Posted on April 19, 2024 at 11:39 pm by Hugo Scorpio

LaGuardia Airport. Terminal C. Seven Forty-Five in the morning.  The flight from New York to Chicago did not depart for another hour and fifteen minutes (hour and thirteen minutes to be exact, but we are a society of estimations and rounding up, so two minutes do not makeuch of a difference).  

Hugo Scorpio sat in the terminal regretting the decision to fly instead of take the train.  Sure, it’s longer, but it was relaxing staring out of the window in his private roomette watching the world go by. Maybe traveling by rails had been romanticized sometime in his youth and that was why he felt the way he did, but the truth was, it was cheaper and quicker to fly. 

But flying came with it’s own set of annoyances and anxieties. There was that sense that the plane could go down at any time. There was the fact that Hugo would inevitably sit near a screaming child or some guy (usually a guy, but sometimes it’s a chick, not a hot chick, usually a real “uggo”, not that it’s a very appropriate descriptor in today’s society) who smells of week old bologna and cloves, stares at his face silently for the majority of the flight, or someone who just won’t shut the fuck up.  Plus, he would not have had to check his one bag on the train.

As he sat there, watching the line grow at the Cinnabon, a gentleman sat to his right, being courteous enough to leave a seat between them.  Hugo began focusing on a elderly man wearing a Rolling Stones T-shirt paying for his coffee in change so as not to acknowledge the man to his right.  But he couldn’t. He felt the man staring at his scarred visage. Hugo turned towards the man who immediately started craning his neck as if looking at the disfigurement was brief and incidental.  

Hugo let out a frustrated sigh as he pondered his choices.  He could ignore it.  He could go back to watching the Cinnabon but the man would just go back to gawking at the scar. Or he could engage with the man.




The man, probably in his thirties, pasty faced and redheaded, average build, by no means athletic but not scrawny either.  His taste in clothes left much to be desired – sweatpants and a Sprite T-shirt.  His almost translucent face went red and he stammered a moment.


MAN: What?

HUGO SCORPIO: Just ask the question.

MAN: I wasn’t—

HUGO SCORPIO: Do me the courtesy of not treatin’ me like I’m stupid or some freakshow to be geeked at.

MAN: What, um, what happened to your, uhhh…

HUGO SCORPIO: It’s a genetic mutation. My grandfather on my mother’s side had somethin’ similar. 

MAN: Damn, man. I’m sorry.

HUGO SCORPIO: Unless you fucked my great grandmother you ain’t got nothin’ to be sorry for.


That shit him up. The man was now looking at his ticket.  There was an awkwardness in the air, but Hugo preferred awkward silences over awkward conversations.  Unfortunately, the silence did not last.


MAN: Freddy Benson.


FREDDY BENSON: My name. Freddy Benson.


Freddy smiled his corny yellows and extended his hand. Hugo had to look away to roll his eyes before turning back and shaking Freddy’s hand.  Freddy’s cold, sweaty, clammy hand.



FREDDY BENSON: Heading to Chicago?


Hugo looked over to the monitor indicating the flight and destination and back to Freddy.


HUGO SCORPIO: That would appear to be the case.

FREDDY BENSON: You going to see family or….going home….?

HUGO SCORPIO: I don’t have a place that I call home. I tend to just go from town to town.

FREDDY BENSON: Like “The Littlest Hobo”.

HUGO SCORPIO: I ain’t no hobo. A – hobos take trains, not planes and B – you see a stick over my shoulder with all my belongin’s wrapped up in a fuckin’, whaddyacallit, a sheet?

FREDDY BENSON: No, it’s a TV show from Canada.  

HUGO SCORPIO: I do not watch foreign TV shows.

FREDDY BENSON:  It’s about this little dog that goes from town to town.

HUGO SCORPIO: Like Lassie.

FREDDY BENSON: No!  All Lassie does is save Timmy after he falls down a well.  The Littlest Hobo, he helps those in need.  One week it’s Patrick Macnee and the next it’s the guy who played the Skipper on “Gilligan’s Island”.  

HUGO SCORPIO: I cannot express to you how little of a shit I am givin’ about this subject right now.   

FREDDY BENSON: I guess, I’m just trying to say, you’re just a happy wanderer. 

HUGO SCORPIO: Yeah, sure.

FREDDY BENSON: Me? I’m heading to Chi-Town for an interview. At an entertainment center. A management position.  I used to manage the eighth best circus in Newfoundland. But nowadays, these animal rights groups claiming animal abuse.  Those elephants, monkeys, and horses were treated better than me, I don’t mind telling you.  The circus is dead.  

HUGO SCORPIO: I ain’t never been.

FREDDY BENSON: What? Really?


Hugo could tell that Redhead Fred was completely flummoxed at the news.  The truth is, Hugo had a certain fear of clowns when he learned they were serial killers (or at least that was the bill of goods his father sold him when he was a kid – and the whole John Wayne Gacy thing did not help either), not that he would ever share this particular fear especially with someone he had just met.


HUGO SCORPIO: Yeah, my old man, if it ever got brought up, the circus, the fair, or whatever, he’d tell me that they’d get one good look at this face and they’d open up a sideshow with me as the main attraction.  

FREDDY BENSON: Um, that’s pretty, uhhhhh—-

HUGO SCORPIO: “Shitty”, I think is the word you’re lookin’ for. But hey, that shit’s all water under the dam. Ancient fuckin’ history.

FREDDY BENSON: Don’t you think that the reason you move from place to place is—

HUGO SCORPIO: Yo, circus boy, stay in your fuckin’ lane.  Don’t go tryin’ to psychoanalyze me.  

FREDDY BENSON: Sorry.  What’s with the jar?


Freddy pointed towards the chair to Hugo’s left.  Resting on the chair is the jar.  The enigmatic jar.  The dirty, fucking, motherfucking, shitfucking jar.  The jar that Charles de Lacy “gave” him all those weeks ago. The loss that determined his fate in the LBI tournament.  The smugness by which Charles de Lacy said how lucky Hugo was, the flippant way he tossed the jar onto the fallen Hugo.   To this day, Charles de Lacy has not “collected” on the “payment” and “interest” nor has he given any inclination to Hugo what that payment was, or even if there was any payment to be expected.  Maybe it was a twisted way to get inside Hugo’s head.  If that were the case, it worked.

Hugo carried this empty jar around from town to town, on planes, on trains, in automobiles.  It was a perplexing conundrum for the XPro Main Event. 

What did the jar represent?

How many sleepless nights had he theorized on what the jar symbolized?

At a certain point, he stopped trying to figure it out and accepted that whatever the specific reason was, it was offensive.  It had to be.  It was humiliating.  It had to be.  It was Charles de Lacy’s way of teabagging him.  It had to be.  It was Charles De Lacy asserting his dominance over Hugo, reminding him of that loss.  It had to be.

Just looking at the jar caused Hugo a small level of anxiety. A slight feeling of pressure in the chest.  A slight feeling of vertigo.  A shortness of breath.  

Not that he would admit that to some redheaded dweeb he just met in an airline terminal. 

HUGO SCORPIO: It’s where I keep my farts.


HUGO SCORPIO: Yeah, when I feel like I’m gonna cut the cheese, I open the jar and let’er rip.

FREDDY BENSON: Are you messing with me?

HUGO SCORPIO: I’m bein’ as serious as a heart attack. It gets alotta after some beer and Taco Bell.  


HUGO SCORPIO: Does it really fuckin’ matter?  It’s a one them, whaddyacallits, a personality quirk.

FREDDY BENSON: Well, I suppose it’s better than my Uncle Pete’s nosepicking and my sister eating her toenails.  Now, that’s nasty.

HUGO SCORPIO: I would prefer not to hear about the Freddy Henson family tree.

FREDDY BENSON:  You’re right. It’s really not appropriate conversation.  And it’s “Benson” by the way. Me on the other hand? I wake up to the sounds of my own screams. I have what they call “night terrors”.  They started maybe four or five—

HUGO SCORPIO: Stop.  Just stop. What do you think is happenin’ here, huh? You think just cuz we’re sittin’ here, waitin’, chit chattin’ we’re, what, gonna end up bein’ best buds or some shit? No offense, but I could give two shits about your nosepickin’, foot eatin’ family. 


There was a limit on how much conversation Hugo could take. He had to say something. Apparently the repulsive habits and Freddy’s nightmares were the limit. He could have let it go. He could have just nodded politely but it was a compulsion.  Unfortunately, with that, there was a pang of guilt as Freddy stopped midsentence, his mouth agape, looking like someone stepped on his kitten, crushing it’s skull on the asphalt — a disturbing image, pieces of kitty cat skull, feline gray matter, kitten blood trickling through the crevices of the road – but replace “kitten” with “Charles de Lacy”, now that would put a smile on Hugo Scorpio’s mangled face.


FREDDY BENSON: Look, I-I-I-I didn’t mean to offend you. If I did I’m sorry. I just a talker. A regular chatterbox. I’ve been that way my—

HUGO SCORPIO: You keep talkin’.


HUGO SCORPIO: Look, you seem like a good enough guy, so a little advice? Maybe don’t talk to people who don’t wanna be talked to.

FREDDY BENSON: How am I supposed to know who I shouldn’t and shouldn’t talk to?

HUGO SCORPIO: If half a dude’s face is disfigured, maybe don’t talk to ‘em.

FREDDY BENSON: But you talked to me first.

HUGO SCORPIO: You were starin’.

FREDDY BENSON: I had a stiff neck.  I wasn’t staring.

HUGO SCORPIO: Yes you were and then you were gonna ask or if you weren’t gonna ask you were gonna stare. It was a, whaddyacallit, preemptin’ strike.  But look, I ain’t gonna rehash all that. Look, you wanna know why I’m goin’ to Chicago?


Freddy Benson kept his mouth shut but offered a shrug and a nod.


HUGO SCORPIO: Drew Mitchell.

FREDDY BENSON: Who is Drew Mitchell?

HUGO SCORPIO: Someone I massively underestimated. A mistake I do not plan on makin’ a second time. 

FREDDY BENSON: What did he do?

HUGO SCORPIO: He took something that I believed I needed. Not to say he stole anything or whatever, he got it fair and square, it was my own fuckin’ fault for dismissin’ him. Bein’ as such, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that he is in possession of this particular item. It is, as they say, sickenin’.

FREDDY BENSON: Do you still need this thing you thought you needed?


Hugo leaned back in the seat and slouched slightly.  He pondered the question for a momt as he looked over towards the Cinnabon.  A young couple were chit chatting as the man tapped his card on the POS. Hugo turned back towards Freddy and shook his head.


HUGO SCORPIO:  No. But if I’m bein’ honest, it’d be fuckin’ sweet if I had it.  What I think, what I want is, and some douchebag said this to me once, and it should be said he was a talented douchebag, he said to me “Reputation is everything.”  And that’s what I need to build, my rep.  And if I have to kick Drew Mitchell’s ass to build it, so be it.  If I have to bitch slap that smug piece of shit, Chucky into next week, well, that would suit me just fine.

FREDDY BENSON: Chucky? Like the doll?

HUGO SCORPIO: Not like the fuckin’ doll.  A different guy.

FREDDY BENSON: Which one is the douchebag?

HUGO SCORPIO: Neither of ‘em. Look, shut up, the point is, I need to establish my reputation.  With reputation comes respect. And with respect come the spoils.

FREDDY BENSON: What is it that you do for a living?    


Freddy asked Hugo a personal question.  Hugo hated personal questions.  It felt invasive.  Like, who is this pallid son of a bitch to ask him questions?  Who was he?  Walter Cronkite? Hugo only opened up when he felt like it.   Fuck Freddy.


HUGO SCORPIO: I sell antique Russian nesting dolls to elderly Albanian widows who live with a bunch of cats.  It’s a, whaddyacallit, a niche business.

FREDDY BENSON: You’re joking.



HUGO SCORPIO: Fine….I’m a male escort.  Like Deuce Bigalow.

FREDDY BENSON:  Fine. Don’t tell me.

HUGO SCORPIO: I’m serious.  Night Dudes Escorts. This Drew Mitchell prick, he smacked around some of my coworkers after givin’ them herpes.  What I want is revenge.  And he took from this one particular co-worker of mine, he stole his diamond encrusted cockring.  Ripped it right off his prick. Now he’s a half a prick.  

FREDDY BENSON: No way…..I think you’re making this up.

HUGO SCORPIO: This shit is too absurd to make up.  


Hugo Scorpio picked up the jar and rose from his seat.  Hugo had felt that he had enough.  Talking to people he did not give a single shit about was exhausting for him.  He needed to get away.  Maybe even switch flights, if it was feasible and cost effective.  But, just in case, Hugo decided the best thing to do was give Freddy a nudge to the opposite end of the terminal.


HUGO SCORPIO: Now, I got this rash on my balls, so I gotta put some aloe on it.  You gonna be here when I get back?  I got his whole fucked up story about that.  Involves two Canadian lap dancers, a cheese grater, and a mule named Pedro.


Hugo gave Freddy a thumbs up and nearly tripped over a bag someone placed in the middle of the aisle. One of the issues of having sixty percent vision in his right eye, sometimes he missed something.  It did not matter.  The hope was that by the time he had returned Freddy would be off annoying some other poor, hapless passenger waiting for Flight 1620 from LaGuardia to O’Haire.

Hugo turned the corner and headed towards the Mens Room.  There was match to prepare for.  Tapes to watch.  And training.  Lots and lots of training.  

While he had vowed not to underestimate Drew Mitchell…..

More importantly…..

He wanted to crack Charles de Lacy in the side of the head with this jar and then shove the broken shards right up his rectum.

Who knows?

Maybe the universe would then shine on Hugo and Charles de Lacy’s lacerated bunghole would get infected causing that piece of Euro garbage to shit out poop, blood and pus for weeks.

It could happen!