“What do you mean you’re doing your best?” I roar into my cellphone.
“Things are tough across the board Rick. Don’t you read the papers? James fuckin’ Bond can’t even get past pre-production because of financing and you’re already on busting my balls.”
“So how come both Jordan and Cassidy are cleaning up?”
“They’re in different market segments. I’ve already managed to land you two auditions but you turned them down.”
“One was for the part of a rent boy, and the other a cold sore commercial.”
“All publicity is good publicity. It’s like I keep telling you Rick you gotta work on building up your portf.” He says before I hang up in a furious rage.
“Can you believe this fuckin’ jerkoff?”
Mike simply shrugs while taking a sip from his bottle of beer, “What you gonna do?”
“I think it’s time to walk. I’m sick of being trapped like a monkey and having to dance for rotten bananas while everyone else is livin’ it up like Rockefeller. Fuck this shit.”
“You’ve just gotta give it time man.” He says with genuine concern.
“I’m done waiting. Seriously just take a look at everyone else bro; Leanne’s well on her way to being the next Dolly Parton, Cassidy’s the face and ass of high street fashion, Jordan’s coming up daisies like he’s the next Matt fuckin’ Damon, Kelly’s probably gonna have her own clothing line by next fall…”
“What about Tori? Or me?” Mike counters.
“Tori’s just been unlucky but at least has had her chances, and you,” I pause to laugh, ”you’re everyone’s favorite token Irish drunk.” I say grabbing him towards me playfully, rubbing his hair.
“These things take time Rick.”
“No Mike I’m serious this time – I’m done bro. Let MTV find some other chump to do their dance.”
Mike stands up and tells me to grab my coat, “Come on,” he says downing his beer, “it’s time you took a leaf out of my book.”

The taxi drops us outside someplace called “Bar Lubitsch” in some part of Santa Monica I’m not familiar with. Inside the place looks like some kind of cabaret vodka factory with red velvet carpets and endless bottles of vodka lined up across the walls. “What the hell is this place?”
“We tried your way now let’s try mine.” Mike says.
“There must be like a hundred bottles of different vodka in this place.”
“Over two hundred to be precise.” He laughs, “What else did you expect from a token Irish drunk?”
The bar seems the type of place the Russian mafia might frequent with its dim lighting and harsh red overkill making it look like something from a David Lynch movie. I’m not even sure if the East bloc posters are here for kitsch value or are genuinely meant to complement the bar’s design. The place itself is fairly empty except for a table down the back which is encased in red darkness. Pending on how the light shines I either catch a glimpse of some fine blonde young thing, or a sketchy male accomplice.
“How’d you come across this place?”
“Stayed in a hostel a while back not too far from here.”
A barman straight from the Adams Family hobbles his way over and asks what we’ll have to drink.
“I guess I’ll have a vodka. Whatever you recommend.”
“And I’ll have a beer – anything on tap.”
“Why would you come to the home of vodka and order a beer? It’s like going to a strip club for the buffets.”
“Guess I’m just not as cultured as you LA city slickers.”
The barman returns with Mike’s beer and begins pouring my vodka out from a bottle filled with grass.
“What the fuck am I meant to do with this shit? Plant it or drink it?” I say and the barski looks at me like I’ve just sniffed his sister’s panties.
“This put how you say lead in your pecker. Back home we drink this and fuck many beautiful lady till they scream “no more”. This like bison Viagra,” He then proceeds to moo, “they eat grass and screw like crazy.”
“It’s true man.” Mike says smirking behind his beer.
“How the fuck would you know Irish? I thought you weren’t interested in anything without hops and barely.”
“What can I say? I’m an enigma.”
I down the shot and the only tingly sensation down in my balls is coming from the singed hair on my sack.
“Wow that shit’s on fire.”
“Hit him again.” Mike says with a mischievous smile.

At this stage I’ve taken more hits than a professional boxer as I stagger back to my stool at the bar where yet another shot awaits. Mike still seems fresh as a daisy while I wilt away on my stool to the delight of the barski who seems to be bitching me out in Russian. This whole night has a real Twilight Zone quality about it with nothing seeming to be what it is. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the barman pull off his mask to reveal a giant talking lizard or alligator or something. I feel excited and scared but with no reason for either.
“Is that that MTV producer guy?” Mike says elbowing me in the side to get my attention.
I can’t see a damn thing in this vodka factory and by the time I squint to focus in he’s right in my face with an extended hand and a mouth full of white pearls.
“Ricki my man,” He says embracing me with a strong handshake and low shoulder, “howz my number one star?”
“Not bad Kris.”
Kris and Mike briefly exchange cursory nods before the spotlight’s back on me.
“So what you drinking Rick?”
“Some bull Viagra or some shit.” I slur and my sentence is barely finished before the barski’s placed a whole bottle of vodka in a bucket of ice down beside me.
“Why don’t you come join me and a few of my lady friends bro?”
We all start to make our way over when Kris stops the cameraman and sends him packing.
“Let the guys have a night off,” He says and Dillon leaves without as much as a peep.
In the corner are two of the sexiest women I’ve ever seen in my life and their token friend. I make a bee-line to introduce myself to the smoking blonde (who I think is the girl from earlier) but she beats me to the punch.
“Hi Ricki,” She says with a playful bite of her bottom lip, “my name’s Kirstin pleased to meet you.”
I grab Kris by the shoulder, “How does this broad know who I am?”
“Bro are you kidding me?” He says looking as though I’m the one playing a practical joke, “You’re one of the biggest players on MTV’s hottest new show.”
“Well that’s not what Eddie seems to think,” I say pulling him in close enough to me so I can whisper, “So far all he’s got me is a cold sore commercial.”
He pats me on the pack and reassures me with his brilliant mouth of white that I’ll be taken care off.
“I’ll speak to Eddie personally tomorrow bro,” and then next thing I know he’s grabbed the bottle off the table to salute me, “to Hollywood’s next Tom Cruise.”

Next Chapter.

Previous Chapter.

From the beginning.

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