Truckin’ Along

 
Charlie Nav presents Spider Monkey

 
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[Profile shot of a rusty, red Dodge Ram, circa 1992; a battered heap that has clearly seen better days. A scorching California sun bakes down from above, causing visible waves of heat to do their dance from off the surface of the truck. The camera holds steady. What we lack in the form of a visible human body we make up for with the sound of a voice.]

Well where the hell is he then?

[The voice of Spider Monkey, heard but not seen.]

Clearly, you dunce! I can gather that by the fact that you just said he was OUT!

[The low baritone voice speaks with more than just a hint of annoyance. It’s clear that the man who would be Spider Monkey is rarely in a positive mode, and today is no different.]

I tell you what… I’ll try a little harder to be civil if you can try a little harder to pull your head out of your ass and ANSWER MY QUESTION!

[There is a slight pause before…]

What the?!

[Suddenly our picture is altered by the sight of Spider Monkey bolting upright in the bed of the pick-up. He has his freakish, yellow lucha mask pulled down over his head, although it’s curled up on the right side where a cellphone is currently pressed to his ear. Drawing the phone away and looking at it as if the phone itself had just caused him offense, he slowly shakes his head in disbelief.]

I can’t believe she hung up.

[He flips the phone shut with a snap of his wrist.]

Douche.

[Another disbelieving shake of the head precedes the Spider Monkey dropping back down out of sight. The camera begins a slow walk around towards to the back end of the truck as we hear Monkey’s aggravated mumbling.]

Christ, all I wanted was a little assistance. You’d think I just asked to take a dump in her living room.

[By now we’ve reached the back of the truck. The tailgate is down and Spider Monkey is seen sprawled in the bed amidst a scattering of woodchips and grass clippings. He’s dressed in a pair of ratty, cut-off jeans and a sweat-stained, black & white, Spencer Sloan baseball jersey that has “EVERYBODY’S DADDY” scrawled across the front. Like the Dodge, it has seen better days. Lying on his back with his left hand behind his head and his right hand holding the phone lazily across his chest, he stares up toward the sky and contemplates his miserable life. He also begins to talk out loud, clearly aware of the camera’s presence.]

Speaking of taking a dump in somebody’s living room… I was watching an old Michael Iashvili promo the other day, and man, I gotta ask: who’s brilliant idea was it to air an episode of that hack interviewing potential roommates and calling it compelling television? Personally, I’d rather watch the steaming pile of crap. At least that’s biodegradable.

Ah, screw it. What’s the point?

[The question is rhetorical. The silence that follows is nothing more than an opportunity for our trusty camera operator to navigate his way up onto the tailgate for a better vantage point. Eventually we find ourselves looking down on the prone form of Spider Monkey. What little we can see of his eyes thanks to the current looseness of the mask shows us that they are in fact closed.]

I mean, honestly, why should I bother? Why should I take the time and the energy it would take to rip this guy a verbal new one — time and energy that would clearly be better spent waxing Brian McCoy’s car or picking up his dry cleaning — when all I’m gonna get in response is some smack-free babble from the kid himself and some watered down pseudo-trash from his chick manager? Where’s the payoff?

[A heavy sigh accompanies the sight of Spider Monkey’s eyes lazily opening. He then begins the process of unfurling the side of the mask which had been adjusted for phone usage and straightening the whole thing out.]

Yeah, I got another match this week. Another chance to prove nothing against nobody on this journey to nowhere. Never mind that I came within an eyelash of winning that ridiculous battle royal only to have some queer in a skirt steal MY victory. Never mind that once AGAIN I was the best thing going in that ring. Let’s throw all that aside and give the guy a match against the personality vacuum with the losing streak.

Yeah. *That’s* a fair reward.

What have I got to do, boss? Because I’m not beneath scrubbing toilets back at casa de McCoy if that’s what it takes. I’ve been beaten down by this business for so long that I’m perfectly willing to leave my pride at the door and demean myself — IF — there’s something in it for me. So what’s it gonna be? What can the Spider Monkey do for you that’ll deliver me from this never-ending series of lackluster opponents?

[Suddenly the Monkey props himself up onto his elbows, raising his upperbody off the bed of the truck at a 45° angle.]

Back off, jack.

[The command is intended for the cameraman. We take a few steps back, clearing room for Spider Monkey to slide himself back a bit and draw his legs into his chest. He pushes up against the back of the cab, throwing one arm across the liner of the truck bed.]

I read somewhere recently that I should just quit the business if I’m this miserable. As if the opinions of some pimple-faced nerd with his mommy’s AOL account is gonna mean anything to me. I tell you what, BigDeal3636, how’s about you bust your ass for the next ten years putting you heart and soul into something you love and see how happy *you* are when you keep having your nose rubbed in s[bleep]t. You and your internet buddies don’t like that I’m so cranky? Tough. I got bills to pay.

The PROBLEM is that the top cheese here in DWS — and the rest of this Godforsaken industry for that matter — won’t give me a chance to do anything more than the bare minimum. Let’s be honest here: I *have* the skills. I bring the goods every time I step into that ring. With the right kind of support I could be the next big thing in this sport. But noooOOOOOoooo. We can’t have that. We gotta promote the hell out of dried sperm like Jimmy Jack Varga. We have to pimp Paradox and the 24 hour menstruation channel. Spider Monkey? Why don’t you go play with other kiddies in the sandbox.

[Spider draws his left hand up towards his face and begins the process of undoing his mask, rolling up the flap to once again uncover his right ear.]

Michael Iashvili *lost* his match last week for the television title. I point this out because there’s been talk that my little dance with him this week might have “title implications”. Hmmm… lemme see here. The guy is coming off a LOSS in a title match… and I’m supposed to believe that beating him might propel me into the title hunt? You know, according to my calculations defeating a LOSER only makes me LESS of a loser. Which I’m sure is EXACTLY the excuse that McCoy will use next week when I find myself going toe-to-toe with the likes of Lorenzo Richards.

[He shifts his position slightly, sliding his right leg underneath himself in an attempt to prop himself up a bit.]

I can see it now: “Lorenzo really has an issue with you after the way you eliminated him in that Battle Royal. There’s something there. I smell monkey. *Plus*… even though you handed Michael Iashvili his ass, he’s clearly not the caliber of opponent we thought he was and we’re just not sure you’re ready for a title shot yet. Maybe next time, sport.”

And so it goes. Another spin around on this carousel of mediocrity I call my career. Another week wasted playing wet nurse to the leader of the bland and his hag agent. Another hollow opportunity tossed at my feet but wrapped pretty in a bow. Then it’ll be on to a supposed “grudge match” with another half-wit whose coolness factor only exists in the form of having a “Z” in his name. Hoo boy, my career be TAKIN’ OFF!

At least I get the pleasure of watching Searin Aurora take the fall as token undercard bum in that Crown Jewel fiasco. Better him than me.

[The cellphone comes out again. Monkey flips it open and begins to punch up a number with his thumb.]

All of which means what?

[Number dialed, he brings the phone up to his ear.]

It means that yet again I’ve got to go out there on Flawless and do everything in my power to overcome the odds and have the match of the night. I’ve got to work ten times harder than anybody else in this stinkin’ place just to earn the measly scraps they see fit to throw me.

Spider Monkey versus Michael Iashvili.

Title implications?

[A roll of the eyes.]

Puh-lease.

[A connection on the phone is apparently made, as Spider shifts his attention away from the camera and to the cell.]

Charlie! Finally! Where the hell have you BEEN, man?!

[Fade out.]

 
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