:::SCENE: The night air is nippy in Detroit. The smell of garbage, piss, and refuse lingers in the air a half of a mile from the Little Caesar’s Arena. An odor not unfamiliar to this part of town or certain New Jersey gas stations off the interstate. The clouds obscure the moonlight. The alleyway, covered in graffiti, trash strewn about….papers, half-eaten food, styrofoam cups (some empty, some not). A shadowy figure is seen behind a dumpster wielding a long thin implement which is being brought down onto the body of another shadowy figure, cowering in what appears to be the fetal position.
The gutteral sound of someone clearing their throat can be heard in the darkness. The man wielding the weapon stops and turns towards the sound. Suddenly, the highbeams of a rented 2021 Ford Focus illuminates the alley. The rear passenger side door opens and the passenger struggles to get out of the backseat mumbling and grumbling incoherent profanities as he does so.
Simon Sparrow lowers his weapon and looks over at the more physically imposing man approaching him. The Professor of Sparrowdynamics’s face brightens as he recognizes the man approaching.::::
SIMON SPARROW: Mario! What’s up, my man?
::::The silhouette of his tag team partner is impressive in front of the intermediate sized vehicle’s headlights as he stops a couple of feet in front of the rental car.::::
MARIO: Is there something you need to tell me?
SIMON SPARROW: I am a bit surprised you were able to find me.
MARIO: Not really what I was looking for, but my chauffeur had the brilliant idea of tracking your phone, if you need to know.
CHAUFFEUR (from inside the car): Hewwo, Simon!
::::The Professor of Sparrowdynamics shakes his head at the familiar sound of the Wabid Wabbit’s voice. The disappointment of which is so great, he brings down his implement of destruction down on the wretched street urchin wearing a filthy, battered Air Jordan on one foot and a tattered, torn New Balance sneaker on the other.
STREET URCHIN: AHHHHHH!!!!
MARIO: Sooooo….what are you doing out here, Simon…in the urine soaked depths of Detroit?
::::Simon looks over at Mario with a confused look on his face as if he has asked him to discuss the socioeconomic impact the Industrial Revolution had on farming communities. Simon questions how detailed his response should be to his fellow Argonaut of Awesome. Should not some things remain private? Shouldn’t certain things remain unsaid between friends? Should he tell him to alleviate the guilt he’s been feeling? As he ponders these queries, he decides to keep his response simple and something that cannot be questioned.::::
SIMON SPARROW: I’m relieving stress.
MARIO: Do you normally relieve stress by beating on a street urchin?
SIMON SPARROW: Don’t you mean “residency challenged”?
MARIO: I don’t know him well enough to know his residency status.
SIMON SPARROW: Well, he’s homeless.
MARIO: Either way, you’re beating him in an alley with a bat.
SIMON SPARROW: A whiffle bat.
::::Simon Sparrow holds up the thin, slightly bent yellow whiffle bat as if this completely justifies his actions.::::
MARIO: It’s assault.
SIMON SPARROW: It’s not assault if it’s, whaddyacallit, consensual.
SIMON SPARROW: I paid him three hundred bucks. Hey, Ralph, say hi to my pal, Mario.
RALPH (groaning and breathing heavy): Hey man…
::::Ralph begins coughing and sneezing into his hand. A gloppy, blob of snot hits his palm. Ralph, showing the slightest bit of etiquette, wipes his loogied hand on his dark overcoat before offering it to Mario. Mario politely waves it off while he attempts to stifle the acidic feeling of his dinner rising up his esophagus.::::
MARIO: Do you make it a habit paying people to beat them in order to relieve stress?
SIMON SPARROW: No, just tonight.
MARIO: You are hurting this man. It’s not real gentleman-like.
SIMON SPARROW: It’s a whiffle bat! It’s not hurting him. Tell him, Ralph. It doesn’t hurt, right?
RALPH: It hurts a bit. I think you knocked a tooth loose.
:::WHACK! A quick strike with the whiffle bat to Ralph’s arm.:::
SIMON SPARROW: That’s scurvy and you know it.
::::Simon turns back to his concerned (and potentially jealous?) fellow Hall of Famer.::::
SIMON SPARROW: He’s probably all doped up on heroin-crack-meth.
RALPH: I’ve been clean for two years, three months, one week, and—-
SIMON SPARROW: Shut up, Ralph!
MARIO: I fear that “The League of Non-Toxic Gentlemen” would frown on this type of activity.
SIMON SPARROW: What? No! I’m helping Detroit’s economy by giving this ambitious young man gainful employ—
RALPH: I’m fifty-seven years—-
SIMON SPARROW: Ralph! Please! If you stay silent, there’s another twenty in it for you.
:::Ralph brings his hand to his mouth and mimics turning a key as Simon Sparrow walks towards Mario using the whiffle bat as a sort of walking stick as he does so.:::::
MARIO: As your friend, I don’t care what this is, I see nothing, I know nothing. As a businessman, I cannot publicly condone this. As an avid curling fan, I question your choice of sporting implement. As your tag team partner, I feel ten percent…no, three percent responsible for whatever this is. Unless this is about Gilda, in which case, this has nothing to do with me and I am absolved of all wrongdoing that this may or may not be. If that is the case, I must tell you that if you do not relent, I will be forced to contact the authorities.
::::A confused Simon Sparrow narrows his eyes at Mario, who leans in and whispers.::::
MARIO: Don’t worry, I won’t do that, I just have to say that for liability purposes, in case people are listening. Give him a swift shot to the genitals….No, no…
::::Mario takes a step backwards towards the car, giving himself an inaudible pep talk.::::
SIMON SPARROW: I did get some good news about Gilda.
MARIO: She’s out of the coma!
SIMON SPARROW: No. There’s a doctor who might be able to help her.
SIMON SPARROW: No. A scientist.
MARIO: Neurology is a science.
SIMON SPARROW: Whatever he is, he says he has a way to get Gilda out of her coma. He says it’s risky and controversial, but he wants to show me what he has in mind. I would have to run it by Linda, but it’s worth a shot.
MARIO: Make sure whatever he’s showing is not his penis.
SIMON SPARROW: Disturbing.
MARIO: Some people are deviant perverts. A blight on society as we know it!! People running around showing people their wangs without consent!
SIMON SPARROW: I’m confident that’s not the case here.
MARIO: You hope.
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Let him know what’s goin’ on at the next Wefuewed.
MARIO (to Wabid Wabbit): I’m getting to it!
SIMON SPARROW: Bobbinette Carey.
::::Mario suddenly slaps Simon Sparrow in the face, causing him to drop the whiffle bat. Simon proceeds to rub his cheek.::::
SIMON SPARROW: Ow! What was that for?
MARIO: Sorry, it’s a reflex.
::::Simon Sparrow reaches down and picks up the whiffle bat off the ground. Simon has a brief moment where he regrets not bringing any hand sanitizer before turning back towards Mario. At this moment, he realizes that he must tell Mario of his secret shame.::::
SIMON SPARROW: I have something to tell you about….you know who.
SIMON SPARROW: Bob…uh…
MARIO: Hope? Terwilliger? Dole? Denver?
SIMON SPARROW: My opponent next week.
MARIO: Ah, yes! The vilest of wenches.
SIMON SPARROW: I don’t know if I can beat her.
MARIO: Sure you can! I can teach you! You see, you make fist like so….
::::Mario proceeds to slowly make a fist in front of Simon Sparrow’s face.::::
SIMON SPARROW: No, no, no! I mean, I think I might feel a certain kind of way about her.
SIMON SPARROW: No.
SIMON SPARROW: No.
SIMON SPARROW: Yes!
SIMON SPARROW: Wait! Did you say “lust” or “disgust”?
SIMON SPARROW: No.
MARIO: Just blurt it out man!
SIMON SPARROW: I think she turns me on?
::::Mario’s eyes widen and he grabs Simon Sparrow by the arms and proceeds to start shaking him as if he were a giant maraca. Mario screams towards the car.::::
MARIO: BUNNY MAN!!! COME QUICK!!!! SIMON IS AFFLICTED!!! THE FEVER HAS TAKEN HIM!!!! HE HAS BECOME DELUSIONAL!!!! IT’S PROBABLY SYPHILIS!!!
::::Simon Sparrow breaks free from Mario’s iron grip and staggers backwards, once again losing grip of the yellow plastic bat which clanks to the ground. Simon stares at Mario shocked and astonished at his actions.::::
SIMON SPARROW: I do not have syphilis!
MARIO: If you’ve thought about sleeping with her, then your mind has syphilis. Trust me, it’s that powerful.
SIMON SPARROW: I’m trying to be straight with you here! I’m basically baring my soul to you here and you’re dismissing me?
MARIO: I’m sorry, but you must be concussed or something. Or it’s a tumor. Is it a tumor? Have you had your brain checked by a neurologist? When you take Gilda to see that neurologist, you should get checked out as well.
SIMON SPARROW: Look, I need to get this off my chest…I have this recurring fantasy where I am taking on Bob—…um, Bobbi…Miss Carey….and there I am, on the mat, she mounts me, and pins my arms to the mat, I start struggling, there’s some…uh…friction….then she suddenly leans in and kisses me and we start making out in the middle of the ring and oh, do I consent…I consent to every dirty little thing she does…as one thing leads to another and another….
MARIO: And then you piss blood a week later after getting diagnosed with the clap.
::::Mario gives Simon Sparrow another whack across the side of his head with his hand.::::
MARIO: Bro, she’s had more dicks inside her than the Downtown Radisson during a Private Eye convention!
SIMON SPARROW: I know! I know! It’s wrong! I can’t help it! She has this condescending cockiness that makes you feel like you’re nothing and you cannot help but get excited by it. Especially if you picture her in dark elf cosplay brandishing a—-
MARIO: Nope! Not listening to that!
SIMON SPARROW: What am I supposed to do?
MARIO: What about this Eli chick…er….young woman?
SIMON SPARROW: She’s like almost old enough to be my daughter! It’s disgusting! Who the fuck do you think I am???? Sektor????
MARIO: Don’t think for one second that Bobbinette Carey hasn’t planned this out. She’s a diabolically manipulative woman who uses others to further her own agenda. The second she finds out about this, don’t be surprised she conveniently has a “nip slip” and while you’re staring like fucking teenager at his father’s nudie magazines, she will claw your eyes and swallow them and then shit them out at the filthiest public restroom she can find. You’d get a more fulfilling relationship from Bobby Dean’s cardboard cutout of her! AND…she’s teaming with your archnemesis, Darkwing!
WABID WABBIT (from the car): What’s goin’ on out there?
MARIO (to Wabid Wabbit): Simon here is telling me how he wants sexual intercourse with Bobbinette Carey!
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Gwoss! She’s howwendous!
MARIO (to Simon): SEE???? Even the Bunny Man agrees with me!!!
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Doesn’t she have a westwaining oahdah against you?
SIMON SPARROW: That expired months ago!
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Mawio! Is he dwunk???
::::Wabid Wabbit’s veiled accusation that he would dare risk his sobriety punches Simon Sparrow in the gut. Whilst not quite at the level of disrespect the Lickspittle, Darin Zion, has shown him in recent weeks, it still hurts.:::::
SIMON SPARROW: No, I’m not!!!!
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Is it because it’s Bwack Histowy Month?
SIMON SPARROW: It is not!
RALPH: Yes it is!!!
::::Simon Sparrow, not expecting that Ralph had moved from behind the dumpster and was about two feet behind him wiping his nose with his right palm, shrieks. He quickly recovers, picking up the whiffle bat, and unleashes a brief and maybe uncalled for verbal outburst, whilst holding the bat threateningly.::::
SIMON SPARROW: NO, IT’S NOT!!!!
RALPH: Yes…it is. February has been Black History Month since 1976 when President Gerald Ford officially announced—-
SIMON SPARROW and MARIO (in unison): SHUT UP, RALPH!
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Who’s Walph?
MARIO: Don’t worry about it!
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Is he possessed by a demonic entity?
MARIO: Who? Ralph?
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Simon!
SIMON SPARROW: I’m not possessed, dammit!
MARIO: Possessed or not, you could stand to exercise more.
WABID WABBIT (from the car): Is he feewing this way because he is expewiencing shame and guiwt with what happened to Giwda and it is manifesting itself in some kind of sewf-destwuctive, psychosexuah way by focusing on the one wady in the HOW that is so wevowting, it weaves you not compwete, but stewing in youah own sewf-woathing?
SIMON SPARROW: I….
::::Simon had not thought of this before. But yes, deep down there is a certain level of dislike that he has for Bobbinette Carey. The months of losing, Gilda getting shot and going into a coma, Linda’s acting out, the fact he was publicly disrespected by Darin Fucking Zion. Yes, there’s a level of worthlessness he feels when he looks at himself in the mirror. The universe, the HOW gods, life….whatever it is called….has been shitting on his head and, to a point, he has allowed it. As they say in recovery “The First Step to Recovery is Admitting You Have a Problem.”:::::
WABID WABBIT (from the car): I would also be wemiss if I did not awso point out that this coindentawwy coincides with Bobbinette Cawey’s pahtnuhship with Dahkwing and theiah success awmost miwwowing Simon Spawwow’s, wet’s just caww it, wack of success wecently, this evening’s victowy notwithstanding, pwobabwy contwibutes to these supahficiaw feewings that he might feeling? A sense of inadequacy when compared to—
SIMON SPARROW: Stop! I admit it! FUCK!
:::: -WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK!-WHACK! Simon Sparrow unloads a barrage of whiffle bat shots on Ralph who finds himself laying on the cold, asphalt in the middle of the alley. Each blow slightly more painful than the last, but manageable. There’s three hundred dollars in his pocket softens each blow. Mario heads over to the driver side car door and looks at the smiling, white bunny mask with dead eyes staring back at him.::::
MARIO: Well played, Bunny Man.
WABID WABBIT: He’s an addict with massive anxiety. Pwus, he dated my sistah for bweif pewiod of time, so I know some things. It awso hewps that he’s got an ego. You know, when you think about it—-
MARIO: I’m bored, I don’t care anymore.
SIMON SPARROW: WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY????? WHYYYYYYY????
::::Simon Sparrow drops on his knees and looks up at the sky, whiffle bat rolling away from him, and screams as if he were Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire” but instead of yelling “Stella”, he screams “MCMUFFIN!”. He doesn’t know why, maybe it was the “McDonald’s” logo spraypainted on the dumpster or maybe it’s the half eaten cheeseburger he ended up kneeling on. Yes, the universe continues to throw little curveballs at the Ruler of Jattlantis. He has beaten alcohol and he will beat Carey!
After a moment, Simon stops and looks around. Ralph has slinked away, Mario has called shotgun and is in the front passenger seat. Simon stands up and brushes himself off and now, with a little more self-awareness, he can overcome this unhealthy and toxic obsession with Bobbinette Carey and Britney Spears’s “Toxicity”. Oh, how he enjoys lip syncing to the Princess of Pop. No one must know….
Simon Sparrow approaches the rental vehicle and enters, nay, crawls into the backseat because as gentlemanly as Mario is, he pushed the driver seat all the way back and Simon Sparrow would need to break some bones in his legs in order to fir through that narrow crevice between the back of the front seat and the front of the backseat. Simon knows that as a gentleman at heart, forgiveness is coming Mario’s way. Just not tonight. Simon WILL be petty about this and bitch and moan as loudly as he can until they get to the hotel as the scene comes to an end.:::::