Chapter 11 of The Autobiography of Viva Doc Vegas: Broadcasting Legend
I’m not going to tell you that being on the radio was all glitz and glamor. It wasn’t. There was a lot of bullshit that went along with the job. The stupid meetings to tell you what new stupid thing the radio station was trying to do to round up new listeners that month. And God help the on-air staff any time a ratings book came out. If we weren’t number one, it was the end of the world. This was the ’00s. Radio wasn’t king any more. To listen to the corporate higher-ups, radio was scraping by. Of course, looking at the stockholder numbers, radio was raking in the cash like it was printing its own money.
And dealing with the man is never fun in any job. But the high…the high of cracking open the mic and broadcasting to thousands…millions of people…that’s what being on the radio was all about. That was the drug. That was what kept us coming back for more. Not to mention all the fringe benefits: comped meals, free drinks, t-shirts and other station swag. And the ladies. They were all over the place. There’s something about being on the radio that women love. I guess it’s the fame and power that goes along with it. Or, honestly, it’s probably the fact that all those women think you make a lot of money. And some weeks at the radio station, they were right.
“I’m Viva Doc Vegas, and until tomorrow night at midnight, the show’s over!” The words no sooner left my lips than the show close started to play. The off button for the mic lit up a bright yellow as I pressed it, replacing the bright red glow of the on button. I reached up and slowly took my headphones off and put them on the counter beside me. The room was buzzing with people, producers, interns, some strippers we had picked up earlier. I tried to focus, but it all seemed like a buzzing sound to me. My producer, Billy Trumen, was scurrying around picking up papers and beer cans, cleaning up the studio for the morning show. The poor morning show, they were lightweights, Bible-salesmen compared to the depraved things we did during the overnights.
We were all exhausted. One of the interns called a cab and showed the strippers out the door and on their way. Brittany Bee, co-host and web mistress, had her head down on the table, drifting off to sleep. Billy slowly kept cleaning the studio. I shook my head and looked at the computer screen, trying to get my eyes to focus. I got the next few things set up so things would run smoothly into the beginning of the morning show. I scooped up my headphones and notes and gently patted Brittany on the shoulders as I passed by. She jerked back into consciousness and got up out of her chair and followed me and Billy out of the radio studio. We headed out into the dark, cool summer morning. The sun wouldn’t come up for another 45 minutes to an hour. We all said our goodbyes as we headed toward our cars. I walked over and opened the back door of the limo and crawled in. Dionjilo was sleeping in the front seat. As I stumbled through the car to wake Dionjilo, I tripped over another stripper who was asleep across the limo’s rear-facing seats. She was a cute little blonde. She jostled a little bit, turned over and went right back to sleep. I shook Dionjilo’s shoulder and he opened his eyes and looked at me in the rear-view mirror.
“Where to, boss?”
“Let’s head on home, D. I’m beat.”
He looked over the back seat and saw the girl fast asleep. “What about the girl, boss?”
“We’ll deal with her when she wakes up. The cab’s already gone with the other two.”
Dionjilo turned the key and the old Buick roared to life. As he dropped the car down into drive, the car lurched forward, the inertia gently pressing me into the midnight blue plush back seat. I leaned my head against the side of the car and looked over at the softly slumbering stripper in the other seat. I closed my eyes and dozed off as the car turned out onto the highway and headed home.
I awoke as the limo turned into the driveway. The nap was refreshing but not nearly enough sleep. Dionjilo pulled the limo up to the front stoop. As I opened the car door to get out, Dionjilo looked back at me, “What about the skirt?”
I looked down at the stripper still asleep in the back of the car and then back to Dionjilo, “Right, the skirt. I’ll take her.” I scooped her up like a rag doll and exited the vehicle. I threw her over my shoulder and walked up to the passenger side window of the limo as Dionjilo rolled it down. “See you at seven, D.”
“Sure thing, boss.” Dionjilo rolled up the window as the limo crept around the driveway and off into the distance. I turned and headed up the steps toward the front door and fumbled with the keys to open it. It was far more difficult than normal to unlock a door with a girl tossed over your shoulder. I opened the door and as I walked through it, the young girl’s shirt caught on the door. The shirt pulled against her and the door as I struggled to keep my balance and not drop her. By the time I got things sorted out, the door had her shirt and I had a topless stripper over my shoulder.
Now a topless stripper over your shoulder is typically thought of as a good thing. But I was about to find out in this particular case that it was not. I dislodged the shirt from the door and turned back around. I had lost track of my surroundings in the tug-o-war and as I turned back around, the girl’s head connected with the inside of the door frame with a thud. It sounded much worse than it actually was. It was, however, enough of a jolt to bring the young girl out of her deep sleep and back to full and immediate consciousness.
I can only imagine how disconcerting it must have been, thrown over some stranger’s shoulder, topless, being taken into some unknown house and unaware of how you got into such a situation. That would be disconcerting for anybody. And her over the top response was mostly expected. I would rather have had her woken up on the couch on her own, but that wasn’t going to happen now. She started flailing around, one of her arms beating against my head relentlessly while the other arm grabbed for any item within reach. She knocked over lamps and pictures and all manner of things. She continued bludgeoning my head with her elbow and other arm until I finally threw her clear of me. She landed on a plush arm chair and her and the chair toppled over backwards. I saw her scurry topless into the kitchen.
I shook my head and looked around to assess the damage caused. I still had her bright, neon blue, spaghetti strap top in my hand. As I turned to head toward the kitchen, I ducked hard to my left as something whizzed by my head. I heard a sharp thud and turned to see a kitchen knife firmly planted in the sheet rock wall. The next knife from the kitchen wasn’t anywhere close to hitting me but rather shattered the glass and lodged itself in my autographed Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night album poster.
“Hey!” I yelled, “That was autographed!”
I heard a squeaky voice yell back from the kitchen, “I don’t giva shit! I’m not gonna be kilt and raped in your dungeons! I seen Silence of the Lambs!”
The twang in her voice wasn’t surprising from strip club fair in the south, but she had seen Silence of the Lambs, so that was at least some semblance of class.
“I’m not a murderer. I’m a DJ!”
“Bull crap you are! No strip club DJ lives in a house this nice!”
I’m not sure if she had a valid point or not and hearing glass starting to break in the kitchen I didn’t have time to ponder it further. As I walked cautiously toward the kitchen, I saw all manner of glassware being thrown near the kitchen door. I peeked around the corner as a wine glass shattered on the floor. I didn’t even know I had wine glasses. Another wine glass shattered as I looked up and made eye contact with the still topless girl.
“What in the hell are you doing?” I asked in a calm voice.
“Settin’ up one uh those traps like in Home Alone. You’re not gonna be walkin’ in this kitchen with all this glass on the floor!”
Home Alone…perhaps I judged too soon on the Silence of the Lambs. I looked down at her feet and saw that she didn’t have any shoes on. So breaking glasses was sound logic from her perspective. She wouldn’t be able to leave the kitchen. I looked from her bare feet down to my own feet.
“But I’m wearing shoes,” I said as I took a crackling step onto the field of shattered glass at the entrance to the kitchen. A look of defeat crossed her face. She set the highball glasses she had in both her hands down on the counter. Her arms fell to her side and she looked down at her own bare feet.
“Well, go on an’ do whatever you gonna do to me.”
With her shirt missing, it was hard not to notice her breasts. They were small and perky, a perfect size to the rest of her frame. Not too big and not too small. Just right. I tossed her neon blue shirt to her. “I’m not going to do anything to you except tell you the broom is beside the fridge. Hand it to me if you will. I don’t need you cutting your feet all up and tracking blood all through my house. You’ve done enough damage as it is.”
She tossed her shirt on the counter and turned to the fridge and grabbed the broom. “Here ya go, mister.”
I took the broom from her and set the dustpan on the counter and started to sweep. “You can put your shirt back on if you like.”
“Oh, right. I walk around the club wit’ it off so much sometimes I don’t notice.”
I started sweeping up the glass on the hardwood floor, “You sure seemed to notice when you woke up.”
Her voice was a little muffled as she pulled her shirt back over her head, “Oh, yeah, sorry about all that, mister. I been in some bad situations.”
“I can imagine so with that reaction. My name is Doc by the way.” The shards of glass scritched against each other as I swept them into a neat little pile.
She grabbed the dustpan and squatted down to the pile of glass. She set the dustpan on the floor and I edged the neat little pile up onto the plastic tray.
“Doc, like, ‘What’s up, Doc!’ Like that cartoon! That’s a funny name. My name ain’t nearly so funny. It’s Serenity.”
“Like the ship from Firefly.”
“I reckon so. Don’t know nuffin’ ’bout that.” I finished sweeping the glass, and she stood up and walked over to dump it into the trash can. “Guess I’ll get outta your hair now, mister.”
“Where are you gonna go? You rode here in the limo.”
“I rode in a limo! Well hot damn! I sure as hell all don’t remember that! Reckon I ought not ta drink so much for I go a’ wanderin’ off wit’ strangers, huh, mister?”
I took the dustpan from her and attached it back to the broom handle and put the broom back beside the refrigerator. “I suppose you shouldn’t. Anyway, you rode here in the limo, so where are you gonna go?”
“I guess I’ll just walk on home, mister.” She walked passed me and out of the kitchen toward the front door.
“Where do you live, sweetheart?”
“Over near the strip club.”
“That’s nowhere near here.”
“Well guess I got me a long walk then, huh, mister? Unless that fancy limo of yours can drive me there.”
“Doc. My name is Doc. And Dionjilo has the day off.”
“D on j-who has the what?”
“Dionjilo. He’s the limo driver. He has the day off. Won’t be back until seven tonight.”
“Looks like I’ma walkin’ then. Glad I ain’t workin’ at the club today.” She picked her bright pink purse up off the floor and rustled through it to make sure she had everything.
“Nonsense. If you don’t have anything to do today, stay here. Crash on the couch. I’m going to sleep for a few hours and then we can go get something to eat for lunch.”
She turned to me. It looked as if there was almost a tear welling up in her eye. A big smile slowly crept across her face. “Do you mean it, mister?”
“Of course I mean it, Serenity. And my name is Doc.”
She dropped her purse and ran over and jumped onto me hugging me. “Thank you so much, mister! I’m real sorry about all your glasses and your wall and your Big Mac poster.”
“I’m gonna work real hard and buy back all those fancy glasses I broke and I’ll get you another poster and go to the Lowe’s and get some stuff to fix your wall up real good. My daddy taught me how to fix walls when I was little. I’ll patch it up just like bran’ new.”
She was still hugging me tight. I didn’t quite know what to do, so I patted her on the shoulders. She let go and went over and collapsed on the couch.
“This couch is pro’ly the softest couch I ever been on.”
I walked over to the storage bench by the front door and got out a blue fleece blanket. I walked over to the couch, unfolded the blanket, and spread it out over her.
She looked up at me and smiled, “Thanks a lot for not killin’ and rapin’ me, mister.”
I rolled my eyes and cracked a smile. Her accent was so endearing. “Any time. And my name is Doc.”
She pulled the blanket up close to her neck and face. “Gotcha! Thanks for the blanket too! Sleep tight, Docy-wocy.”
I headed toward my bedroom. As I closed the door to the room, the first morning light was just creeping in. But my room was a cave; the windows were blacked out. It was like a vault. I closed the door and receded into the darkness. I kicked my shoes off and laid down on the bed. My head hit the pillow and I was out.
Posted on September 26, 2014, in A BatDoc Original, Original Series, Short Essays and tagged alone, autobiography, autographed, ball, batdoc, big, billy, blanket, blog, blond, blonde, break, broadcasting, broom, buick, cab, chapter, club, comedy, couch, dionjilo, doc, drawl, drinks, essay, Firefly, flail, fleece, fleetwood, funny, girl, glass, glasses, high, home, humor, in, intern, kill, knife, lambs, laugh, legend, limo, mac, night, of, original, overnight, party, poster, radio, rape, serenity, series, short, show, silence, skirt, sleep, southern, station, strip, stripper, sweep, tango, the, throw, topless, trumen, twang, up, vegas, viva, voice, wall, wine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.