After the show, a tired, sweaty, worn-out Countess Cucamonga walked through a backstage hallway. She was flanked on each side by her burly, bald-headed, sunglass sporting security goons. Meanwhile, her dutiful manager Irving, a spindly little twerp stuffed in a designer suit, heaped praise on his client.
“Outstanding performance, Countess,” Irving said. “Positively outstanding. Butt Peace is climbing the charts even faster than Buttstravaganza ever did.”
“What fabulous news, darling,” the Countess replied.
“I think we’re going to see a dramatic decline in violent outbreaks across the world thanks to your song,” Irving said.
“Yes, well, I do what I can darling,” the Countess said. “I really do.”
Irving craned his neck to see that his client was being followed down the hall by Natalie Brock. Struggling to keep up behind the affiliate reporter was Walter, her hefty, huffing and puffing cameraman.
“Goddamn it, Walter,” Natalie said. “Hurry up. We’re going to lose her.”
“I’m union,” Walter groaned. “I don’t care.”
“Countess!” Natalie shouted. “Countess!”
The entourage came to a halt. The two goons formed a human wall.
“Countess,” Natalie said. “Natalie Brock for NN1’s Miami affiliate. Can we get a few words?”
“This is a secure area, ma’am,” the first goon said.
“We need to ask you to leave,” the second goon added.
Natalie struggled to look around the goons but they blocked her at every turn.
“Irving!” Natalie yelled. “Irving! I know you’re back there.”
Natalie and Irving resorted to having a conversation between the goon wall.
“Natalie, this entire floor has been blocked off for the Countess’ safety,” Irving said. “I could have you arrested and carted off to Guantanamo Bay on celebrity harassment charges.”
The intrepid reporter belted out her question. “What would you say to critics who believe that Butt Peace is just an example of the Countess recycling her same old tired buttsploitation songs into a faux humanitarian package?”
“The Countess does not have to answer such outrageous accusations!” Irving said. “Get out or be thrown out!”
“No,” the Countess said as she pushed her way through the goons to Natalie’s side. “I want to speak. ‘Faux,’ you say?”
Natalie held her microphone up to the Countess’ mouth. “Yes, some say that you really don’t care about world peace, that this song is just your way of scamming the public into thinking you care about the world while still raking in the dough from perverted men who love to pretend that you are singing directly to them about your butt, as well as women who wished they had the kind of butt that would motivate perverted men to give up all of their many. Is your interest in world peace fake?”
“I assure your there’s nothing fake about it, darling,” the Countess said. “What is war other than a conflict over limited resources and why do men fight over limited resources in the first place? I submit that men go to war in order to prove themselves worthy of women with fabulous butts. All I’m trying to say to those angry men is that they should abandon their violent ways, for whenever they feel like committing mass genocide in order to placate their feelings of sexual inadequacy, they should just put on one of my butt songs instead. My butt doesn’t just belong to me, it belongs to the world, and as long as everyone has a chance to stare at it, there’s no reason for us not to come together in the spirit of peace and harmony.”
Natalie blinked. “That was actually the nicest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Thank you,” the Countess said. “Now if you’ll excuse me.”
The Countess and her contingent pressed forward down the hall.
“Tell me you got that, Walter,” Natalie said.
“Uh huh,” the grumpy cameraman replied.
The entourage reached the Countess’ private dressing room.
“Countess,” Irving said. “We’ve got to talk about your stop in New York. The choreographer was thinking about switching things up a bit, maybe adding at least seventy-percent twerking. Our focus groups can’t get enough of it.”
The Countess’ stomach gurgled. “Ugh. Not now, darling. I think all that twerking shook something loose. Ta ta.”
The pop star entered her dressing room and slammed the door. Her goons took up their positions.
“Wow,” Irving said as he squeezed the first goon’s arm. “That’s solid. You guys must work out. You work out?”
“Ergh,” the first goon replied.
“Do some curls, work on your biceps?” Irving asked. “Triceps? Lats? Delts? Quads. Yeah, I like to lift myself. I’ve got these little red dumbbells that I…”
“Ergh,” the first goon said.
“OK,” Irving said as he lightly slapped the first goon’s arm. “Good talk.”
As the manager walked down the hallway, he spotted Natalie going over her notes.
“You ever pull a stunt like that and you’ll never work in broadcasting again, capiche?”
“Oh, don’t you ‘capiche’ me, Irving,” Natalie said. “Besides, this is a win for you. For once in her life, your girl didn’t sound like a total moron.”
Irving’s face turned red. “That’s the image we’re going for and if you ever publicly imply that she is anything but a total moron I will sue you for slander!”
Meanwhile, the stoic goons were unable to maintain their rugged facades as loud fart noises emanated from inside their client’s dressing room. “Pbbbht…pbbhht…pbbbhhhhttt!”
“Huh huh,” the first goon chuckled.
“Must have been that chimichanga,” the second goon said.
Back down the hallway, the manager continued to lock horns with the reporter.
“I want that recording erased,” Natalie said.
“Not happening,” Natalie said. “She gave a statement voluntarily and it’s going on air.”
Walter stared at the back of his camera, slapped it a few times, then scratched his head. “Hey, Natalie…”
“I am her agent,” Irving said. “All press inquiries must go through me. That statement was unauthorized.”
“She authorized it herself,” Natalie said.
“Hey Natalie,” Walter repeated.
“Fine,” Irving said. “You want to go tit for tat on this? Mano y mano? Tit for tat? You want to bring down the god of thunder to make it rain all over you?”
“Knock it off, Irv,” Natalie said.
“Let’s get nuts,” Irving said. “I’m not afraid to go to court over this. I love going to court. I live for litigation. You call your Jews, I’ll call my Jews.”
“That’s racist and offensive,” Natalie said.
“That’s not racist to say that Jews are good lawyers,” Irving said. “Do you know how long it takes to go to law school?”
Walter interrupted again. “Natalie…”
Natalie snapped. “What?!”
“I didn’t get the thing where the girl with the big butt was talking,” Walter said.
Irving grinned. Natalie clenched her fists. “Are you kidding me?”
“Yeah,” Walter said as he stared at his camera. “I mixed up the buttons. There’s so many of them, you know.”
“Damn it, Walter,” Natalie said. “You know, I try my best to be nice to everyone. I try not to be one of those catty news bitches who thinks their shit doesn’t stink and they have a God given right to shit all over everyone, but damn it Walter, a monkey could do your job. A literal, honest to go, chimpanzee could work that camera and save the station a lot of money.”
“Take it up with my union,” Walter replied.
Irving laughed and laughed.
“Oh, blow it out your ass, Irv,” Natalie said.
Suddenly, the hallway was filled with a loud rumbling sound, followed by the noises of porcelain and drywall being smashed and bashed. Then there were screams. High pitched, blood curdling, female screams.
“What’s going on?” Irving asked.
The first goon tried the door knob, but it was locked. The second goon threw his weight against the door again and again until finally, he broke it open.
“Stay back!” the first goon shouted to everyone in the hallway. He drew his sidearm and followed the second goon into the room. Irving ignored the command and entered.
Natalie wagged her finger in Walter’s face. “Look at me Walter. You’re going to turn that camera on and you’re going to record every single thing that happens and if I find out that you didn’t, I’m going to drop kick you in the balls until you can’t father children anymore.”
“I’m filing a grievance,” Walter said.
“There,” Natalie said as she pointed to a red button on the camera. “That’s the record button. Push that one, then don’t push anything else. Got it?”
Walter pushed the red button. “Got it.
Irving’s shocked voice carried out into the hallway. “Jesus H. Fuck!”
Natalie’s eyes lit up with the twisted delight that only a reporter gets upon learning that something has gone awry. She and her cameraman entered the dressing room, where Irving was holding his hand in his hands.
“I don’t get it,” Irving said. “How is that even possible?”
The goons stepped out of the bathroom. The first goon dialed 911. “We need everyone you’ve got down here now…yeah…Sunnyside Arena…I don’t know how to describe it…there’s been a murder…”
Natalie sidestepped the men and poked her head into the bathroom. There, she saw that the toilet had been smashed to smithereens, little pieces of porcelain everywhere. A hole had been ripped open in the floor. The pipe leading to the sewer system had been split apart.
Worse of all, every square inch of the bathroom was covered in blood and guts. Ever so timidly, Natalie walked into the room, being careful not to get any blood on her clothes. She waved for Walter to follow.
The news reporter kneeled down and stared at a blood soaked plastic bag filled with gloppy silicone.
“What is that?” Walter asked.
“Ungh,” Natalie said as she pulled a kleenex out of her pocket and wiped the blood away. In doing so, she revealed some writing.
“Plastilox Buttock Implant – Left – Patent #10999428432”
“I knew that ass was fake,” Natalie said.