::::SCENE: A boombox in the corner in the hotel room in the Red Roof Inn plays “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus. Simon Sparrow, sporting black and white checkered pants, tan patterned ostrich boots, a cream “Palace Saloon: Hill Valley” t-shirt, line dances alone in front of a floor length mirror, the LSD Championship rests comfortably around his waist. He takes a swig “Dr. Si’s Old Fashioned Sarsaparilla” (which, in actuality, is not sarsaparilla, but root beer) and places it next to the flatscreen TV which is playing “Three’s Company” on mute.
It has been several hours since the Rembrandt of Wrestling climbed that ladder, began unhooking the belt, having the belt knocked out from under him, and falling, what felt like fifty feet to him, to the mat, the LSD Championship clutched in his hands. By all rights, Simon Sparrow should be in agonizing pain, but he is riding high, the adrenaline is masking whatever injuries he may have sustained. He knows he will feel it tomorrow…..
….but that is tomorrow Simon Sparrow’s problem. Tonight is a night of celebrations.
There is a knock-knock-knocking at the door. Simon Sparrow dancingly saunters over to the door. He peeps out the peephole. When he sees who is visiting he claps his hands together and opens the door.
Standing before him is the dead-eyed, goofily smiling Easter bunny mask of the Wabid Wabbit. The Wabbit is sporting a black Armani suit, a gray dress shirt that appears to sparkle when the light hits it, and a narrow black tie. Simon looks up at his towering associate and nods approvingly at the Wabbit’s newfound fashion sense.:::::
SIMON SPARROW: Looking pretty dapper there, pardner. Ya didn’t have to get all gussied up for your new LSD Champion, but I’m not gonna complain! Come on in!
::::Simon waves the Wabid Wabbit into his room with an overdramatic flourish. The Wabid Wabbit walks in, his leather soles tip-tapping on the hardwood floor. Simon Sparrow closes the door behind him and maneuvers himself in front of the Wabbit.::::
SIMON SPARROW: What can I get ya? Sarsaparilla? Non-alcoholic beer? Canada Dry? Juice box?
WABID WABBIT: No, thanks.
SIMON SPARROW: Take a load off. Conor says he might show up a little later, we’ll set up the Switch and play “MarioKart Eight” until our eyes bleed and pass out!
WABID WABBIT: I can’t stay.
SIMON SPARROW: “Can’t stay”? Get the fuck outta here with that! This is gonna be the a-hootinest and a-hollerinest and a-rustlin’ and a-bustlin’ shindig this side of the Mississippi since New Year’s Eve! Hell, I ran into a lovely, if a bit sozzled, couple who made some inquiries about swings. I pointed them in the direction of the park down the street, but they might show up. Come on!
WABID WABBIT: Simon, you did a good job tonight. You even shocked me.
SIMON SPARROW: Can I let you in on a little secret? I shocked even myself.
WABID WABBIT: It was an incwedible moment. You beat Stwonk! You not onwy beat Stwonk, but this is the fuhst time in thwee months that is without a championship!
::::Simon Sparrow looks down at the LSD Championship around his waist with immense pride. He overcame the biggest obstacle (both literally and figuratively) since returning two years ago. What makes this title victory so much sweeter was he did it as Simon Sparrow, not Jatt Starr, no matter what the Best Family will claim. And those fans, they cheered for Simon Sparrow when he won, not Jatt fucking Starr.:::
SIMON SPARROW: Yeah, that fiddleheaded Board and those bottomfeedin’ Bests thought that Stronk was gonna squish me like a bug. They’re little plan backfired and hearing Mikey screaming “NO! FUCK NO!” and then doin’ the dang gum impossible — shutting his mouth —- it was, FUCKING AWESOME!!!!
::::Simon Sparrow, amped up with excitement begins air boxing as Wabid Wabbit looks on, his face, as always, obscured by the white bunny mask as “Achy Breaky Heart” ends and Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” begins.::::
SIMON SPARROW: Simon Fuckin’ Sparrow! The Stronk Conqueror!
WABID WABBIT: It is nice to see you in good spiwits.
SIMON SPARROW: What do you want on your pizza?
WABID WABBIT: It’s cwose to one-thuhty. I don’t think there’s a pizza pwace open at this time of night.
SIMON SPARROW: Waffle House. Steak N Shake. There’s a fuckin’ Denny’s across the street!
WABID WABBIT: No, I’m fine. I just came here to….
::::Wabid Wabbit exhales deeply through the mask as Simon Sparrow goes back to looking at himself in the mirror, staring at the LSD Championship. When the Wabbit doesn’t follow up, a smiling Simon turns towards the big galoot who sits on the double bed closest to the door.::::
SIMON SPARROW: C’mon there buckaroo, what’s up? The cat got your tongue?
WABID WABBIT: I did not come to this decision without putting a wot of thought into it.
SIMON SPARROW: Decision? What….
::::The grin slowly fades but the HOW Hall of Famer forces himself to smile the phoniest of smiles as if he were a shallow, drunken pageant queen standing on a parade float, forced to wave at the uggos cheering loudly for her.::::
SIMON SPARROW: What decision is that? Hm?
WABID WABBIT: I am wesigning my position.
SIMON SPARROW: “Wesigning”? What? What is that? You want a new title? How about “President of Personal Services”? President! That’s quite a few grades above “meat shield”, er, “Executive Assistant and Bodyguard First Class”.
WABID WABBIT: I’m quitting.
SIMON SPARROW: Fuck you. You aren’t quitting.
WABID WABBIT: Yeah, I am.
SIMON SPARROW: Is this because your paycheck bounced? I told you there were some unforeseen medical expenses for Gilda. Look! It’s this fucking fine levied by the asshole Board! But hey…hey! I’m LSD Champion now, this fine will be paid off in no time and then you’ll be rolling in rubber bunny masks and carrots! We’re gonna turn this thing around!
WABID WABBIT: Sowwy, I got a new job. I staht tomowwow.
SIMON SPARROW: A new…?
::::There is no grin, no smile, not even a smirk. That word “job” stuns the Professor of Sparrowdynamics. That and the absolute disregard for professional courtesy for not providing him with customary two week notice. The whole situation is a kick to the teeth for Simon Sparrow. One second he is on cloud and the next, he is being kicked in the groin by a man in an Easter Bunny mask. But the new job would explain the Wabbit’s new threads.::::
SIMON SPARROW: So, this it, huh? Five years down the toilet!
WABID WABBIT: We’ve onwy known each other a yeah.
SIMON SPARROW: But it feels like five!
WABID WABBIT: I’m sowwy, but you don’t need me awound.
SIMON SPARROW: The hell I don’t!
::::The Wabid Wabbit takes a deep breath and exhales. Simon Sparrow, however, has his arms folded at his chest and an exaggerated sneer on his face like a psychotic Elvis Presley.::::
WABID WABBIT: Think about it, Simon. When we fuhst met, you wuh a broken down man, betwayed by his best fwiend, bwutawwy attacked with a chance that you could be cwippled. You wuh dwinking and pahtying wike it was the new miwwennium. Gwanted, sweeping with my sistuh was a bit much foah me, but—-
SIMON SPARROW: We mutually agreed to part ways.
WABID WABBIT: Not weawwy that impoahtant, but okay. Look at youahsewf today. You haven’t been tempted to dwink any owcohowic bevewages in months. You wost a wot of weight in the past twewve months. You’ah girlfwiend is pwetty hot. And now, wook at what happened tonight. The coup de gwas, you beat Stwonk, one on one with no hewp fwom anyone. You ah gonna be fine.
SIMON SPARROW: You think so, huh? What about next week, huh? Did you even consider that?
WABID WABBIT: You wiw be okay.
SIMON SPARROW: The fuck I am! Did you see that match that they booked me in? It’s a “Best Special”! Stronk and Jace Parker Davidson versus me and Tyler Best!
WABID WABBIT: I know how it wooks, but Tywer Best is undefeated and someone with his overbwown ego, I would think, would wanna maintain that.
SIMON SPARROW: And I would think you are a fucking moron if you think that! This isn’t a match, Connie! This is a fucking ambush, plain and simple!
WABID WABBIT: Ovuhdwamatic much?
SIMON SPARROW: I am being realistic! Just because the Best Alliance is dead doesn’t mean the playbook is! Think about it! Either Stronk and Jace double team me while Tyler is hanging out at ringside taking selfies and drinking fucking pina coladas or Stronk and Jace double team me and Tyler decides “Hey! That looks like fun!” and turns that double team into-into a triple team! I don’t need you?! Fuck you! I need you now more than ever! I am entering a match where no one has my back! I was counting on you, man!
WABID WABBIT: Beweive in yourself.
SIMON SPARROW: So, that’s it then, hm?
::::The HOW Hall of Famer looks down at his feet, looking dejected as if someone ran over his puppy and then left a note in his mailbox, mocking him, claiming to be a doggie serial killer and his weapon of choice: A Chrysler LeBaron.:::::
SIMON SPARROW: You just come in here, on what should be one of the greatest nights if my life, and basically tell me that I’m fucked? That-that-that next week, I’m on my own, Jace Parker Davidson and Stronk are going to tear me apart from my limbs while Tyler Best videos it for his fucking YouTube channel or whatever the fuck?
WABID WABBIT: Simon, don’t—
SIMON SPARROW: NO! Dont you— Don’t you dare “Simon” me, asshole! Not only do I have to worry about Stronk trying to crush me like a grape next week and Jace needing desperately to prove he’s not some waste of fucking space, but I have to deal with the face that almost everyone against me! I’ve got interviewers and ring announcers calling me “Jatt Starr”! It’s not even me that’s being promoted as facing Tyler Best, it’s “Jatt Starr”! The Sovereign of Starrgentina! The Duke of Jattmandu! The Ruler of Jattlantis! I am fucking more than that, Connie! I-I-I am not Jatt Starr. And you wanna leave me to deal with this by myself.
::::Simon Sparrow finally looks up the Wabid Wabbit. There is no hiding the pain behind his eyes, the building anger. His face is flush, he frowns and the left side of his mouth twitches ever so slightly. The Professor of Sparrowdynamics straightens himself up, as if he is standing to attention and looks at the small black holes in the mask.::::
SIMON SPARROW (quietly, calmly): Fuck you.
::::Simon looks at the mask and a thought occurs to him.::::
SIMON SPARROW: If you are going to turn your back on me, do it face to face.
WABID WABBIT: I am—- Hey! What the fuck ah you doing?
::::Simon Sparrow reaches for the mask and the Wabid Wabbit swats his arm away as if it were a mosquito buzzing in front of his face.::::
SIMON SPARROW: What the fuck does it look like?
::::The HOW Hall of Famer reaches for the rubber mask again, this time a little more aggressively. The Wabid Wabbit once again swats his hand away, this time a little more aggressive.::::
SIMON SPARROW: Give me the mask.
::::Simon Sparrow holds his out like a teacher asking an unruly student to hand over their slingshot.::::
WABID WABBIT: I’m not giving you my mask.
SIMON SPARROW: I paid for that mask.
WABID WABBIT: No, you didn’t
SIMON SPARROW: Hand it over.
WABID WABBIT: Scwew this. I wiww give you caw tomowwow when you’ve cawmed down.
::::The Wabid Wabbit turns and heads to the door. The HOW Hall of Famer takes his shot and attempts to snatch the mask off Wabid Wabbit’s head. Simon Sparrow grabs one of the ears and starts pulling. The Wabid Wabbit, realizing he left himself open, clutches his mask with both hands and begins pulling down with all his strength.::::
WABID WABBIT: Wet go!
SIMON SPARROW: Give it!
::::They begin having a tug of war with the mask which gravitates to an awkward waltz in front of the door until the Wabid Wabbit trips over the corner of the bed landing on the ground, pulling Simon Sparrow on top of him. As the Wabid Wabbit’s begin kicking and flailing, Simon, incensed, grabs both ears and uses them as handles and begins slamming the back of his now former associate’s head onto the hardwood floor, screaming incoherent obscenities at him.
Finally, the Wabid Wabbit loses his grip on the mask and Simon Sparrow tumbles backward and lands to his left, the floppy, rubber mask in his hand. He begins smiling as he slowly gets to his feet. The Wabid Wabbit covers his face with his arms and begins convulsing. Simon does not seem to notice or does not seem to care as he gazes down at the Wabbit with an almost demented satisfaction. Satisfaction quickly turns to anger.::::
SIMON SPARROW: COME ON YOU ELMER FUDD SOUNDING PRICK!!! LOOK AT ME!!!
::::The Wabid Wabbit….no, Connie, looks up at Simon Sparrow who looks startled and stands back.::::
SIMON SPARROW: …the fuck?
:::::Connie, a young man in his mid-twenties, looks up at Simon with tears streaming down his face. Simon Sparrow expected the man to look like a more deformed Freddy Kruger but instead he gets just a man looking at him with pleading, almost childlike eyes which juxtaposes his almost rugged, chiseled face. A rugged, chiseled unblemished face.::::
WABID WABBIT (crying): G-G-Give it back, P-p-pwease….
::::Connie’s blubbering request gives Simon Sparrow visions of Roger Rabbit.::::
WABID WABBIT: Pwease…..Jatt……
::::That four lettered word gives Simon pause. He looks at the flaccid mask in his hand and then at Connie who is weeping in a fetal position covering his face. Simon Sparrow tosses the mask down at the whimpering man in front of him. He suddenly feels that deadly combo of guilt and nausea start to take hold. Simon Sparrow opens his mouth to say something but all he can muster is a squeak.
The Rembrandt of Wrestling looks away from his now former friend, looking at anything else in the room. He gazes at the telephone on the nightstand and he attempts to steady his breathing.
Connie quickly puts the mask on his head. His personal security blanket, feeling the almost claustrophobic confines of rubber begins to call him down. The Bunny Mask. A reminder of the last truly good memory he has of his family before the accident that cost his sister her leg and his parents their lives. The Wabid Wabbit begins rocking silently on the ground.
The Professor of Sparrowdynamics turns away from the Wabid Wabbit. Almost ashamed at what he did to the man who had been there for him.
Simon Sparrow’s attention is drawn to the floor length mirror and sees something in his eyes, something disturbing, something that he truly fears seeing….
….something he never wanted to see again…..
…..Jatt Starr looking back at him.