CHURCH, The Television Show
“Roommate, look at this,” Noodle said after he found the gold-leaf business card in his coat while dressing for work. “This guy was so drunk that he was hallucinating! He kept calling me Wayne Gretzky and saying that he wanted to put me on a billboard.”
“Can I see that?” The Boyfriend asked and reached out.
“I should swing by his office and say, ‘I know what you did at Majesty last night,’ as a joke. But he probably doesn’t even remember.”
“Or you could walk around impersonating him!” The Boyfriend suggested.
“That would be funny! Noodle Church: Consumer Protection,” he said and flipped the card out of his hand as if it were a badge.
When Noodle got into work he ran by The Creep at the front door.
“Noodle, still got those Tattoos huh?”
“Yeah, I love them. But that’s the best part, someday they will wash off and nobody will even remember! Creep, have you ever heard of a gang called F-S-U? On New Year’s Eve, some guy would not stop asking me if I was a part of it just because of these tattoos.”
“I used to know some guys in Fa-Sue. But they’re not around anymore. You would have fit right in; they were some crazy motherfuckers!”
“Where are they now?”
“Locked up or dead. They all worked in clubs and stuck by each other like glue. If you fucked with one of them, you fucked with them all. They had killer instinct and they came at you hard.”
“So what happened? Why aren’t they still in business like The Gang?”
“They told everybody who they were! The FBI caught wind of their organization and SWAT raided them. They had FSU tats on their neck, so it was easy to convict them. The Gang, on the other hand, denies their own existence and after a hundred years they’ve become a political machine. They make most of their money in business.”
Noodle dropped his belongings in the employee coat room, and then helped move the gold upholstered couches to the edge of the dance area. When they were finished, Noodle screwed them into the hardwood floor.
While he screwed, he listened. “Did you have fun at The Company’s Christmas party?” DJ asked The Manager.
“Sure. It was great,” The Manager feigned.
“Why don’t you drink?”
“Short term memory loss…you know what I mean?” The Manager replied while staring at Noodle.
Noodle wondered if he suffered from short-term memory loss. He rarely drank, so he didn’t think he had that problem.
There was only one time he couldn’t remember, when he hung out with the guys from Two Brothers promotions and they followed him- which caused him to race and crash his bike. He remembered nothing about that night.
“Don’t you breed pit bulls?” The Car Thief asked Southie Suits.
“You know, Jersey Girl got a new pit.”
“Have you seen it? How does it look?”
“It’s black, jet black.”
“It’s still a puppy, but it comes up to here already,” The Car Thief said and held his hand to his knee.
“Female! You can breed it with that stag you got.”
“Do you know where this girl lives?”
“I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you tell me.”
“You don’t have to do that; we’re friends.”
Up on the stage, Noodle’s ears started to ring loudly. He scanned the room and noticed Southie Suits walking quickly toward the dancers’ dressing room.
So he slipped out a back door leading off the stage, and stopped on the other side of the dressing room. He stood, waiting to hear what was happening inside, when his radio sounded and blew his cover. A dancer opened the door and Noodle saw Southie Suits reaching into a prescription pill bottle to sell The Dancer Pimp some marijuana.
“Jesus Noodle!” Southie Suits smiled. “I thought you were the freaking cops!”
“Nope, it’s just me,” Noodle smiled. “You good back here?”
“Yeah, we’re good,” Southie suits replied.
Noodle shrugged and returned to his position on the stage, where he ran into The Meat Packer.
“Meat Packer, I have a question for you,” Noodle announced.
“I think Southie Suits is dealing inside the club. Do you think I should let The Supervisor know?”
“No, that’s cool, The Supervisor already knows. Southie Suits sells everything under the sun,” The Meat Packer exposed.
“You do too, right?”
“Nah, I’m not like that; I only sling pot. But Southie Suits deals it all!”
The Meat Packer left the stage and stood next to The Barracuda in the kitchen. “Hey ‘Cuda, Noodle just asked if it was okay that Southie Suits is dealing inside the club. He asked me if he should tell The Supervisor!”
“I’ll tell you what we’re going to do,” The Barracuda responded and took out a virus. “Give me one of your cigarettes,” the Barracuda commanded and swabbed the infection the cigarette’s filter.
“Go back to Noodle and ask him if he wants to smoke a cigarette – when you get outside, offer him this.”
“I got you ‘Cuda. I got you.”
Then The Barracuda went downstairs to Club Blood Room to see The Prince.
“Noodle’s going to be so sick,” The Barracuda bragged. “The Nurse told me that this new virus she got a hold of is an elder killer! I had to pay her double, but that’ll teach Noodle what happens when you don’t show up for work!”
“Whatever goes on upstairs is The Manager and DJ’s business,” The Prince dismissed.
“What are you talking about? Don’t you remember when every person in here was our people?”
“Times have changed.”
“That’s why we have to fight to take back what’s ours.”
“Be careful. You don’t know who Noodle’s with.”
“Noodle’s not with anyone.”
“Oh yeah?” The Prince smiled, “Why don’t you focus on the things that actually earn revenue?”
“Well…what happened to our skittle business?”
“The supplier got knocked out of Casino Town because The Ballerina couldn’t keep her mouth shut about being a Traveler. She’ll never work again; not here, not anywhere.”
“Didn’t we teach you anything, ‘Cuda? You have to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
“Why? So she can earn money dancing? She can’t do anything else for us; she’s marked by the Feds now.”
“What would you do to a guy who wasn’t earning the money that they were once paying up to you every month?”
“I’d break his legs,” The Barracuda replied.
The Prince threw up his hands and shrugged.
Upstairs, The SquishHead joined Noodle on the stage. “Guess that secret didn’t take long to get out of the bag,” he said.
“That The Supervisor hooked up with The Hostess.”
“That’s not really a big deal is it? It was just a kiss.”
“You told The Roommate, didn’t you?”
“Of course, we live together.”
“Well, she’s been going around telling everyone.”
“I don’t believe you. I specifically instructed her not to tell anybody; she’s smarter than that.”
“Well, she is.”
“If that’s true, then The Roommate can find a new place to live!”
The SquishHead gave Noodle Big Eyes and walked away.
“Hey Supervisor, want me to go out and help manage the sidewalk?” Noodle asked after the club was clear of the final patron.
“Noodle, I don’t want you going outside,” The Supervisor answered.
“Okay Supervisor, whatever you say,” Noodle smiled and skipped off to use the bathroom.
“Noodle, you know what you can do for me?” The Manager asked when he came out.
“Stand at the top of the stairs and search every employee’s bag as they leave the building.”
“Do I have to?”
“Okay, if that’s what you want…”
After Noodle walked away, DJ pulled The Manager aside. “I heard Noodle ask The Supervisor if he should go outside and help clear the door,” DJ said, “You know The Supervisor talks a lot.”
“Don’t worry, he’s on a need to know basis –he knows only not to let Noodle outside. I told him the skinny guys make us appear weak.”
“You have got to get McCafferty to make the call. I’m starting to have nightmares in anticipation of Noodle’s fate.”
“See DJ, I knew you liked him.”
“I don’t care if the kid lives or dies – I just don’t like uncertainty!”
“Well, the good news is that he’s coming out of hiding to look at Noodle himself. But there’s no telling when.”
“Let’s hope Noodle doesn’t recognize him…that would be trouble all the way around. If he decides to take care of Noodle’s problem, do you have a plan to get him to freak out? Noodle’s a tough guy to crack, he stares me down whenever I say something to him!”
“Yup, I do! The Boyfriend copied his hard drives: We have photos, medical records, emails and everything he’s ever written down. There’s this really good bit with him on video. You gotta see it, he’s going to be better than Charlie Sheen!”