Raising The Bar

By: Lewis Chad Pinkston

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 18th Feb 2022

Lewis: Yes—- I know—- it won’t happen again.

The camera pans out to see Lewis Chad Pinkston sitting in a dingy office. Papers are scattered all over the smaller desk that is in front of him, IPhone firmly attached to his ear as he begrudgingly nods along to the conversation and a paper shredder sitting maybe a tad bit too close to the desk. 

Lewis: Yes I’m aware that you hired me here—-Honestly I don’t know why you hired me here. I just saw a door that I thought was the bathroom and it ended up being an office. No one kicked me out and now I get cut a check—- Yes I’m looking at the paperwork right now.

Lewis grabs a stack of papers that was placed on the top of the desk and begins thumbing through them. 

Lewis: If you want my opinion—- Oh you don’t?—- okay then. I’ll get it all sent to the lawyers and Joe Montouri’s camp will have a new contract within the week.

He takes the stack of papers and sets them down in the outgoing box placed precariously on the edge. It begins to rattle back and forth a bit, before settling down. 

Lewis: Now what do you want me to do with this insurance paperwork from The Tower going kaboom?

The voice on the other end gets audibly louder but is still muffled. Lewis’ eyes go wide, as he picks up the insurance papers and adds them to the outgoing box as well. 

Lewis: Yes I’m aware it happened a while ago— and yes I know it should’ve been taken care of already—- It won’t happen again. 

The voice on the other end calms down. As Lewis looks over the desk and grabs a huge folder. Papers are bursting from the side and are completely disheveled.

Lewis: So this whole Sahara thing——

Silence from the other end of the phone.

Lewis: Hello—— Helllo?—- Oh well I’ll just add these resignations to the outgoing box. I’m sure nothing bad will come of someone constantly trying to leave, finally getting what they crave. 

Lewis plops the folder down on the now ever growing pile. It teeters for a moment and then finally the voice on the other end chimes in again. 

Lewis: Wait—- I’ve gotta do what?!?—- No, No, No…. I wasn’t even hired here to do that! No. I quit!— What do you mean I can’t!? I just did! 

The voice on the other end gets louder. 

Lewis: Yes Miss F. Understood Miss F.

The phone quickly goes silent as Lewis sits at the desk completely befuddled. A look of nervousness washes over his body, as he begins to rapidly tap his foot on the floor.

Narrator: Would you look at that? The consequences of his own actions. It was only a matter of time before they caught up to him. Oh hello there, my name is *static*, but you can call me Narrator. I handle the thought last for our little Lewis here. So for those of you who don’t know who he is, somehow this dope managed a pretty sweet HR gig here in Fight. Little to no work, and he was free to galavant in PWE or anywhere else his ADHD brain felt was necessary to pop in. Well as it turns out, when a company pays you a salary they at some point expect you to do some work for them. This is Lewis paying the piper.

As he leans back in the chair and stares at the ceiling Lewis takes a deep breath. 

Lewis: I can’t believe I have to fight. In a slippery nipple match. What the hell is that bullshit?!? There’s only one kind of Slippery Nipple I know.

Lewis slams his hand down on the desk. The random papers don’t move, but the outgoing box teeters on the edge and eventually falls into the conveniently placed paper shredder. The box that was holding all the papers lands in the power button.

The machine fires up and within seconds paper shreddings were cast into the air and created a snow-like effect. 

Lewis: Uh-Oh.

Narrator: Well that certainly isn’t good for anyone! 

Lewis: Tell me something I don’t know.

Narrator: The hashtag symbol is technically called an octothorpe…

Lewis: Huh…. Not the time. We gotta get out of here! I need to train for this match!

Narrator: You? Train? Doubtful.

Lewis: Piss Off man. I’m trying. Plus this week I’m teaming with my lovely wife, and given the stipulation, it seems as if I’m going to need to do all the heavy lifting.

Narrator: How do you know that?

Lewis: Assumptions. Now let’s get out of here before someone sees this mess!

With that Lewis bolts out of the office and into the lobby of the building. Before long he’s trying to hail a cab on the streets of New York, but isn’t having any luck. 

Narrator: You think it’s because you’re—-

Lewis: Don’t say it.

Narrator: Talking to yourself?

Lewis: Not gonna lie, thought you were going to go in a completely different direction. But no. How would they know I’m talking to myself? It’s not like anyone notices anything in this city. A god damn skyscraper damn near fell down and no one batted an eyelash. Trust me, the thing they are least concerned about is me talking to myself. 

Eventually Lewis gives up on hailing a cab and begins trudging down the street. Caught in the mass of people everywhere, the heavily tattooed, taller than most and thinner than a rail, man sticks out like a sore thumb. Some people recognize him and pose for some pictures, but most just mutter under their breath about him taking up space on the sidewalk. 

That’s when Lewis arrives at his destination, well not the one he wanted to go to, but this place will do. As he walked into the bar several of the patrons looked his way. It clearly wasn’t an establishment where he would usually be found. A few gruff looking bikers and their Tagalongs, a dingy yellow hue from the aged lights barely illuminate the room. Lewis walks up to the bar as the bartender shakes his head. 

Lewis: Two Slippery Nipples please.

Bartender: Leave. 

Lewis: Pardon me?

Bartender: Ordering something like that here is viable to get you thrown out the door, I’m giving you an opportunity to do so under your own volition.

Cautiously Lewis looks around the bar and then leans into the bartender.

Lewis: Listen bro, I just need to build a tolerance. See I work for Fight NYC, and apparently now I’ve been tasked with actually competing in a match that I’m woefully under prepared for. Since I’ve married my wife I’ve kept alcohol consumption to a bare minimum. Last time I got drunk was at our reception. 

Bartender: I don’t see how any of that tracks.

Lewis: I’m getting there. See my wife. Super hot BT Dubs… regardless of the point. She’s recovering from some not so good stuff, if you catch my drift. Now when it comes to booze, she’s drier than the desert. Not in that way mind you, I keep her gushing like Niagra Falls, but in terms of booze and whatnot.

Bartender: Gross, but still not following. 

Lewis: We are booked in a match with another couple, right? And the stipulation is it’s a Slippery Nipple match. Now here the kicker, no one knows what the hell that means. So I’m putting two and two together and blammo! Here I am at your establishment attempting to purchase massive amounts of this beverage in order to build my tolerance up, so that my wife doesn’t fall back into old habits. So I ask once more, two slippery nipples please.

After what could only be a deep moment of where his life went wrong the bartenders acquiesced to the order. He pulled out his phone to see what was exactly in the mixed drink and made two of them in short order. As soon as they were in front of Lewis the bartender shuddered. 

Lewis: Thanks man. Here, put it on my corporate card. Hold that until I’m done.

Lewis slides the black credit card to the man and spins around to the rest of the bar. 

Lewis: Drinks are on me!

Narrator: Don’t you mean, drinks are on Fight?

Lewis: Technically, but who’s going to know the difference. Plus it’s their fault for giving it to me. 

The patrons of the bar all make their orders with their respective waitresses and other bartenders as Lewis spins around and salutes the bar. 

 

*Clink Clink*

 

The sounds of Lewis slamming the glasses down and raising his hands like he just won the Empire title, or for him locked in the Anaconda Vice.

Narrator: Lewis quickly downed the two drinks before him and then ordered a few more. He said something like “they taste like candy” and “these are weak as fuck”. As the patrons continued to drink, one of the bikers decided to meet the man responsible for his free day of inebriation. The leather jacket he was wearing had a little 1%’er patch and the guy was built like a brick shithouse. Honestly he could properly blot out the sun on a clear day. He slapped Lewis on the shoulder, damn near knocking the boy over.

Biker: So you’re the scrawny geek paying for all of this. 

Lewis: Yup…

Biker: What are you drinking?

Lewis: Slippery Nipple.

Biker: Isn’t that a frilly girly drink?

Lewis: Yeah probably if you were raised in the Stone Age and didn’t have a proper grasp on modernity. 

Biker: Excuse me?

Lewis: Listen man, don’t you think the patricheary has enough? Why do we need to subjugate drinks to men or women? They all get you fucked up in the end. Let people enjoy things…. Except for apple martinis. Those can get fucked. I had a rough time once in Mexico with them… it’s a long story.

Biker: Has anyone ever told you that you talk too damn much?

Lewis: Yeah they have—— Ohhhh is that a Karaoke machine?! I got next!

Lewis hopped up from the bar and began to make his way towards the small stage set up, but he stopped himself and turned to the biker. 

Lewis: You gonna get down on this?

A disappointed look from the biker, who was clearly trying to enjoy his early evening, declines the invite. Lewis shrugs and steps up on the stage. Grasping the mic in one and a scrolling through the list of songs with his other. Eventually he lands on a song he finds suitable.

Lewis: This one is for all the love birds out there. This song means a lot to me and my wife. Also bartender I’m gonna need two more slippery nipples when you get a moment.

Narrator: Now there’s not much that goes into a slippery nipple. It’s just Irish Cream Liqueur and Sambuca. That’s it. So it didn’t take long for Lewis to have two more in his hand. One more salute and he downs the drinks as the music begins to play. 

 

*Clink Clink*

 

Narrator: So what song did Lewis perform for the bar filled with bikers? You know the one dedicated to Ophelia and is the song of their relationship? Well it was the most romantic song he could think of.

Lewis:  

Booty, booty, booty, booty, rockin’ everywhere Booty, booty, booty, booty, rockin’ everywhere Booty, booty, booty, booty, rockin’ everywhere Rockin’ everywhere, rockin’ everywhere

I found you, Ms. New Booty
Get it together then bring it back to me 

Hit the player’s club for ’bout a month or two Put a tan on it then see what it do 

I found you, Ms. New Booty
Get it together then bring it back to me
Hit the player’s club for ’bout a month or two Put a tan on it then see what it do!

Narrator: That’s right. In this biker bar Lewis had chosen “Mrs New Booty” by Bubba Sparxxx. If there’s one thing people need to understand about Lewis it’s this, No one tells him what to do, or how to think or how to act in any situation. He stared down the Mexican Cartel and didn’t blink. Has been interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security, and barely broke a sweat. Being in a biker bar to him was nothing. He knew that people weren’t going to like him either way, so why force it? 

It didn’t take long for the infectious beat and catchy tune to get the bar hopping. Lewis, as is usually the case, was front and center. A few bikers hand him a few beers, and downs them like they were nothing and not missing a beat or a lyric. 

Narrator: It was actually quite impressive. See what most people don’t get, is Lewis is kind of a beacon. You either love him or hate him. There is no in between. Pick your side and he’s ok with either. He knows who his friends are and who to trust. 

The bikers eventually took over the karaoke machine, leaving Lewis to head back to the bar. 

Lewis: Twooo moar plwease.

Now smiling the bartender makes the drinks and slides them to Lewis, when someone walks past him. His jaw drops and he gets giddy. 

Lewis: Oh my god! Do you know who that is?!

Bartender: Nope. Don’t care either, as long as this card clears I’m good.

Lewis: Oh man. This is perfect!

Lewis downs the two shots and waves for more. Just as quickly as before there are two more shooters in his hands.

 

*Clink Clink Clink Clink*

 

Lewis runs off towards the man. He spins him around and hugs him tightly.

???: Hey man! Get off of me!

Lewis steps back confused. The man bares a passing resemblance of Ricky Rodriguez. 

Lewis: Ricky nooooooooo! Get it? Like from the movie? Every time I hear your name I think of that movie and smile. Then get sad cuz Ricky dies. But hey man what are you doing around these parts?

Definitely Not Ricky: I am not this Ricky guy.

Lewis: Oh come on man. Of course you are. Look at your fucking hair man! That shit is dope as fuck! I wish I could do that, but then again I Change my hair so often that it becomes hard to keep up. 

Definitely Not Ricky: Please leave me alone. 

Lewis: Come on man, where is your sense of adventure? Where is the Ricky that roamed the Sahara? I’m soooo glad you upgraded to Jeanie…. Jenny? Joan? Whatever the point is, I’m happy for you man! 

Definitely Not Ricky: Dude, seriously.

Lewis: Why do you have a shirt on?

Lewis tugs at the man’s shirt and is quickly smacked away. 

Definitely Not Ricky: What the fuck is your problem?!

Lewis: Come on man, if I had a body like yours I wouldn’t wear a shirt either. I mean neither of us are Raven levels, but damn bro let them bad boys breathe! Show the world what you’re workin with! Look I’ll start!

Lewis whips his shirt off. Revealing not much in the ab department. Hell he looks more like a pasty Gumby with regrettable tattoos. Definitely Not Ricky just walks away leaving Lewis standing there shirtless in the middle of the bar. 

Lewis: Nice talking to you Ricky! I’ll see you at the next holiday party.

Narrator: You know that wasn’t him right?

Lewis: Totally was.

Narrator: I can’t wait for you to go back and see this. Then you’ll see just how wrong you are.

Lewis: Highly unlikely.

With a quick shrug Lewis makes haste towards the bar. Several hours passed and many more drinks later one other person caught his eye. 

Lewis: Bartender….

Bartender: I know. Two more. 

Lewis: You know it.

 

*Clink Clink*

 

As if it’s a running gag at this point. He downs the two drinks and makes his way towards a person sitting in a booth all by themselves. 

Lewis: JINXIE!!!!!

The person doesn’t move. Lewis shrugs and sits down next to them. The only thing similar that Lewis notices is the blue hair. 

Lewis: I knew where Ricky was, you weren’t going to be far behind! You two are just precious. Playing legos and shit. That’s dope! Like I know Pheely and I are super close all the time, but you two are just precious. Also I’m super happy that you pulled one over on that cunt Sahara, but that’s a whole different story. 

Lewis goes to put a hand on the person’s shoulder but they move away at the last second.

Lewis: Cool cool. Don’t want people thinking things. I get it. I totally get it. Hey quick question, how are you up beat all the time? Like I know you think you’re a family Jinx or whatever but you still always have that goofy smile on your face. I can’t lie, I’m a little envious. Life just beats me down left and right. This whole thing with Walt, and Pheely….

Narrator: Almost forgot for a moment didn’t you? It must be nice leaving her alone to deal with this. All while you’re out partying in the name of helping her. Stand up move there Lew. Stand up move.

Lewis: Walt and Pheely…. Listen Jinxie, you’re cool in my book. You fight hard. You don’t give up. What I will tell you is this. No matter how many people call you a puppy…. Eventually those puppies grow up into dogs. Mean ass dogs that will show their teeth no matter the fight. Keep going forward and eventually you’ll get there. 

Totally Not Jinxie: Thanks Bro.

Caught off guard Lewis gets a better look at the person. Turns out it was just a random dude with blue hair. Without thinking Lewis leaps up from the booth and runs out of the bar. 

Narrator: The card?

Lewis: Don’t worry about that now. 

Narrator: What are you gonna do now Lewis? It might be too late for you to even save her. She might have given in already. 

Lewis: Shut up already! I don’t need your comments right now.

Lewis pulls out his phone and dials Ophelia. The longer it takes her to answer the phone, the more worried he becomes. Someone answers on the other side.

Lewis: Tilly? Where’s Pheely?—- What do you mean you don’t know?—— Oh I dialed the wrong number?—- Am I drunk? Yes and it’s none of your business.

Narrator: How did you dial the wrong number? Precious time wasted. 

Lewis: I swear to god I’ll stab you.

Lewis hangs up the call and dials the correct number, Ophelia picks up on the first ring. 

Lewis: Hey babe…. I fucked up big time… I need you to come pick me up.

Fade To Black.