Private: Tapioca Puddings
AMERICAN BADASS WATCH ME KICK…
Dang, if your peckers aren’t getting freaking rock hard or your vaginal caves aren’t flooding out with BABE JIZZ just at the crushing guitars and the sexy voice, then you still better grab a beach towel lickety split. You see that thing coming 120 miles an hour out of the horizon line in the distance? Don’t worry, you will, once this cool drone camera starts to hover a little closer.
Oh yeah, hun. That’s me. Former Miss Chubbuck 2002, trying my best to not make a mess. OF MY PANTIES, because I’m driving a fricken monster truck, and the seat is rumbling just how mommy likey. Check out your girl behind the wheel there! Don’t I look like an “American Badass” with a pair of shades that I stole after I sat on my old P.E. teacher’s nose from high school last night? Smoking a fancy cigar and not even caring that I’m flicking ashes fucking everywhere? You’re dang right it says “It’s A Girl!” on the stogie. I’m the girl. Driving the truck, wearing a cute pink tube top that’s just a little tight around the ol’ mashed potato storage unit! The boys like me thiccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc though, so I don’t give a crap.
Speaking of the other pride of Idaho, did you check out the bod on the truck itself yet? “Yo queen, is the monster truck supposed to look like a sluttier Mrs. Potato Head?” Well, it’s funny you asked that, because that’s EXACTLY what it’s supposed to look like. Why, you wanna FUCK the TRUCK or something? You want to put it inside the tailpipe, you freakin’ perv? Or just tug your tee-tee while admiring the thong running up its spud cavern, big boy?
That’s cool, me too.
But right now, we got somewhere to be. That’s the other reason we are going so fast down the highway with no regard for the safety of others. Yeah, I know I know: here come the lectures. “Bae, you’ve been arrested and put in jail multiple times, one of those charges being a double homicide!” You all have nothing to worry about, though. We’re in Las Vegas, and I am the law here. I’m not one to kiss and tell and I respect others’ privacy, but let’s just say there’s a certain sheriff who may or may not be one of my biggest customers for my used clothing side hustle. So if he wants those two-week worn toe socks to be shipped on schedule, I won’t be hearing any Amanda rights while I’m in Sin City.
“D-d-do you even know where we’re going, Muriel?”
Oh, I almost forgot. The guy next to me gripping tightly to the handle on the passenger side of this badass beast. That’s my little brother, Tapioca. Yeah, I know he kind of looks like a way less hot Ben Folds Five, but we’re working on it. That’s why he’s got on a T-shirt with the logo of the Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift on it. I’m toughening up not only his image but his emaciated-looking frame, too. My mom and I make him carry us on his back any time we need to go somewhere, and those traps grew like an eighth of an inch this month!
Except for today, of course. The little ball sack is going to need all his strength for where we’re headed, so I’ve given him a break. Not too worried about it though, as he’ll be rocking asses in no time with my training regiment.
“I thought I did. Let me just make sure.”
Yeah, I should know my way around this place by now. Before this whole wrestling thing, I had to make a buck somewhere, and why not make it doing something that I’m the best at where the trade’s nice and legal. Sure, there’s a ton of other people you gotta compete with for work there, but you can’t drop your belt and screw thirty times a day in Idaho, babes.
Anyway, my career as a slot machine repairwoman ended almost a decade ago, and I hadn’t been in Vegas since. So like a true pioneer, I unfold my trusty road atlas.
“Oh for fuck sake, Muriel! I don’t know why you don’t just use a GPS like everyone else in the year 2022,” Tapioca whines. Honestly, he doesn’t ever just simply “says,” it’s always a whine. Really annoying, honestly.
“Pssh, mama didn’t raise no fool. That’s how the government spies on you.”
Tapioca sighs and shakes his head. “That doesn’t make any sense! There’s literally a camera filming us live right now. Not to mention the other one on the drone following this tr…”
“UHHHHH-GUH! A-UHHHHHHHHH-GUH!” he whines, unable to properly finish his thought since I had reached over and dumped a large piece of ash inside his opened mouth. Yet another creative way to get him to pipe down.
“These PRIME tryouts have to be around here somewhere!”
Luckily for our friend Muriel, the PRIME tryouts were only a mile away. Unfortunately, they were running about thirty minutes late and a crowd of men and women had already gathered in the front entrance of the MGM Grand. Sure, it was a little weird that the open call for talent was taking place in a casino. Almost as weird as having tryouts in the first place, as the resurgence of one of the most respected entities in pro wrestling would have plenty of qualified candidates to choose from to fill the roster.
Oh wait. They once hired Skylar Montgomery, so maybe it wasn’t all that strange.
There was certainly a buzz in the air as the hopefuls eagerly anticipated their chance at stardom. Overall, the vibe was upbeat despite the awareness that they would be in competition with everyone else that surrounded them. Egos seemed to take a backseat for the camaraderie of the sport, and the trainees and veterans alike kept a peaceful, uninterrupted harmony.
Well, except for one person.
“I’m the Poster Boy, god dammit! Katt Williams may have went on 106 & Park first, but there’s no way I’m letting any of y’all get in there before me and take my spot at redemption!”
It’s understandable that the announcement of PRIME’s return would certainly attract the attention of some of its former mainstays. Unfortunately, the side effect of that meant that it may not be individuals you’d want to see back in action.
“Kill or be killed is the question, NOW WHO WANTS TO TEST ME?”
Wildly flailing his arms in the air, the barrels of two Beretta pistols were thankfully pointed skyward for now. Although the guns were comically smaller than his hands, no one was laughing at the unkempt and unhinged presence of Jimmy Bonafide. His dreadlocked hair was knotty and most of his face was covered in a beard that resembled a 10-year-old piece of steel wool. It was apparent he also hadn’t changed his clothes since the last time he was on television, as a pair of Sean John jeans and a red Ecko tee appeared tattered. No one would have even recognized him as Jimmy Bonafide had he not walked up to everyone minutes before by screaming “I’m Jimmy Bonafide, BITCH!” in homage to a comedy bit as dated as his look.
The crowd of people began to back away from the deranged Bronx native, who must have gotten to Vegas by a boxcar. He smiles, revealing several gaps within his corn-kernel filled grille. One thing was for sure: Jimmy probably needed this roster spot more than anyone. With Breaking Bad now off the air, there was no more opportunity for extra work as a meth head.
Lowering his weapons and shoving them into the back pockets of his jeans, Bonafide mean mugs as his final warning. “That’s what I thought. Nobody here is taking what’s mine, and don’t think I won’t pull out DA HEAT during the Almasy Invitational, neither! How you gonna suplex someone when I bust lead in your head?”
“Hey,” Jimmy realizes, “that rhymes! Oh yeah, it might be all of yall’s lucky day after all. Since you won’t be getting that riggity-riggity-roster spot, I can at least treat you to a little bit of my famous freestyle flow! Yo, you there, play me a beat on your cell phone!”
At this point, can we ask why the cops hadn’t shown up yet to absolutely beat the shit out of this vagrant? It’s almost as if this were some type of elaborate publicity stunt designed to create a buzz…
“I SAID, pull out that celly cell and pull up a beat!”
Bonafide, revealing signs he’d inhaled several cans of computer duster before his arrival, receives no response to his request. Not only did the “man” not have a cell phone, but apparently had no genuine desire to acknowledge the Poster Boy.
Probably because it wasn’t a man, but a bright green inflatable air dancer that he is standing next to.
Regardless, Jimmy was not at all happy about this blatant show of disrespect as he reaches back into his pockets to retrieve his firearms.
“Four plus one equals me,” Jimmy mumbles as he points the guns at the sales prop, allowing for a dramatic pause as he finishes out one of his actual quotes listed on the old PRIME website. “A five-star general.”
As his index finger begins to slowly tickle the trigger, a ferocious roar of diesel being fired out of a cannon-like exhaust in the distance. Sure enough, it’s the same eyesore on wheels being driven by the reckless Muriel Puddings, who is absolutely elated to find that they were only a quarter mile away from their destination. Pressing the horn of the Sexy Mrs. Potato Head monster truck, it produces the sound of Muriel herself giving her best “seductive tiger” growl. While the gathering gets as far away from the line of direction as possible, Jimmy Bonafide is still in a deadlock with the skinny inflatable, unaware of the new arrivals to the scene.
Waiting until the very last second to slam on the brakes for the sake of making a show woman’s entrance, the sound of rubber squealing on pavement is not enough to drown out the collective gasp of shock from the onlookers. Rolling down the window, Muriel extends her torso and blows a double kiss with her hands to loudly announce her arrival.
“WE MADE IT BAE, and that’s the TEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAA–oh. Oh dear, that’s not good.”
Tilting her eyes down to the pavement, it appears as though the woman who called herself Crush Limbaugh had once again lived up to her namesake. What was once the figure of a human now looked to be nothing more than a pink jello mold. However, most jello molds didn’t have a man’s severed head sitting right next to it. Or a 66-inch tire sitting on top of it.
Flinging the door of the truck open, Muriel climbs out from the cab to reveal her lower half: pink sweatpants with the word “MUSSY” embroidered on the behind and a pair of ratty old Ugg boots. With the first step, she almost trips on Bonafide’s detached skull before regaining her balance and surveying the situation.
Yes, for the second time in just slightly over a year, Muriel Puddings had run over someone and killed them. It wasn’t with a steamroller this time, but not a good look for one who had skirted the system and got off with an acquittal. Although she had a solid three quarters of community college on her resume, it should be obvious that what she did next revealed little in the way of a highly intelligent individual.
“Welp,” she proclaims, “guess I need to destroy all the evidence.”
Rolling the head with the toe of her boot like a soccer ball, she places it firmly underneath the tire and hops back into the cab of the monster truck. With the fire of the ignition, Muriel forwards-and-reverses over the remains of the former PRIME mainstay, squishing the small brains of Bonafide this time. And not just once or twice, either. Oh no. As her brother continued to cower in the seat next to her, the Gem State Gem’s truck mushes the guts and organs for a solid two minutes like a rolling pin over the world’s shittiest dough.
With his knees to his chest and eyes closed tight, Tapioca was headlong into his typical coping mechanism. His thoughts drift into a common fantasy where he had fled the clutches of his mother and sister the literal second he reached age 18. In this escape, he had walked through the door of his sensible studio apartment in Albuquerque with bags in both hands: one from McDonalds and the other from Ross Dress for Less. Both were in celebration of being named Employee of the Month at Ross Dress for Less, as he received a $10 gift card for each establishment as a reward.
Whistling the tune to “American Badass,” Tapioca unpacks a Lemi’s (a Ross exclusive brand) denim vest from the bag and smiles with pride. Just like the one his hero, Ernest, wore. Things couldn’t possibly have been better, especially since the McDonalds app allowed you to customize a McDouble to get it without cheese. Now he would no longer be crippled with anxiety when having to make the request verbally at the drive-thru, having to explain away his lactose intolerance issues to a stranger.
Yes, this was his escape from reality. Living paycheck-to-paycheck with the occasional purchase of discount jeans as a treat. As much as wrestling fans seemed to adore the disgusting charm of his sister, Tapioca’s life had been relegated to being a human pincushion, constantly subjected to the physical and mental torture of his immediate family. What was worse is that it no longer was just limited to Karen Puddings’ two-bedroom home. When he was let out of the very scary cellar, his sibling paraded him around as comic relief and cannon fodder to the entire world.
The fact was that if Tapioca had made an individual decision to escape and take bookings on his own, his fantasy of sleeping on a futon in his own room and avoiding dairy products could come to pass. His mother was the warden and Muriel was Captain Hadley, having to ask permission just to piss and shit. Which he shit, a lot, as they would make him drink milk and film it for the sake of getting a viral video.
But Tapioca didn’t need a rock hammer or a poster of his celebrity crush (SNL’s Molly Shannon) to escape. The door to the very scary cellar? It wasn’t locked. He could leave anytime he wanted, and his family wouldn’t object. What kept him hamstrung was the permanent yellow streak running down his spine. Much like crate training for a dog, it had institutionalized Tapioca to feel safest within the confines of the familiar. Life without his mother or his sister was even scarier than the very scary cellar.
Ironically, Muriel’s goal to “turn him into the ultimate ass-whipper supreme” for her own personal benefit had the potential to give him the confidence that he so desperately needed. Kind of like that book Catch-22 where there was a catch-22, it was a catch-22.
“Alright, that should take care of that problem,” Muriel quips, taking the keys out and spinning the ring on her pinky. “Now let’s get you into those tryouts, bitch.”
Crashing back down to Earth, Tapioca whines, his lower lip quivering as he points down to a visible wet stain on his basketball shorts. “I–I–I’m gonna need a new pair of pants first.”
That pot of confidence Tapioca needed, sadly, was at the end of a thousand-mile rainbow.
Tapioca’s sleeveless Tokyo Drift tee was a bit of a contrast to the pink MUSSY sweats that barely clung to his waistline. However, any attention drawn to it would be immediately eradicated at the sight of Muriel Puddings’ lower half. As she had given her brother her pants with nothing to replace them, all that was left was a pair of men’s long johns underneath. Of course, she carried herself as normal and without an ounce of shame, much like anyone who had just run over a person with a monster truck would. So much so that her resting position in line was a hand on her hip and her fart maker jutted out like a hunchback.
Yes, there was still no sign of any first responders at the scene where a gun-wielding sociopath had been flattened by a smut-loving maniac. This is simply the world we live in today. Everyone came to a mutual agreement that they were happy Jimmy Bonafide had finally died. There was no need to alert the authorities: it was just Muriel being Muriel. These are the creative liberties you are allowed to take when you open your story with a Kid Rock song.
“This line sucks,” Muriel observes, “and why are all these people carrying suitcases?”
The line actually doesn’t suck as bad as Muriel suggests. There were only about eight other people there. However, these other folks were not prospective roster members for PRIME. They were merely in line to check into their rooms for some good old-fashioned Vegas licentiousness. Yes, Tapioca and Muriel had wandered their way into the lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel, not in the area where they were supposed to be.
“Are you sure we’re in the right place?” Tapioca whines, still holding his sister’s sweatpants up to prevent them from dropping to his ankles.
Ignoring him, Muriel reaches through the dick hole of her thermal underwear to pull out her cell phone. “Heck with all this standing around,” she decides. “I’m just gonna call my girl and see if we can just skipsies to the front.”
Starting by punching in the letter “Y” on the screen, Muriel’s first three contacts reveal the option she was looking for: YASSSSSSS QUEEN, YAS QUEEEEEEEEN, and YAZ QUEEN. After lowering her pink manicured nail onto the second name, she raises the phone to her ear and waits for an answer. It only takes a couple of rings until we can faintly hear a perky yet muffled voice on the other side. Muriel’s mouth forms the shape of an O, realizing she’d made a mistake.
“Oh shoot, bae! I meant to call Lindz, but I hit the wrong queen!” Muriel pipes, smacking herself on the forehead. “Anyway, what you doin’, Gen?”
Surprise, surprise: it’s one of the fresh faces set to appear for the relaunch of PRIME on the opposite end of the phone. Genevie Carlson, one of her wrestling besties, had not had the chance to talk in quite some time because of Muriel’s recent trip to jail on a breaking and entering charge. The last time they were together, they had ALLEGEDLY both discussed a plot to burn down the same store she’d committed the crime in: the deathmatch weapon retail outlet known as Reesemart.
“Heck yeah, Puss Pal,” Muriel responds, dropping a reference to their newly formed clique name. “I’m good. Got a little rash down in the ol’ weenie squeezer, but it’s clearing up as long as I don’t scratch it too much. Me and the bro are just in line for PRIME tryouts right now, trying to see if I can pull some strin…yeah, the tryouts…”
Muriel’s eyes widen as Genie’s voice cuts through a bit, slowly nodding as she is given some very important information from her friend.
“Crap, so he’s already on the roster?” she asks. “Well, I mean, I guess someone might have told me last week, but can you keep a secret? Yeah, I was high as Hades on horse tranquilizers last Tuesday.”
Although Genie isn’t there, Muriel shrugs her shoulders as she takes in her response to the last statement. “No! I didn’t take ketamine on purpose, bae. Someone told me it was titty botox.”
Again, a slight pause as Carlson explains to her she should have called a friend to verify the existence of said “titty botox.”
“Well, to be fair, they are lookin’ a little more plump. Anyway, you’re the best, sweetie. Thanks for the heads up. I love you too! Bye-eeeeeee!”
Hanging up the phone and shoving it back down her long johns, Muriel gives Tapioca a hard slap on the back and cheerfully delivers the good news to him.
“You’re in. There are no tryouts.”
Tapioca winces and reaches back to rub the sore spot where his sister had likely left a red handprint. “Great. Just great. I’m glad we drove all the way out here for nothing,” he whines, turning around. “Can we go home now?”
The Barbeque Bae shakes her head. “Nope! I want to see what everyone in this line is waiting for…”