Private: Brock Newbludd
Location: MGM Grand
“I could get used to this, man. This is LIVIN’!”
Floating on an inflatable inner tube in one of the MGM Grand’s outdoor pools, Brock Newbludd was all smiles as he lifted his red solo cup in Pat Cassidy’s direction. Cassidy nodded his head in agreement as he raised his own glass up and shared a toast with his friend. Wiping his mouth off, the Boston native stood up from the deck chair he was relaxing in and stretched his arms out wide. As he did, two women located on the opposite side of the pool flashed him a pair of seductive smiles, causing him to give them a sly wink in return.
“Better than eating bull nuts, I’ll give you that,” Cassidy said with a slight chuckle and Newbludd can’t help but grin.
“Bro, don’t discount what you accomplished. You’re literally standing there right now as the bull testicle-eating champion of the world. There’s no one who does it better, and you have the shirt to prove it,” Newbludd said, pointing a finger at the hi-vis t-shirt draped over the back of the chair Cassidy was sitting in.
Turning an eye to the shirt, Cassidy sighed as he picked it up and unfolded it to put it on display for Newbludd. Written in solid black letters that popped off of the bright background were the words “Champion Ball Muncher”.
“Yeaaah…I don’t know, dude. While I appreciate your positive outlook, I don’t think I’ll be going around bragging about this accomplishment,” Pat said as stared at the shirt and frowned.
Looking back across the pool at the two women, Cassidy winces when he sees them gawking at the shirt. Quickly, he tosses the shirt back on the table as the ladies give him a suspicious look before turning their backs to him. Newbludd watches the exchange and splashes some water towards his friend to grab his attention.
“Obviously they don’t know a winner when they see one, dude,” Brock said, flashing the pair a dirty look.
“Obviously,” Cassidy muttered as he procured a fresh beer from a cooler located next to his chair. Grabbing a second one, Pat glances at Brock and raises an eyebrow.
“Hit me,” Brock said as he stuck a hand out and snatched the can out of the air after a perfect pass from Cassidy.
“So, what’s up, man? You said you had an idea for Ballyhoo?” Pat asked as he sat down on the edge of the pool to stick his legs in the water.
“I do. I think it’s time for us to take the bar to the next level, bro. I’m talkin’ big time. I’m talkin’ about us getting a mascot for the bar,” Brock answered with a tone that was equal parts confidence and excitement.
Scratching his chin, Cassidy raised an eyebrow at his friend.
“A mascot? For a bar? Why?” he asked as Brock kicked his feet to move closer to him.
“Because, dude! Every successful business has something. McDonald’s has Ronald, Aflac has the duck, the list goes on. Shit, dude, just look over at that giant ass statue in front of the hotel,” Newbludd said, pointing at the giant bronze lion that welcomed people to the MGM Grand.
Cassidy glanced over to the statue as he took a drink of his beer, contemplating Brock’s words.
“You do have a point. How about…”
Before Pat can finish, both his and Brock’s phones chime loudly. Holding a finger up to his tag partner, Cassidy climbs out of the pool and walks over to the table to check the message.
“Looks like we got our next challenge, dude,” Pat said with a frown.
“Nice! What’s next? Eatin’ some more gross shit?” Newbludd asked as he floated over to the pool edge.
Shaking his head, Pat shrugged his shoulders.
“All it says is SCAVENGER HUNT in all caps. Not sure for what though…”
Newbludd leaned back in his tube and thought for a moment. Slowly, a grin started to form on his face.
“Fuck yeah, man. This is perfect! We can kill two birds with one stone!” Brock exclaimed before rolling off his tube and into the pool, expertly keeping his drink held up above the water level as he does so.
Popping his head above water, the still grinning Brock wades over to the steps leading out of the pool and exits it.
“Two birds with one stone? You’re going to have to fill me in, bud. And before you do, let’s be clear, any ingesting of animal organs or genitals falls on you,” Cassidy said, pointing a finger at Brock to emphasize his point.
“None of that, dude,” Newbludd said with a dismissive wave as he grabbed a towel and threw it over his shoulder.
“Then explain the shit-eating grin, ” Cassidy said, causing Newbludd’s grin to grow even larger as he puts a hand on his friend’s shoulder.
“Two birds with uno stone, amigo. Tonight, we’re hitting the Mojave where we’ll not only win the contest, we’ll be getting ourselves a mascot too,” Brock said as he grabbed a fresh beverage out of the cooler.
“This is gonna be great, dude. Just meet me down in the lobby around 7pm and I’ll explain it all then.”
Sliding his feet into his sandals, Brock clinked his beer against Cassidy’s and walked with purpose towards the hotel.
“Wait, what? Where are you going?” the confused Cassidy called out as he watched Newbludd walk off.
“Gotta get some supplies, dude! Bait and shit!” Brock yelled back before opening the door to the hotel and exiting the pool area.
Shaking his head, Cassidy took another sip of beer.
“Bait? Bait for what?” the Boston native asked himself as the scene slowly faded to black.
Location: MGM Grand Front Entrance
Pat Cassidy gave his friend a sideways look when Brock pulled up in front of him behind the wheel of their rental car. Feeling fancy when they arrived in Las Vegas, the tag team splurged on their wheels and went with a brand new Chevy Corvette Stingray convertible. Sitting behind the wheel with the top down, still shirtless and in his swimsuit, Brock patted the passenger seat and Cassidy hopped in.
“Still rockin’ the trunks I see. So, what’s the plan here, ace?” Cassidy asked as Newbludd put the car into gear and hit the gas.
“Let me ask you this, dude. What do you know about the king of the scavengers, the turkey vulture?” Brock asked as he pulled out of the MGM Grand in the direction of the freeway.
Cassidy thought for a long moment before realization struck him and he rolled his eyes.
“Listen, dude, if I’m thinking what I think you’re thinking then I’m gonna pass on killing any large birds tonight. You might be taking the whole ‘scavenger hunt’ thing too literally. I told you to not drink booze before noon because this is what happens. Bad ideas, that’s all,” Cassidy said in exasperation, causing Newbludd to glance over at him in mock surprise.
“This has been booze free day, dude. Only beer, scout’s honor! And you got this all wrong. Killing isn’t on the docket tonight, my friend. Mascot’s really lose their luster when they’re dead. Think of tonight as more of a kidnapping,” Brock replied in a reassuring tone.
“Whatever you say, man. Whatever you say…” Cassidy said as Newbludd turned onto the freeway, Corvette pointed towards the Mojave.
Location: Mojave Desert
“There we go, dude. Bait is setup perfectly if I do say so myself.”
Proudly standing with his hands on hips, the still shirtless Brock looked down at the pile of rotten meat spread out on the desert floor in admiration. Standing next to him with his nose pinched, Cassidy was clearly disgusted at the sight before him.
“Oh man, that stinks so bad…so bad,” Pat said as he struggled not to gag. “Can we get away from it now, please?”
Before Brock could answer the wind changed directions, blowing the stink directly up Brock’s nose. Immediately Newbludd gagged and backpedaled away. Eyes watering, Brock nodded his head in agreement and backed away from the pile of stinking meat. Cassidy was quick to join him and the two friends walked back to the desolate gravel road where their car was parked on.
“So, what now?” Cassidy asked as Brock made his way to the car’s trunk and opened it up.
“Now…we wait,” Brock answered as he reached in the trunk and tossed Cassidy a cold beer as he walked up to join him. Cracking the beer open, Pat took a deep drink and immediately spit it out when Newbludd reached into the trunk again to pull out an aggressive looking rifle.
“What in the actual fuck, dude? Where did you…you know what, I don’t want to know where you got that. I thought you said no killing!” Cassidy angrily exclaimed.
Putting his free hand up defensively to calm his partner, Newbludd then reached back into the trunk to pull out a handful of long darts. Holding them up for Pat to see, Brock uses an elbow to shut the trunk.
“Relax, bro! It’s a tranq gun! Just a little nap, that’s all!” Brock said as he loaded a dart into the rifle and chambered it.
“You know what, we’ve come to far. I’m just going to drink all the beer you brought and go with the flow,” Cassidy said with a sigh as he hopped up to sit on the trunk.
“My man! I promise, dude, this is going to be a big win for us. You’ll see,” Newbludd said as he joined Cassidy on the trunk.
Cracking open a beer of his own, Newbludd trained his eyes on the bait pile. Waiting and watching.
Location: Mojave Desert
“Oh shit, dude! That thing is huge!”
Having had a few beers to help loosen up, Pat Cassidy watched in awe as the massive turkey vulture landed in front of the pile of meat that had only gotten stinkier since Brock placed it.
“Yeah, buddy. Showtime…” Brock whispered quickly as he opened the drivers side door of the convertible as quietly as possible.
“You sure this is a good idea, man? I’ve never heard of a person keepin’ a vulture as a pet,” Cassidy whispered back as Newbludd dropped to a knee and rested the tranquilizer rifle on the open door.
“Not a pet, dude. A mascot. Totally different thing,” Newbludd replied as he put his eye up to the scope to watch the scavenger gulp down a beakful of meat.
“Here goes nothin…” Newbludd muttered to himself as he slowly exhaled.
Expelling all the air from his lungs, the former Army Ranger kept his breath held and squeezed the trigger.
In less than a second the dart hit the vulture directly in it’s broad chest. Looking down to see the small metal dart sticking out, the bird snapped it’s head back up to Newbludd and Cassidy and tilted it’s head in confusion. Instincts kicking in, the vulture spread it’s wings to take off but the tranquilizer was already doing it’s magic and a second later the bird tipped over onto it’s back.
“Woah…” Cassidy muttered as Newbludd pumped a victorious fist and stood up behind the car door.
“Easy fuckin’ peezy, bro!” Brock exclaimed as he scurried around to the back of the car and opened the trunk to put the rifle back.
Closing it, Newbludd joined Cassidy and together The Saturday Night Specials walked towards their new scavenger mascot.
“Michael Keaton,” Brock said as the walked.
“What?” Cassidy asked, looking over to his friend.
“That’s its name, dude. Michael Keaton. Get it?” Brock replied with a grin.
Taking a moment to jump on Newbludd’s train of thought, Cassidy chuckled.
“Yeah, dude. Because Michael Keaton plays The Vulture in Spider-Man, right?” he asked as they stopped to stare down at the sleeping bird.
“Exactly, bro.” Newbludd said as he bent down, gagging as he did from the stinky bait pile, and gently picked the bird up in his arms.
“So, what now?” Cassidy asked, covering his mouth from the stink.
“I suppose we better head back to the hotel to show someone our scavenger hunt find. I guess we start with the front desk?” Brock answered as the two walked back to the car.
“Shit, man, don’t ask me. This was your idea,” Cassidy said as he hopped in the passenger seat while Brock laid the unconscious carrion bird in the backseat.
Hopping behind the wheel, Brock started the car and looked over to his partner.
“And what a good idea it was, dude.”
With that, Newbludd started the engine and performed a quick u-turn to point the car back towards the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Location: MGM Grand Front Desk
Strange looks and shocked gasps greeted The Saturday Night Specials as they entered the main lobby of the MGM Grand. Pat Cassidy did his best to keep a straight face while ahead of him Brock carried the still knocked out vulture in his arms.
“No! Nope! I don’t even want to know!” the woman working behind the front desk of the hotel exclaimed as she pointed a finger at Brock.
The few people who were being helped at the desk collectively turned around and immediately scattered at the sight of the giant bird being held by the shirtless man. Brock frowned at them as they quickly moved away from him while Pat averted his eyes in embarrassment.
“Take it easy! We just need to register Michael Keaton for the scavenger hunt!” Brock said, stopping a few feet away from the desk.
“Scavenger hunt? Michael Keaton? Boy, you’re gonna need more than Batman to save your ass if you come any closer with that thing. Now, get that thing out of here before I call security!” the irate woman behind the front desk screamed.
“Ma’am! Relax! It’s not a THING! It’s our mascot! Big difference, and besides he’s knocked out cold. I just need to know where I can take him for the scavenger hunt. Help me help you,” Brock said in the smoothest tone he could muster.
Eyes wide in anger and disbelief, the MGM grand employee pointed a finger at Newbludd.
“If he’s knocked out then why is he staring at me!” she yelled, causing both men to look at the bird.
“Dude…” Cassidy muttered as he took a step away from Brock.
Looking down, Newbludd locks eyes with the bird and gulps.
“Oh shit…hey there buddy…” Brock said nervously as the bird tilted it’s head and narrowed it’s eyes.
“CAW! CAW!” Michael Keaton screeched before wrestling it’s way out of Brock’s arms and dropping to the ground.
As Cassidy backed away to join the rest of the onlookers, the rightfully angry bird spread it’s wings and took a step towards Newbludd. Putting his hands up defensively, Brock began to backpedal towards the hotels sliding front doors.
“This was a bad idea…I need to stop day drinking…” Brock said in between deep breaths right before Michael Keaton let our a war cry and launched himself towards his would be kidnapper.
“Oh FUCK!” he screamed out as the bird flew towards him.
Throwing a forearm up at the last second, Brock stumbled backward through the sliding doors and out onto the sidewalk as the vulture dug it’s talons into the meat of his arm. More shocked cries erupted from the people outside as they watched a shirtless man in swimming trunks spin in circles in a desperate attempt to shake the bird off of him. Keeping his grip on Brock’s forearm, Michael Keaton beat his wings furiously against the sides of Newbludd’s head, muffling his pained cries.
“Outta the way!”
Rushing through the sliding doors and out onto the sidewalk, Pat Cassidy lifted the fire extinguisher he had procured from the hotel. Clamping down with his hand, Cassidy gave the bird and Brock a full blast. Letting out an angry cry, Micheal Keaton let go of Newbludd’s forearm and flew off into the Vegas sky. Covered in extinguisher dust, Brock grabbed his scratched up arm and collapsed on the sidewalk to watch Michael Keaton fly away.
“Fly free, Mike. Fly free…” he muttered as a single feather floated down and landed on his lap.
“Dude! Oh, man! Are you alright!?” Cassidy yelled out as he ran over to Brock, extinguisher still in hand.
Grabbing the feather, Newbludd stared at it for a long moment before holding it up to Cassidy.
“Oh.. hey buddy…listen, things aren’t going to work out with our new mascot. Do you think you could be a chum and go give this feather to someone for the scavenger hunt?” the defeated Newbludd asked with a sigh.
Grabbing the feather, Cassidy stuck it in a pocket as he looked down at his wounded friend.
“Sure, dude. How about we get you to a doctor first and have him look at that arm?” he asked.
Nodding his head in agreement, Newbludd staggered to his feet and threw his good arm around Cassidy to help keep himself upright.
“That sounds good to me, dude. That sounds good to me…”