It’s been a few interesting weeks in the life and times of STRONK GODSON.
After being excluded (much to his disappointment) from March To Glory 2022, STRONK, as expected by anyone who is aware of him and has a functioning brain, pummelled Scott Stevens into submission.
He threw him from pillar to post, bashed his head, smacked him in the mouth, treated him like the emotional wretch that he is.
The victory reaffirmed the Xander Azula win that came before it… but it didn’t twinge his manhood. Soft, it remained, a worthless appendage. But then some unexpected news came. Chickens tottered about clucking their heads off while a lone tumbleweed rolled on by; a postman dismounted his horse and strode to their doorstep, delivering a fancy envelope containing an important letter.
After carefully opening the envelope (which, for whatever reason, supposedly had its edges singed and its paper coloured a brownish yellow, like it was from the 1700s) using a broken-apart Dollar Shave Club razor blade (which Shelley intends to save for the future in case either him or STRONK ever need to “get colour”), the letter was reviewed by Shelley.
It read, as follows:
Dear Mr. STRONK GODSON and All Members of Team STRONK, Most Especially The Reputed Genius Mr. Shelley Greene:
I, Michael Lee Best, the most legendary wrestler to ever grace the hallowed halls of High Octane Wrestling, and also the coolest and most baddest motherfucker to ever hold court backstage talking about all sorts of pro-wrestling insider stuff from like ten years ago, wish to ask for the privilege of hosting the biggest and most muscular and strongest and not at all short STRONK GODSON as a member of my Wars Games team this coming June.
Please know that, in the event you speak to anyone, I—full disclosure—drafted you in the third round… not because you weren’t at the tippy-top of my draft list, but because I am also extremely cunning and my brain works different than other peoples’ and STRONK’s draft number is like a special code for something maybe yeah. All good reasons and more, much more!
Mr. GODSON, you are a ‘marvel’ of a man, and I say that with all reverence to the comic books and movies and TV shows that bare that name. If I could bottle your essence—that which makes STRONK STRONK—and sell it off a shitty Geocities website for a rack a vial, I’d saddle this fed with as much high interest debt as I can, give all the proceeds to a Mexican whorehouse, and ride off into the sunset, cash rich off that STRONK juice. Who needs diversification when you got STRONKification, amirite?
Please. Please be on my team. My heart yearns for you and you’re all I think about. I’m in bed right now, half drunk on old vodka I found in my deep freeze, and some red-headed lady is grinding away on top of me, but you know something? I feel nothing for any of it. Any of it. I just want to win War Games and the secret to winning is YOU. I know the secret; all the other captains are stumbling around a dark room looking for clue number one, but I and I alone have the damn secret!
We can be each other’s secret. I have lots of money and title shots and, like, top tournament seedings and morning show segments and endorsements and Hooooooollywood connections maybe sure why not.
As well, to further sweeten the deal and recognize your continued dominance, I’ve also booked you in a match for the HOTv Title.
I patiently await your response.
All the best(friends—maybe one day? haha),
Michael Lee Best (aka the guy that drafted you and also the CEO of the company you work for)
STRONK: HE WRITE GOOD. HE IS A BIG FAN OF THE STRONK MAN. HE IS SMART.
STRONK is not the most perceptive person, but even his blonde unibrow furrowed as he questioned why Michael Lee Best’s handwriting looked identical to that of his manager slash roommate Shelley Greene. A curiosity, for sure. Maybe they went to the same school?
STRONK: AND THE MAILMAN ARRIVED ON HORSEBACK? HE USUALLY ARRIVES ON BICYCLE. AT LEAST SINCE HE GOT THAT SECOND D-U-I.
Greene nods, his facial expression would have betrayed him almost immediately if it were not half-shielded by a refrigerator door. He gazes upon the fridge’s barren shelves. Every morning they are filled and every night, by seven at the latest, everything has been consumed by the black hole of gluttony known as STRONK on a never-ending dirty bulk. This prompts yet another forty-minute roundtrip drive to the grocery store for Greene. Another hour spent combing the aisles for food stuffs that might pique STRONK’s interest. Strange sources of protein. Unusual cuts of meat. If it was once alive, STRONK will happily eat it.
He now schedules around daily grocery shopping. For many people it would constitute a part-time job, if not full-time when GODSON is really pushing it at the gym and ups his daily number of meals from eight to twelve. And that doesn’t include snacks.
When it came time to tell STRONK about his being drafted to a War Games team as well as the championship opportunity on the upcoming episode of HOW Refueled, marking his second time challenging for the HOTv Title (JJR beat him in his debut match to retain the title), Shelley lied, of course—because he’s a compulsive liar and fiction is cooler than fact.
Yes, he got creative with some of the details of the story: the mailman, as if plucked from some frontier folk tale; the envelope, like something pilfered from a pirate ship; and the letter itself, and the message contained therein, all complete fabrications. Poorly told ones, at that. A jambalaya of tropes stolen from movies, exaggerated past experiences, and shit he daydreamed while high. But it sounded good and it made STRONK feel special. And that’s the most important thing; to make STRONK feel special and loved and destructive as fuck.
Shelley didn’t want to admit to STRONK how the draftees were announced in reality. Reality’s boring. He wanted to spice it up with that special Cajun hobo blend, give it a bit of pomp and circumstance. Make it pop.
A letter from the CEO would have been nice. Unnecessary, sure… but nice? Definitely. A kind gesture. A gesture of respect.
So, Shelley, as he has been known to do from time to time, bent the narrative to suit his motivational purposes. All positive. Bent—then snapped it into itty-bitty pieces, glued the pieces back together incorrectly, and finally dosed the disjointed structure in cheap champagne while screaming ‘Let’s fucking go!’ like a drunk college girl during homecoming.
Still yet, it contained shades of truth. Like flakes of gold floating in a bottle of cheap booze.
STRONK was drafted.
That much is true.
STRONK AND SHELLEY’S TRAILER
SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA
APRIL 13, 2022
A poorly edited intro plays, showing ‘candid’ shots of STRONK GODSON and Shelley Greene seated at a run-of-the-mill wooden table, engaged in what appears to be a heated debate (but is really 100% staged). Each poorly filmed shot star-wipes to the next. Complete with stock (i.e., free!) jazz music playing in the background.
Fade into the same setup—STRONK and Shelley sitting side by side a few feet apart at the wooden table. The table has been positioned in the middle of their kitchen, which is galley-style and cramped on even a good day. But space is at a deficit in their co-habited mobile home.
There’s cheap microphone equipment and a beat-up MacBook Pro resting on the table in front of them. Large pieces of cardboard have been painted baby blue and plastered with pictures of the Stronk Man and act as the studio’s walls. This is their truth lair. Ground zero.
Greene: And weeeeelcome everyone to the first episode of the STRONKast! I am, of course, Shelley Greene… and sitting to my left is my co-host… none other than the Stronkest Man Alive, STRONK GODSON. We’ve decided to start our own podcast after a certain someone—we expect it was that bitch Chip Chawson over at WBLwhateverthefuck but don’t have definitive proof—had us blacklisted from every local radio station.
Greene doesn’t know for sure that all local radio stations have banned them, but he called around to maybe three or four, and upon hearing the name “STRONK GODSON” there was a pause, some muffled chatter on the other end of the line, and then a blunt “We’re booked solid ‘till November” before hanging up. Before Shelley could enthusiastically lock in a November 2022 interview—which, in his mind, was perfect because by that point Stronk Daddy will have all sorts of accomplishments to brag about on the air—the call dropped. No goodbye. No “Thanks for calling and we can’t wait to fawn over your boy STRONK when we finally get a chance to feast our eyes on the man!” They just hung up, the bastards. Chip Chawson thinks he’s Machiavelli, but really he’s just a dopey Stern rip-off. And his studio smelled like old cigarettes and stripper gash.
Greene: Something about physical assault and intimidation? But screw them, right? Radio’s dead! Podcasts are the future! Look at us, Stronk Daddy, we’re sooo with the times! Give us six months, and Spotify will back the Brinks up to Stronk Mansion!
STRONK slams his fists down into the table, cracking the surface.
STRONK: WE ARE MEN LIVING LIVES THAT ARE APPROPRIATE FOR THESE MODERN TIMES.
Greene: Exactly! We follow the trends, we set the trends, we are the trends! We aren’t stuck in the past. We don’t have an agenda. We’re not… for the Right, or… for the Left. We are simply two guys with opinions and an interest in a wide range of topics. What’s been on your mind, Stronk Daddy? Any interesting observations you’d like to share?
STRONK: STRONK IS NOW TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE POUNDS OF SOLID BULK MUSCLE. ONE MORE POUND AND STRONK WILL EXIST AMONGST THE BEEFIEST MUSCLE MEN ON THE PLANET.
It’s taken STRONK six months to move the needle on the scale one measly pound. One measly fucking pound. Many a scale was reduced to a pile of its component parts for conspiring against him. The damn things gaslit him at every turn. But earlier today, STRONK skipped his morning shit and hopped on the scale, expecting disappointment, but wouldn’t you know it? He’d gained a pound. One pound. He’s at the precipice of super-heavyweight glory. Once he crosses that three hundo threshold, people will truly look at him different. Like, woah, STRONK, are you the son of Zeus? Like, that’d be a legitimate question someone would ask. Because he will look like a god. And not one of those wimpy gods that strum a harp and act all passive aggressive. No, rather like one of those cool gods that gets pissed off when one of his goddesses gets lippy with him and so he just up and challenges a titan to a scrap. And obliterates said titan with preternatural force. STRONK will be that kind of god when he tips the scales at three double zero—and not a single solitary ounce before. He doesn’t believe in shortcuts. You must earn everything.
STRONK catches a glimpse of himself in the video playback displayed on the laptop screen. Two hundred and ninety nine pounds. STRONK flexes his biceps… but it serves only to make him angrysad. He’s so damn small. He needs to be bigger.
Greene: Almost three bills is fantastic. What an accomplishment. But what else has been going on in your life? How’s the dating scene been since you became a big star in HOW?
STRONK: WOMEN SEEK TO CHANGE STRONK. MAKE HIM FEEL THINGS. BOTH IN THE DICK. AND THE HEART. THEY DO NOT WANT STRONK TO BE THREE HUNDRED POUNDS. THEY WANT STRONK TO WATCH TELEVISION AND MASSAGE THEIR SHOULDERS. BUT WHEN STRONK MASSAGES SHOULDERS STRONK BREAKS SHOULDERS. WOMEN DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF STRONK. THEY CANNOT DO THE PHYSICS MATH BECAUSE IT IS NOT QUANTIFIED IN QUARTERS OF TEASPOONS AND HALVES OF TABLESPOONS. STRONK DOES NOT LIKE SKINNY WOMEN. IF A SHE IS NOT TWO EIGHTY, SHE IS NOT A LADY, IN STRONK’S OPINION. SKINNY WOMEN ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN THE FRAIL MEN THAT HIDE THEIR SHAME WHILE STANDING NEXT TO STRONK AT THE URINAL. AND WOMEN IN GENERAL ALSO DO NOT RESPOND WELL TO DATES OCCURRING AT THE SQUAT RACK. CHALK MAKES DIGIT PLAY UNCOMFORTABLE, THEY CLAIM.
Greene: Ahhh, so you’ve got a big thing for the plus-size ladies, is that right, STRONK?
STRONK: STRONK NEEDS A WOMAN THAT WILL PUT SOME WEIGHT ON IT.
Greene: Fair. Fair and understandable.
STRONK: THAT ANGRY WOMAN ON THE H-O-W ROSTER HAS EYES FOR STRONK. AND STRONK MAYBE HAS EYES FOR HER.
Greene: Who? Conor Fuse?
STRONK: YOUR ATTEMPT AT INSINU—INSIN—INSINUA—YOU CALLING CONOR FUSE A WOMAN IS HUMOROUS TO STRONK. BUT NO. ROBERNETTE CAREY. STRONK FARTED NEAR HER AT A SHOW AND SHE SMELLED IT AND LIKED IT. SHE DID NOT RETURN FIRE, HOWEVER, WHICH CONFUSED STRONK.
Greene: Bobbinette? OooOooOOOoo! STRONK and Bobbinette sitting in a tree; K-I-S-S-I—
STRONK grabs Shelley by the throat.
STRONK: WE WERE NOT IN A TREE. YOU SPEAK LIES. STRONK WOULD NOT BLOW WIND IN A TREE, FOR STRUCTURAL REASONS.
Greene: Sorry! Of course you weren’t in a tree. Heh… why would you be in a damn tree? But yeah, her not reciprocating the flatulence is sorta… sending mixed signals, is it not?
STRONK: HER DUMPER DID NOT SOUND THE PUNGENT MATING CALL OF THE WOMAN. SO, STRONK DOES NOT KNOW. HE WILL NOT PURSUE. STRONK DOES NOT GIVE CHASE. STRONK DOES NOT PLAY GAMES.
Greene: Totally. If she wants to act all hard to get, fuck it, right? Plenty of fish in the sea.
STRONK: YES. THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF FISH IN THE SEA. GROUPER IS ONE KIND.
Greene: That… uhhh… is definitely a type of fish.
Shelley Greene, sitting alone at the table earlier today, recording whatever this is, while STRONK is out eating a rotisserie chicken dinner or four.
Greene: This episode is… hopefully one day… brought to you by Nord VPN. Are you tryna buy pills off the dark web? Maybe some shit porn or something? Don’t know what Nord VPN is? Don’t know the FBI and CIA are hiding in your wifi modem just waiting for you to give them a reason to ransack your shit? Burn your whole fucking world down to slowly dying embers? Go on Wikipedia. Go to Google. Reddit. Pinterest. Question everything. And get Nord VPN. Don’t let the government slip its grubby hand under your skirt. A swift backhand and some pepper spray is Nord VPN. Protect your data. Protect your privacy. Live life to its fullest. Enoy your weird diaper porn. Cop that bottle of Valium. Hire that man to put a scare into your cheating wife—she probably deserves it. And if something goes wrong and she should meet her untimely demise, you didn’t ask for that! No, you said scare her. But hey, what’s done is done, and guess who gets to keep a bunch of alimony money each month? It’s all on the dark web! And all you need to get there is Nord VPN—and to not be fucking stupid and follow some simple instructions. Once again, that is Nord V-P-N, and don’t – be – stupid. Hope they give us money for this soon. We need it.
STRONK and Shelley Greene are back in the studio, and across the table from them sits Alex Jones, notable piece of shit conspiracy theorist.
Greene: Annnnnnnd we’re back! Here with us today is a man who many have described as having a knotted-up bundle of decomposing snakes for a brain… but who I personally think has an ordinary brain made of ordinary brain tissue. No snakes. Is that right, Alex?
Jones: That is correct. I do not have rotting snake carcasses where my brain should be.
Greene: Look at us breaking stories wiiiiide open, and it’s only our first episode! Alex Jones—normal, everyday brain, chock full of grey matter, maybe a lump or two. Nice brain texture. Lotta synapses. Nothing different than you or I. Be sure to credit the STRONKast when this inevitably appears on TMZ.
Shelley takes a moment to thumb-out a quick note into his phone. It reads: CALL TMZ. GET PAID. ASK IF THEY KNOW MORE PLATES MORE DATES GUY PERSONALLY AND IF SO WHY.
Jones: Thank you for helping me to put to rest that awful rumour, which the Lamestream Media has been signal boosting and perpetuating for years now.
Greene: You’re very welcome, Alex Jones. That’s what we’re here to do. Dispel myths. Uncover the cold hard facts.
Jones: I love it, fellas. It’s great to see two young men who still believe in truth and justice in America today.
Greene: Alex Jones, you’ve been effectively de-platformed by all noteworthy social media companies. Banned. Exiled. Tell us how that’s been.
Jones: Well, Shelley, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect me. The Lamestream Media doesn’t like when you pull back layers of the onion. They don’t like a contrarian voice. They want you and everybody like you to sit there and keep your fucking mouths shut. Don’t ask about the lizard people cabal that runs this country through dark channels. Don’t question the earth’s roundness. And don’t you fucking dare try and make a reasonable claim that a school shooting was a false flag event and all the grieving parents were paid actors. They want you complacent and docile. They want you to drink the proverbial KoolAid. And you know who else wanted people to drink the KoolAid?
Greene: Jim Jones? Wait—are you guys related?
Jones: No! The KoolAid Man! If that ain’t a big ol’ fuck-you to hard-working middle America, I don’t know what is! Bust through your wall, sloshing red sugary water all over your nice carpeted floors, screaming at you while you’re pharmacologically sedated and trying to watch the nightly news. I know these things. I don’t want to know these things. You think I don’t want to be put back in the simulation? You think I like living with my eyes open to the atrocities being committed by the world elite? No, I don’t. I don’t. But I’m awake. I’m creeping through your house while you sleep, touching on your deli meats and smelling your fresh laundry. I’m awake… so that you can sleep. Sleep tight and dream big, people. Dream your wildest of dreams. None of it means shit, ain’t nothing you can do about it, and that’s the long and short of it.
STRONK: YOU SAY A LOT AND A LITTLE AT THE SAME TIME.
Greene: I think what Stronk Daddy means is you’re simultaneously both concise and informative, Alex Jones.
Jones: Yeah, I’ve been told that many times before.
Shelley adjusts his non-prescription glasses and looks down at his prep notes. He glances up, looking serious.
Greene: What is the most immediate danger facing the American people today, Alex Jones?
Jones: Aside from the very real possibility of the government snatching you up on a random Tuesday morning, tossing your rights and freedoms as an American into a wood chipper, and forcing you to perpetually run on a hamster wheel in some massive subterranean facility to power the world elite’s adrenochrome processors, I’d say… all-out genocide. Of the American people. By space aliens. With faces that make you go, ‘Shit, that ain’t E.T. That ain’t no cuddly E.T. I don’t wanna give that motherfucker Reece’s Pieces. I want to get the hell away from that motherfucker. ‘Cause that motherfucker looks like it wants to suck my life force out through my dick.’ And it’s got an oscillating coffee grinder filled with razor sharp needles for a mouth. No lips or smile; just pain and terror. So, yeah… intergalactic genocide, definitely. … Or the fact that chemicals are making our dicks smaller. Your great-grandson? Probably will be as smooth as a Ken doll down there. It’s sad, I know, but that’s what happens when you bury your head in the sand and let the lizard people cabal mold the world in their own degenerative, penis-hating image.
STRONK: STRONK IS FACING GENOCYDE ON SUNDAY.
Jones: We all face it, Mr. Godson. Every. Single. Day. So what’re you gonna do about it?
STRONK: SEEK AND DESTROY. WRAP THESE MASSIVE ARMS AROUND HIS TORSO AND CRUNCH THE AIR AND BLOOD FROM HIM. CAPTURE THE HIGH OCTANE TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP. HOIST IT HIGH. BECOME THE BIG MAN WITH THE GOLD.
Jones: Be careful. They don’t like someone getting gold if they aren’t the ones behind the curtain pulling the strings to make it happen. And remember… genocide is a tool they deftly use to garner sympathy; to humanize themselves. It ain’t just aliens coming to earth and vaporizing us all. That’s sci-fi shit. It’s gonna happen! But it’s still sci-if shit. Six or seven years away. In truth, genocide has been greatly embellished in the past. But we’re not supposed to talk about it! They want us silenced!
STRONK: YES. HE EMBELLISHES HIS STRENGTH AND FORTITUDE. HE MAKES BELIEVE LIKE HE IS ON THE STRONK MAN’S LEVEL BUT THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE.
STRONK GODSON, sitting alone now, recording another ad read while Shelley Greene searches for a bottle of water with which to take one of his countless daily ‘medications.’ STRONK reads off poster board taped to one of the ‘studio’ walls with the words printed in large bubble letters, which make it easier for STRONK to read and (kind of) understand.
Or maybe just wing it entirely?
STRONK: ALL YOU TWINKBOYS AND HARDGAINERS OUT THERE NEED STEAK DOT COM IN YOUR FILTHY LIVES. STEAK DOT COM IS NOT A REAL PLACE YOU CAN GO TO. STEAK DOT COM IS AN INTERNET PLACE. YOU GO TO IT AND YOU BUY LARGE STEAKS FROM A PLACE FAR AWAY. GENOCYDE PROBABLY ORDERS FROM STEAK DOT COM. SMART MAN BUT WILL DIE ON SUNDAY. THE STEAKS ARRIVE AT YOUR HOME AND THEN YOU CONSUME THEM. USE PROMO CODE STEAKMONSTER FOR FIVE PERCENT OFF SHIPPING. STEAK DOT COM—IT IS WHERE YOU CAN PURCHASE STEAKS.
Alex Jones, in the middle of the pre-recorded ad read, has pulled out his phone and is showing STRONK and Shelley his ‘research.’
Greene: These are all really cool YouTube vids, Alex Jones. Thanks for sharing.
Jones: AND THE TRANS COMMUNITY WANNA TURN YOU TRANS AND YOU TRANS AND JUST PUT THE SQUASH ON OUR BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN LIFE!
The vein in Jones’ forehead pulsates as he becomes more and more unhinged and animated, banging on the table and surrounding ‘walls,’ gripping Shelley’s arm and shaking it aggressively. Finally someone who can match STRONK’s ‘volume cranked so high the dial broke off’ energy levels.
STRONK: YOU DISLIKE THE TRAIN COMMUNITY? DO YOU NOT LIKE TRAVELING BY RAIL?
Jones: NO, MR. GODSON, THE TRANS COMMUNITY. GUYS WHO THINK THEY’RE GIRLS AND GIRLS WHO THINK THEY’RE GUYS. AND WHO WANT YOU AND THE HARD-WORKING AMERICAN PEOPLE TO PAY FOR THE HORMONES AND THE SURGERIES AND THE GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE TO MAKE THEIR PERVERTED DREAMS A REALITY!
GODSON processes what Jones has just said. He’d heard of something called a sex change operation back in middle school. There was even a goth kid who transitioned from male to female around that time. That same kid gave STRONK his first porno mag, and so that kid was indexed under ‘cool’ in the book of STRONK.
STRONK: STRONK THINKS ANYONE CAN TRANSITION INTO ANYTHING THEY WANT. WHEN STRONK WAS A SMALL HUMAN, HE WANTED TO BE A BIG HUMAN. HORMONES AND LIFTING TRANSITIONED Stronk INTO STRONK. STRONK THINKS YOU ARE INCORRECT AND MISINFORMED. MAYBE A BIT OF AN ASSHOLE.
Jones: (speaking at normal volume again) Fair point, but I must ask, in all seriousness… you ever get caught with your fist in the cheese dip?
Shelley and STRONK exchange a look of bewilderment.
Greene: The cheese? Huh? What? Where?
Jones: At parties. At home. Like it’s Christmas Day and you’re at your mom’s and she’s got a cheese ball sitting in the fridge, and you just kinda… probe it with your pinky? It’s a gateway drug, gentlemen.
STRONK: YOU HAVE SEXUAL DESIRES FOR CURDLED MILK.
Jones: Read between the lines, gentlemen! WAKE UP! WAKE THE FUCK UP!
Greene: We’re wiiiiiide awake, baby. All the way awake. Like I already downed my double espresso and cranked one out before work!
STRONK: STRONK IS AWAKE BECAUSE IF HE WAS NOT AWAKE THEN HE WOULD NOT BE SPEAKING THESE WORDS.
Jones: I like you guys. Especially you.
Jones points at Shelley. Greene turns his head from side to side, like who could he be pointing to?, and gestures to himself incredulously, displaying false modesty. His limp fingers theatrically fan his ‘bosom’—which is the word Shelley would use to describe his chest, because that’s just the kind of odd shit he does and says.
Greene: Me? Oooh, Alex, you flirt!
Jones: You’ve got a thing about you; it’s kinda… aggravating and delightful all wrapped up together… indistinguishable from each other. You’ve got the hardened resolve and can-do attitude needed to piece this broken country back together.
STRONK: (pointing at Jones) THIS MAN IS A CHARLATAN. THERE IS NO HUMAN MAN STRONG ENOUGH TO PHYSICALLY MOVE CITY-SIZED CHUNKS OF EARTH AND SOIL TO DISPARATE GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATIONS. NOT EVEN A GIANT MACHINE IS CAPABLE OF SUCH A THING.
Jones: With his mind, Mr. Godson. His mind.
STRONK: IMPOSSIBLE. TELEKINESIS IS UNPROVEN. AND POSSIBLY FATALLY DANGEROUS. STRONK HAS HAD THE LITERATURE READ TO HIM. KNOW YOU ARE NOT DEALING WITH A FOOL, ALEX JONES.
Turning in his chair, Jones points his finger in STRONK’s face, that vein of his beginning to flood with alcohol-saturated blood. Before he can begin to rage, Shelley interrupts.
Greene: I think we’re almost outta time! Alex Jones, thanks for coming in and talking to us today! Ohhh—final segment!
STRONK: FINAL SEGMENT.
Jones: What’s the final segment?
Greene: All STRONKast guests are given the distinct honour of arm wrestling the Stronk Man himself, STROOOOONK GOOOOODSOOOOON.
Jones: You want me to arm wrestle this man?
Jones: Can we have a five? A five, please? Thank you.
Greene: Sure. Let’s take five everybody!
Shelley scans the room to address the studio’s crew members… of which there are none.
Jones: So this whole arm wrestling thing is just for a gag, right? It’s as fake as that shit your boy does in the ring, right? I’m not trying to get my arm ripped off.
Alex Jones and Shelley Greene stand ‘backstage’ (the bathroom). Jones furiously sucks on the end of a crack pipe he moments before dug out of his underwear and exhales a dense smoke. He offers some to Shelley, who uncharacteristically declines. He’s already on a host of other substances and doesn’t want to invite a known shit-disturber to the party.
Greene: What? Alex Jones, you think I’d just send you out there to arm wrestle STRONK GODSON for realzies? No cap? Aleeeeex, bubby, it’s showbiz. We’ll do a test of strength, you’ll make a mean face, STRONK’ll make a mean face, you’ll both flex a bit, then we go to the finish.
Jones: Sounds easy enough. Okay.
Back live, Shelley expeditiously sets up the arm wrestling equipment as STRONK and Jones take their places on opposite sides of the table. Jones has removed his sport coat; his white tee shirt is soaked through in the armpits.
Jones: Alright, don’t go too hard now, Mr. Godson. I’ve got weak wrists.
Shelley stands, facing the camera.
Greene: Thanks for tuning into the first episode of the STRONKast, folks! We’ll be back next week with another exciting episode! To end us off here, we’re going to have what I hope will become a bit of a tradition here on the STRONKast—STRONK GODSON will arm wrestle our guest! And today’s guest, Alex Jones, told me privately that he really thinks he can beat STRONK. That’s a shoot! He said STRONK is looking weak.
STRONK’s hand engulfs Jones’ as they wait for the arm wrestling match to begin. Jones listens to Shelley’s introduction to the segment and starts to panic. And for good reason.
Jones: I never said none of that! That’s slanderous! (turning his attention to GODSON) I never said that! Not never, I swear!
Greene: Let’s see if Alex Jones can walk the talk!
Shelley turns to STRONK and Jones.
Greene: Gentlemen, are you ready!
Jones: No! Call it off! No! I do not cons—
STRONK: STRONK READY.
The sound that follows Shelley’s voracious “GO!” is not simply an elongated CRUNCH. It is a symphony, a visceral melange of sounds. The cracking of the table and the shattering of Jones’ forearm is percussion. Jones’ high-pitched squeals, the string instruments. The low, persistent groan that precedes child-like screeching—straight jazz.
It was a violent display.
Blood sprays from the open wound in Jones’ forearm where a shard of bone juts out, painting the false cardboard walls of the podcast studio a crimson red.
Shelley’s already on the phone with 9-1-1, not wanting their first guest to die of blood loss on the air; that’s sort of a bad look. Could slow momentum. Maybe.
STRONK steps forward, eclipsing the entire frame of the camera with his gigantic two hundred and ninety nine pound meat vehicle. He flexes and poses and grunts. He thumps his fist into his chest.
STRONK: ALEX JONES HAS BRITTLE BONES. DRINK MORE MILK.
Greene: Hey, Stronk Daddy, you wanna know something funny?
STRONK: YES. HUMOUR IS ENCOURAGED.
Shelley kneels next to Jones, who’s presently going into shock, holding the man’s driver’s licence.
Greene: This dude ain’t the real Alex Jones. Looks just like him. Talks just like him. But dude’s ID says he’s, like… seventy nine years old and part Cherokee. I don’t know the real Alex Jones personally or whatever, but I’m pretty sure he’s not seventy nine. Or part Cherokee.
STRONK: THIS DESTROYED HUSK OF A MAN LOOKS GOOD FOR SEVENTY NINE. OSTEOPOROSIS WOULD EXPLAIN THE BRITTLE BONES THOUGH.
Greene: He fucking does. Wow. Or maybe real Alex Jones just looks terrible for his age, I don’t know.
STRONK: STRONK WANTS THIS MAN TAKEN OUTSIDE. STRONK WISHES TO ADDRESS THE AUDIENCE. STRONK MUST MAKE KNOWN TO THE PEOPLE THINGS THAT ARE ALREADY KNOWN TO THE UNIVERSE.
STRONK reaches for the collar of his “WANNA WATCH EM FUGGG?” Racoon Guy custom print tee shirt and effortlessly rips it from his body with what amounts to a gentle (for STRONK) tug.
Everything goes black.
And there is silence.
YOU DO NOT KNOW WHETHER THIS MESSAGE IS MEANT TO BE SPOKEN OR READ… OR IF IT IS THE INNERMOST THOUGHTS OF THE STRONK MAN SHARED WITH YOU THROUGH THE STATIC AND THE ETHER.
HERE STRONK CAN BE EVER MORE LUCID AND INTROSPECTIVE BUT NOT TO THE POINT OF BEING SAD AND PATHETIC.
GENOCYDE IS BIG.
HE A BIG BOY.
GENOCYDE IS A THREE BILLER. STRONK IS ALMOST THAT. GENOCYDE PREFERS TO GET DOWN AND DIRTY. STRONK WONDERS IF HE MIGHT WANT TO SCRAP WITHOUT RULES. STRONK SAYS LET’S DO THIS HARDCORE.
GENOCYDE, YOU ARE A MAN THAT HIDES BEHIND A MASK. YOU ARE A MAN WHO HAS TO ASSUME THE GIMMICK TO GET HIS MOTOR RUNNING. STRONK LIVES STRONK EVERY DAY, ALL DAY, AND TWICE ON SUNDAYS.
YOU ALSO ARE A MAN THAT DEFEATED JEFFREY JAMES ROBERTS. SOMETHING STRONK WAS UNABLE TO DO. YOU HAVE STRONK DADDY’S ATTENTION. TELL STRONK WHAT THE SECRET SAUCE IS. ONE DAY STRONK AND JJR WILL ONCE AGAIN DO BATTLE WITHIN THE SQUARED CIRCLE AND OFFERING A LIST OF HIS WEAKNESSES WOULD BE A WELCOME SHOW OF RESPECT.
MAKE NO MISTAKE—STRONK WILL SMASH YOU REGARDLESS. BUT THE SMASHING CAN BE CRUEL AND UNUSUAL… OR IT CAN BE SHORT AND FLEETING. IT IS YOUR CHOICE.
YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE TRAPPED BETWEEN THE ARMS OF STRONK. EVERY MUSCLE FIBRE IN STRONK’S BODY FIGHTING TO KILL YOU. YOU FEEL YOUR RIBS CRACK AND SPLINTER. YOU FEEL YOUR LUNGS BECOME IMPALED. YOU FEEL THE WAR DRUM THAT IS STRONK’S HEART BEAT AS HE HOLDS YOU TIGHT TO HIM.
STRONK CAN SMELL YOUR FEAR. IT’S RIGHT THERE JEWELLED IN THE NAPE OF YOUR NECK LIKE A MORNING DEW.
STRONK LEANS IN AND TAKES A SNIFF.
YES, IT IS INDEED FEAR.
BUT MAYBE THAT WILL NOT BE YOU, GENOCYDE. MAYBE YOU WILL AVOID SUCH A FATE. MAYBE YOU WILL TAKE THE MASK OFF AND LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND REALIZE THAT YOU LOVE A CHARACTER BUT HATE YOURSELF.
STRONK WILL CONTINUE TO EXIST UNGOVERNED BY THE RULES OF POLITE SOCIETY. DRIVEN BY INSTINCT LEARNED IN CAVES AND ON MOUNTAIN TOPS AND IN THE DEEPEST OF VALLEYS, PASSED DOWN THROUGH GENERATIONS, INHERITED BY THE SONS OF SONS OF SONS OF MAN, WITH PIECES AND FRAGMENTS LOST TO TIME.
THERE IS NO LACK OF SELF CONFIDENCE.
THERE IS NO INSECURITY.
THERE IS NO MENTAL ILLNESS.
THERE. IS. NO. WEAKNESS.
THERE IS ONLY PHYSICAL PERFECTION.
THE NEXT HOTv CHAMPION