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Wanda: Portrait of a Second Banana

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Winslow Leach, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 1

    The fool in the straw boater pushed the large baby carriage across the stage, crooning Baby Face. During the second verse, I popped my head out of the carriage, smiling and dribbling like an imbecile, bopping in time to the music. Inwardly I was seething. Most nights before surfacing, I would pull the bonnet I wore over my eyes, so I couldn't see the audience, who always laughed as soon as the "infant" appeared. The singer never noticed. He was too wrapped up in his song to pay attention to the mute, who was little more than a prop in his big number. More than once I asked the fellow pushing my carriage why he didn't simply substitute me for a doll. "Don't be silly," was his stock reply. "You know we can't afford luxuries like that."​

    I thought this would be an excellent anecdote to introduce the reader to Wayne Cornelius Butkus III, my professional partner for more years than I care to remember. It sums up the man perfectly: vain, egotistical, selfish and arrogant. And those were his good qualities. Don't get me started on what I really thought about that chicken-voiced yodeller whose one and only friend was his hand mirror. Oh sure, he plucked me from obscurity and gave me a break in the music business. But it was a long, hard climb with more downs than ups. I had to deal with his raging ego, insurmountable "accidents" that sabotaged our act again and again, and watch as my "mentor" would take a song I wrote and either toss it in the trash immediately because it "wasn't commercial enough," or forced to listen, in one of the rare instances when he did like something (sort of) and proceed to massacre and mangle it into an unintelligible, ear-bleeding mess. Whew. That was a long sentence, wasn't it? It seems I can't even write about Wayne without him seemingly guiding my hands, taking over and going on and on about...oh, shut up Wayne! This is my autobiography. Write your own. Oh, I forgot. You have. Five volumes and counting.​

    Now you see? I'm doing it again. I just inadvertently plugged Wayne's memoirs. Argh. Okay. Let me think of someone other than Wayne Butkus for a moment. Let's see...oh! Think of the time I was at the Grammies, sitting next to Leif Garrett on one side and Shaun Cassidy on the other. Ooh! Talk about a hunk sandwich! I leaned over to Shaun to ask him if I could run my hands through his hair, blushing like a schoolgirl. He smiled and leaned towards me. I remember my trembling hand reaching out, about to touch Joe Hardy's perfectly-coiffed head, when Wayne, wearing a disgusting lime-green leisure suit tapped Shaun on the shoulder and snarled, "out of my seat, bucko." Wayne had been in the lavatory, and Shaun was gentlemanly enough to come over and tell me how much he appreciated my solo effort, "The Lonely Willow." Do you remember that blast from the past? See the lonely willow/Swaying in the breeze/Those aren't rain, but teardrops/Won't you climb me please? Okay, it wasn't In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida or Stairway, but it sold reasonably. Guess some folks liked it. But I'm getting off track again.

    I was about to touch Shaun Cassidy's head when Wayne came back from the toilet, and rudely ejected him from his seat. Literally. Wayne grabbed a handful of shirt, lifted Shaun to his feet and shoved him away. I sunk so low in my chair, I thought I would end up somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth. Wayne sat down, shaking his head. "Can you believe the security in this place?" he asked me. "Letting the custodians steal a star's seat when he's gone for two minutes, relieving himself." Actually, it was more like twenty minutes, Wayne no doubt gazing at his visage in the multiple mirrors.

    Now how did a story about the Grammies turn into yet another story about Wayne? Must I go back to my childhood? I'm pretty sure Wayne Cornelius Butkus III wasn't part of my life then. Or perhaps he was. Perhaps he was the bratty little fair-haired kid who lived down the street, riding his tricycle in front of my house for hours on end. I never did catch that kid's name, as he looked too snooty to play with. Plus, he always wore a sailor's suit, which made him look like Donald Duck.​
  2. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 2

    I was born Wanda Morgenstern in...well, let's just say I was born. No need to go into the exact year. I was the fourth of five children. There was Ben, Larry, Candice, me and Josh. My parents were William and Maude. Daddy sold goat's milk. We didn't live on a farm, you understand, but somehow we acquired a goat, I don't remember where. It was called simply "Goat," and daddy decided to milk our pet for all it was worth. Literally.​

    I never thought anyone would care for goat's milk, to be honest, but the first few bottles sold immediately. You should have seen daddy's face when he found out he could make a profit! That poor goat was squeezed dry and beyond, until one day I suppose it had enough. One morning I looked out the window and saw daddy lying on the ground, unconscious, Goat standing nearby, grazing contentedly. I ran outside, and found a large, nasty-looking bruise on my father's temple. At first I thought he was dead, he was so still. But then he started moaning. I knelt beside him, and he croaked, "...goat...head...me...kicked...goat...head...me...kicked..." Then he slipped into unconsciousness again.​

    Later at the hospital, we learned Goat had kicked daddy in the head. Apparently she tired of being milked three times a day, and took it out on Bill the only way she knew how.​

    The goat milking was only a side job. Daddy worked in a factory, manufacturing tiddlywinks. I can't tell you how many Christmases my siblings and I received tiddlywinks. We came to dread the holiday. If you were to go to our old house, you would find at least five closets filled with nothing but tiddlywinks. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but not much. I don't think I knew what a dollhouse was until I was fourteen.​

    Mommy was a house wife. She did much more than daddy, but we never told him that. From driving us to school, to cleaning our rooms, caring for the sniffles and mumps, mommy did it all. And daddy? Daddy...usually spent time with the goat.​
  3. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Ok, ok ... THAT made me giggle. Several times, in fact. :D
  4. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Thank ye. Glad you liked it!
  5. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 3

    My childhood was pretty average. By average I mean nothing extraordinary happened. I wasn't abducted by aliens. My increasingly obese brother Larry never climbed the side of the Empire State Building. We never won the lottery, although mommy did win an oven mitt at a Bingo tournement once. No one was all that excited about her prize, except Larry, who begged her to "try out" her new mitt by baking him a dozen corn muffins.​

    I was an okay student, certainly not a brain. God, I couldn't stand those kids in my class who aced everything, from spelling tests to pop quizzes. Yet even though I was surrounded by brainiacs, for some reason the teacher always called on me to answer some inane question. It was like, I don't know, why don't you ask Johnny Nerdlinger, he's sitting right next to me? And of course if I didn't know the answer, the rest of the class would look at me as if to say, gasp, you didn't know that? Oh, forgive me for not knowing the name of the first president of the United States. I'm kidding. But you get the idea. Everyone knows the first president of the U.S. was I.P. Freely.​

    Although I've made a career in music, I didn't come from a musical family. Daddy wouldn't know one end of a tuba from the other if you gave him twenty-four hours, and Mommy thought a coronet was a brand of paper towel. Now you know where I get my smarts from.​

    I can't remember a time when I didn't sing. Mommy says the first sounds out of my mouth weren't words. They were the lyrics to Rag Mop. And I was singing them. I highly doubt that, as I assume the gurglings of a newborn sound like music to any mother's ears. Yet mommy insists to this day I came out of the womb singing​

    I say M-O
    Mop Mop Mop Mop

    I say R-A
    R-A-G-G M-O-P-P
    Rag Mop!


    The first audience I performed in front of consisted of my brothers and sister, and they still haven't forgiven me. I would force them to gather into the family room, and make them listen. God, how they hated it. I would bribe them with candy, and they would usually follow, until they caught on I was bribing them. Then it was harder to get them to listen. Except Larry. He always listened, even when he knew he was being duped. A free Baby Ruth was a free Baby Ruth.​
  6. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    The chapters are very short ... but they serve your purposes quite well. It's almost like looking through pics in a photo album. "Now, if you turn the page, here's where I ...."

    Still, don't think Wanda woulda dug me. Too much of a brainiac, LOL. Still, I DID have her "YOU WILL LISTEN TO ME SING" attitude as a child, so MAYBE we'd have gotten along after all. :D
  7. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 4

    Do you remember A Naked Butkus? It was Wayne's ill-fated solo "comeback" album, recorded and released shortly after we were fired from The Muppet Show. The double LP consisted of Wayne singing songs such as The Impossible Dream, The Girl from Ipanema, Proud Mary, Kumbaya, Strangers in the Night, etc. a cappella. The cover featured Wayne, standing in what appeared to be a lush green forest (it wasn't; it was a photography studio made up to resemble a forest). And Mr. Butkus? Mr. Butkus was posing in his birthday suit, a strategically-placed bush covering him from the bellybutton down. He had the tip of his index finger placed coyly in the corner of his mouth with an expression that seemed to ask, tee-hee, ain't I naughty? As a "special added bonus," the album came with a centerfold of the man who made laryngitis seem attractive, in an alternate pose, gazing wistfully into the distance. The thing sold like two copies. I think his mom bought one out of sympathy.​

    Why did I bring this up? Because the music business can be utterly insane. One person's trash is another person's treasure, to sound like a boring cliche. An album you couldn't give away when it was originally released (one store offered a copy if you simply walked through the door) is now worth at least one thousand dollars. You read that correctly. The only way you can hear A Naked Butkus today is if you fork over one thousand big ones. Oh, don't worry about scratches or worn-out grooves. I can guarantee every copy is still in its original cellophane. Had I known this when I was a kid, I probably would have chosen a different career path. Who wants to be retro? Not me, thank you very much.​

    Now we'll get back to Wanda. If you want to read about Wayne...well, you know...​

    My public singing debut occurred at a school assembly when I was in first grade. Our teacher, Mrs. Johnson, asked the class if one of us would be interested in performing The Star Spangled Banner. My hand was in the air before Mrs. Johnson could finish her sentence, even though I didn't know all the words. Heck, the assembly was in three days. I had plenty of time.​

    For the next few days, my eyes were glued to the lyric sheet. I knew The Star Spangled Banner backwards, forwards, upside down and sideways. I was ready. Look out, world, here comes Wanda Morgenstern, the next Barbra Streisand!​

    The morning of the assembly, I wore a new frilly blue dress mommy bought for me specifically for the occasion. No little girl of hers was going to look like a frump in front of her classmates. After some boring preliminary talk by Mr. Booger Face, the principal (that's what we kids called him anyway; I don't think any of us ever knew his actual name), Mrs. Johnson stepped to the podium, and introduced "Wanda Morgenstern of Room Five, who will now sing The Star Spangled Banner. Please rise." Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous. I walked on stage full of confidence as if I had done this a million times. I stood in front of my audience--my audience--and belted for the whole gym to hear:​

    Yummy yummy yummy
    I got love in my tummy
    And I feel like lovin' you
    Love, you're such a sweet thing
    Good enough to eat thing
    And it's just what I'm gonna do

    I could hear a few giggles. Surely my singing wasn't that bad. So I sang louder, and a curious thing happened. Some of the boys and girls began dancing. Dancing? I didn't know our national anthem was danceable. ​

    Ooh love to hold ya
    Ooh love to kiss ya
    Ooh love I love it so
    Ooh love you're sweeter
    Sweeter than sugar
    Ooh love
    Won't let you go

    I felt myself moving. Was I getting carried away in the moment? No. Mrs. Johnson was carrying me off stage, but I was still singing. Seriously. Was I really that bad? My teacher brought me to Mr. Booger Face's office.​

    "Young lady," he began in his Mr. Ed voice, "there is no room at school assemblies for long-haired rock and roll music. What do you have to say for yourself?"​

    I had no idea what this kook was yapping about.​

    "I have no idea what you're yapping about."​

    Mr. Booger Face glared at me, and recited in a solemn tone, "yummy yummy yummy...I got love in my tummy..."​

    "Hey, you know the Archies!" I said excitedly, temporarily forgetting my predicament. "Do you know--"​

    "Enough!" he shouted in his horsey voice.​

    I still didn't understand what Mr. Booger Face was getting at, except that he seemed to like bubblegum pop. But I had no clue what the Archies had to do with The Star Spangled Banner. Or why I was carried offstage. Or what I was doing in the principal's office. I was completely innocent.​
  8. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the image of Naked Butkus. My eyes will hopefully stop burning in the near future. :)
  9. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Then I guess you wouldn't care for his follow-up, Bare Butkus, more classic songs destroyed by Wayne in his own indomitable way. All a cappella of course, or, as the album was billed, Hear Wayne As Nature Intended.
  10. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 5

    I suppose those of you reading this are asking yourselves, when is she going to get to Wayne? I know, I know. You all want to hear about Wayne. I suppose I can properly introduce the little doofus now, as my dog Daisy knocked all of my carefully-prepared notes on the floor. They're a mess, and it's going to take me awhile to put them in their proper order, but I need to write something, so let me get this out of the way. If you want the entire account, I must again direct you to his still in the works memoirs, the story that never ends. The five volumes that have been released so far only cover the first three years of Wayne's life. I'll tell you one thing, the man sure loves to ramble. He keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting...​

    Paxton Wayne Cornelius Butkus III was the son of Paxton Wayne Cornelius Butkus II and his wife Gail. To say my future singing partner was born with a golden spoon in his mouth would be an understatement. The Butkus clan was loaded. How little did Wayne care for money? Let's just say I once had to talk him out of fashioning a suit made entirely out of torn twenty dollar bills. While daddy struggled to keep a roof over our heads, Wayne was sneezing money. ​

    As much as I hate to admit it, Wayne was a child prodigy. By the age of five he could play trombone, guitar, drums, trumpet and the flute. Not all that well, from what I understand, but at least he knew which end was up. The boy was cursed with a singing voice that could cause paint to peel, but his parents encouraged their little golden WASP to pursue whatever career he wanted, as he was their only child and spoiled rotten. Whatever Wayne wanted, he got, no questions asked. Enchanted at an early age by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nelson Eddy, Perry Como and Johnnie Ray, Wayne was convinced he could sing. Right. And I know how to fly. So the wealthy Butkus family (to read about their wealth and how they acquired it, see volume one of Wayne's autobiography; it's very dry, dull and boring, so don't say I didn't warn you) supported the little prince all the way, even if the schools he applied to did not. Not one university accepted Wayne, despite his father's generous bribes--er, offers--of a new gym, new campus, new anything the school might have needed.​

    Wayne wasn't deterred by these supposedly minor setbacks. So confident he had the chops to become a professional singer, he produced and recorded his own album, Hello Friends, My Name is Wayne when he was sixteen. It was immediately followed by Hello Again Friends, My Name is Still Wayne. Both LPs went nowhere. A third, Butkus in the Country, was never even released. Somehow a handful of the Hello albums made it out of the U.S. and into other countries. I assume record shop employees simply threw them into the ocean or something. A couple of the LPs made it to France, where Wayne was immediately dubbed l'idiot. And then something unusual happened: a recording of Wayne singing Danke Schoen made its way to Japan, where it rocketed to number one on the charts. Within days, the record company that reluctantly put out Wayne's two albums was deluged with requests for both of the ear-splitters. Money in hand, the company happily obliged, and within a month, Wayne Butkus was a teen idol in Japan. The records went gold and Wayne went on tour. He was mobbed everywhere. People couldn't get enough of...um...Butkus Fever. In an era before the Beatles, I guess the sight of a seventeen-year-old singer with a pointy nose warbling The Wayward Wind was enough to cause a frenzy.

    This was Wayne's career shortly before he met me. A failure in the U.S., huge in Japan. That's all you need to know about him for the moment. Excuse me while I gather my papers.​
  11. Dearth

    Dearth Active Member

    More, please!

  12. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 6

    I was much more modest than Wayne when it came to my singing talent, and I knew how to carry a tune! I simply asked my family to call me the Greatest, and things would be fine. Kidding. I was a rather shy child. I had a small circle of friends, mostly kids from the neighborhood, but I rarely strayed outside of that circle. I didn't have a boyfriend (urgh, until Wayne, but thank gawd that was short-lived--more on that later), nor did I involve myself with any after-school activities, unless it had something to do with singing. This made me a natural theater geek a few years down the line.​

    Funny thing about theater geeks. In normal life, we tend to be quiet and barely noticed by anyone. But once we get onstage, that shyness disappears and you can't get us off! Then you have people come up to you--friends and family mostly--who are amazed you could raise your voice above a whisper. "I didn't know you could sing like that!" "I never knew you were a swordsmen. At home, you can't even put your fork in the sink," blah blah blah. Blah.​

    I made my theatrical debut in seventh grade. What did I do between my first grade assembly and seventh grade? Well, first of all, Mr. Booger Face told me I sang Yummy Yummy Yummy instead of The Star Spangled Banner. This helped clarify things, but I honestly thought I was singing the national anthem. When I got home that night and told mommy about my faux pas, she laughed. Daddy stared into space and asked, "who stole my beans?" Sometimes daddy would blurt out the most ridiculous things, an unfortunate side effect of being kicked in the head by Goat.​

    When my sister Candice was caught writing graffiti on the side of the school, daddy was called into the principal's office. After the principal (not Mr. Booger Face) told daddy what she had done, daddy turned to Candy and said, "did I receive a call from the Hamburglar this afternoon?" Candice begged for a week's detention.​

    Why I didn't sing in public again until seventh grade. I think my teachers were afraid to put me on stage again, in case I inadvertently broke into some pop song. Plus, I was a fair student, as I mentioned earlier, and mommy didn't want me to take up any extracurricular activities until my grades improved. Besides, my school's theater program was open only to seventh and eighth graders, so that automatically left me out, even if I did get straight A's. Ha!​

    Even though my grades were shaky, I had to be onstage again. The seventh grade show was a production of Guys and Dolls, and I desperately wanted a lead. Naturally I landed a chorus role, which required singing and dancing. Now, I had never danced before, and the experience was...interesting, to say the least. My singing was fine, but by dancing was horrendous, which was funny because as a chorus girl, I was supposed to be an expert dancer. Our choreographer had the patience of a saint, however, and somehow I managed to pull the steps off. I was never a strong dancer, yet I'd find myself hoofing time and time again in the future.​

    The following year, we did Fiddler on the Roof. I was stunned when I was cast as Golde, Tevye's wife. It was a lead, but I actually wanted the role of Fruma-Sarah, a ghost who gets to fly around the stage. I was so jealous of this girl Heather. She played Fruma-Sarah, and spent a lot of time hanging on wires above the stage. I wanted to be Fruma-Sarah! Golde is a great part, but she doesn't fly! After my parents saw the show, what do you think was the first thing mommy said to me? "Who was that little girl who played Fruma-Sarah? She was wonderful!" Daddy said something about yelling at a sandwich, and my high from appearing in my first lead immediately crashed and burned. Parents. Gotta love 'em.​
  13. Lil0Vampy

    Lil0Vampy Member

    Nice story so far, I'm excited for more! :)
  14. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 7

    High school was blah. The only bright spots were my four years in concert choir and musical theater. I feel a bit like a hypocrite, because as I noted earlier, I couldn't stand the smart kids and show-offs in my class. But now here I was, teacher's pet to Mrs. Grundorff, the music director. Oh sure, I got weird looks from some of the other students. And I was called teacher's pet (how original) from time to time. But I didn't care. I was doing something I loved, and I wouldn't allow my classmates to tear me down.​

    I spent most of my free time in the auditorium or Mrs. Grundorff's office, which was decorated with posters from Broadway shows and a large, signed photograph of Leonard Bernstein. My mentor taught me how to play piano, and spent extra time helping me shape and refine my voice. I wasn't trying to be some kind of diva or anything like that. I was doing something that I loved to do, and if it meant spending extra time with the music director, so be it. I never ate lunch once in my high school cafeteria.​

    I played Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance freshman year. I loved this show for the longest time...until I found out it was the favorite of one Wayne Cornelius Butkus III, who played the role of Frederic in a touring production of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera around the same time. Once I learned that, the play lost a lot of its aura for me. But I still like it for nostalgic reasons. Hey, it was my first high school musical!​

    I won't bore you with my other appearances. I was Laurie in Oklahoma, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha (quite racy for a high school) and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. In between, I dabbled in local summer theater, in which I played Liza Elliott in Lady in the Dark, among others. I'm sure I wasn't as good as the original star, Gertrude Lawrence, but I think I did okay. That was really the only notable summer show I appeared in during high school, unless you count a musical version of The Flintstones. Which I don't. It was written by some local hack, and I was Betty, but...oh god, what an awful show. Wanna know how bad it was? Check out some of the lyrics I was forced to sing:​

    Barney, Barney, look at me
    Barney, Barney, what do you see?
    Is it London? Is it France?
    Is it my stone underpants?

    Hey, back then I was willing to appear in anything, regardless of quality. But I never put the show on my resume, that's for sure.​
  15. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 8

    You know how some people breathe? I was that way with singing. If I had a choice, I'd much rather sing than breathe. Singing made me feel more alive than anything else. I didn't need an audience. I would sing anywhere, anytime.​

    One Sunday night I was at Burger King with daddy. This would be November of my senior year of high school. Daddy was having one of his off nights, and he was challenging the soda machine for, um, making fun of his mustache. By this point, me and my family were used to his outbursts, but, understandably, most strangers were not. Some would be scared; others amused; others confused as to why a dapper, well-groomed man ran down the street wearing a Batman cape, shouting "Frog and Toad are friends! Frog and Toad are friends!" at the top of his lungs.​

    So I did what I usually did when daddy had an episode. I went off by myself, slunk into a booth at the back of the restaurant, closed my eyes and began to sing. I even remember the name of the song.

    You keep saying you got something for me
    Something you call love but confess
    You've been messin' where you shouldn't have been messin'
    And now someone else is getting all your best--

    Before I could continue, a voice picked up where I left off, obviously causing me to open my eyes. Leaning over the booth in front of me was the most handsome man I had ever seen.

    These boots are made for walking
    And that's just what they'll do
    One of these days these boots
    Are gonna walk all over you

    The man never took his eyes off me as he sang the lyric. I was blushing like mad, but I too was unable to avert my gaze. He had beautiful eyes, creamy skin and wavy chestnut hair that looked so silky and soft...ooh! I get goosebumps now just thinking of our initial meeting. Hmm. I may need to delete that last sentence. Don't want to inflate his head any more than it already is, although by this point, if the man is complimented one more time, it may finally burst. Been waiting for that for years.

    The man extended his hand and I took it. He limply shook.

    "I am Wayne Cornelius Butkus III. Pleased to meet me, I'm sure."

    That wasn't a slip of the tongue. Wayne actually said "pleased to meet me, I'm sure." But I was looking at him so dumbly, I let it go.

    "I'm on tour with The Pirates of Penzance. I play Frederic, the pirate apprentice."

    Wayne stood up, took both of my hands in his and got down on one knee. Eyes fixed on mine, he sang

    Oh is there not one maiden breast
    Which does not feel the moral beauty
    Of making worldly interest
    Subordinate to sense of duty?
    Who would not give up willingly
    All matrimonial ambition
    To rescue such a one as I
    From his unfortunate position?

    Now, remember, Pirates was my first high school show. What I should have done was sing as Mabel. Perhaps the young man would have been impressed. But I continued to stare dumbly at this matinee idol somehow blessing the local Burger King with his godlike presence (did...did I just write...? Guess I can forget that Pulitzer, huh?).

    As Wayne was about to lift me out of my booth to...I don't know...dance...? a loud thumping was heard. Wayne looked over at the soda machine.

    "Why is that man banging his head against the soda machine?" he asked.

    "I...I don't know," I managed to croak. "I never saw him before..."

    By this point, three cops and two Burger King employees were tackling daddy, trying to loosen his grip on the soda machine. But my father was a very strong man, and wouldn't budge.

    "It made fun of my mustache!" he shouted. "It made fun of my mustache! Now it must die!"

    Daddy was kicking the machine, ice flying all over the place. One of the employees slipped and fell to the floor, but not before taking a cop down with him.

    I spun around to Wayne.

    "I think you're wonderful. Want to talk?"


    Before he could finish, I took him by the hand and led him out of the restaurant.​
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    I got $5 on the soda machine! *Insert :sing: raspy laugh.
    Good choice of Boots Made For Walking, probably the original Nancy Sinatra version.

    Please continue?
  17. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Thanks. Yeah, I had the Nancy Sinatra original in mind. In this fic anyway, I figured Wanda would be into pop and bubblegum, not strictly show tunes.

    The Crispin Glover version of "Boots" is pretty kewl as well.
  18. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 9

    I led Wayne to a picnic table and we both sat down, across from each other. He still didn't know my name, but I was too busy staring into his eyes that it didn't bother me. I'd probably forget what my name was anyway, had he asked.​

    "Do you like Ethel Merman?"​


    "I think Ethel is divine. Simply divine."​

    And with that, Wayne jumped on the table and launched into "Everything's Coming Up Roses," doing a pretty good impression of Ethel Merman, I might add.​

    You'll be swell!
    You'll be great!
    Gonna have the whole world on a plate!
    Starting here, starting now
    Honey, everything's coming up roses!

    Now I didn't realize it at the time, but Wayne's voice wasn't that great. Sure, he was loud. But so is the dish washer. So is Daisy when I forget to feed her. I'm not a snob, but I felt Wayne could use a little training. Of course I didn't dare say so at the time. But after spending years of listening to him warble some ancient show tune or corny Tin Pan Alley song, you notice these things. I know it sounds shallow, but that night, at the picnic table at the back of Burger King, I was more interested in the man wearing the impeccably-tailored white suit than the sounds coming out of his mouth.​

    When he finished, Wayne sat down and gave me a bit of his life story. Actually, it was more of a crumb, because almost every day for the next X amount of years, I would be forced to hear yet another episode or two in the never-ending saga of the fabulous Wayne Cornelius Butkus III.​

    He told me he was a major star and former teen idol in Japan. His two self-financed albums, Hello Friends, My Name is Wayne and Hello Again Friends, My Name is Still Wayne did nothing here, but according to Mr. Authority, sold more copies than anything by the Beatles, Elvis and Michael Jackson combined. I find that claim extremely far-fetched and impossible to believe, but if you were to challenge Wayne on just how many albums he did sell, you'd be in for a long (and I mean long) lecture on each and every LP sold, including the name of each person who bought one. What a Butkus.​

    At the time, I was extremely impressed (hey, I was seventeen, give me a break), and promised I would go to the record store the next day and buy both albums. The guy at the store had no idea what I was talking about. What's more, he couldn't even order any, as the music catalogs didn't carry them. The wiseacre thought I was putting him on, asking for something by a "Wayne Butkus," so I ended up purchasing a Paul Revere and the Raiders LP in order not to look like a total dork.​

    Back to the night at Burger King. Wayne was in town, touring with The Pirates of Penzance. The hotel he was staying at wasn't too far from the B.K., so he decided to walk over for (in his words) "a burger and maybe a chick." I didn't see the burger, inside the restaurant, or out here, under the stars. He told me he was twenty-five, came from a very wealthy family and went to boarding school. Once again, at seventeen, this was impressive. Now, it's like...shut up, Wayne.​
  19. Winslow Leach

    Winslow Leach Active Member

    Chapter 10

    For the next several weeks, all I could think about was the boy with the dreamy eyes and the pointed nose. I fantasized kissing him, and poking my eye out, that honker looked so sharp and dangerous. I could get used to wearing an eyepatch, though, if it meant spending quality time with him. Yes, I am a very weird individual.​

    Mommy was the first to notice the change in me. She immediately knew I had a crush, but I wouldn't dare tell her it was a crush on a strange actor I met at Burger King, who didn't even ask me my name. Mommy was old-fashioned when it came to romance, and if I didn't fall in love with one of the boys in my neighborhood, I would end up a spinster, she warned me time and time again. I repeatedly denied the crush, brushing it off as nonsense, but I couldn't fool mommy. You couldn't get anything past Maude Morgenstern. ​

    But I had no idea if I would ever see Wayne again. He was an actor on tour who breezed through town, talked to me for about an hour, and disappeared, without knowing my name. I knew he was staying at the hotel near the Burger King, but I had no way of getting there, as I didn't have a car, and I wouldn't dare ask Ben or Larry for a ride. Those goons couldn't keep a secret if you bribed them, Ben with money, Larry with a nice juicy steak or a box of Twinkies. Then I had an idea. I'd look in the paper to see if Pirates was still playing, and ask mommy or daddy to take me. Then I'd somehow work my way backstage without my parents knowing, and tell Wayne how amazing he was as Frederic. He could have sucked for all I knew, I just wanted to see him again. And hoped he was single.​

    As fate and luck would have it, the touring production of The Pirates of Penzance was still playing at the Raindrop Theatre, the barn that has stood in town since at least the Civil War. Only two performances to go, before the troupe left for the next city. That night at dinner I casually showed the ad to my parents. It was too late to make it that night (plus I had homework, which I didn't care about), but they promised I could go tomorrow night, for the closing performance. In a little more than twenty-four hours, I would gaze upon the wonderful, fabulous and godlike Wayne Cornelius Butkus III.​

    I apologize if this chapter seemed gooey and all over the place. I was trying to recapture the state of mind I was in back when love was fresh and new. Just thinking of him made me feel all tingly inside. The butterflies in my stomach had butterflies, so enraptured was I with this man. Of course, the way I feel about Wayne today is the exact opposite of how I felt then. Nowadays when I think of Butkus, instead of butterflies, I'm apt to have a bad attack of gas. Yes, I know you were interested in that little nugget.​
  20. LinkiePie<3

    LinkiePie<3 Well-Known Member

    Naked Cornelius Butkus III... ! Thanks a lot for making my glued eyes bleed! lol. X.x

    Oh my-- if I were a producer, I'd precisely have you as a playwright. =3 Such a picturesque character Wanda is; such wonderful depth and quality you've added for her. The whole chronological journal of her nostalgia is very animated and exciting. Go Wanda! <3

    Moar... please? O_O

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