09-05-2011, 04:53 PM
Criss and his crew were taking a break from the planning meeting, chowing down on takeout Asian food from styrofoam containers in his hotel suite, when the hotel phone rang. Criss swallowed his mouthful of lo mein noodles and answered it. "Hello?" he said.
There was a moment's pause, then suddenly he brightened. "Sully!" he crowed. "How's it goin'? How's the hand? Great! Yeah, sure, come on up--we got plenty of lo mein to go around! Okay, later, 'bye."
He hung up the phone. "Sully's coming up," he said simply.
"What's that about his hand?" someone asked from across the room.
"Oh, he just cut it open with a broken beer bottle, that's all," Criss explained drily. "I caught up with him when I was at the doctor's office for my physical a few months back. I forgot how many stitches it took, but it looked pretty bad." He suddenly grew concerned, almost worried.
"I'm sure he's fine," Joaquin Ayela said confidently.
Criss nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I'm sure he is," he agreed. "He sounded okay, so I guess everything's all right."
The crew resumed their lunch. A knock on the door interrupted them for the second time. Criss set aside his container and rose to answer it. Sully Erna, drummer for Godsmack and best friend, stood in the doorway with a huge smile on his face. The two greeted each other with fist bumps and shoulder hugs as Sully entered the suite. The crew merely waved and grunted hello through mouthfuls of lo mein and kept on eating.
Sully sat down next to Criss on the nearest available sofa. "So, how's it goin'?" he asked.
"Good," Criss replied. "How's your hand?"
Sully raised it and flexed his fingers. "Doin' good," he replied. "Nothing major, just some lacerations, that's all. It's not like it's gonna end my career or nothin'."
"Well, that's good," Criss said, relieved. "So, what brings you here?"
"Oh, nothin'," Sully said indifferently, "just wanted to stop by and say hello."
Both men laughed. "Say, by the way," Sully went on. "Isn't the Vegas Flasher going on trial soon? 'Cause that's what I really wanna know; I heard he flashed your mom and your cousin George busted his face."
"Well, today's the trial," Criss informed him. "Mom, JD, Costa, George--they're all there now."
"Oh, geez!" Sully groaned in disappointment. "God! I wish I'd known that earlier! I coulda gone there myself instead of coming here!"
"You wouldn't have been able to get in the courtroom, anyway," Criss told him. "It's a closed session--no visitors, no cameras, nothing."
Sully shrugged in resignation. "Oh, well." He turned to Criss. "Any word?"
"About the trial? None yet. Don't know how long it's gonna take: I mean this guy's got sixteen counts against him, plus stealing those photographs from the editing room--"
Sully held up his hand. "Wait, whoa, wait a minute. You mean the Flasher was the one who stole those pictures?"
Criss nodded. Sully was perplexed. "I thought it was that cameraman you fired." he said.
"Alvin the Flasher stole the photos, and Kevin was the one who posted them on the Web," Criss explained. "They were in it together, Kevin for me firing him, Alvin for George breaking his nose."
Sully nodded in understanding. "So, did they press charges against George?" he asked.
"George pleaded no contest by reason of defense," Criss replied. "They fined him a thousand dollars and let him off with a warning. What really (bleeped) him off was that he got suspended from the Excalibur match for it."
"They suspended him?" Sully shook his head. "Oh, geez! What a tough break for George! I mean, all those months of training just to get kicked out of the match--"
"It was just an exhibition match," Criss said. "He can compete in future matches if he wants."
"Well, that's good," Sully said. "In my opinion, George did a public service nailin' that pervert the way he did. I mean, if that (bleeper) did that to my wife, or, God forbid, my girls, I'd 've done the same thing or worse. Some guy goin' around, showing off his...you know..."
"Shortcomings," Criss finished for him.
Sully laughed out loud. "Shortcomings! Yeah! That's a good one! Anyway, what makes a guy do that, anyway?"
"It's a turn-on, I guess," Criss theorized. "It gets him off. It's sort of a thrill for him, I guess." He mimicked opening a coat. "Yoo-hoo! Hey, look at what I got here!" He fell back in his seat, laughing.
"Women don't do things like that, do they?" Joaquin inquried. "I mean, it's a man thing, isn't it, showing off his machismo? Women are too modest by nature to do anything like that, right?"
Sully looked at Joaquin. "You've never been to a Godsmack concert, have you?" he said. "I mean, we're up on stage, big crowd down in the mosh pit, everybody's goin' crazy, and some girl gets up on someone's shoulders, lifts up her tank top--hel-lo!" He flicked his t-shirt up for emphasis.
"That happen a lot?" Joaquin asked.
Sully nodded seriously. "A lot! I mean, every show we've done, we get a free 'show' of our own from the audience."
"Ever been flashed off stage?" Criss asked.
"No, not really. If they did, I'm usually too tired or too wasted to notice. You get kinda jaded when you've been touring too long."
Criss nodded in sympathy and understanding. "I suppose," he said for lack of anything else to say.
His cell phone went off in his pocket. Criss excused himself to answer it. Meanwhile, Sully decided to help himself to some lo mein noodles. Criss read the LED screen to see who was calling him: JD, it read. "Hey, it's my brother," he said eagerly as he pressed the Answer button. "Hey, JD, whassup?"
There was a long pause as Criss listened to whatever his brother had to say, grunting only "uh-huh" now and then. Then, suddenly, his eyes widened in shock. "He did what?" he roared.
"What'd he do?" Sully demanded. "Who did what?"
Criss waved for silence. "So what happened then?" he asked JD.
He listened carefully, then said, "Okay, I'll see you later, then. Tell Mom hi for me, okay? 'Bye."
He flipped off his phone, still stunned. "What happened, dude?" Sully persisited. "Who did what?"
Criss lowered the phone. "Mom was on the stand, testifying," he began. "Someone on the jury saw that pervert whip it out right there in the courtroom. They had to stop the whole trial and carry him back to jail."
Sully was aghast. So was the rest of the crew. "He just flashed everyone right there in the courtroom?" Sully echoed.
Criss nodded. "He did it right under the table," he said. "And he was in handcuffs to boot!"
"Look likes this guy's gonna be facing a loooooong stretch behind bars," someone in the back commented.
"Yeah," Criss concurred. "After a very loooooong trial."