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
‘For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the rider was lost.’
Noodle texted The Manager, ‘Can we set up a meeting? I really need to talk to you about work…I’m running out of time!’
‘Come in tomorrow,’ The Manager responded.
And then Noodle passed out. He slept for an entire day to rid himself of the fever he’d been carrying for more than eleven; when he finally awoke he walked his burning body to the nearest infirmary.
“We can take your health insurance,’ the receptionist began, “But we can’t see you today; we close in a couple hours and our practitioners already have all their appointments.”
“That’s okay,” Noodle smiled and turned to walk away but returned to the desk. “I’ve had this fever for ten days, what do you think I should do?”
“You should go to the hospital!”
So Noodle walked fifteen blocks to MetroNorth Hospital. His visit turned out to be the quickest, most productive health care Noodle had ever received.
“It started as a sore throat and then I got this fever. At first it was manageable; I was still able to go into work.”
“Where do you work?” The nurse asked.
“At a nightclub,” Noodle responded.
“That’s it, a sore throat and fever?”
“No. My sinuses are clogged and there’s a lot of pain behind my cheeks. There’s so much pressure that my entire face feels bruised.”
“Sinus pressure can be really bad,” she agreed.
“But then, when I woke up this morning yellow mucous was leaking out of my eye!”
“Let me see that,” she said and pulled back his eyelid then stuck a thermometer inside his mouth and wrapped a blood pressure cuff around his bicep.
“I’m worried about my lungs too. There was so much smoke that I couldn’t breathe last night.”
“You know, some types of smoke have been outlawed due to their carcinogenic effects.”
“I’m sure we’re using only the most legal smoke available,” Noodle lied. “But that’s not the only occupational hazard. My ears have been ringing ever since Halloween. I think it’s from loud music,” he said when the doctor came in.
“It sounds like you’ve been really sick, but that you’ve been going into work anyway.”
“Yeah, we don’t get sick time,” Noodle answered.
The doctor prescribed oral antibiotics and a gel for his eye. “Take these and you’ll get better in two days. Keep taking the medication though, until it’s all gone.”
That afternoon, Noodle got a text from The Good Looking guy.
‘What do you know about Remorse nightclub?’
Noodle had never heard of Remorse. He searched the internet and discovered it was really Blood Room, re-opening under a new name just like Majesty had done after The Roxbury closed. There was an active casting call posted: ‘Hiring for all positions.’
Blood Room must have fired all its employees; all except Prince. Noodle’s ears starting ringing and the pieces flashed before his mind.
The Good Looking Guy had gotten Noodle drunk and asked what he knew about the Orphan job. The Good Looking guy had offered Noodle money, but warned that he shouldn’t accept a loan from him. The Good Looking guy had told Noodle to keep quiet when talking in public. The Good Looking guy had asked to see Noodle’s resume, a document that The Manager said he shredded to keep away from The Gang.
The Good Looking guy said that he was in The Industry because he was part of a fraternity in Mountain State. The Good Looking guy had quit working for Majesty because of ‘bad management’ but he continued to work at a bar in Inland City. The Prince owned a bar in Inland City.
The Prince owned Remorse. That was it: As good as he looked, The Good Looking guy worked for The Gang!
‘You were the first I’ve heard of Remorse nightclub, which makes me wonder, what do you know?’ Noodle responded.
And then Noodle went to MetroNorth Main Streets to start planning the Restaurant Owner group.
“Sorry I wasn’t able to start this earlier,” Noodle apologized to the Director. “I’ve been really sick.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I was trying to beat it on my own, but I finally went to the hospital. It’s strange because The Army put me in the best shape of my life, but I’ve been sick a half dozen times since I started working at Majesty.”
“How are we going to get local business owners to join the Networking Group?” She asked.
“I’m going to write a real inspiring invitation, and then I’m going to hand deliver it to all the owners, look them in the eye and say: ‘I want you at this meeting. It’s just for you.’ They’ll come. I think we should make some kind of face booklet too. That’s what we did for the executive programs at The Technology School. The booklet will help the owners remember each other after they’ve gone home; and then there’s a restaurant, phone number, goals, and contact information right next to the face of a friend they made at our meeting. If they feel inspired, it will be easy for them to reach out to each other.”
“When should we hold it?”
“As soon as possible, I need to step away from The Main Streets for a while to work on an old project.”
“You can work on that, and still volunteer here,” The Director smiled.
“I can’t. I’ll be going into the woods to work on it.”
“What woods? Where are you going?” She asked.
“I mean, my mind is going to be completely unreachable. It’s going to be off in another world. A fictional world…”
“Are you still going to work at Majesty?”
“Yeah. I’ve been trying to get a meeting with The Manager so I can return to the Saturday schedule I had in January. I was making great progress, but I packed it all up and pulled my head out of the clouds to put this meeting together.”
“Thanks for doing this.”
“It’s something I said I would do and I really stick to my commitments. Have you spoken to Anthony Spinelli? Would he be able to preside over the group after I’m gone?”
“Spinelli has a lot of experience managing the restaurant industry. He’s really excited about all this organizing stuff.”
“Awesome! I’ll take a day to write up the invitations. Let’s talk again before I deliver them.”
“You read Noodle’s novel, right?” The Barracuda asked.
“Yeah! It was crazy. But The Italian was clear: No one can do anything with the information in that book. It’ll start a war with the firefighters that we’ll never win.”
“He gave me the green light! The Italian gave me the green light!” The Barracuda bragged. “So what’s in the book?”
“There’s a lot of stuff about firefighting, but mostly, the entire book is about Noodle and this girl named Mehca Simpson.”
“What about them, what information in that book can we use to hurt Noodle?”
“Pretty much he marries this girl and then she starts pushing heroin or whatever and has sex with a bunch of other dudes. It breaks his heart, she kills herself, and then he burns his house down or something.”
“Oh. My. God. That is awesome! Let’s see if we can make it happen for real. This is what we’re going to do, we’re going to have to get Mehca to have sex with one of our guys and then rub it in his face. I would laugh my ass off if he actually burns his own house down.”
“Tim went to school with her little sister.”
“This is what I need you to do. Tell Tim to find out from this sister what Mehca’s weaknesses are.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea. This sister works for the cops.”
“The Cops,” The Barracuda smiled. Where?”
“Powersville! Isn’t that where Vinny’s a cop?”
“I don’t know Vinny.”
“Then why are you still here? Get the fuck out of my office,” The Barracuda dismissed. “But before you go, this is what I want you to do…Tell Tim to take Stryker out for drinks,” The Barracuda grinned.
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