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:icontsukiyohei: More from Tsukiyohei


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October 8, 2009
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My balls were sticking to my inner thigh like a baby seal clinging to an Antarctic shore. Unfortunately, the camera was pointed right at me, so I couldn't do the leg-shake maneuver to get them loose. I saw the set of “’Hello, Good Morning!’ with Buster” through two pea-sized holes drilled into my velvet helmet. Crayola had puked on the walls, the floor, the blocks, the rug, and even Buster. That was me, the rainbow-colored dog that came up on TV from dawn ‘til noon. Outside of Buster’s Play Pen was the black, soulless collection of cameras and producers and directors sitting in fold-up chairs who occasionally yelled me through a microphone like I wasn’t right in front of them. The sweat permeated in the depths of my fur suit because the air was recycled every time I exhaled. I re-realized how much I hated doing kid shows. Being on a children’s program was just like being in a porno; as soon you were recorded, no one could take your acting seriously anymore.

One more round of ABCs later and I threw off the stupid foam dog head with vengeance. It ricocheted off a camera and hit some poor intern in the face, but I didn’t care. I had been recording episodes for six hours and I needed a breather. The cold air rushed to my head as I wheezed in.

“I’m getting too old for this job,” I grunted to Jack. He shuffled out from behind a camera nearly twice as tall as he was Jack was ‘Rex’ in Fellatiosaurus 3, 5 and 12, so he still had a porn star strut. His big, broad shoulders rolled with every step. He just got too jaded for the business because the sex didn’t stay great for long, Jack told me once. It took all the networking powers he had to net this gig and he didn’t realize how deep he’d sink. Jack was just as trapped as I was and he knew it.

“We’re going to lunch,” he barked. “If there’s anything worse than saying that shit, it’s watching you say that shit.” I had to smile as I got out of my Buster costume. Finally, someone didn’t say ‘Please’ or ‘Thank you.’

===

Jack and I always ate at this diner named “Big Daddy’s.” It wasn’t a diner so much as a bar where we also ordered sandwiches. Big Daddy’s certainly didn’t look like it was the best place in town, no matter how much the dim lighting tried to hide. The tables were always greasy or wet and stale beer had seeped into the floors and the walls, but the food and booze always calmed us down. Not many people came to Big Daddy’s so the atmosphere stayed low key and relaxed. The best part was that the bartender’s kids watched the show; most of our stuff was on the house.

“How was Julia’s first day at school?”  Jack asked through a mouthful of beef. I stared at the bits of bread that were stuck in his short beard and I rubbed at my stubble. I would have to shave before recording my live action program because studies showed that facial hair scared kids.

“Yesterday? It was great. Smartest kid in her damn class. She keeps saying how she wants to spend more time with me, though.” I felt my guts churning and I had trouble swallowing my next bite. I just couldn’t help it. I was in and out of recordings from 6AM to 7PM and I always had breakfast and dinner on the table, but she always packed her own lunches. The production company was preshooting several seasons in advance; just another part of my contract they were twisting and turning to get the most out of me as possible.

“She should. Your daughter’s a great kid, but she can’t do everything by herself. Those fuckers higher up just don’t understand nothing.” Jack knew about my schedule because his was exactly the same. Every minute I was in front of the camera was a minute he was behind it.

“Here we go again.” I sighed and took another shot of my Smirnoff. I never got drunk anymore but the burning down my throat helped me whenever he felt like going on a tirade.

“I’m serious. They think they can fuck around with us ‘cause the fine print had shit that they made sure no one read!” Jack slammed his meaty fist into the table and everything shook and clinked.

“But we can’t quit! You keep bitching about it, but there’s nothing we can do to change it!” Even in high school, I was the voice of reason.

Jack smiled from across the small, round table and got a look in his eye. It was dark, it was sneaky, and as soon as I saw it, I loved what it had to offer. “Not anymore, Matt.” He crossed his hairy arms over his barrel-sized chest. “Little birdie told me a secret that could give us dirt on the suits.”

My mouth went dry and I tapped my finger against the wooden table. I tried to thump out a song but I couldn’t remember anything that could calm me down. “You can’t be serious.” I shook my head. I started working at Sunshine Studios fresh out of university. That was nineteen years ago.

“Hey, I’m not stupid ‘cause I didn’t go to college. This is legit.” His smile got even smugger as he dragged his sentences on. He was enjoying the suspense.

“Say it then!” I snapped at him, palms flat on the table and half-standing so I could glare at him closer.

“Fine, fine.” Jack leaned closer. The bartender was gone. The music was gone. The lights were gone. It was just the two of us trying to claw our way out of a shithole. “The executives go to Studio 7 to get coke and whores every Saturday.”

“… This is bullshit. It can’t be true,” I said as I sat back down, deflated. I shoved another shot into my mouth to cover my disappointment. Studio 7 had been abandoned for a while, but still. The execs could probably just take their whores back to their mansions or something.

“I got it from a very trustworthy source.”

“So you want us to go take pictures or something? It’s not happening because it’s not fucking true,” I said.

“Fine, pussy. You go back to work while I take video and blackmail my way to pension and immediate retirement.” He snorted and leaned back, frowning.

“… This Saturday?” I asked.

“Yeah, I’m going to catch whatever the fuck they’re doing on tape. Worst case scenario is that they don’t show up or they secretly donate to charity or something.”

“I don’t like this.”

“Think of your fucking daughter. You see her three hours a day. You really gonna do that until she hits college? She isn’t gonna be in middle school forever.”

I stopped for a second. If Jack and I could have something like that over their heads, then we’d be set. I could move to Hawaii or something with Julie and we could spend the rest of our days at the beach. She liked the beach. I remember when she was five and she giggled and laughed and splashed around in the water. Julie was too mature for her age because of me. I never saw her smile like that anymore.

For the rest of lunch break, Jack and I were huddled close, whispering plans back and forth to finally get power for once.
I read this at an Open Mic, you guys! And people liked it, and I hope you guys do, too. <3

This is part of a much bigger story that I plan on writing out and hopefully turning into a novel. Crossing m'fingers, you guys!
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:iconleylageeker:
leylageeker Nov 20, 2009  Student Digital Artist
I would like to read more of this immediately. :C Why don't I check dA more often?
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:iconrandompedestrian:
I love your writing style, still. How it manages to be so quick and concise, yet so smooth and flowy. Plus, humour. <3 First line still make me giggle. xD
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:icontsukiyohei:
hee <3 thankyew very much, jen. Everything in this evolved out of the plotline and that first sentence. XD
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:iconvyvianlee:
VyvianLee Oct 9, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Hey Joejoe, you've improved. XD Maybe 'cause this reads more like a chapter than a one-shot... your one-shots are, no offence, sometimes a little lacking in the plot area.

BUT THE PLOT. I DO LIKE ME SOME PLOT.

:3
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:icontsukiyohei:
thankyew <3

PLOOOOOTTTTT. XD Iiiiit's a comin'!
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:iconvyvianlee:
VyvianLee Oct 9, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
You better damn well be bringing that there plot! D<
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:iconishotaparakeet:
yessss
continuuuue :D
reminds me of death to smoochy xD
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:icontsukiyohei:
I never saw that movie, but I heard of it! <333 Thanks~!
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