Natalie and Walter sat at a table in the middle of the lounge. The anchorwoman sipped her coffee as Walter noshed on a plastic cup full of celery sticks.
“Still taking your coffee black?”
“Yes,” Natalie said. “Apparently cutting back on sugar works. Look at you.”
“Oh,” Walter said. “I’m not that special.”
The soft, supple arms of a random hot ass reporter chick with big titties were suddenly draped around Walter’s neck as a pair of red lips were pressed up against his cheek. “Walter, darling, it’s so thrilling to see you’re back in New York again.”
“Start spreading the news,” Walter said.
The hot ass reporter chick tussled the ex-cameraman’s hair. “Stop by my place and we’ll spread something else.”
Walter gulped as the hot ass reporter chick walked away.
“Does that happen often?” Natalie asked.
“Literally at least three times an hour,” Walter replied.
“Of course, it does,” Natalie said. “You’re an Adonis now. Good for you.”
“What can I say?” Walter asked. “I’m popular.”
Natalie drummed her fingers along the table. “So…”
Walter nodded his head. “So…”
The pair sat in silence until Walter spoke up. “So, you and Ed Enwright?”
“What business is it of yours?” Natalie snapped.
Walter threw up his right hand in a “stop” motion. “It’s not. I’m just making conversation.”
“You had your chance, Buster Brown,” Natalie said.
“I know,” Walter said.
Spencer stopped by the table and set down a plate full of goodies. “Miss Brock, I’ve brought you assortment of muffins. We have blueberry, cranberry, pomegranate, chocolate chip and pistachio.”
“Thanks,” Natalie said. “Oh..”
“Oh?” Spencer asked.
“It’s just that,” Natalie said. “I don’t see any corn…”
Spencer’s eyes widened. “You’re right! There’s no corn at all!”
“It’s not a big deal,” Natalie said.
“It’s a very big deal!” Spencer shouted.
“Don’t worry about it,” Natalie said.
“I will worry about it, my lady,” Spencer said as he walked off. “I will scour the earth for a corn muffin!”
Walter laughed. “Do you even want a corn muffin?”
“No,” Natalie said. “I’m power tripping.”
Walter chomped down on a celery stick. “If anyone ever deserved a good power trip…”
The table got quiet again.
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry,” Walter said.
“No need,” Natalie said. “Just you know, when a woman invites a man up to her suite on New Year’s Eve and you’re a no show, it doesn’t feel good.”
“I know,” Walter said. “I don’t know what to say. I respect you too much to treat you like…”
“Like what?” Natalie asked.
“A piece of meat,” Walter said. “I’ve got a monster inside of me, Natalie. Every man has one. Usually, most men can satisfy it with a few youthful trysts before they settle down and commit to one woman but my whole life, I was so overweight no woman, not even the ugliest of females, would give me a time of day, and then, all of a sudden, our toilet gator book hits the big time, we’re getting invited on all these talk shows, I’m doing cameos in movies…”
Natalie nodded. “And your previously empty soul mug is now overflowing with pussy. I get it.”
“And I get it,” Walter said. “A lot. Like, non-stop. 24/7. My confidence levels are higher than they’ve ever been and women can sense that. I can’t walk three feet down the street without a woman running up to me and offering to…”
“I understand,” Natalie said.
“Over four and a half decades with nothing,” Walter said. “And then all of a sudden my phone is ringing off the hook with calls from lady rappers, pop stars, TV stars, movie stars, authors, politicians scientists…”
“Scientists?” Natalie asked.
“Last week,” Walter said. “I had a three way in a coat closet with a lady Nobel prize winner, a Congresswoman and the coat check girl itself. Don’t even get me started on the non-famous woman. Once a month, I’ll allow myself to splurge and go to a diner and enjoy a nice breakfast of whole wheat toast with light butter and a glass of ice water and I can’t even do that without the waitress leaving me a note on my bill to meet her in the bathroom.”
Natalie sipped her coffee. “That sounds terrible. What an exhausting life you lead.”
“Tell me about it,” Walter said. “Oh, and I can’t keep myself out of the gossip rags. Every day, these famous babes are fighting over me. You see that story about how Lady Cyanide threatened to cut Juicy Judy at the rap awards?”
“It made our newscast,” Natalie said.
“I tell you, Natalie,” Walter said. “I can’t keep up with it. I wish I could say no and just settle down, have a healthy relationship with a nice, loving, intelligent woman. Constant, non-stop sex is fun, but the downside is none of these women can carry a conversation in a bucket.”
Cody stopped by the table with a single corn muffin on a plate. He set it down. “Miss Brock, I’m so sorry to interrupt. I just want you to know I heard about the snafu that Spencer had with your muffin and I gave him a good talking to. The nerve of that imbecile, showing up to your table without a corn muffin, but don’t worry, I gave him a good piece of my mind. Now, it took some doing, but I ran to the bakery one block over and got you this…”
“It’s looks great,” Natalie said. “Thank you.”
Cody nodded. “Call on me whenever I can be of service.”
The intern walked away. The anchorwoman smirked at her ex-cameraman. “Threatening bodily harm against their relatives with a mythical weapon?”
“Works every time,” Walter said. “I thought everyone in this business knew that.”
“Apparently, I didn’t get the memo,” Natalie said.
The duo sat in silence for a moment until another hot ass chick reporter walked past the table, being sure to drop a hotel room key card down before moving on. Walter picked it up. “The Swankforth Manhattan? Jesus, that must have set her back a pretty penny.”
“Do all you women usually spend that much on you?” Natalie asked.
“God,” Walter said. “All day long, the stuff just shows up at my door. Suits. Clothes. Man jewelry. Cologne. Tickets to exotic locations. Gift baskets filled with expensive gadgets.”
“Sounds like a real drag,” Natalie said.
“I have to keep track of it all on a spreadsheet for my taxes,” Walter said. “That’s how much these women are spending on me.”
“Aww,” Natalie said. “Poor baby.”
“This is rude!” Walter said. “To just book a hotel room without even asking me. She doesn’t know that I’ll come and…and…” Walter stopped and read a note taped to the back of the card out loud. ‘Room 306 at 9 p.m. Don’t be late. Plow me nasty.’”
Natalie laughed. Walter tucked the card and note into his pocket. “See what I mean? The nerve of these women. She doesn’t know that I’m available to plow her nasty but now that she’s booked the room, I feel obligated to…”
“Plow her nasty?” Natalie asked.
“I mean,” Walter said. “I’m probably going to anyway but she could have asked first. It’s just common courtesy.”
“You know, Walter,” Natalie said. “You could say no.”
Walter said. “I could…but also, I can’t.”
“It seems to me that you’ve replaced one addiction for another,” Natalie said.
“Food for sex,” Walter said. “I know. Believe me, I figured it out. I’m in touch with my inner psyche more than ever.”
“Do what you want, buddy,” Natalie said. “But do you want some advice as a friend?”
“Sure,” Walter said.
“I remember how you always said you thought you had your food addiction under control until one day it caught up with you,” Natalie said. “You woke up. You had a hard time walking. Your knees ached. Your back hurt. You’d gained more weight than you thought you could ever lose. You suffered chest pains, you couldn’t breathe at night without a CPAP machine.”
“Not fun memories,” Walter said.
“But you beat all that,” Natalie said. “And if it’s a stable relationship you’re yearning for, maybe you have to learn to say no once in a while.”
Yet another hot ass blonde chick reporter with big titties stopped by the table. Without warning, she slapped Walter across the face, then leaned over and kissed the red mark she made on his cheek.
“Ow,” Walter said.
“Son of a bitch!” the hot ass reporter chick with big titties said. “You have your way with me and my twin sister behind my back and you never call either of us!”
Walter looked confused. “I…I…when was that again?”
The hot ass blonde chick reporter dropped two plastic hotel room keys on the table. “You’ll meet me tomorrow night and my sister the night after that. Stand us up again and we’ll hot you down like an animal.”
Walter grabbed both keys and shoved them into his pocket as the bodacious babe stormed off.
“Must be hard to keep track of your schedule,” Natalie said.
Walter pulled out his cell phone and punched a few buttons. “That’s cool. I’ve got an app for that. Where were we?”
Natalie reached across the table and grabbed her friend’s hand. Walter put his phone away.
“You thought food fulfilled you but your life only got better when you put the snack cakes down,” Natalie said. “Your food addiction caught up with you. It tore your life apart and you had to do a lot of work to pull it together. Just like all those little individual snack cakes eventually built themselves up into a giant fat roll on your belly, maybe, just maybe, all of these individual skanks will build up into a giant skank avalanche that’s going to suffocate you.”
Walter smiled. “A skankalanche? What a way to go.”
“You laugh,” Natalie said. “Go on. Have your fun. Just know the odds of this lifestyle being sustainable forever aren’t good. Use enough women as your personal playthings and sooner or later, you’ll wake up with either a disease that will make your dick turn gangrenous and fall off, or worse…”
“There’s something worse than my dick falling off?” Walter asked.
“One of them will talk about you,” Natalie said. “Publicly. Have you seen Lifebox, lately?”
“I try to stay away from it,” Walter said. “Every woman who ever rejected me before I became famous writes me daily messages on there. The ones who since got married are the most aggressive but, blech. Like I’d ever be caught dead with a woman my age.”
Natalie’s face recoiled in disgust. “I’m not even going to get into that mess. But seriously, if you cavort with enough random bimbos and then you’ll either wake up with a disease that liquefies your innards, or one of the bimbos will feel jilted and will write an unflattering post that will make show business drop you like a bad habit.”
“That’s true,” Walter said. “I have been thinking about getting my lawyer to draw up a pre-sex contract.”
“A pre-sex contract,” Walter said. “Initial here. Sign there. Indicate you understand you’re having sex with me out of your own free will, that you’re free to leave at any time and I won’t try to stop you, that there will be no repercussions if you say no, for I am offering a safe, non-coercive sex environment and also, that you agree that even if you decide, thirty years from now, that you wish you hadn’t had sex with me in the past, that you won’t consider it rape and assassinate my character on Lifebox.”
Natalie took her hand away. “Did it ever dawn on you that if you have to go through all that…”
“That I should stop and just find one kind, caring, trustworthy woman to love and cherish?” Walter said yes. “But first, I have to get all the lust out of my system.”
“You’ll never get it out,” Natalie said. “You just have to get it under control.”
“Believe me,” Walter said. “I’ve thought about the various sex diseases and I’ve thought about getting called out on Lifebox. The one thing that worries me the most though is that one day all this might go away.”
“You think so?” Natalie asked.
“I know so,” Walter said. “All this success came so late in life for me. Soon, I’ll be fifty and even though I live a healthier lifestyle now, my body will start to fall apart and when that happens, all the show business bookings will stop and when they stop, I’ll just become a sad, old man, sitting in a big empty house all alone.”
“Well,” Natalie said. “If that isn’t enough to motivate you, then…”
“Fifty more trysts,” Walter said. “Sixty, seventy, tops. And then I’m done. Then I’ll swear off random pussy until I find the love of my life. I swear.”
“Whatever happened to award winning actress Marisol Villalobos?” Natalie asked. “I liked her.”
“I did too,” Walter said. “We’re taking a break. She uh…got heavily into the furry lifestyle.”
“The furry lifestyle?” Natalie asked.
Walter straightened his tie. “She had this thing where she would dress up like a hound dog and she’d make me dress up like a fox and then she’d chase me around her estate. When she caught me, she’d…”
The shock in Natalie’s eyes was palpable.
“That doesn’t leave this table,” Walter said.
“My lips are sealed,” Natalie said. “And hey, Walter, I’m not here to judge. I just hope you come to your senses and find a stable relationship, but that’s a decision you’ll have to make.”
Natalie looked at her watch. “I should get going. It’s been fun to catch up with you, but now that I’m with someone, you really shouldn’t drop without calling, even just as friend.”
Walter leaned bit into another celery stick. “I didn’t come to see you. I’m here to tape an interview with one of the hot reporter chicks with big titties.”
“Why? What are you promoting?”
Walter pulled out his cell phone. He pulled up a video and passed the phone to Natalie. The anchorwoman pressed play. A buff, studly looking Walter appeared on screen, wearing a sleeveless shirt that accentuated his arm muscles, and a pair of shorts that showed off his calf muscles.
“He used to be a fat fuck,” an announcer said.
“Has TV lost all standards?” Natalie asked.
“Yes,” Walter said. “For a long time now.
The on-screen version of Walter looked off into the distance, as though he were lost in thought. “His name is Walter Dawes, and he was such a fat fuck that he huffed and puffed and was barely able to walk while he was helping Network News One Anchorwoman Natalie Brock track the toilet gator…”
“Name dropper,” Natalie said.
“Your people said it was OK,” Walter said.
On-screen, Walter walked through a gym, barking orders at overweight people as they worked out, their sweat bodies on the verge of collapse as they did push-ups, sit ups, lifted weights, walked on treadmills and so on.
“One day, Walter woke up, shouted, ‘I don’t want to be a fat fuck anymore!’ and took control of his life. He said no to pizza…”
In the video, Walter knocks over a table full of hot, steaming pizza pies, sending a wave of pepperoni and sauce to scatter all over the floor.
“He kicked ice cream’s ass,” the announcer said.
The video version of Walter round-house kicked a tub of rocky road, sending it flying.
“He at the shit out of that celery,” the announcer said.
Video Walter held up a celery stick. “Mmm! I love celery.”
Real life Walter pushed his celery stick away. “I really don’t.”
Video Walter ran around a track, a legion of fatties behind him, struggling to keep up.
“You can’t keep saying you’ll start your diets tomorrow, fatties!” Video Walter shouted. “Tomorrow is here! Tomorrow is now! Tomorrow is today!”
“Are you serious?” Natalie said.
“Yes,” Real Walter replied.
The announcer continued. “He’s the co-author of Jaws of Death: The Inside Story of the News Duo That Tracked the Toilet Gator.”
“I should sue you,” Natalie said. “You didn’t write a word of that book.”
“Too late,” Real Walter replied. “We have a deal.”
“And he’s the author of the best-selling weight loss books that have helped millions shed unwanted, unsightly fat,” the announcer said. “Books like, ‘You Don’t Have to Be a Fat Fuck’ and ‘Stop Being a Fat Fuck Today.’”
“A ghost writer may or may not have been involved with those,” Walter said.
Video Walter spoke up. “I’m Walter Dawes and when I got tired of being a fat fuck, I took action, and now I’m not a fat fuck anymore. Let me tell you, life is great when you’re not a fat fuck. When you’re not a fat fuck, you’ve got the energy you need to do the things you want and be the best possible version of yourself. Over the next six months, I’ll be taking twenty fat fucks and taking them on a journey to becoming the slim, trim, healthy, non-fat fucks that they always dreamed of being. If you’re a fat fuck watching at home, I hope you’ll join us, because believe me, as bleak as things may look now, a life of non-fat fuckery is within reach. Will you let me help you grab it?”
Natalie looked up from the phone. “Are you actually helping these people or exploiting them?”
Real Walter shrugged. “Meh. A little of both.”
The anchorwoman returned her eyes to the screen, where Walter could be seen chasing overweight contestants around a dining room table. The spread was overflowing with healthy options, like cauliflower and brusell sprouts, as well as not so healthy options, like buffalo wings and candy.
“No!” Video Walter shouted as he pulled out a cattle prod and used it to shock a chubby woman in the butt. “It puts down the chocolate bar and picks up a tofu bar! It does this whenever it’s told!”
“Please!” the chubby woman pleaded. “I’m so hungry!”
“No!” Video Walter shouted. “It puts down the chocolate bar and picks up the tofu bar or else it gets the cattle prod again!”
Natalie looked up from the phone and shook her head at her friend.
“Maybe a little more of the latter,” Walter said.
On-screen, the track scene resumed. Video Walter knelt down to yell at one of his hefty charges, a morbidly obese man in his twenties who had stopped running and had collapsed on the ground, red faced, sweaty and out of breath.
“Get up!” Video Walter shouted.
“No!” the portly young man cried. “I need to rest! Leave me!”
“I will not leave a single one of you fat fucks behind!” Video Walter shouted.
“I can’t do this,” the portly man said. “Not anymore.”
Video Walter got into the obese man’s face. “Son, do you want a good life or not?”
“I do,” the young man said. “I really do.”
“Do you want to be a fat fuck forever?” Video Walter asked.
“I don’t,” the young man said.
“Well,” Video Walter said. “Tick tock, fat fuck. Time’s a wastin.’”
“I know,” the young man said. “I just need a minute.”
“You don’t got a minute, son,” Video Walter said. “You’re pushing thirty. You think you’ll ever get a good job looking the way you do?”
“No,” the young man said.
“You think any reputable company wants a gross fat fuck representing them?” Video Walter asked.
“No,” the young man said. “No, I don’t.”
“You think you’ll ever get a wife the way you look?” Video Walter asked. “Son, you haven’t been able to see your ding dong in years. How the hell do you expect a woman to see it let alone do anything worthwhile with it?”
“I don’t,” the young man said. “I gave up on ever being loved a long time ago.”
“Stop giving up and get up and get in the game, boy!” Video Walter said.
Tears flowed from the young man’s flabby face. “Please…I just need some time.”
“You’re all out of time, boy!” Video Walter shouted. “Every second that goes by is another opportunity you missed because the skinny fuck you want to be is trapped inside the fat fuck that you are! Boom! Some skinny fuck just took a job you could have gotten! Boom! Some skinny fuck just ran off with a woman you could have fucked! Boom, boom, boom! It’s now or never, kid. What’s it going to be?”
“I don’t know,” the young man said.
“Son,” Video Walter said. “I’ve got plenty of time for winners but I don’t have a second free for losers. Are you a winner or are you a loser?”
“I want to be a winner,” the young man said.
“Boy,” Video Walter said. “Are you tired of being a fat fuck?”
“Yes,” the young man said.
“Are you tired of watching your life pass by, knowing that you’re missing out on the brief, fleeting time that God gave you to exist in this world because you’re too fucking fat to live the life you’ve always dreamed of?”
The young man dried his eyes. “Yes.”
“Here’s the million-dollar question,” Video Walter said. “Do you want to be a fat fuck anymore?”
The young man stood up. “No!”
“I can’t hear you!” Video Walter shouted.
The young man smiled. “No!”
“Son!” Video Walter cried. “Tell me at the top of your lungs so the whole world can hear you!”
There on that track, in front of all his fellow contestants, the obese young man screamed like a man reborn. “I don’t want to be a fat fuck anymore!”
Video Walter hugged the sweaty young man before returning to the head of the pack. The young man continued to run alongside the contestants. The screen faded to black.
“I Don’t Want to Be a Fat Fuck Anymore,” the announcer said. “Now playing on the Real Life Channel, Sundays at 9 p.m., right after ‘Teenage Crack Whore Interventions’ and before, ‘America’s Worst Anal Bleaching Disasters.’ Tired of scripted programming? Then come to the Real Life Channel, where we just put cameras on a bunch of dumb, stupid assholes and let them do their thing.”
Natalie passed the phone back to Walter. “I don’t know whether or not I should be disgusted by your lack of intregity or jealous of your time slot.”
“A little of both,” Walter said.
“You logged so many years as a cameraman,” Natalie said. “After the toilet gator, after your transformation…you could have become a journalist if you wanted to.”
“I didn’t want to,” Walter said. “Please. Having to deal with all the political fruitcakes screaming at each other all the time? No thanks. I’ll just stick with my show. I can harass fat people into losing weight for a month, turn the footage into twelve shows and then I’m free to do whatever I want for the rest of the year.”
“Yeah,” Natalie said. “Speaking of political fruitcakes screaming at each other all the time, can I show you something?”
Walter stood up. “Lead the way.”