BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
Event: CULTURE SHOCK 2022
Event Date: 04/08/2022
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
The camera opens up on the 28th floor of the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. It focuses on Garbage Bag Johnny from behind, pantsless, as he looks in a mirror, holding one of two formal bathrobes in front of his torso. The bathrobe he’s holding is more of a timeless classic, tuxedo-colored number.
Garbage Bag Johnny: The name’s Bond…Garbage Bag Bond.
His wholly inaccurate British accent notwithstanding, the ensemble is probably a lot classier than the second bathrobe, which is made from a comfortable silky material in an even more comfortable button-down flame shirt design. Johnny switches the robes to imagine himself in robe number two.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Oh yeah…welcome to Flavortown!
The sound of a door opening comes from offscreen and the camera whips around to reveal Johnny’s new tag team partner standing in the door frame.
Nova: Hey, Johnny, can you help me drag this practice boulder out of the ele–Jesus H, buddy. Put some pants on!
GBJ, startled at Nova’s interruption, quickly throws the luxury flame-patterned robe over his body to cover himself.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Sorry, dude. I was just getting ready for my date with Muriel later, so keep an eye out for a sock on the doorhandle. Say, you think I should go with this robe or the other one?
Nova: Definitely the one you got on, but we gotta focus on Survivor first. Get dressed and meet me at the elevator.
*STAR WIPE – 28TH FLOOR*
Nova and GBJ (now back in standard attire) are in front of the elevator, both pulling at a large rock that’s wedged between the doors. GBJ tries climbing over the rock to get into the elevator and push from the other side.
Garbage Bag Johnny: How the heck did you get this in here?
Nova: I always tip my luggage porters well.
The elevator is letting out a loud beep now, signifying the doors have been held open way too long.
Nova: Here, let’s try pushing it back in to see if we can get rid of that sound.
Nova pushes the rock, and it looks to clear the opening.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Uh, hey, Nova? I’m pinned here.
The doors start to close and the beeping subsists.
Nova: Don’t worry, I’ll call it back.
*STAR WIPE – FIRST FLOOR*
We cut to the first floor, where we see a pair of men bickering between themselves as they appear to be waiting for the elevator to come back down. Upon closer inspection we soon realize who these men are…the taller man, with his impeccable mutton chops, is none other than Randall Schwartz, and the one looking like he got carded at the bar is Kenny Freeman.
Randall Schwartz: Why can’t we just take the stairs, man? We’re not that far up.
Kenny Freeman: Bro, we’re on the FIFTH floor. I’m saving my leg strength for when we have our challenge. I’m not gonna cramp up pushing a boulder!
Randall just rolls his eyes with a shrug before a shout catches his attention. He and Kenny turn around, just in time to see the elevator doors swing open, and inside it, there’s a yelling rock.
Kenny Freeman: What the hell?
The Rock?: If anyone’s out there, can you help me? I’m stuck back here…if you smell-la-la-la-la-just kidding. It’s Garbage Bag Johnny. Please help. I have a date later.
Randall Schwartz: Look, man. We’re just trying to get to our room. Can’t help you with your rock problem because we got a boulder thing later and Kenny here doesn’t want to cramp up.
Meanwhile, Kenny is trying to maneuver his body around the rock that’s blocking most of the entryway. The elevator starts beeping again as Randall Schwartz realizes that there’s not going to be room for both him and his tag team partner on this trip.
Randall Schwartz: Ah, just my freakin’ luck.
Kenny Freeman: Weren’t you the one who wanted to take the stairs anyway?
Randall Schwartz clenches a fist as Kenny Freeman squeezes into the elevator enough to clear the sensors, stop the beeping and close the doors.
*STAR WIPE – 12TH FLOOR*
The Hollywood Bruvs come from the stairwell, sweating and panting in a way that no real athlete should. Each holds a Starbucks drink in one hand, struggling to catch their breath, when they hear the elevator ding open.
Randall Schwartz: Screw this. I’m taking the stairs.
Schwartz pushes himself out of the elevator again, and he passes the approaching Bruvs as they make their way down the hall from the stairwell door to the elevator bank.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Ah, man. It’s on your foot. Hey? Did you get out of the elevator?
Finally, the winded Bruvs make it to the elevator;
Mikey Unlikely: Who the hell is holding up the elevator!? We’ve been trying to get down here for MINUTES now!
Kendrix: Yea Bruv, Pulleys on the loose innit!?
They find the elevator door open and a giant boulder inside. Mikey does a double take as JFK points to a pair of boots behind the giant rock.
Kendrix: I think there’s someone back there Bruv!
Mikey crouches down and sees the feet as well now.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Hey guys! It’s me Garbage Bag Johnny, Little help? Anyone?
There’s no response to Johnny.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Uhh…guys!? GUYS!?
It’s no use, the Bruvs are gone. They knew they’d be asked to help and scooted out of there as fast as they could. With that, the door closes and GBJ is back off.
*STAR WIPE – 28TH FLOOR*
The elevator doors open again, and in the meantime, Nova has procured a rope and tied it into a lasso.
Nova: You still in there, buddy?
Garbage Bag Johnny: Where else would I go?
Nova: Listen, I went room to room, but none of our tribe mates are around, so I got this lasso. I’m gonna try to pull you out of there.
Nova tosses the lassoed rope into the elevator and the newfangled team manages to work it around the wedged rock. He’s grunting and growling as he pulls at the rock, but nothing much is happening. The rope keeps the elevator door open, though.
Nova: You gotta push.
Garbage Bag Johnny: I am pushing!
The door to the stairwell opens, and Kenny Freeman comes through, the Hollywood Bruvs are behind him, and as they all get to the 28th floor, exhausted from all that climbing, Nova tries recruiting each wrestler to pull as they come through the stairwell door, but nobody’s up for it, not even Randall Schwartz as he pulls up the rear. They all shrug or shake their heads and abandon Nova and Johnny for the comfort of their own rooms.
Nova: Look, Johnny. I think we’re just going to have to hit the emergency button and send you down to the lobby…let the fine people of the Las Vegas Fire Department deal with it.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Wait, what? I’ve got to get out of here tonight! I’ve got a date!
Nova starts rolling up the rope so he can stash it in the elevator and close the door, but before he’s able to reach in, hit the emergency button, and send his tag partner down to the main floor, he’s interrupted by an audible ding. From the next elevator over. Because big Vegas hotels have more than one elevator.
Nova: Hey guys…a little help here? My buddy has a date.
Two men step out of the adjacent elevator: Brock Newbludd and Pat Cassidy, collectively known as the Saturday Night Specials. Each of them is double fisting Ballyhoo Brews. They look at Nova, then each other. Finally, Brock puts a beer down in GBJ’s elevator, and Cassidy hits the emergency button, and sends the elevator back down to the first floor. The Specials head to their room, laughing and shaking their heads.