::::SCENE: The Best Arena on a comfortable Chicago afternoon. The slit whir of the air conditioner can be heard in the newly furnished headquarters of “StarrSek Industries”. Simon Sparrow selected this empty office for it’s private bathroom. Not that anyone would notice. After all, no one even knows who this office had belonged to before Simon Sparrow planted his flag (for the record, it previously belonged to Assistant Vice President of Central American Media Operations, Miguel Sanchez – Simon wonders if Miguel was perhaps Michael Best and/or Brian Bare’s one time cocaine contact).
The walls have been painted a pale blue. The office is not as large as the conference room that formerly housed the “StarrSek Industries” epicenter, but it serves it’s purpose. An oak desk with a Queen Elizabeth bobblehead (just to piss off Christopher America) next to a blank yellow mug filled with Sharpies, and a “StarrSek Industries” Jatt Starr plush sitting on the corner. Pictures of Jatt Starr/Simon Sparrow adorn the walls. There are three jerseys – a black baseball jersey that reads “Jatt Starr” on the front and “The Ruler of Jattlantis” in yellow lettering on the back; a royal blue baseball jersey that reads “Starrvivor: Maurako” in silver lettering; and finally, a brand new addition, specially made….a white jersey that reads “Sparrow” on the front and “The Rembrandt of Wrestling” on the back in black lettering – encased on wall to the left of the door.
The private bathroom is small and functional containing the bare essentials – a toilet and a sink. The color scheme is Kubrickian white. The cleaners had to work diligently and furiously to remove the dark stain that was on the white tile floor. Whether it was shit or blood, Simon does not know, and, to be honest, he does not want to know.
Simon looks down and smugly smirks and pushes the lever to the toilet. A loud, high powered WHOOOOOOOOOSH is heard followed by a stopping, gurgling noise as the bowl begins to overflow. The smug smile turns to a disgusted grimace as he watches the water rise.
Simon takes the tongs and proceeds to pull out the obstruction. A Sektor plush – One half of the “StarrSek Industries” limited edition line of “Best Friends” plushes. The Rembrandt of Wrestling drops the soaking, dripping plush into the trashcan next to the toilet (tongs included).
Simon turns around and exits the bathroom and stops. Sitting in one of the two red and black leather chairs on the other side of his desk is a sleazy looking fellow. A man which slicked black hair and a Van Dyke. He is showing off a custom Italian double-breasted pinstripe suit, a black dress shirt, and black tie. Simon Sparrow has a glimmer of recognition for the five foot-four inch man in staring up at him with soulless black eyes and grinning like the Cheshire Cat.::::
SLEAZY MAN: There he is!!!!
::::The high pitched Joe Pescian tone of voice and almost immediately the name comes to Simon like a metaphorical sledgehammer to his face.::::
SIMON SPARROW: Sal Cassetti.
SAL: The one and only! How’s my favorite client?
SIMON SPARROW: You fired me five years ago.
SAL: OH! To be fair, it was the firm that dropped you as a client, not me as I was on my mandatory leave of absence. I was completely unaware that they did that which is why I left them “Jerry Maguire” style!
::::Simon Sparrow lets out an exasperated sigh before dropping into his office chair.::::
SIMON SPARROW: So? What do you want?
SAL: It’s not what I want, it’s what I can give you!
SIMON SPARROW: You haven’t given me anything, including anything resembling a job in five years.
SAL: I lost your number!
SIMON SPARROW: I’m waiting.
SAL: Okay, okay, okay! So, you know Timothy DeFazio?
SIMON SPARROW: Should I?
SAL: He’s my other client.
SIMON SPARROW: “Client”.
SAL: He’s my sister’s kid.
SIMON SPARROW: Nephew?
SAL: Gesundheit. He’s, let’s just say, not burdened with the chiseled good looks of a Henry Cavill. But, I got him an audition for a Broadway show and fuck if that little shit got the understudy to Jimmy Olsen in “Superman: The Musical”.
SIMON SPARROW: Didn’t the stage fall down and kill some people?
SAL: One person! It killed one person. Maimed twenty-two, but only death. And Tim, well, he was over the fuckin’ moon that he was just the understudy.
SIMON SPARROW: The guy who got Jimmy Olson died?
SAL: No. Ironically, Superman died. Jimmy Olson became a paraplegic. Tim, he got a nice little settlement after losing two toes. Got him an audition for “Tales of the Walking Dead”.
SIMON SPARROW: I’m getting impatient, Sal. So impatient that you will become somebody’s patient if you don’t get on with it.
SAL: Alright! Alright! Anyways, my old firm, they’re going through a sort of change of management at current, and my old assistant found your file going through some records. Interestingly enough, the contents of this file are, as advertised, very interesting. So interesting, in fact, that it could be a gold mine.
SIMON SPARROW: Go on.
SAL: Before I continue, I must ask….how often would you say you look at your driver’s license?
::::An odd question to say the least. Simon Sparrow’s former manager looks almost as if he is salivating like a Tyrannosaurus Rex eyeing a helpless wildebeest. Simon narrows his eyes, suspicious of Sal’s intentions.::::
SIMON SPARROW: Why do you ask?
SAL: You might want to sit down.
SIMON SPARROW: I am sitting down.
::::Sal places his briefcase in his lap, opens it up, and pulls out a manila folder which he slides in front of the HOW Hall of Famer. Sal looks at him almost as giddy as a schoolgirl at a pony convention. Simon Sparrow opens the folder and glances at the photocopy of his driver’s license.::::
SIMON SPARROW: What? What am I looking for?
SAL: You don’t see it? He doesn’t see it!
::::Sal rises from his chair and from inside his suit’s interior pocket, he retrieves a highlighter and uncaps it.::::
SIMON SPARROW: Simon or StarrSek Industries.
::::Sal circles a particular area on the photocopy and pushes it in front of Simon Sparrow.::::
SAL: Under sex, it says “F” as in you’re a FUCKING WOMAN!
SIMON SPARROW: The hell I am!
SAL: Not according to the great state of New York and the Department of Motor Vehicles! At least, ten years ago or thereabouts that was the case.
SIMON SPARROW: WHAT THE FRICK!!!!
::::Simon Sparrow feels a sense of anxiety and pulls out his wallet. He retrieves his Montana driver’s license and sure enough, staring him in the face, mocking him, is the letter “F”. He wants to say something, anything. He wants to object faster than Sam Waterston on “Law and Order”. All he can do is drop the license on the desk and slump back into his chair. Sal leans over and takes a gander at the Montana driver’s license and manages to stifle an excited giggle.::::
SIMON SPARROW: How the flip did this happen?
SAL: Bureaucratic Incontinence.
SIMON SPARROW: How could I have not noticed?
SAL: No one ever reads the fine print.
SIMON SPARROW: I need to get this fixed.
SAL: Whoa! Whoa! WHOA! Why the fuck would you wanna do that???
SIMON SPARROW: Why wouldn’t I???
SAL: You’re a middle aged white guy who is a legend in his field. I looked at the data and when I say I looked at the data, I mean I had people who know how to read said data and explain it to me. Demographics! Male viewers of the caucasian ilk age thirty-five to forty-nine, they love you. Caucasian males eighteen to thirty-four find you to be outta touch. Your largest approval rating came when you were teaming with Conor Fuse. People love that guy. Does he have any representation, by chance?
::::The Rembrandt of Wrestling glares daggers at Sal, who recognizes he made a slight professional faux pas and raises his hands up defensively.::::
SAL: Alright! Alright! But look, here’s the skinny….you have one demongraphic whoare behind you. You lose when it comes to the younger viewers and certainly the minority viewers. Now, you’re teaming with Bobbinette Carey this week, right? That can only improve your optics.
SIMON SPARROW: But she’s a manipulative bitch.
SAL: A manipulative bitch that is connected to Conor Fuse. She’s getting a massive upswing. You can only gain from this partnership.
SIMON SPARROW: But I don’t freaking like her!
SAL: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford hated each other’s fuckin’ twats and “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” is one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of all time. You don’t have to like the….is “cocksucking slob” still an acceptable descriptor?
SIMON SPARROW: It never was!
SAL: Everything’s changing. You can’t even say “Blazin’ Saddles” is your favorite movie without getting “cancelled”.
SIMON SPARROW: It’s a good flick.
SAL: Mel Fucking Brooks. But whatever. You don’t have to like the bitch, you just have to pretend that you like the bitch.
SIMON SPARROW: We can’t stand each other as it is! Add this wrinkle and she’ll think I’m insulting all of womankind!
SAL: Who’s she to pass judgment? She’s got a thicker moustache than Tom Selleck.
SIMON SPARROW: Sal, I think we need to get back on track here in that there’s this little pendulum hanging over my head that the U.S. government thinks I’m a woman! Do you have any idea the amount of ball busting I will get from this?
SAL: I don’t think you are appreciating how huge this is for me….for US!
SIMON SPARROW: This is the most toxic masculinized environment you could imagine!
SAL: They said “Sal, you’ll represent another woman again”. This’ll show’em!
SIMON SPARROW: I can only imagine what Christopher America or Sektor will have to say about this development. Simon Sparrow? More like “Simone”. “Don’t get sand in your vagina, Simon”. “Don’t get your panties in a twist.” “Looks like Simon’s got his period.” They’ll probably try mocking me by “honking” my pecs!
SAL: BOOM! Sexual harassment suit!
SIMON SPARROW: NO! I. Am. A. Dude!
SAL: See? It’s that type of narrow minded thinking that the eighteen to thirty-four demographic find deplorable.
SIMON SPARROW: I’m not narrow—…You aren’t listening to—-….I have a penis! I will drop trou right now and show you!
SAL: OH! I ain’t falling for that one again! Not without you signing a waiver. I got one—-
SIMON SPARROW: What?! The point is how can I be considered a woman if I don’t have a vagina?!
SAL: These days, that shit’s arbitrary. Now, we could say you grew up with an abundance of testosterone like them bearded ladies.
SIMON SPARROW: SAL!!!!
SAL: There’s other ways I can spin this. Don’t you only have one testicle?
SIMON SPARROW: Yes, from an assault like eighteen years ago.
SAL: OOOOORRRRRRRRRRRR….a botched sex change operation….
SIMON SPARROW: My testicle was crushed as the result of a five-on-one attack when I was—-
SAL: OOOOORRRRRRRRRRRR….a botched—-
SIMON SPARROW: No! No “OR”!
SAL: Simon, you really need to hear me out because I checked, it will take about four to six weeks to correct this issue with your license and you’d have to go to the DMV in person and that’s fucking torture on a whole different level.
SIMON SPARROW: Bullshit!
SAL: Have you seen the people there? Have you ever seen a hot babe working at the DMV? Hell no! They’re soulless zombies who spend the day regretting their life decisions!
SIMON SPARROW: Four to sex weeks?!
SAL: Look it up! And remember, are you gonna trust me, who is here, looking you in the eyes and telling you what’s what or some website created by the same people who turned you into a chick?
SIMON SPARROW: They’re not wizards!!!!
SAL: Fine! Bureaucratic Dumbassery.
SIMON SPARROW: Touche.
SAL: So, why not ride this wave?
SIMON SPARROW: Because it’s insensitive and offensive to—-
SAL: Not if you own it! It’s only offensive if you make it offensive! Hear me out! Gender identity is trendy. It’s in. It’s now. The fact that you’ve been a man identifying as a woman or woman identifying as man….whatever it is….it makes you a trailblazer! You should go out at “Chaos” and scream “I am woman, hear me ROAR!” And yeah, maybe you become the butt of some jokes, big fuckin’ whoop! You know who won’t be butting you with jokes? The eighteen to thirty-four demographic. These Gen Z sheep will hop to their nearest Tik Tok and do some stupid dance celebrating your gender awakening or some shit. All you gotta do is own it.
SIMON SPARROW: Even if I did, no one would buy it. And I don’t want that kind of publicity.
SAL: Or! Think about little Billy who likes to wear mommy’s heels and frilly dresses and put on makeup. Are you calling that kid a freak? You want that kid to go through years of gender confusion and therapy because he didn’t have a role model like you to look up to?
SIMON SPARROW: Fuck that kid!
SAL: And what about your paramour? Heidi Vaccarelli. Hollywood goes apeshit for lesbian couples. Murphy Ryanson has already contacted her agent about potentially coming on in a vital role in his new Netflix miniseries “Susan B. Anthony/Susan B. Werewolf”. He’s already got one of the Culkins involved in the project. This would put her on the map.
SIMON SPARROW: And, if you don’t mind my asking, how would they have come across this information?
SAL: I took the liberty of informing her agent.
SIMON SPARROW: You did WHAT?????
SAL: Early this morning. Made a couple of calls. Honestly, I was expecting less combativeness over the subject. I thought you would be thrilled considering how this “Chaos” match could be hyped. The only two Female HOW Hall of Famers teaming up to take on the HOW Champion and Sektor, a known misogynistic force of masculine toxicness or whatever term you used. There is a rumor that he was coked out of his gourd and took advantage of you and—-
SIMON SPARROW: That never happened!
SAL: OOOOORRRRRRRR….he roofied you and—-
SIMON SPARROW: No! We’re not doing that.
SAL: Fine! But consider this then….you could be standing up to the creepy, rapey looking scumbag that’s taken advantage of so many young, vulnerable women and forcing them to be called tramps or whores and whatnot thus disrupting their virtuous or, dare I say, virginious character.
SIMON SPARROW: Wait! Stop! You’re telling me that I could call myself the first “Female” inducted in the HOW Hall of Fame. Is that what you’re saying?
SAL: I’m saying that you saying that would not be a fabrication of the truth based on the government issued documents in your possession.
SIMON SPARROW: That is interesting…..
:::Simon Sparrow leans back in his chair, reclining backwards. He stares up at the ceiling. There is a brown splotch above his desk in the shape of a duck indicating some previous water damage. Normally, he would question whether or not his new office is below a restroom, which would be gross should an overflowing toilet be the cause of the water damage. Instead, he ponders all of the information that his agent has provided to him. He subconsciously makes a clicking noise as he rocks back and forth in his chair. He mind races with a plethora of scenarios, weighing in every option. Finally, he looks back at Sal who is brushing the lapel of his suit with his hand.:::::
SIMON SPARROW: I mean, I know Heidi’s career is important to her.
::::Sal perks up and his lip curls into a crooked half smile. He begins rotating the pinky ring on his right hand with his left.::::
SIMON SPARROW: And it would need to be something that she would need to be okay with…so I’d need to talk to her first.
SAL: I wouldn’t expect you not to.
SIMON SPARROW: I wouldn’t want to disappoint her.
SAL: Of course not!
SIMON SPARROW: Did you know that I wasn’t the first HOW Hall of Famer announced?
SAL: A fucking travesty, if you ask me.
SIMON SPARROW: I was like the third announced. I was grouped in with like five other people.
SAL: Disrespectful, that’s what that is!
SIMON SPARROW: Sektor gets the Hall of Fame and it’s a big to do! Jace and Scott Stevens, they basically get a parade! Mike Best gets a statue. Where’s my freaking statue?!
SAL: They don’t appreciate you.
SIMON SPARROW: One thing’s for sure, Max Kael wouldn’t be able to claim that he was the first Female Hall of Famer.
SAL: God rest his soul.
SIMON SPARROW: Assuming he’s dead.
SIMON SPARROW: Maybe, and I’m just brainstorming here, if I do, as you say, “own” this situation, perhaps I could tap into something deep inside and I would really be able to impose my wrath on Sektor for turning his back on me. Maybe it would mess with his head, get him off his game. Maybe having this commonality would help Bobbinette and I work well enough together to topple America and Sektor. I wouldn’t have to go parading around in like dresses and feather boas, would I? Like, I wouldn’t have to wear matching outfits with Bobbinette Carey, right?
SAL: Fuck no. No one wears feather boas anymore. Besides, chicks these days wear whatever the hell they want.
SIMON SPARROW: I’m not saying “yes”….but I’m not saying no, either.
SAL: Good enough for me! This calls for a celebration! There’s a place down the street with a twenty year old bottle of Scotch. What do you say?
SIMON SPARROW: I’m an alcoholic!
SAL: So, that’s a yes?
SIMON SPARROW: NO!
SAL: Okay, okay! I will then, as they say, take me leave. Call me when you decide.
::::Sal pulls a business card from his pocket and slides it across the desk in front of Simon, stands up, picks up his briefcase, and exits the room. Simon proceeds to rock in his office chair. A multitude of thoughts flood his brain involving demographics and perception, maybe Sal is right? Maybe this, what he considers, publicity stunt could be great for his longterm plans. However, the more he thinks about it, the more he leans against the idea of accepting the government’s bureaucratic error. Thinking about how it COULD affect him and actually doing it and how it actually WILL affect him are two separate things. He knows Heidi will have a say in this and part of him wants her to talk out of this insanity. He opens the desk drawer and retrieves his phone. He wonders if Heidi has heard of the news already. He wonders what time it is in New Zealand. He wonders…..END SCENE.::::