CHURCH, The Television Show
“Where’s Noodle?” The Barracuda asked.
“I don’t know,” The Supervisor shrugged.
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“He only shows up Saturdays.”
“He’s working on his art.”
“His art!” The Barracuda shouted then ran to The Marketer to moan. “Marketer, have you heard that Noodle Church is going to get a raise?”
“Yeah, Noodle’s great. I think he should be the highest paid security here.”
“You have got to be kidding me.”
“No, I’m serious. I heard he can break up fights before they even start.”
“Let me tell you something about Noodle Church; that rat doesn’t even show up for work!”
“That’s because he wasn’t making any money.”
“Well, I don’t know what’s gotten into you Marketer. You used to be with US until DJ became king. Let me tell you something I, for one, will not stand for this.”
“You should do something about it,” The Marketer planted and The Barracuda ran off to plot.
“Noodle,” The Supervisor called when he got into work on Saturday. “Come aside with me,” He said, walked Noodle to the middle of the floor, and turned his back on the bartenders’ prying eyes. “Noodle, I’d like to offer you a raise,” The Supervisor whispered.
“Great,” Noodle smiled.
“Your new rate is thirteen dollars an hour; it’ll show up on your next check.”
“Supervisor, there’s something I wanted to tell you as well,” Noodle retorted. “You know how I’ve only been coming in on Saturdays?”
“Well, I’ll be coming out of the woods soon to assemble a business owner network in my neighborhood. Since I’ll be back from my trip, I’d be happy to return full time if you’d like.”
“Noodle, that’s perfect!” The Supervisor responded and they shook on it.
“Could you do me a favor?” The Manager asked The Marketer.
“Yeah, what is it?”
“Have a friend ransack your office.”
“Why would I do that?”
“I need to get a hold of The Seductress’s Crackberry; but empty the cocktail waitresses’ purses all over the floor so it doesn’t look targeted.”
Once The Club opened, The Innocent Girl’s friends approached Noodle for entrance onto the stage; just like they did every weekend.
“Hey Madman!” The Italian Stallion greeted, “Can we get on tonight?”
“Yeah, it’s not very busy. Do me a favor and keep clear of that table over there, it’s a pro hockey team from Inland city and they want to retain their privacy.”
“Noodle, do you have a PeopleFace?” He asked.
“I’m think I’m too old for that.”
“Why do you think that? You should make a profile!” The Italian Stallion advised.
“It’s for a different generation.”
“Well how old are you?”
“Twenty five,” Noodle answered after subtracting a few years.
“Then we’re the same age, and all my friends have a PeopleFace. Everyone our age has a PeopleFace. You should definitely get one,” The Stallion planted.
“I’ll think about it,” Noodle answered, “But don’t get your hopes up.”
When Noodle turned from their conversation Hayden, at six-foot-five, was confronting a hockey player who stood over seven feet tall with wrists as thick as Noodle’s elbow.
“You pushed a girl!” Hayden yelled mere inches from The Player’s face.
“I didn’t push anybody,” The Player calmly answered.
“No one touches a girl,” Hayden yelled then pushed The Player back.
Noodle leapt from the stairs and landed in between the two massive men.
“Relax,” Noodle said as he faced off with the hockey player first, “I’ll settle this.”
Noodle then spun around to face Hayden, who was shouting and reaching his arms over Noodle’s body to grab at The Player.
“Hayden, back the fuck off!” Noodle shouted, grabbed him around the waist, and forced him back.
The Player was a professional hockey fighter. He welcomed Hayden’s aggression. So Noodle spun back around. “Player, you gotta do me a favor and walk away from this one.”
“I didn’t do anything! That mother…”
“I know, I know. Just relax,” Noodle said and solicited help from The Team’s Host. “Watch The Player, I do not want to be in the middle when these guys’ fists start to fly!”
“He started it!” The Player instructed.
“You pushed a girl!” Hayden yelled back.
“Fuck you! Kick that guy out of here!”
“I can’t, he’s a friend of The Club,” Noodle explained. “Hayden, you fucked up!”
“He pushed a girl!” Hayden fumed.
Hayden, a leader in The Gang, could have knocked Noodle cold. But inside, Noodle was protected. After all, Noodle was paid by The Gang to keep The Peace.
“I see everything, The Player didn’t push that girl,” Noodle continued to drive his momentum toward Hayden to separate the two giants.
“I’m gonna fuck him up!” Hayden yelled with outstretched arms.
“Relax Hayden! That girl slipped on a spilled drink,” Noodle commanded and cleared a space between the men so he could call The Supervisor and Manager on the radio. DJ came to the Stage too.
“What-the-fuck is going on with your guy?” DJ asked The Supervisor. “Get Hayden out of here!” .
After the stage was cleared, The Team’s Host stood talking Noodle’s ear off. His alcohol fueled rant lasted for hours; it went on for the rest of the night.
“Come on! Aren’t you that guy?” The Team’s Host pushed. “I know you’re him. You look just like him.”
Noodle shrugged his shoulders. He had no idea what this guy was talking about.
“It’s Tiger Woods, Larry Bird, and you…Wayne Gretzky.”
Noodle raised his eyes.
“Come on! Aren’t you that guy? I know you’re him. You gotta be that guy, you look just like him!”
Noodle smiled, he was seriously entertained.
“Wayne Gretzky, Wayne Gretzky,” The Team’s Host chanted. “Come on…let me be your Manager. I can hear it now; everyone will be chanting your name.”
“This guy is wasted!” Noodle thought to himself.
“Take my business card! I want to be your manager; I can make you a star!” The Team’s Host continued.
Noodle accepted the business card but put it in his pocket without reading it.
“Call me. You have to call me. I know you’re that guy!”
Noodle wished he was That Guy.
“I’m going to put you on a billboard,” The Team’s Host continued to push. “All three of you: Tiger Woods, Larry bird, and you…Wayne Gretzky!”
The Host inflated Noodle’s head so big that he thought it was going to pop. And he was convincing; Noodle almost believed that he really was Wayne Gretzky. When the lights came on, The Host was still ranting. So Noodle walked away in order to clear the rest of The Club.
“What the fuck,” Noodle over-heard one of the bottle service girls complain. “Someone went through all my stuff!”
“When I went to get my things,” The Model commiserated, “My purse was dumped out all over the floor.”
“Did they take anything?”
“I had so much stuff in there, I don’t know! I don’t know what I keep in my purse!”
“They took my cell phone,” The Seductress discovered. “What the fuck. Someone totally stole my Crackberry!”
Noodle moved on. He recalled The Team Host’s card, took it out of his pocket, and examined it.
It was an official government business card bearing The State seal, embossed with gold leaf. Noodle was amazed. He didn’t even go on to read the man’s title.
“Mr. Made–in-Taiwan,” Noodle called. “Check this out. This guy was so freaking drunk on the stage tonight that he was hallucinating! He though that I was Wayne Gretzky!”
“Let me take a look at that card,” Mister-made-in-Taiwan said and reached out. “Who was this guy?”
“I don’t know; I’ve never met him before. He just kept ranting about how I was Wayne Gretzky, that I’m a Star, and that he wanted to put me on a billboard with Tiger Woods!”
Mr. Made-in-Taiwan groaned and returned the man’s card. This time, Noodle read it:
Legal counsel for Legislative Representative Manzzelli