BETWEEN A ROCK AND A, UHHHH…..
Culture Shock returns from its commercial break to find two somewhat unfamiliar men standing in front of a podium, shoulder-to-shoulder. One man, a small wiry man with a ridiculous topknot, wears an outfit that wouldn’t have been out of place on an episode of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. His tank top is too short, exposing his midriff. He wears one elbow-length fingerless glove on his left arm, and he wears black leather pants so shiny that you could see the reflection of the cameraman in them should one look hard enough.
The other man, huge by comparison to the ridiculous man standing next to him, is dressed in a wrestling singlet. He looks more than a little unhappy.
Joe Fontaine: Alright, is everyone here? Is that everyone? Hello? Is this thing on?
Joe taps the microphone, and it lets out a wickedly loud screech from the feedback. Joe hurriedly attempts to squelch before it really pierces the ears of everyone in the room. Once the horrible sound is squelched, the man known as “Tempest” Joe Fontaine of the Winds of Change clears his throat, and speaks.
Joe Fontaine: Yes, hello! Hi! I’m Joe, this is Sid, and we’re the Winds of Change! Whoo!
He waits for applause that doesn’t come, even after he raises his arms in celebration of at least getting their names right. His tag team partner, “Riot” Sid Phillips, rolls his eyes, his arms crossed in front of his large chest.
Sid Phillips: I can’t believe you called this meeting, and people showed up.
Joe Fontaine: Yes, well, it was important to gather together the great forces of Team VIAGRA!
No, Joe and Sid were not Team VIAGRA, nor were they summoning them through some sort of dark ritual. That would be ridiculous. No, they were part of the Survivor tribe based on Team VIAGRA. It’s different.
In the room, seated before them in varying states of not wanting to be there, are many other people. Jonathan-Christopher Hall and Vickie Hall, who seem more interested in one another’s eyes than in anything Joe is trying to say or do. Darin Zion, Jonathan-Christopher’s tag team partner, sits next to them staring at his cell phone and also not paying attention to Joe. One gets the impression that the moment Joe says anything dumb, he’ll get very loud. So, any second now.
David Fox and Mushigihara, the Dangerous Mix, sit towards the back. Both of them are equal parts amused and bemused, just a lot of musing going on. But both of them stared at Joe, who stands oblivious to their staring and their musing. Meanwhile, Jonathan Rhine and Paxton Ray of the Fighting For Nora Foundation had evidently joined late, and were just coming into the room.
As Rhine addresses his tribemates, Paxton starts to lumber over to the nearest empty chair, which so happens to be near the Dangerous Mix. Without prompt, Mushi seems to push said chair out from under the table, grabbing it and swinging it around just enough to leave it open for Paxton Ray, to whom he gestures with an upturned palm, as if to say “it’s all yours.” With a grateful and respectful nod, Paxton takes his seat, before the two brutes stare into each other’s eyes before nodding in unison and turning their focus to the Winds of Change up front.
Jonathan Rhine: Sorry, guys. Last minute big donation.
Joe Fontaine: Is cool, my dude. Have a seat! Kick up your feet! Uh, but anyway, I went ahead and called for the first official meeting of Tribe Team VIAGRA, because guys. Listen. I’ve got a plan to help our tribe succeed. Hear me out. Okay?
Meanwhile, Jonathan-Christopher and Vickie Hall brush each other’s hair and hold their partner closely. Zion continues texting.
Sid Phillips: How come I hadn’t heard this plan before you got up on the podium?
Joe Fontaine: Hey, don’t worry about it. I got this.
Sid throws his arms up in frustration, but allows Joe to talk. Rookie mistake.
Joe Fontaine: Alright! So, tonight, the eight of us fine people are rolling some damn boulders down the Strip! That’s one more than Team DUI, so we’ve already got a great advantage. But I thought of a way to turn our advantage even, uh… advantage-ier. So I’ve gathered everyone together to lay out my master, foolproof plan.
Sid Phillips: Let’s hear it. Can’t wait.
Joe Fontaine: We’re going to win. And that’s why I advocate all eight of us push one boulder at once.
Sid turns to Joe like he’d grown a third eye, and it’s doing sick eye tricks for everyone to see. Like, somersaults and gnarly kickflips.
Sid Phillips: Uh. What?
Joe Fontaine: Well, I mean, if we all push one boulder down the strip together, as a team of eight very cool dudes, then that means our whole tribe wins in a four-way tie for first. It’s foolproof. I don’t know why no one on Survivor ever does this. If we all win together, we’re all immune, and then the other two teams are fresh out of luck. The luck dispensary is closed, for we will have bought all of its stock!
Everyone in the room gawks at Joe, who stands very proud of his master plan.
Sid Phillips: That has to be against the rules. And what was wrong with my plan?
Joe Fontaine: I forget. What was your plan?
Sid Phillips: Uh, I go and powerbomb each and every person in the competition to death. Powerbomb them until they die. Powerbomb them until their ghosts die. Probably twice in Mikey Unlikely’s case. Screw that guy in particular. And then, once everyone and their ghosts are dead, I roll our boulder to the finish line and win.
Joe Fontaine: Wait, how is that any less illegal than what I proposed?
Sid can only offer a shrug.
Sid Phillips: I don’t know. I could try powerbombing the boulder. It might not end well, though. For the boulder. Or the strip.
Joe Fontaine: Right, uh… that’s great, Sid. We can table that under Plan B.
Sid grumbles at the suggestion, muttering to himself as he decides he doesn’t want to take part in any more of Joe’s shenanigans.
Sid Phillips (muttering): Should really be Plan All-The-Letters-In-The-Alphabet, because it’s definitely the best plan.
Joe ignores him, and addresses the other wrestlers in the room. And Vickie.
Joe Fontaine: Uh, any questions about my cool plan for winners so far?
Tentatively at first, Jonathan Rhine raises a hand, then stands up.
Jonathan Rhine: I have a question. Why make it so complicated? We’re all capable, strong men. We all have a purpose, something we’re fighting for. Why not just go out there and do our best? I know we can do it.
David Fox: Alright. So here’s my idea; the bigger, stronger guys push the boulder from behind, while the smaller ones pull it along on the other side, and make sure the path is clear. Smooth, simple, and gets the job done.
Joe smiles a wide grin, gesturing at David Fox.
Joe Fontaine: See? This guy gets me.
Sid Phillips: Mr. Fox, I implore you to not encourage this dipshit.
The Forever Man and Pretty Pink haven’t been paying attention at all.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: Baby, I love you so much. I need you so much.
Vickie Hall: Oh baby, I love it when you call me baby.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: All I think about is you, every day, every minute, every SECOND.
Vickie Hall: Oh, gosh golly.
She turns and nudges Zion.
Vickie Hall: Am I a lucky girl or what?
Vickie goes back to providing her undivided attention on her ALP.
Vickie Hall: Do you remember our Wedding Day?
How could Jonathan-Christopher forget?
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: How could I forget?
She blushes and giggles innocently.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: Only the most important day of my life.
Vickie lowers her head with a hint of sadness.
Vickie Hall: If you win the 5-Star Championship… I wonder… will this night replace that one?
The Vow of Virtue places a delicate hand on her chin and speaks with a tone of voice conveying nothing but facts.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: Never.
And the two go back to a warm embrace as Joe stands there, first with no clue what’s going on. Then the room turns back to the real tasks at hand. Fontaine glances at Phillips with an awkward smile on his face, as though he’s not sure what the problem with his plan truly is. He looks to Sid, who glares down at him with an owl-like expression of disapproval.
Joe Fontaine: Not sure what the big problem is.
Sid Phillips: One of these days, Joe…
The threat of powerbombs is the most likely end of that sentence, because of course it is. However, Sid doesn’t finish his sentence because the doors to the meeting room fly open.
Every head in the room turns to the doors, which are now wide open. After a long pause, a man flies into frame with a karate kick. No one in the room knows why he would do this. Perhaps, you might think, this man is currently beset by ninjas. You never know. Ninjas can appear from anywhere and be imperceptible to the human eye. Which might make Doozer a ninja, we don’t know. Once the man does a few more mock martial arts gestures, the kind you only see in martial arts films, he stands upright, shaking free his wild blue dreadlocks to reveal a pasty aging …
… Oh. Hey. It’s Tony Davis, of actual Team VIAGRA fame.
Tony Davis: It’s me! Tooooon-eeeey Davis!
Davis tries his best to reference Piper calling Tony Atlus during a match. Applause!
Well, at least, that’s what Joe does, until Sid slaps him on the back of his head.
Everyone else just stares awkwardly at Tony.
Tony Davis: Uh, I heard there was a Team VIAGRA meeting. But none of you are High Flyer, are you?
A pause. He scratches the back of his head.
Tony Davis: …Mary-Lynn Mayweather? Is she here? Like, in disguise? Like, a really good disguise?
The silence is so deafening that you could hear Paxton Ray audibly cracking his knuckles.
Well, the silence other than Jonathan-Christopher and Vickie, who have broken their loving gaze to speak words of affirmation to each other.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: I adore you.
Vickie Hall: You are my everything.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: I could never imagine my life without you.
Vickie Hall: Then never do.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: I can’t believe you are mine.
Vickie Hall: I am yours!
Vickie looks down, a little unsure of herself. The Forever Man takes her chin again.
Vickie Hall: Would you… oh I don’t know… it’s silly.
Jonathan-Christopher hasn’t heard what it is yet but for sure doesn’t think the idea is silly.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: What is it, baby? You can tell me anything.
Vickie Hall: Would you… oh I don’t know… be willing to go over your wedding vows with me again? Right here, right now? I mean there’s people around, even if I don’t know them or care much. It does remind me of our night, though.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: I would love to.
Vickie Hall: Wonderful. Oh dear, wonderful.
Vickie ducks into her large pink purse and pulls out a collection of papers. The Hall’s don’t break their vows yet, however. They’ve become lost in each other’s eyes again.
Back to the room. Tony Davis is dumbfounded. As is Jonathan Rhine, who scratches the back of his head.
Jonathan Rhine: I’m sure the other teams are a little more organized than this, so we should try to focus here. Mr. Davis, I’m a big fan. We’re competing in the Tag Team Survivor under your name, so hopefully you can give us a little inspiration? Something to will us to victory?
Davis’ eyes perk up. He reaches behind his back and pulls out a sack with a dollar sign on it. He reaches into the bag and pulls out a small medicinal bottle, and launches into a sales pitch.
Tony Davis: Oh boy howdy I’ll tell you what, we got the very best performance enhancement drug on the market that you all could…
Tony notices the Hall couple giving each other eskimo kisses.
Tony Davis: All but them… their love is scary potent already. But, here you all go! Free! on the house! From Pfizer! Even better than a vaccine, it’s VIAGRA!
Davis begins to hand out the viagra, going first to the Hall’s due to the magnetic pull of their love, but then moves on to Fighting For Nora. Jonathan Rhine looks very uncomfortable.
Jonathan Rhine: I’m…I’m okay. No thanks.
Paxton Ray doesn’t even look at Tony as he tries to hand him the bottle, so he moves onto the Winds.
Sid Phillips glares at the bottle of pills he’s handed, and raises an eyebrow before stuffing it into his singlet. Joe takes the bottle, gives it a good look, and then hands it off to Sid without another word. Sid shrugs, and stuffs that into his singlet as well.
A woman’s voice clears their throat from the entranceway. Tony stops in his tracks and turns, to see Mary-Lynn Mayweather standing at the door entrance for a cheap pop. She stands with her arms crossed.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: You know I’m only Jack’s lawyer, right? If you get arrested for handing out prescription medication… I’m not going to defend you pro bono.
Tony Davis: Bono… Sonny. Listen, all, I’m gonna need those pills back. Throw ‘em up if you had to.
Joe turns to Sid.
Joe Fontaine: Well, dude?
Sid stands there menacingly for a while, but he eventually caves and pulls both bottles of pills from his singlet and tosses them back to Tony. He catches them both, somehow.
The Halls just ignore him. Darin Zion breaks out laughing, but it likely has more to do with his text exchange than what Tony is trying to do.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: Also, everyone, remember to show pride in your team and your team name. I’ve actually got the true leader of Team VIAGRA on the phone right now!
Mary-Lynn pulls out her iPhone and Facetimes with the name “Jack Harmen” It rings twice, and then Harmen picks up, his wide red hair streaming in front of his face as he stands in front of a concrete wall.
High Flyer: Yes, Yes! What Mary said! Remember, you’re representing VIAGRA out there, so if you suck, you’re dead to me. Oh, Hi Joey. Daniel. You look younger than I remember. Halls and Mushi, good luck to the fellow Faithful, and Rhine? You’ve always been a stalwart talent. Don’t disappoint me.
High Flyer hangs up from his end. Joe Fontaine raises his hand.
Joe Fontaine: Hey, is he… uh, just outside in the hallway?
High Flyer: (off screen) No. Shut up.
David Fox: Seriously, though, that looks like it’s right outside the door.
Mary-Lynn sighs. Reluctantly, and dejectedly, High Flyer appears over her shoulder. He nods to the motley crew.
High Flyer: Man, I do miss this place. So much blue everywhere… What a PRIME place to wrestle. So, what are you guys doing tonight?
Joe Fontaine: Oh, y’know… pushing boulders. The kind of thing that you do on a Survivor competition when you’re around rad dudes that definitely respect great ideas like mine.
Joe Fontaine: Hey, you take that back! My idea was awesome.
High Flyer: … Actually, Tony, give them all the VIAGRA. They may need it. Their penis could become a third leg for balance. Don’t be stingy…
As Tony smiles and starts to try and hand Viagra to everyone again, Paxton Ray and Mushigihara share a significant look.
Paxton Ray: We’re fucked, ain’t we.