09-04-2011, 11:04 PM
Sunday. The sanctified day of rest for most of the world, and especially for Criss Angel, who took full advantage of it after a grueling week of taping his series and performing live on stage twice a night. Though he had the stamina of a man almost half his age, the need for sleep was just as strong. He might have appeared immortal on stage, performing amazing acts of magic and illusions, but he was still a man of flesh and blood with all the limitations of any other human on Earth.
This particular Sunday Criss slept until after noon, virtually comatose after the week he had gone through. His beloved cat, Hammie, lay curled at the foot of the king-sized bed, dozing contentedly. Outside, the midday sun beat down mercilessly upon the city. Waves of heat shimmered on the pavement below, and every surface burned like a stove, but in the air-conditioned comfort of his suite at the Luxor Hotel, Criss was oblivious to the desert inferno on the other side of the giant tinted windowpane in his bedroom.
Something in his brain kicked on like an internal alarm clock, and his eyes fluttered open. He stretched the stiffness out of his limbs, rubbed his stubbly face, and rose from bed, clad only in a pair of gray CK briefs. Hammie idly watched his owner stumble to the bathroom to tend to certain bodily needs which even the most famous shared with the rest of humanity. The trickling sound of water striking water eminated from the bathroom, then a loud flush, then the sturdier sound of water landing on porcelain tile as Criss showered. He shaved away the five o'clock shadow around his jawline, combed his black hair, brushed his teeth, and pulled on his bathrobe, ready for the day though the day itself was almost half over by now.
He opened the double door of his suite. On the floor was a copy of the Sunday Las Vegas Sun sheathed in plastic wrap. Knowing full well the futility of training Hammie to fetch the paper for him, he scooped it up and carried it to the sofa, fetching a bottle of juice in the small fridge on the way. After tossing aside the bundle of inserts and supplements ("Geez!" he said to himself, "how many trees had to die to make all of this (bleep)?") he settled back with the main body of the newspaper on the sofa.
GM was scaling down after declaring bankruptcy; President Obama was working to restore America's credibility with the rest of the world; Michael Jackson's records were selling at a phenomemal rate since the late singer's death two years ago while his children visited his old home in Gary, Indiana; unemployment was still at an all-time high--pretty much the same old same old, Criss thought as he scanned the paper. He turned to the local news section to get a feel of what was happening in the metropolitan area of Las Vegas. The first article he saw gave him a jolt.
Some local man the press had dubbed the Vegas Flasher had been exposing himself in public for the past two weeks. He mainly targeted older women around fifty or sixty, but yesterday afternoon he had revealed himself in front of a sixty-two year old grandmother and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter at Circus Circus. Exposing himself to the older woman was considered only gross indecency or minor assault, but in front of a minor constituted CSA, a felony offense. Citizens were advised to be on the lookout for this person and to report him to the police if spotted.
Criss read the description of the infamous flasher: middle-aged man, dark hair, heavy dark body hair, small potbelly, bulbous nose, mustache, wearing only a black raincoat. He rolled his eyes in disgust; the guy must either be a pervert or a nutcase--probably both, he reasoned. He turned the page to find something else more worthy of his attention, dismissing the Vegas Flasher from his mind. He was caught up in an article about the mayor's state of the city address when he heard his cell phone go off in his bedroom. Criss tossed the paper aside and rose from the sofa to answer it, hoping it wasn't his manager or producer or anyone else on his crew; this was his day of rest, and he wanted to enjoy it as long as he could. To his relief, it was his brother, JD, calling. He flipped open the phone and answered it. "Hey, JD, what's up?" he said.
"Hey, Criss," he heard JD say jovially, "Did I wake you up?"
"Nah, it's okay," Criss replied drily, "I had to get up to answer the phone anyway."
"Ba-dum-bump!" JD laughed. "Okay, the reason I called is that Mom's coming to Vegas to stay with Costa for a while."
Criss was delighted, but a bit puzzled. He was always delighted when his beloved mother came to Vegas, but usually she came during the winter months, almost never during the summer--the desert heat was too much for a seventy-four year old woman to bear. "That's great, bro," he said cheerfully, "but what's the occasion?"
"Well, it seems the old homestead became infested with red ants," JD explained, "so Mom's gotta retreat for a few weeks while they fumigate the place. The whole house is under a huge tent to gas out the bugs."
"Must be one helluva infestation," Criss commented.
"Damn straight," JD concurred. "I gotta pick her up at the airport tomorrow afternoon. Care to come."
"Hey, I'd love to!" Suddenly, he remembered. "Oh, (bleep), I can't," he groaned apologetically. "I got that physical that's gonna take all day. Sorry."
"Well, hope they don't find anything," JD said optimistically. "Oh, by the way, you hear about George?"
"What about him?"
"He made the quarter finals to the Excalibur fight yesterday."
"All riiiiighhht!" Criss cheered. "Way to go, George!"
"The match is this Friday," JD told him. "I know you're busy, so I'll tape it for you."
"There's just one more thing."
"Someone posted a YouTube video of you in the nude."
Criss was stunned. "Come again?"
"Yeah, someone shot a tape of you coming out of the shower and put it on YouTube. They blocked your privates, though, totally censored, so there's nothing to worry about there. Any idea who put it there?"
"Oh, yeah," Criss replied through gritted teeth. "I know exactly who put it there. And when I find the (bleeper), he's gonna be road pizza!"