CHURCH, The Television Show
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This isn’t about you; it’s about Aliens, all they have done for US, and all we have done to ruin it. Trust this isn’t about you; any likeness is intended purely for fictional purposes, and not a living soul on earth knows who you really are. This isn’t about you; this isn’t war, this is new religion. War is why we are all so poor in the first place- let’s all share in the riches of Peace, and learn to coexist with each other and the animals, the air and water and trees. Anger will only make you look guilty so remember that this isn’t about you, it’s about THEM, and all they have done for us. So stay happy, stay calm, and please enjoy the show.
Dedicated to Ethan Collins, who taught me that nothing we believe is true. Truth is only what most of us believe.
Dedicated to N.A., who gave all he had before YOU killed him.
When it gets dark enough, look to see the stars.
“Art is writing about reality in such a way that you don’t piss anyone off!”
“The essential guide for anyone joining the Army, or Organized Crime for that matter.”
- The Journalist
“When you die, you’re going to wish that you were more promiscuous!”
- The Manager
Church, The Television Show
“Noodle! You’re dressed in a suit!”
“Hello Diplomat,” Noodle smiled.
“We don’t see you on the weekends, anymore. Don’t you have to work tonight?”
“Not until nine o’clock. I can hang out for a little while.”
“And I thought you were dressed up just to see meeee!” The Diplomat sang.
“Hey Noodle, how’s work at Majesty?” Ms. Should welcomed while he bent to sit next to her on the couch.
“It’s fine. They’re going to get me a raise. It’s a really fun job, I appreciate your recommendation,” Noodle thanked.
“Noodle, did you happen to bring any weeeed?” The Journalist inquired.
“Nope, when was the last time you saw me smoke?”
“Not for a while. What’s up with that?”
“I’m with The Army now! I quit smoking to become a helicopter pilot.”
“Don’t join the Army!” The Journalist discouraged. “They’re going to ruin you. They already have.”
“Are you kidding? The Army’s got me in the best shape of my life and their values have strengthened my integrity. I love The Army!” Noodle smiled.
“Noodle, The Army kills people. I don’t think love has anything to do with it,” Ms. Should chimed.
“They have to – in order to keep us free. Trust me, The Army it is full of the finest people you’ll ever meet.”
“Noodle,” The Journalist pushed. “You’re not going to join The Army. You’re like that kid who climbed to the top of the slide but won’t go down.”
“Why would you say that?”
“Because you work at The City’s hottest nightclub and you didn’t bring over any weed. It’s Saturday night!”
“Journalist, you’re the one who’s always holding.”
“Yeah, when I was in business with The Printer.”
“That’s terrible. I wish they’d bring those animals to justice,” The Diplomat consoled.
“What about Washington? Call him. I’m sure he’s got something,” Noodle recommended.
“That man’s a hustler!” The Journalist bragged. “A true man of the street. He used to call once a week to sell me cocaine.”
“Did you buy?”
“Hell yeah I did! But he got arrested; the brotha’s locked up! They caught him pushing at First College Square. Haven’t you heard?”
“Heard? I’m not in the middle of a criminal enterprise or anything! But I love you guys,” Noodle said as he got off the couch to leave for Majesty. “You’re like family to me so please, please take my advice and keep away from drugs!”
Meanwhile, The Barracuda was leveraging his own friendships in order to join the crime family.
“Prince,” The Barracuda pleaded. “I have been busting my butt for ten years. When will I become a part of this family?”
“It’s not up to me. It’s up to The Italian.”
“But your word is going to make all the difference.”
“Sure it is…you’re his son!”
“It doesn’t work like that, there are rules. We’re a part of a society, and we have to keep The Respect of the people around US.”
“What can I do to earn The Respect?”
“Quit smoking, for one. He doesn’t respect that.”
“But drugs are our thing!”
“Getting shot in the street while your back’s turned to the wind isn’t. And smoking doesn’t look very professional. It makes you look like a bum.”
“”Done!” The Barracuda threw up his hands. “I just quit smoking.”
“It takes more than that to open the door.”
“Then unlock it for me!”
“What do you think I’m doing right now?”
“I think you’re giving me hygiene advice. I’m an earner!” The Barracuda bragged.
“So? Who cares what you earn? Money is more like a balloon than a waterfall. It goes up and up and up, until you lose sight of it. When it comes back down, it falls on the other side of the world.”
“What can I do about that?”
“Make guys under you let loose their balloons and pray that they land in your yard.”
“But my guys are getting locked up! Washington got taken down in First College Square. You told me we were protected there!”
“What did you just say about me?” The Prince asked with anger in his voice.
“I’m just saying,” The Barracuda deflected. “Nothing’s coming in, and now I have to pay out for this guy’s legal defense.”
“Why do you have to do that?”
“He’s loyal. He didn’t say a word about US.”
“We don’t take care of people for doing the right thing. You kill them for doing it wrong.”
“I lost an earner because The Italian won’t let my guys work inside The Club.”
“What did you just say about my father?” The Prince’s anger turned violent and he threw a glass across the room. “Your guy got taken down because he was a loudmouth. Don’t be the same. Stop complaining and get another guy.”
“You make it sound so easy. It’s not like I can post an ad in The Classifieds.”
“Use Noodle,” The Prince suggested. “He’s quiet as a mouse, paranoid as shit, and look at him – no one would ever suspect that he’s a part of our gang!”
“Noodle’s a yuppie,” The Barracuda condemned. “He’s got too much integrity.”
“You have to break him! Like a horse.”
“Prince, don’t you remember? Noodle’s going to die,” The Barracuda smiled. “I sold him out for a hundred grand!” The Barracuda exclaimed while rubbing his hands together.
“So what are all these money complaints about?”
“That’s good money for this year. I need something for next year, and the year after that, and so on. I need a regular thing!”
“You’re one greedy fish,” The Prince realized.
“With razor sharp teeth,” The Barracuda grinned to let his dentures show through.
“I’ll tell you what, in case you want to deal inside the club again,” The Prince winked. “We used to have a little trick. We’d keep product in the attic, hidden inside the discarded strobes. The room’s always locked, and there’s no floor; it’s just rafters. So if someone’s up there poking around for too long, they’re liable to have a pretty bad fall, do you know what I mean?”
“How do we move it?”
“What do you want, everything handed to you?” The Prince mocked.
“We’ll hire a family member as the lighting assistant.”
“What happens when a Narc solicits him?”
“He never comes out of that closet with any product. He goes in. He measures the orders, and then drops them down on a fishing line to his cousin waiting in the office.”
“How do we take the orders?”
“We’ll use The Meat Packer. Customers can solicit him and he’ll answer that he’ll ‘ask around’ to see if anyone has anything.”
“Aha! But I just caught you!” The Barracuda bragged. “If I’m The Narc then I track The Meat packer around the club, see him go into the office, and then I know that’s where he’s getting the product from!”
“He never goes into the office. He talks to a few people around the club, and then goes into the bathroom stall to take a leak. The Assistant will pass the product to him over the ceiling tiles. If he’s selling it to a Narc, The Police are going to be scrutinizing one of the people he was talking to before he used the bathroom. But none of them are dealers.”
“That’s a great way to flush out The Police!”
“It’s a win-win,” The Prince professed. “You owe me.”
The Barracuda walked back up the stairs to Majesty to start making phone calls.
First, he called The Neighbor. “I need you to do me a favor….,” he started.
And then he called The Waitress. “You know this guy Noodle Church who eats at your restaurant?” He asked. “I need you to do me a favor.”
The Barracuda made more calls. He made plans. He went about constructing an entire conspiracy to destroy Noodle Church.
The Roommate came out of the bathroom after taking a shower with The Boyfriend and caught Noodle smoking a cigarette inside their apartment.
“My nose burns!” She exclaimed.
Noodle tried to apologize, but was interrupted by a text message from the most beautiful girl in Desert City: Angel Brolé.
‘What’s up Noodle Church?’
‘I want to see you,’ he texted back.
‘Well, where you at?’
‘I’m back in The City, working at a nightclub. I wish you’d come to visit.’
‘I want to, but I don’t have any money.’
‘What if I bought the ticket?’
‘Okay! We’ll have wild sex. J‘ Angel texted and Noodle went back to work with a great grin on his face.
He set up red velvet ropes at the front door to organize the line that was forming, and then he checked the ID’s of all the people who walked inside.
“What kind of identification is this?” Noodle asked the girl who handed him a laminate designed in 1942.
“I’m a spy,” the girl winked on her way by.
Then The Waitress walked in. “Hey! I didn’t think I’d see you working here,” she said.
Noodle didn’t say a word.
“Oh god…I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to insult you!” The Waitress cried.
“You didn’t insult me! I was just trying to figure out how I know you.”
“I’m your waitress from The Sandwich Store! I guess I just didn’t expect to see you wearing a suit.”
“Now that’s insulting!” Noodle replied, thinking she said that because he was always eating out with The Uncle dressed as a hipster bum. He’d forgotten that The Suit was also a uniform.
Once everyone was inside, Noodle ran into The Creep.
“Noodle, where do you work out?” He asked.
“At The Mat in Town-line square.”
“Interesting,” The Creep smiled.
And then Noodle met Tim Connor.
“What’s up Tim, I’m Noodle Church! The SquishHead told me that you’re an Army pilot.”
“That’s weird. The SquishHead told me you told him so yourself.”
“Striker’s an Army pilot,” The Production Manager illuminated in passing.
“No shit,” Noodle marveled. “Production Manager, didn’t you go to The Ivy League School?”
“No, I went to Lincoln College. Why would you think that?”
“Because you were wearing an Ivy League t-shirt the other day.”
“Noodle, you see everything!” The Production Manager marveled. “That t-shirt I was wearing was for their hockey team. But The Manager’s parents are professors at The Ivy League School.”
“Wow,” Noodle marveled.
Meanwhile, The Barracuda was spying. He was trying to dig up all the habits of Noodle Church so he could eventually use that information to destroy him.
“Is that the guy?” The Barracuda asked The Waitress. “Is Noodle Church the guy who eats at your restaurant?”
“Yeah, that’s him.”
“Who does he eat with?”
“He eats with an old man every other Monday. I think it might be his father.”
“What do they talk about?”
“I don’t know. He just sits and eats. He gets a ham sandwich every time!”
“Don’t you live over on Can Bridge Lane? Those rents are enormously high. I bet you’re glad to have your job at The Sandwich Shop…it’s a terrible thing when someone looses their job,” The Barracuda engaged. “Are you sure that you can’t tell me anything you’ve heard them say?”
“I’m telling you, their table gets really quiet when I come around. But if it helps you any, I caught them passing notes once.”
“Isn’t that interesting,” The Barracuda smiled. “Do me a favor, text me the next time that they come in to eat.”
The Barracuda left The Waitress to conspire with The Creep.
“Did you find out where Noodle goes to the Gym?”
“Yeah, he goes to The Mat, every Monday night.”
“Doesn’t your brother work at The Mat?”
“Yeah, but I don’t really talk to my brother.”
“You know Creep, I like you, and that’s why I turn the other way when you’re taking money from customers at the front door,” The Barracuda smiled. “Why don’t you ask your brother to send me a text message the next time Noodle’s at the gym. And find out where that girl lives who he brought to the Marley Shaker event.”
Then The Barracuda went into the office to call The Neighbor. He was a real hard worker.
“Neighbor, how are you today? How’s the vinyl-siding my guy installed on your house?”
“I bet your home looks absolutely beautiful…the best on the block!”
“If you want me to be honest, it was going well, but the guy hasn’t returned for a few days. He stopped working right in the middle of the job!”
“Isn’t that awful!” The Barracuda grinned. “I’ll call him right away and tell him to march right back to your house, but I need you to do something for me…”
“Don’t say it like that. We’re friends, remember? Does Noodle have any girls go over his house?”
“I don’t know.”
“Come on; help me get your house put back together.”
“There’s one car I’ve seen.”
“Tell me about it.”
“It’s a gray BMW convertible.”
“Excellent,” The Barracuda said with delight and then hung up the phone. He picked it back up to call a Gang Lieutenant who managed the security several blocks around Noodle’s home.
“Terry, this is The Barracuda. I want you to check your notebook to see if you have a licenses plate number for any gray BMW convertibles parked on Melbourne Street in the last month.”
“I have one.”
“Give it to me.”
“Perfect,” The Barracuda said and hung up the phone.
He called his friend The Police Officer. “Bobby, it’s ‘Cuda. I haven’t seen you at The Club for a while. Are we not friends anymore?”
“It’s expensive,” Bobby admitted. “I can’t be out dropping a hundred, two hundred bucks every weekend. I’m not you; I get paid like a cop!”
“Bobby I’ve told the bartenders that you don’t owe US a dime,” The Barracuda lied. “Come as often as you’d like and everything will be taken care of.”
“It never seems to work out that way.”
“Listen Bobby, I need you to do something for me, because we’re friends.”
“There’s a car that’s been following my girlfriend around and it’s really starting to worry her. Would you mind looking into it for me?”
“Sure. I’m in my cruiser right now. What’s the plate number?”
“It’s a gray BMW, license plate number 4-0-8-7 XG.”
“That comes back to a Mehca Simpson, twenty five, no priors, registered in Gustville. I recognize that name…I think the car you’re looking for is registered to the Powersville Fire Chief.”
“Really…a Fire Chief,” The Barracuda drooled.