The Marketing Of A Superstar

**** It’s just another Manic Monday (ah ah) I wish it was Sunday (ah ah) Cause that’s my funday (ah ah) I want a stickybun day (ah ah) And a bottle of rum day (ah ah)… You know, I never was much good at figuring out song lyrics. Not that it matters anyway. It’s a dumb song. But hey, it seemed appropriate so I went with it. Sue me. Yes, yes, I know you’re glad to have me back. Try to keep the applause to a dull roar though, I’ve got work to do.

So Devo survived his first match and you survived a promo without me to coax you through. Okay, who are we kidding. Devo dominated in that match, and you probably didn’t notice I was gone, but hey, I’ve still got the job so you’re stuck with me. Now, on to bigger things. Devo’s match schedule is now looking pretty open, thanks to the overflow of talent here in the ‘ol HIW, so they’ve got him tied up in all sorts of other meetings. Gotta keep the talent busy. And with the arrival of The Freshmaker, well you just know those folks in marketing are wetting their lips at a the chance to milk this puppy for all he’s worth. That’s where I come in.

You see, there are no camera’s in my world. Just me and you, oh yeah, and Devo. He’s already proven it’ll be some time before he masters the art of the promo shoot, so instead you get me, giving you a sneaky peaky at what’s happening with the lad while he’s away from the spotlight. Wouldn’t want you to forget about him. So here we go. I think today we’re at the photo shoot, and maybe later we’ll check in with those marketing people. That should be good for a laugh. So join me, won’t you? ****

[A photo studio. A cheesy beachfront backdrop stands surrounded by an army of lights and shades. Now why they would bother with a cheap replica when they’ve got the real thing right outside is a question you might ask yourself. In the words of the photographer, THE LIGHTING! THE LIGHTING! So no more questions. He’s an artist, go with it. Smack dab in the middle of this whole fake extravaganza is the man, Devo Tremors. He’s wearing those God awful two-tone pastel wrestling tights that he debuted on Tropical Storm last week. He’s also wearing a Mentos t-shirt, similar to the one he unceremoniously tried to give away that same fateful evening. His hair is hanging loose, but is expertly styled and looking rather feminine. Poor guy. A make-up lady is applying a quick touch-up to that slightly large nose of his. There you go, Tammy Faye, dull some of that shine. In Devo’s hands are four rolls of Mentos. On his face, is a look that says, “Leave off one letter and this is where it gets you”. Yes, he’s miserable. You’d be too if you were dressed that way. The make-up done, the hair proudly poofed, and it looks like it’s time for another shot.]

Photographer: [speaking with a generic, though heavily Italian, Euro-trash accent] Uhh, Deeevo, can you give mea, a bit more of the happy? You know, witha lots ofa teeth, eh.

[Devo smiles. Not his best work, but apparently good enough for the photographer, who continues.]

Photographer: That’s a good, eh. Now. Hold upa the rolls. Hold ’em upa high, so we cana see how mucha you love them, eh.

[Ever the compliant one, Devo follows the directions and raises the candies up around his face. We get a lovely shot of his big goofy grin framed by four rolls of Mentos. Not exactly the kind of thing that’ll make you run out and buy some, but hey, that’s advertising. *FLASH* There goes the camera. *FLASH* And again. A couple more of those and he could go blind. Or is it hairy palms? I forget. Anyway, while Captain Kodak is doing his thing, changing lenses or what have you, Devo takes a break. He shuffles over to a small folding chair that’s off to the side and sits. The look of abject misery that rests on his face is an alien sight to anyone who’s followed this kid for any length of time. He’s usually a happy little camper. Not today. HIW HR rep Mikayla Rabinowitz is on the scene again. Wonder what she’s got to say.]

Mikayla: [plopping down in a chair next to Devo] How’s it going? Those shots look great!

Devo: I feel like an ass.

Mikayla: Why? I think you look great. And this is gonna do wonders for your career. You just wait and see. ‘The Freshmaker’. We couldn’t have done better ourselves.

Devo: No offense, Ms. Rabinowitz, but I look like a jerk. I mean, like, look at my hair. Farrah Fawcett on a bad day was not really the look I was going for, you know.

Mikayla: [emitting a playful laugh] Oh now, come, it’s not that bad.

Devo: So you say. You’re not the one trying to make a living in a ruthless sport by running around dressed like some Froot Loop. Look at these pants. Might as well call me Toucan Sam, you know. And the sad thing is, this was my stupid idea. I’ve got like, no one to blame but myself.

Mikayla: Now look. It all may seem pretty terrible now, but once these adds get out there, and everybody starts to recognize you, you’ll be glad you did it. It’s a stepping stone to stardom.

Devo: Stepping stone to stardom? Are you nuts? It’s the stepping stone to jobbersville. One look at this getup and my opponents will laugh themselves right out of the ring. That is, if I ever get another match.

Mikayla: Is that what this is all about? You’re upset about not having another opponent?

Devo: Well, not like, totally, but it’s part of it. I mean, how can I make a name for myself if I don’t fight anybody, you know. Hell, even that guy Sheridan got a spot on Luau and he’s dead. Meanwhile, here I sit shooting adds for candies I don’t even like all that much. How am I supposed to train? I had more challenges fighting chimps ten times a week.

Mikayla: I’m not exactly sure what it is you want here, Devo. You’ve been on the job for two weeks. Your first ever professional match, they gave you a main event. You were awarded Wrestler of the Week and Match of the Week in the federation’s first week of existence. I know they’re a little slow setting up your next match, but for God’s sake, it’s not like you’ve been ignored. In the meantime, the company’s asked you to help their image by doing this photo shoot and help secure a big client. So what’s the problem?

[Devo meanwhile is stunned. He hasn’t so much as blinked since Mikayla mentioned Wrestler of the Week and his jaw is hanging open in a Gomer Pyle-esque stupor.]

Mikayla: Devo? [pause] Dee-voo?

Devo: [in a soft, awe filled voice] Wrestler of the week?

Mikayla: Yes. Didn’t they tell you?

Devo: [in a soft, awe filled voice] Wrestler of the week?

Mikayla: You see, Devo, they’re very happy with your work.

Devo: [in a soft, awe filled voice] Wrestler of the week?

Mikayla: [with a quick, hard smack off the back of Devo’s head] Snap out of it.

Devo: OW! [rubbing his head] Sorry.

Mikayla: Listen, since it concerns you so much, I’ll try and talk to Mr. Mahakali and see when your next match might be. In the meantime, try and do your best to make this Mentos thing work. It’s got great possibilities and it’ll really show the bosses that you’re a team player. Okay?

Devo: [the look of misery replaced by one of renewed hope and vigor] You got it!

[With that, a now overly excited Devo leaps up from his chair and runs off to rejoin the photo shoot. Mikayla just lets out a long breath and shakes her head silently. No one said it would be easy.]

**** I guess that’s all we’re gonna get for now. In all honesty, it wasn’t all that much to begin with. But hey, without any upcoming matches, it’s hardly time for him to practice his trash talking. Won’t that be a hoot when it happens though? All in good time, my friends, all in good time. Meanwhile, I’m outta here. I gotta go do some voiceover work for a porno shoot. You know, add in some extra ooh’s and ah’s. It’s a dirty job, but it pays well. Catch you later, if you care to join me. Aloha. ****


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