“The Price of Justice (with G.S.T)”
Freedom is good. For you. For me. For those twinkly-eyed Rats o’ the Rug I’m now locally world famous for saving. For everyone.
Of course, freedom’s not so good for the so-called “carers” at the Kiddy Kare Funhouse, because after all, they’ve basically lost it, thanks to the way they fed sleeping lollies to the abovementioned rugrats. Nevertheless, freedom’s a good thing for most of us.
And yet… at what cost?
Well, judging by the legal bill I just plucked fresh from the mailbox yesterday afternoon, a fuckin’ HUGE cost, is all! Then add the other two (or three) (or more) legal bills I’ve collected over the past month or so, AND the seventy five dollar jaywalkin’ fine, all of which has become even more unpayable since I lost the job I did so diligently for… y’know… three or four hours (before I got arrested). I mean, my student allowance on its own won’t be able to fully cover the cost of my “freedom” no matter how friggin’ good everyone (whoever the fuck they are) thinks freedom is. And I can’t get another student loan because I spent the last of the last one I got on a pair of completely uncalled-for tattoos. Which ITCH, dammit!
But at least there’s one thing I can cash in on– My Good Name. Yes, D.D.T has become something of a local hero in this neck o’ the ‘burbs. And so– in order to pay my outstandings– I’ve decided I’ll expand my public profile so massively much that said public will immediately recognize my face when they see me side-on. To do this, I decided I would let my fingers do a bit more walking– though not this time in a certain thick book with yellow pages (I forget what it’s called), but rather on the very same keyboard I’m talking above right now. I typed in the words “Expand My Public Profile Massively Much” and got one point five billion responses– which was a good start. Then I quickly scanned the ranks of the public profile expanders and my poor, dried-up eyes finally fell on the words “Public Relations Directory”. On page one. At the top. Where it should be.
Once I got on the site, I was drawn to a very familiar name: ALISTAIR VIVEKENANDA. Could this, perchance, be the same Alistair Vivekenanda I’ve known since I was five or six years old, respectively? The same Alistair Vivekenanda who’d often join me and my dining troupe in casually sharing an all-you-can-eat rissole basket? If so, then I haven’t seen him since Wedgie-gate. Yes, that’s right. He was one of the tong-wielding animals who scarfed a few (dozen) kilos of prime quality rissole the night I suffered through that ill-fated “magic” show.
Anyway, that’s all ancient history now– as it was yesterday when I fired off an e-mail to the one who spruiked himself as “ALISTAIR VIVEKENANDA– PUBLIC RELATIONS GURU”. The self-spruiking soul who got my message fired an e-mail back at me, discreetly checking my credentials by asking:
“Are you the same Duncan Dooligan the Third I’ve known since I was five or six years old, and/or the same one I last saw lying unconscious in a gutter outside a rissole club while my then-girlfriend, Hildegard O’Bingen, checked your pockets to see if they were okay?”
“Dammit all, Alistair Vivekenanda!” I shouted out my bedroom window in a japing manner. “Get your mama’s boy self out o’ your parents’ house over the road there, walk across the street, and let’s have this out mano a mano!!”
At this, Alistair Vivekenanda stuck his head out his own bedroom window and shouted: “Okay!”
Then he clambered out said window and lumbered over the road. Once he arrived at my (and my parents’) house, he knocked on the front door and asked if I was home. In hindsight this was a stupid question because I was the one who answered the door, but I stuck to the formalities by going to check, returning five and a half minutes later with an answer: Yes, I was. Then he furthered his enquiries by asking me what I wanted. I said I wanted a Public Relations Guru to help me fame-wise, at which point Alistair Vivekenanda said:
“I’m diagnosing you need all the help you can get. I mean, fame-wise, I’ve never even heard of you. And if someone who’s known you for fourteen years ain’t ever heard of you, then it’s clear you got problems.”
That was his diagnosis.
Now, Alistair Vivekenanda took his new job seriously– which meant, if this were a business visit, I should have made an appointment before popping by. Overlooking the minor detail that he was the one doing all the by-popping, I cleared my throat and said I’d like to make an appointment. He then said he only did that sort’a thing online. So I told him to go home and wait for my face to appear on a screen somewhere, which he did.
The first thing I wanted from Alistair was information re: the boy’s P.R credentials. He (tetchily) reminded me about the Great Authentico (or “Graham” to his friends). While not acknowledging this Graham person, I did (however) know the “Great” (so-called) Authentico– and how the only great thing about him was the size of the DISAPPOINTMENT he caused. That whole sorry business made me lose what little faith I ever had in the Miracle Narrative– but at the same time as I was doing that, Alistair was gaining faith in the Guru Narrative. Because it seems that after I got escorted (AKA flung) out of the Rissole Club, Alistair slid up to the not-so-Great-One himself and said that what he and Alistair both needed was to expand their greatness beyond the Rissole Club circuit and into the wider world. A handshake was traded, then Vivekenanda started sniffin’ around for greatness-worthy venues. But the best he could come up with was a gig at a retirement village– and we both know how that went, Reader.
HOWEVER. At the same time that the not-so-so-Great-One was violently muckin’ things up (in front of witnesses, too), Alistair Vivekenanda was actually getting his client within a hair’s length of televising his (highly disputable) “greatness”. Well, well, well. My bestest buddy of (approximately) fourteen years has a secret skill that even I never knew he had: the ability to almost get people on television! And yet… what if he was capable of honing that skill to an even deeper level and actually GETTING a person (i.e. me) actually ON television?? What would that mean for my public profile? Answer: massively much. Without pause, I flung open my bedroom window and shouted across the street:
“Alistair Vivekenanada? You’re fucking HIRED!!”