“No, seriously. It’s in Saskatchewan.”
Given the current state of him, you’d never know King Blueberry had a match later this evening. Not yet dressed for combat, he’s currently going over last-minute entrance details with the ever-beleaguered Mark. That Mark is alive at all given his, ahem, poor timing is a minor miracle in itself, but here we are.
Hey, speaking of Mark, what the hell is his official role now that Melvin no longer works for the MGM Grand?
Backstage Assistant Mark: With all due respect, I don’t think ninja preserves are a thing.
Around them, each member of the Jimmy Bonafide Dancers collects a bundle of black clothing before heading to a dressing room in turn.
Each member except Biff. He’s been sent to fetch the Plot Hole.
King Blueberry: Then where do you think the ninjas go, Mark? Because they have to go somewhere. Now I don’t know if this is like the humane society stepping in, or if this was negotiated as part of their union contract…
Backstage Assistant Mark: Union contract?!
King Blueberry: Do the ninjas not unionize where you grew up?
Mark shakes his head before distracting himself with a wooden palette piled high with smoke machines, because this joke is never going away, Craig. You hear me? Never.
Striding past Mark is one half of the tag team Fighting For Nora, though not the one who usually hangs out with King Blueberry. Paxton Ray casually taps Mark on the shoulder as he passes.
Paxton Ray: Sup Mark.
The Lafayette Bruiser then walks up to King Blueberry and waits for the tag champion to notice him.
King Blueberry: Oh, Paxton. Glad you’re here. Maybe you can settle a debate for us. Do you happen to know the employment structure of the ninjas in Louisiana?
Paxton stares at King Blueberry, then turns to Mark for a moment, then stares back at Blueberry. After a minute, he shakes his head.
Paxton Ray: Nope. Not acknowledgin’.
He claps his hands.
Paxton Ray: Actually came to ya for a real reason, not to do…whatever this is.
The Blueberry nods, and briefly turns his attention to Mark. Mark, for his part, looks like he would rather be anywhere else on the planet. Because he would.
King Blueberry: Gonna need you to handle it from here, Mark. Keep an eye out for Biff, okay? And Carl might need some help getting into costume. They didn’t have his size available, so I had to order one size smaller.
Mark opens his mouth to speak, but isn’t able to get a word out before his presence is immediately forgotten as Blueberry turns back to Paxton.
King Blueberry: Sorry about that. Didn’t have time for a dress rehearsal, so we’re kind of flying blind here. Anyway, what’s on your mind?
Paxton looks down and chuckles.
Paxton Ray: I’m kinda makin’ a habit out of these supershow visits, ain’t I?
Paxton Ray: Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to thank ya for Rev14. Ya had Jon’s back while I was…well, while I was busy. So thanks.
King Blueberry: Not a problem. Felt like the right thing to do. I’ll admit I was wrong with my take on Bathory. My fault for giving him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve got a history of doing that.
King Blueberry: Kind of a blind spot, I guess. But I couldn’t be sure if Shanahan or one of the other ALL-CAPS MESSIAH weirdos might be there, so… had to be done.
Paxton Ray: More than that though, thanks for…ya know, for bein’ friends with him again. I know ya didn’t do it for me or anythin’, but I think he really needs friends right now.
King Blueberry: I think it’s been good for both of us. I mean, sure, things were a little heated for a while, but something I’ve started to figure out is that if you let it then that shit’ll just eat you alive from the inside. Besides, we’re the last of the SCCW folks still active, which basically makes us an endangered species. Gotta stick together.
Paxton Ray: Right. Well, good luck out there. I’ll see ya later.
King Blueberry: You too.
Paxton starts to walk away. After a few steps, he turns around.
Paxton Ray: I also never told ya how much I appreciated ya being there for Nora at the dinner. She loves the hell outta ya. Even right now when she won’t talk t’me, she tol’ Shweta to tell me to wish ya good luck. So…good luck.
Paxton walks away, nearly bumping into Mark on his way out.
Paxton Ray: My bad.