting bullied and picked on or getting disciplined (physically) for trying to hide a failed math exam or forging his parents’ signatures on a less than stellar report card, he always has the movies. He could, for about ninety minutes to two-plus hours be teleported to an adventure. Maybe one week it was a teenager trying to save her baby brother from the Goblin King and another a group of young friends seeking out the treasure of One Eyed Willy (Jatt Starr makes note that this would be another great entry in the Scott Stevens looks like a Penis saga).
Looking up at the screen, there is no magic. There is no escape. There is just the stark reality of his past. A reminder of the fourth lowest point in his career. Maybe he is getting desensitized to this moment after the third go around. First, there was anxiety and disgust at what happened. The second time, it was anger. Now? Nothing.
His thoughts are interrupted by a panting and out of breath Skippy who clearly ran down to the theatre as quickly as he possibly could. The Grand Overord of Jatturn had to respect the kid’s dedication.::::
JATT STARR: Have a seat.
::::Skippy tries to verbalize his thankfulness but all that comes out is nonsensical wheezing. Skippy takes a next right next to the Starrson City Icon.::::
JATT STARR: What the hell are you doing?
::::Skippy opens his mouth, a look of confusion on his face that rivals that of a blind man walking in a labyrinth full of door knobs seeking a way out.::::
JATT STARR: Are we dating? Are you planning on giving me a handy?
::::The confusion becomes even more pronounced on Skippy’s face as Jatt Starr’s frustration begins to grow to the point that he feels his stomach acids churning, threatening to aggravate his currently calm ulcer.::::
JATT STARR: Buffer!!! BUFFER!!! A TWO SEAT BUFFER!!!
::::The Jattinum Standard begins vehemently pointing towards the seat to Skippy’s right. He moves over so there is one seat between them. Jatt Starr waves him over with his hand, almost flippantly, like a lord dismissing a lowly servant. Skippy moves over thus allowing for the aforementioned two seat buffer which places the HOW Hall of Famer back into an acceptable comfort zone.:::::
JATT STARR: Now, what the hell were you saying before?
SKIPPY (panting): Just, uh….why are you….putting yourself….through….this?
JATT STARR: Why am I watching Dan Ryan manhandle me and basically treat me like a nickel corner whore with a crack addiction?
::::Skippy gives a reluctant shrug and half a nod.::::
JATT STARR: To remind myself that Dan Ryan is a selfish, sadistic bastard. The Rembrandt of Wrestling has a tendency to trust others a bit too much. I trusted Sektor and he turned his back on me. I trusted Conor Fuse and now he’s Bobbinette Carey’s little boy toy. I will not make the same mistake with Dan Ryan. Joe Bergman is a lily livered ninnyhammer, absolutely. Scott Stevens is a penis that desperately needs circumcision. They are both vile, unsightly boils on the ass of the HOW. Dan Ryan, on the other hand, well, he is my tag team partner. Not by choice, mind you. But it is the hand I was dealt so I have to play nice. But I cannot go all in like I have in the past with my previous associations.
SKIPPY: I thought two were okay?
JATT STARR: The heck we are! That was all a lie, Broman Candle. There are clearly some underlying issues between us. Whether I harbor ill will for War Games or he is still pissed off about some offhand remark I made about some skank who is no longer with the HOW or maybe he is just a selfish bastard.
SKIPPY: Are you referring to Lind—
JATT STARR: We do not mention that skank’s name here.
SKIPPY: I didn’t know! I’m sorry!
JATT STARR: Do not worry about it, honest mistake. Come to think about it, he should not be pissed about those alleged comments. That skank not only turned her back on him but she also fired his daughter from her third rate wrestling promotion. And do not think for one second that I believe there is any legitimacy to the claims that Cecilia Ryan was juicing. It was just an excuse to stick it to Dan and I will, at some point, find the truth behind it. What I am saying is, that whatever the case may be, I will be all in on our quest for the PWA HOTv Tag Team Championships. One hundred percent loyalty, But “March to Glory”? Completely different scenario. I fully expect that roided up fopdoodle to brass knuck me the second my back is turned.
SKIPPY: You astound me.
JATT STARR: The key is nuance. The Rembrandt off Wrestling cannot just go into the match and kick Dan Ryan square in the ding-a-lings. Especially if Joe Bergman is still able to breathe on his own. Timing will be key. How to win the match by screwing Dan Ryan over in such a way that he does not go crazy bonkers, murder spree guy on the Ruler of Jattlantis, that is the question.
SKIPPY: You are absolutely, uh, right, that is quite the conundrum. But, what if, maybe, you know, you didn’t do….anything? Like at all? Like maybe, and I am sure you’ve already considered this scenario, you just, hang back, let Dan Ryan do all the heavy lifting?
JATT STARR: Of course I considered that! Don’t be stupid!
:::::He had not. Although, he would have. Given another hour or several days or so, he certainly would have concocted a way where he, the Thane of Starrkarth, could do a little damage and then fade into the background and watch as Dan Ryan lays waste to the Boogerman and Penis Boy. Then, maybe Jatt Starr reaches into his trunks and retrieves some brass knuckles….he will call them “The Rings of Jatturn”….and then thwacks old Danny Boy in the back of the head, hit a Falling Star, one-two-three, new HOTv Champion. Not ideal, it would be preferable for Joe Bergman to straight up lose so he cannot claim shenanigans or conspiracies about losing his championship. Joe is a bit of a whiny little bitch cake, after all.:::::
SKIPPY: Absolutely! Or course you did! I’m fucking stupid for even mentioning it!
JATT STARR: Something like that takes planning and scheming and making sure the timing is right!
SKIPPY: You’re right, Mister Starr, uh, absolutely, uh, one hundred right.
JATT STARR: Besides, it would be in everyone’s interest if Joe Bergman were to be mangled into a broken human pretzel during the match and be the one to get pinned or submit or whatever. Joe Bergman is evil personified. He is a necrophiliac. A nun flasher. An apple poisoner. A would be cannibal. Scott Steven is a wenis, sure, but he is not criminally insane like Joe Bergman. Bergman needs to suffer. And that is the only reason, the ONLY reason that I dismissed the idea of having Dan Ryan do all the work and then screw him over.
SKIPPY: But, uh, if you don’t mind my saying, you still intend to turn on Mister Ryan, aren’t you?
JATT STARR: Oh absolutely. But only if the opportunity presents itself.
SKIPPY: Got it. A brilliant plan, Mister Starr, sir.
JATT STARR: You seem like a good kid, Skip.
::::The HOW Hall of Famer looks back towards the movie screen, his eyes, initially fixated on on Dan Ryan, shifts to his former StarrSek Industries tag team partner, who is being held down by Teddy Palmer, forced to watch the pinfall.::::
JATT STARR: The HOW is a lot like the show “Survivor”. Trust is only valid if the person or persons you put your trust in have a similar agenda. Once that agenda changes…..
:::::The Sultan of SeaJattle makes a clicking sound as he slices the air in front of his neck with his middle and index fingers.::::
SKIPPY: Excellent advice, sir. I really, ahp-um, appreciate it.
JATT STARR: Now play it again, Skip. One more time.
::::Skippy pops up out of his chair and makes a brisk exit, thinking of providing another “Yes, sir, absolutely Mister Starr, sir!”, but the Hero of Jattlanta stares intently at the screen.
Jatt Starr, looking at the moment frozen on the screen, grinds his teeth a bit as his nose twitches. Dan Ryan quite plainly fucked him and Sektor did nothing but watched as if he dropped a quarter in a peep show booth. The numbness he had felt has now manifested into a nagging thought compulsively running through his head. Did Dan Ryan even ever apologize for this? If he had, why doesn’t the former Professor of Sparrowdynamics not remember? If he hadn’t, then why the fuckity-fuck-fuck not? Now that there is a common enemy followed by a common goal, it is only proper that an apology should be issued.
Could it be the lack of an apology is the only reason the Sheriff of Jattingham needs to blindside his tag team comrade for the PWA Tag Team Championship?
OR could it be that Joe Bergman is somehow manipulating his brain…..
He is a sick and twisted individual. Is it so far fetched that by using radiowaves that he is somehow affecting the Earl of GlouStarr’s mind?
Joe Bergman would do that, wouldn’t he? Distract the El Jattador de Starrcelona by planting an artificial seed of doubt in his mind! By planting this doubt, Jatt Starr is focusing on Dan Ryan and not Joe Bergman, who is probably at home playing hide the bishop with Sunny O’Callahan while watching reruns of “Mannix”, secretly laughing at how he has outwitted the Baron of Boca Jatton. The dirty, rotten, bitchface, jerkweed, JERK
Genius. But Jatt Starr is onto him! Fool him once, shame on them, fool him twice, well, as the Who once said, he “won’t be fooled again”.