Friday, June 20, 2008

Ch. 5: West vs. Top Model

I approached Jay and Miss J apprehensively, worrying that they were mad that I invited the Top Model contestants to the Sylar’s Bachelor party and not them. They seemed like harsh critics, and I couldn’t tell whether they were aliens or robots, but they were okay.

“Being a Gladiator takes the same qualities as being a Top Model—discipline and commitment,” Jay said.
“And girl, you better wax those eyebrows and improve your posture while you’re at it,” Miss J added.

“Don’t worry. I, the alien hero West, am up for any challenge!” My gusto would endear the audience to me. Oh yes, it would!

“Okay, let’s get this party started,” said Jay as he and Miss J led me to the baseball field on Fire Island D. We entered the scoring booth, and Miss J pressed a button to turn on the lights to the scoreboard. Suddenly, the air shimmered around us and we ended up somewhere new.

Miss J gestured at the landscape around us and explained what had happened. “The planet Hacknor contains a dimensional gate between Fire Island D and Fire Island, Long Island, New York.” Miss J sighed. “Of course, the Gladiators that threw the best parties here are long dead now. The galaxy is cruel like that.”

“History lessons won’t get this challenge won!” Jay warned and pointed toward the horizon. “We’ll be doing the photo shoot in my lighthouse studio.”

They primped and polished me, and showed me the wardrobe they selected for the shoot. To go easy on me, they told me to not worry about selling the clothes, but on selling myself.

“My godlike, alien self,” I added.

“Don’t be a diva, kid.” Miss J scolded.

“Give me smoldering; give me seductive!” Jay instructed.

(We couldn’t get Claire for the photo shoot, so we used the Real Doll that I had made up to look like her. Yes, I have one.)

I tried my best to follow directions.

“Now let me see avant-garde!”

“You’re an anorexic heroin addict about to die of complications of hepatitis!”

“Isn’t that a bit specific?” Miss J whispered.

“Rugged and manly, West. Rugged and manly!”

“What part of ‘rugged and manly’ don’t you understand?”

I was done with the shoot when I heard the camera click one more time.

“You stop when I say you stop, West. Laziness won’t get you hired in this industry!”

“Don’t we have to head back to Hacknor by now?” I asked.

“Not yet,” Miss J said. “We have a mission for you.”

“It’s Tyra,” Jay said. “She needs to be stopped. The Tyra Mail, the unnecessary photos of her on the show, her…smarmy façade! Gah!”

“She’s a robot,” Miss J told me. That’s all the information I needed.

“What must I do?”

Jay wrote a name and address on the back of an old Polaroid. “See this person; he will help you out. Miss J and I have to go back to Hacknor for the time being to finish processing everyone’s photos, but don’t worry. Just return here and we’ll take you back to the show.”

“Good luck,” Miss J called out as they vanished.

I flew to Los Angeles, where I met the man who would help me take down Tyra Banks: James St. James. He was on Top Model one time, and he used to be famous or something. Seriously, like Seth Green played him in a movie once.

This man looks nothing like Seth Green.

“So, uh, Jay and Miss J sent me. They said you can help me on their mission.”

“Poor kid, your style has no flair to it. You’re so bland. You’re perfect. You’ve got just what it takes to bring her down.”

“What’s going to happen? Is she going to turn into a giant robot like Mecha Streisand on South Park? Are we going to have to face-off on the catwalk like on Zoolander? What?”

“Jesus Christ kid! Do you do anything besides watch TV? No. I’m drawing my inspiration from something more classical. Do you know anything about Greek mythology? I’m going to assume that you don’t and just say this: Narcissus died of thirst staring at his reflection in the pond. I’ve created a room where the walls, floor, and ceiling are mirrors. We’re going to trap her in there long enough to take over her show.”

“Why do you need me? Why don’t you guys do this yourself?”

“Kid, we’ve got style. We’re worth looking at. The plan would backfire if we did all that. But you, like I said, are perfectly uninteresting.”

I approached the Top Model house where Tyra was lecturing the contestants on bulimia, mugging for the camera.

“Hey West,” the models squealed, “too bad you didn’t win Sylar’s Bachelor!”

“It’s okay girls, you can catch plenty of me on Last Gladiator Standing!” I turned to Tyra. “Ms. Banks, I have a special delivery of couture from your sponsors outside.”

I showed her the truck where James St. James’s mirror room was held, and as I opened it and she caught her reflection her pupils dilated and her body went slack, just like when my mom is hopped up on Valium. Different drugs, I guess.

She stayed in that truck, which I drove from the house of cheering models back to Fire Island, and as I approached the lighthouse I got caught in a beam of its light, which returned me to Fire Island D on Hacknor.

Dance party!” Jay exclaimed, and we celebrated.


Mr. Bennet said...

You know, I never noticed it before, but your gusto is quite endearing.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

The kid's definitely got spunk.

Professor Xavier said...

So you travel around with a life sized doll of a blonde underage cheerleader? I think there might be some law about that.

Nepharia said...

I certainly hope those girls didn't mess up the hot tub with all their makeup and hair goo.

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