BEEP – BEEP – BEEP
The sound of the heart monitor. The sound of the ventilator. For the Ruler of Jattlantis, those were relaxing sounds. He could feel his mind get clearer and clearer as he sat in a cushioned chair next to the window as his daughter lay in a coma, looking as though she were sleeping peacefully in her bed three feet away from him. She had been in her comatose state for nearly two years after being shot. He could remember being full of rage upon finding out, swearing he would avenge her. Those feelings had dissipated over time. Now when, in the rare instances that he does so, he barely gives the junkie shooter a second thought. This had become normal for him.
This visit, however, was not about quiet contemplation. The Jattlantic City Idol was not there to imagine the look on Natalie’s face when he texted her “It’s over. You are one selfish bitch and I hope you get cancer of the eyes so he can never look at your piece of trash son, Conor, ever again.” The second he had sent it and blocked her number he had regretted it. His emotions had taken over after Conor Fuse defeated him in the LSD Championship match a couple of weeks before. Had he thought about it, and he knew this, he could have found more creative ways to break up with her.
“Hey Nattie baby, welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You.” would have done the trick. Not quite creative but it was succinct and to the point.
“Hey Nattie, you’re like ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’, because I never want to see you again.” Another great line he could have used. The movie absolutely sucked. He had seen it once and that was enough. But it lacked the true essence of why he wanted out of the marriage.
“I now pronounce you dumped and divorced. You may now kiss my Jattastic A-S-S.” That would have been classic.
Alas, he texted what he texted, he typed what he had typed, he had to live with it,
No, today was about finalizing the divorce papers. There was a question of custody. There can be no partnership, no relationship if one party in said relationship is outright obsessed and shows more love to some weaselly little addle pate than the other party in said relationship. It is wrong. And as the wronged party in said relationship, the Baron of Boca Jatton had a right to feel slighted. Hell, he had a right to be furious.
At least in this room, Jatt Starr can just listen to the tranquil bloops and bleeps and hissing sounds of the medical equipment and just clear his head. Sometimes, he could imagine himself transported to a happier place. In the nosebleed seats of Shea Stadium during the 1986 World Series. At the food court of the mall eating a slice of Sbarro pizza. Standing in the middle of the squared circle raising the HOW World Championship over the fallen Darkwing the conclusion of the “Tournament of Champions”. In his mind, he could be anyplace where people he cared about cared about him. Someplace others would not disappoint him.
At least there was one person on this Earth that wouldn’t…couldn’t disappoint him and she was laying comatose in a bed just three feet away.
There was a knock-knock-knocking at the door and a tall, gangly gentleman opened the door. He was sporting a cheap gray suit, the kind you might find in a WalMart. His brown hair was slicked back with more oil than a BP tanker. His beard was well trimmed, one could say tidy. One would also say that this gentleman would not be the posterboy for “Doomsday Prepper Monthly”.
The gentleman’s name was Stanley Pearl. A thirty-two year old named Stanley, Jatt Starr figured his parents hated him at birth considering the ass kickings he probably received based on the name alone. Stanley worked at Jatt Starr’s attorney’s office “The Law Offices of Chaswell Pettifogger”.
The Mayor of ManJattan rose from the chair and straightened his red and black checkered suit and picked up the PWA Tag Team Championship from the table. He fastened the championship comfortably around his waist before approaching the scrawny, almost gaunt looking man and shaking his hand.
The experience of shaking Stanley’s hand was a nauseating experience. Stanley’s hands were cold and clammy. He extended his hand with a limp wrist as if he were the Queen of England expecting the King of Jatten Island to kiss it. Jatt Starr debated whether or not he should get Steve Solex to give this fopdoodle some pointers on how to shake hands like a manly man. Knowing Solex, he would take one look at this skeevy, walking zombie and snap his neck on principle.
STANLEY PEARL: So then, Mister, uhhhh, Sparrow—
JATT STARR: Starr!! It is Mister Starr!!
STANLEY PEARL: Sorry. Mister Starr. Mister Pettifogger wanted me to, uhhhhh, bring over some papers you need to sign.
Stanley Pearl extended his briefcase and began circling his head looking for a place to drop it. The Thane of Starrkarth could feel himself beginning to get annoyed and points towards the bed,
JATT STARR: Put it on the bed.
STANLEY PEARL: Okay, but ehhhhhhh…..
Stanley looked down at the twenty-six year old woman motionless on the bed. Tubes coming out of her mouth to a ventilator, tubes coming from her arms to IV’s, it just seemed disrespectful to toss his suitcase on the bed.
JATT STARR: Relax. She is in a coma, she won’t feel a thing. A tree stump shows more life than she does.
The Grand Overlord of Jatturn poked Gilda in the arm repeatedly while keeping his eyes on the not-so-manly Stanley.
JATT STARR: See? She’s a vegetable.
STANLEY PEARL: Well, okay then.
Stanley flung the briefcase onto the bed atop Gilda’s legs. The Champion of Jattanooga lost it.
JATT STARR: WHAT THE BLOODY TWAT ARE YOU DOING????
STANLEY PEARL: You said—-
JATT STARR: SHE IS A HUMAN BEING! NOT YOUR MOM’S BASEMENT, YOU PUSTULE!
STANLEY PEARL: You said to put my briefcase—
JATT STARR: You place it down! PLACE it down! Gently! You don’t beat her with it! She’s in a coma! Hasn’t she been through enough???
STANLEY PEARL: No, no, now you’re right. I should have, uhhhh, exercised some common sense there.
JATT STARR: You are thin ice right now, sport. Watch it.
STANLEY PEARL: Yes sir.
JATT STARR: Can we get moving on this?
STANLEY PEARL: Yes sir.
The Jattinum Standard threw up an admonishing finger as Stanley reached towards his leather briefcase. Stanley slowly opened the case and pulled out a folder. He retrieved the papers and glanced at them.
STANLEY PEARL: Divorce, huh? Because she’s in, uhhhhh, because of her medical condition here?
JATT STARR: No! This is my daughter! What kind of degenerate cad do you take me for?
STANLEY PEARL: Divorcing your daughter? I’m not one to judge but, uhhhhh, incest is pretty disconcerting. Disgusting, if you ask me. But—-
JATT STARR: No, you moron! I am cutting ties with my partner, Dan Ryan.
STANLEY PEARL: Ohhhh…I’m not familiar with the whole LGBTQ-Plus marriage thing, but if he can’t, uhhhhh, deal with the fact that you have a daughter, well—-
JATT STARR: No! My tag team partner! I am dissolving the team! Irreconcilable differences.
STANLEY PEARL: Why don’t you just, uhhhhhh, tell him you and he are done.
JATT STARR: There is a bit of a custodial issue.
STANLEY PEARL: Kids?
JATT STARR: No. Championships.
STANLEY PEARL: Can’t you just, uhhhhhh, you know, just deal with your differences?
JATT STARR: What?! No! We are supposed to be PWA and HOTv Co-World Champions! And there he is treating my sworn enemy like he is his brother, his best friend, his main man, his sweet cheese! Meanwhile, what about me? He treats me like some destitute Victoran street urchin wearing urine stained britches seeking alms for the poor!
STANLEY PEARL: It can’t be that bad.
JATT STARR: Look, Dan tried to cripple me a couple of years ago. I forgave that. But this vermin whom he holds in such regard stabbed my ex-wife in the eye with a pen and usurped my spot among Lee Best’s favorites. Associating with such a gigantic gasbag, I cannot forgive.
STANLEY PEARL: I am beginning to, uhhhhh, get it now. You want him to be closer to you than he is with this, uhhhh, gasbag, as you call him, and because he is, it like he is an accessory after the fact with this whole stabbing the wife situation there.
JATT STARR: “Ex-wife”. And, basically, yeah. How can I trust someone who holds human slime with higher regard than me? I have been there for him through his own divorce even though he refuses to confide in me about it. If it were not for me leading him to Co-World Championship gold, he would be squeegeeing windows in the streets of New York City for pennies!
STANLEY PEARL: And this whole, uhhhhhh, custodial thing?
JATT STARR: I want sole custody of both the PWA and HOTv Co-World Championship belts. Legally, I think it is owed to me! His love and respect for Mike Best should be enough to punish Dan Ryan and allow me the opportunity to replace him with a partner of my choosing. After we defeat Mike Best and Kostoff the Lesser at “Chaos”, of course.
STANLEY PEARL: So, you are still competing with him then?
JATT STARR: Contractually, I have to. But once we win, and make no mistake about it, we will win, I have manifested our victory in my mind, all bets are off. I want him to give up his rights as HOTv and PWA Co-World Champion.
STANLEY PEARL: And then what?
JATT STARR: I audition his replacement. Since our team is constantly referred to as the “Final Alliance”, it would only make sense to replace him with one of the members. Maybe rekindle “StarrSek Industries” and team with John Sektor again just to stick it to him because he knows how much I hate that walking midlife crisis. Or maybe Steve Solex or Trapper John or Trader Joe or whatever personality he goes by. Maybe if Steve Solex were my partner, maybe he could do for Gilda what he did for Evan Ward.
STANLEY PEARL: What did he do?
JATT STARR: It is a long story. It is not worth getting into right now.
STANLEY PEARL: Well then, here you, uhhhhh, go.
Stanley handed the Rembrandt of Wrestling the divorce papers. Jatt Starr perused them as Stanley uncomfortably looked around the room. The Savior of Starrkham started to pat himself down.
JATT STARR: Do you have a pen?
Stanley reached inside his cheap suit and pulled out a blue PaperMate. The Scourge of Starrpathia grabbed the pen and removed the cap with his teeth. He felt the slight twinge of pain emanating from one of his incisors. He had always been cursed with sensitive teeth. With the pen cap hanging out of his mouth, Jatt Starr looked around the room and cursed the staff of this private medical facility for not having a table in his daughter’s room. What is he paying them for, anyway? So, Jatt Starr found the hardest surface that he could. He placed the papers on top of Gilda’s forehead and began signing and initialing the legal documents much to the shock of Stanley. With a wave and a flourish, the Hero of Jattlanta handed the paperwork to his attorney’s underling who filed them away inside his briefcase.
STANLEY PEARL: I’ll deliver these to Mister Pettifogger and he will, uhhhhhhhhh, be in touch. One more thing….
JATT STARR: Oh heck, what is it, Columbo?
STANLEY PEARL: I’m not too, uhhhhh, certain that ending yours and Dan’s tag team collaboration is, uhhhhhhh, legal issue. Seems to me like this is more of, uhhhh—-
JATT STARR: UHHHHHH! UHHHHHHH! UHHHHHH! I really do not give a rat’s rectum what you are certain about, you ghoul. I am Jatt Bleeping Starr and if I say that this issue can be resolved by legal matters, then by gum, it can be resolved by legal matters even if I have to beg Lee Best to throw money at my attorney to make it happen, comrehenday?
STANLEY PEARL: Yes sir.
Stanley Pearl exited the room leaving Jatt Starr with Gilda. The Duke of Jattmandu looked at his daughter. Part of him hoped that he could feel something for her. There was nothing. Just contempt for his supposed tag team partner, Dan Ryan. Dan the Man. The Danaconda. All he could think about is his match at “Chaos”. Defending the PWA Tag Team Championships against Dan’s bestest bestie in the whole damn world, Mike Best and Zach Kostoff. Would Dan Ryan screw Jatt Starr over? Sektor did it (hell, Dan Ryan was even a part of it). The fact of the matter is, Jatt did not expect it. This time it will be different. This time, as Gilda is his witness, he will be prepared for the betrayal.