Private: C. Mortgomery Byrnes
I wanna tell you about this guy. Vinnie Spandex. By 1986, he had the largest aerobics studio in, let’s just call it, Somewheresville, U.S.A.. But in 1980, before Jane Fonda made that workout video, he had one middling little store.
One day, this housewife decides to take a class, get shape, this was maybe a year after giving birth, you know, wantin’ to lose the baby weight or whatever. This housewife, to whom we will call “Miranda”. Anyways, Miranda goes to this aerobics studio which was named “V-Robics”. A shitty fuckin’ name, no wonder he was strugglin’.
After takin’ the class for a few months this Miranda, whom was unhappy in her marriage. Can’t say that I blame her. Her husband bein’ store manager of a Radio Shack and all. Let’s call him “Bill”. Bill’s the sorta guy that one would generously refer to as closed off, not one to really share his feelins, at least not in any constructively meanin’ful way. His father was outright prick, so I guess bein’ emotionless pod of a man is an improvement.
I don’t know what it was, it was never expressly stated, maybe it was the eighties metal band hair, maybe it was the colorful spandex clothing that left nothin’ to the imagination, or maybe it was the chest hair, maybe she was sick of Bill braggin’ about his store sold the most Betamaxes in the county four months in a row, who is to say for sure? Anyways, Miranda began havin’ what one would call a sex affair with ol Vinnie Spandex.
This little affair lasted roughly about eight months. Now, Miranda, she’s locked in on ol’ Vinnie like Andie Walsh on Blane McDonagh in “Pretty in Pink”, according to Wikipedia, because I have not seen that movie once much less nine times. As it turns out, two things happened during the winter of 1981. One, Miranda got pregnant and let’s just say Bill wasn’t the shooter. Two, Miranda found out that she was not the only housewife that Vinnie was “thrusting”.
Let’s just say, the end of this relationship was not at the request of Miranda. The second she she hit Vinnie with “I’m pregnant and you’re father”, this slimy shitbag, instead of steppin’ up threw money at Miranda and made her sign one of them NRAs. Made her feel like a fuckin’ whore.
Now, you may ask, did Bill find out? I say, who gives a flyin’ fuck about Bill right now? But, yes he did. That may have attributed to the coldness he had for me.
The point is, seven and a half months later, the man you see before you was born. Turns out, Vinnie Fuckin’ Spandex was or, rather is, assuming he hasn’t choked on a bag of dicks by now, is my fuckin’ father.
Miranda told me about Vinnie when I was thirteen. She had just found out she….
That’s not important. The point is, she told me the whole messed up story in alarmin’ detail.
As the years went on, my curiosity grew. I had to meet this prick. So, at seventeen, I went to his beach house, took a train, the motherfucker is a millionaire, he has a fuckin’ motherfuckin’ beach house and there we were livin’ in a shitty two bedroom apartment with a faulty radiator in Shit City, U.S.A..
There I am, butterflies in my stomach, wearin’ my best tracksuit, feelin’ like I’m two feet tall lookin’ at this mansion, thoughts runnin’ through my head. He opens the door, I tell him who I am, and welcomes me with open arms.
As you can probably tell by now, this ain’t gonna have a feel good endin’.
I knock on the door. And lo and behold, Lord Spandex opens the door lookin’ like he’s runnin’ the Playboy mansion with this open satin robe, fuckin’ Ming the Merciless goatee, gold chains danglin’ around his neck his chest hair obstercatin’ the jingle jangle of said chains, wearin’ an obvious piece on his head. Looked like a fuckin’ wombat sleepin’ on his head.
Funny, the details you remember. There were sounds of laughing, men, women, children, and I’m pretty sure I heard “I Will Remember You” by Sarah Somethin’. It’s that song they play to make you feel guilty about abused animals on the commercial.
He looked down at me and asked with as much care and concern he would a cockroach “Whaddya want? You’re interruptin’ a family reunion.”
To me, such news was serendipitous.
I, very respectfully, said “Mister Spandex, I am Miranda’s son, I have been told you are my father.”
He did not react with the enthusiasm of which I had hoped.
Vinnie leaned down, I smelled the rum on his breath, and he said “You ain’t my kid, I only came in her mouth”. And then he smiled and said “Get the fuck off my property”.
I shoulda clipped that wormy fuck right then and there.
But I was seventeen, weighed about a buck thirty, and hell, I wasn’t packin’. Still, shoulda went back there a couple years later when I got all jacked up, and slapped the shit outta him.
Regrets, am I right?
So, you might be askin’ yourself “Why the fuck does this matter?”, am I right?
::::Mortimer Kjedelig is laying back in his leather recliner in the living room of his should-be-condemned double wide. The thirty-nine inch television in front of him is paused on the image of one Great Scott, a man who looks to be out of time and talks as if he is out of touch. Mortimer, wearing nothing but black boxer briefs, and a black velvet robe that feels smooth against his sin, stares at the screen. The longer he looks at the image, the more the acids in his stomach churn. He grips the flip phone which is up to ear like he would a safety harness on a dangerous roller coaster. He awaits a response from the person on the other end, but hears nothing but silence. Perhaps he cannot hear through his black mask? He hadn’t had a problem with that before.:::::
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Hello?
VOICE ON THE PHONE: I, uh, don’t know what to say….
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Because I’m lookin’ at his doppelganger right now. The fuckin’ long curly mullet, the only thing missin’ is a pornstache, a hairy chest, and more gold chains than Mister T! Maybe this Great Scott is the son Vinnie Spandex does accept, then again maybe he ain’t, but if he is, and there is no reason to believe that he is not, unless he isn’t, which has yet to be proven, I will beat him down as if I were beatin’ down Vinnie Fuckin’ Spandex. And if he ain’t, the name and image of this malignant twat has ruined “Back to the Future” for me, and that alone is worth breakin’ a bone or two.
VOICE ON THE PHONE (sounding nervous): I was just calling to find out if you wanted to hear about the benefits of switching to Imperium Health Services….
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I will be more than obliged to hand Great Scott your card, if you can overnight it to—-
::::Mortimer’s repartee has been disrupted by the rap of knuckles against his door.::::
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I gotta go. Nice chattin’ with you.
::::Mortimer abruptly flips the phone closed disconnecting the line and pulls the lever on the side of his chair to bring it to the upright position. He immediately bolts up and slowly approaches the door. He puts a hand on the Louisville Slugger neck to the door. He peers into the peephole and is both relieved and peeved at the familiar face staring back at him wearing Gas Company coveralls. Mortimer opens the door.:::::
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Fr—-
GAS MAN: Excuse me, sir, may I please enter your residence to confirm that there are no potential hazards to your home?
::::Mortimer, used to this kind of visit, sighs and waves in the Gas Man. The Gas Man is actually an acquaintance of Mortimer’s. One who has assisted him in procuring this fine abode in which he resides. One whose visits are not always of the personal nature. The Gas Man enters and Mortimer closes the door behind him.::::
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Freddy!
FREDDY: We have been over this, my name Jim. Please stop calling me Freddy.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I dunno, Jim B. Irvine just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
:::”Freddy” begins pacing around the living room as Mortimer Kjedelig leans against the door.::::
FREDDY/JIM: I am in my office this morning, enjoying my coffee when I am told that there is a Mortimer Kjedelig in a wrestling promotion. No surprise there. But then my colleague tells me this Mortimer Kjedelig actually spoke on camera. So, that was interesting because I am pretty sure we spoke at length about you being a silent wrestler, so I thought to myself “There’s no way my Mortimer Kjedelig would not be stupid enough to put himself out there like that”.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I dunno about “stupid”…..
::::”Freddy” turns towards Mortimer, a look of anger and disappointment on his face.::::
FREDDY/JIM: What in God’s name is wrong with you, Mortimer?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: They interviewed me. I had to say somethin’. It ain’t like I know sign language other than this…
:::Mortimer Kjedelig flips “Freddy” the bird.::::
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Besides, what’s the big deal?
FREDDY/JIM: Gosh, I don’t know. Perhaps, your safety might be a concern?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I’m wearin’ a mask! I’m protectin’ anonomity!
FREDDY/JIM: I watched the show, Mortimer. You are not protecting anything. I have seen this type of behavior before. It seldom ends well. What was wrong with the insurance job?
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I ain’t like those other schlubs you can put behind a desk and talk about fuckin’ bodily injury limits, umbrella policies, fuck you and that shit. I am bird who needs to spread his wings, free to fly wherever he pleases.
FREDDY/JIM: Until some hunter shoots you and you fall to the earth, dead. You are supposed to blend in, fade into the background. Mortimer, this is not fading into the background.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: I ain’t quittin’. I got a match against that mook.
:::::Mortimer Kjedelig points towards the paused image of Great Scott.::::
FREDDY/JIM: You can’t beat this guy, Mortimer.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: The fuck you talkin’ about? Of course I can!
FREDDY/JIM: Noooooo, you can’t.
::::Being told he cannot do something has always been a point of contention with Mortimer Kjedelig, well, for who he was before he became Mortimer Kjedelig. It’s probably one of the reasons he ended up the way he has. To him, saying he can’t beat this reject from an eighties cover band is a challenge, and maybe slightly infuriating. The inference that Mortimer Kjedelig would lose to that guy???? No fucking way.:::::
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: This guy’s goin’ down and goin’ down hard. I’m talkin’ about a fuckin’ massacre! I’m gonna beat his ass so hard, I’m gonna give him that PMSD.
FREDDY/JIM: You are not listening, Mortimer. I am not saying you do not have the ability to win the match. What I am saying is the more victories you have, the more exposure you will get and the more exposure you get puts you at a greater risk.
::::Mortimer Kjedelig considers this for a moment and silently nods. “Freddy” proceeds to head towards the door.::::
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: Hey, where ya goin’? You just got here.
FREDDY/JIM: I am a busy man, Mortimer.
MORTIMER KJEDELIG: C’mon, stay! Have lunch. I got salisbury steak with a brownie or fried chicken with the apple crumble in the freezer. If you ain’t a fan of the Hungry Man, I also got a family size macaroni and cheese.
FREDDY/JIM: No, thank you. If anything happens, you call me.
::::”Freddy” opens the door and turns towards Mortimer as he exits the double wide trailer.::::
FREDDY/JIM: There are no potential concerns here, just take those safety precautions that we talked about and you should not have anything to worry about.
::::”Freddy” closes the door behind him and Mortimer locks the door. Mortimer turns around and looks at his empty abode. There is nothing but silence. He picks up his phone from the floor and opens it. No text messages. Back in the day, he was surrounded by friends, family, but now…..there is no one….no one but him, his computer, his TV, and his collection of DVD’s. He stands there looking at the image of Great Scott. He walks over to the television and shuts it off, the mere image of Great Scott fills him with a violent rage that has, in his life, at times, proved to be quite the character flaw. Perhaps the bottle of rum in the cupboard and a round of “Overboard” with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn will help brighten his day.:::::