Baby Asprin


kristen_icon.gif reuben_icon.gif

Scene Title Baby Asprin
Synopsis Reuben's practical jokes almost cost him a fan but gain him a promotion?
Date November 4, 2010

K Studios — Outside

The clouds part one gray morning in the Big Apple as the sun threatens to send light to the ground below. The bipedal humanoid beings that ambulate and traverse the landscape below tuck their protective coverings in every crevice possible as a bitter morning in the month of November takes hold of whatever bare bit of flesh is visible and gives it a cold, unwelcome stroke.

One such fellow bobs his head along with the newest Lady Gaga song through his iPod as he steps out of the warm and crowded subway enclosure and strolls, blinking in the harsh light that blankets the surface. He passes by a few doors, brushing past people and commuters that are on their way to whatever it is they find necessary to do that morning. Just before the young man passes the Studio K building, though, the synthetic, headache-inducing and Borg-like sounds of one Lady Gaga are quickly shut off as someone yanks out both buds out of the young man's ear.

The man wheels around in annoyance, finding himself confronted with a shorter, wiry man with unruly brown hair and tinted glasses. "Jesus, you're a horse," says the shorter man.

"Fuck you," says the taller man as he pops his earbuds back in.

"You don't look very busy, Mr. Ed. You wanna earn a quick fifty bucks?"

"No, fuck you." He’s starting to get a headache and the weird short white dude isn't helping it.

"Oh, come on, Seabiscuit. What've you got to lose? All's I need is half an hour of your time and all you have to do is talk," says the shorter man as the taller one begins to stroll away. "The Revolting Rooster promises this!" The yell is heard by many people, some of whom actually turn around. The tall man is one of them.

"No way," he says, realization dawning on his tanned and vaguely handsome, Italian features. "You ain't him."

"How much you wanna bet, Dick Naylor? Look, I'm wanting to get some people from the street to show up for a show or two, kinda give the listeners someone as dumb as them to talk to so they'll warm up to me. You in or out?"

The tall man misses the insult, mainly because he’ss turning off Lady Gaga. After that, he nods. "Yeah, alright. Throw in some aspirin and I'm in. Let's do your little show."

Later Inside the studio…

After Tsutomu Toya's heel version of Dragon Fly, Reuben takes to the microphone. "Ye-e-e-e-e-s-s-s-s, chillun, it's the Revolting Rooster and Friends show!"

"I am, of course, Revolting Rooster," Reuben says as the idiotically-grinning Jersey native he conned into showing up for half an hour of work leans back in his seat and attempts to look cool. "And as always, I am filling in for DJ Kenny Clean who is presently hunting down the son of a bitch that killed his father. Onto business, I've decided to start bringing people into the studio when the whim hits me and today I've brought in Random Person number one! What's your name, Rando?"

The Jersey native leans towards his microphone. "What's up, Jersey, this is your boy—"

"Yeah, shut up for a second, Tyler," Reuben interrupts while simultaneously cutting his guest's microphone. He goes back to his own, ignoring the confused look that 'Tyler' is now giving him. "Of course, due to the nature of this show, we will not be revealing the name of the guest without their consent. For the next half hour, my guest will be known only as Tyler." He looks over at his guest, who is shaking his head and checking his phone. "Okay with you, Tyler? Stop playing with your dork and talk to the nice people."

"Yeah, man. S'okay with me."

"So, Tyler, where are you from?"

"I'm from the greatest state in the WORLD, yo. 'Ey, New Jer—"

"Shut up for a second, Tyler," Reuben interrupts again while simultaneously cutting his guest's microphone for the second time. "Tyler, you can't tell them who you are or where you're from. That's how rival radio shows get started up. Ladies and gentlemen out there, for all you know, Tyler could be a figment of your imaginations. Probably from all those magic mushrooms you eat for brekkie, children! No, ladies and gentlemen, the handsome Tyler is from nowhere. He is nobody. He's just like you, but he's nobody important. He is the son and heir of nothing in particular. He is a non-event mass with a quantum probability of zero."

Tyler is now rubbing his temples and wondering why he didn't just get up and walk out after the first time he was interrupted. What's the point of going on a radio show if you can't self-promote? "Yeah, whatever," he says as Reuben turns his microphone back on.

For the next twenty minutes, the show consists of calls in to guess Tyler's identity. There’s some girls. There’s some women. There’s a lot of men. Reuben keeps quiet about the men. Despite his growing headache, Tyler is beginning to enjoy the show but when he starts to crack a joke, in typical Reuben fashion, it’s put to an end before it really even started.

"Shut up for a second, Tyler," Reuben interrupts while simultaneously cutting his guest's microphone for the fifth time. "We're almost out of time, but I want to thank everyone for callin in to the Revolting Rooster and Tyler show today. I do feel kinda bad because I haven't really let Tyler say much today, and I know he's getting a headache. I've got something for you, Tyler… something guaranteed to make that headache go away!" He tosses a bottle over to Tyler, who catches it with one hand.

"This is Baby Aspirin, yo," Tyler says with a wince. His head is really beginning to hurt.

"Then just take like five or six, Tyler," Reuben says with a wide, sharklike grin.

While Tyler downs pill after pill, Reuben slowly leans into his mic. He whispers softly into the device as his eyes fix on Tyler popping another white pill. "What Tyler doesn't know is that I've secretly switched his Baby Aspirin with lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD."

Tyler's head snaps up suddenly in alarm, the sixth pill on his tongue. Reuben laughs loudly, slapping his knee. "I'm just screwing with you, Tyler, it is Baby Aspirin." Reuben leans away from the mic, the smile slipping from his face like a poorly-worn mask. He pushes his glasses up on the bridge of his nose as he mouths 'It's acid, Tyler.'

"What? What'd you say?" Tyler asks into the microphone.

"I asked if that Baby Aspirin was working for you yet, Tyler. Feeling better?" Reuben leans away from the mic again, putting on his most serious face while he mutters 'You're going to die, Tyler. I'm so, so sorry.'

Tyler is looking at his hands. His head shaking slowly. "No," he says softly, looking up at the DJ now, who is grinning so wide that his teeth are showing. His sharp teeth. There’s a long scream from across the studio and the sound of running footsteps as Tyler's overly susceptible mind gives into the placebo effect of the sugar pills that he's just been given.

Unphased, Reuben turns back to his microphone. "Well, everybody… there went Tyler. One hell of a model American who just can't handle his Baby Aspirin. Now, let's take some more calls and we'll talk news."

Later In Kristen's Office…

Sitting in her office with the radio turned on and tuned to Rooster's show, Kristen is fairly busy on her computer reviewing the latest consumer polls and trying to scope out trends. Pausing, she slooowly turns toward the radio with her eyes a little wider than normal. One hand fumbles for the phone on her desk and then for the button that rings to the phone outside her office.

"Yes Miss Reynolds?" Dirk's voice comes through the tinny speaker and can be heard in stereo through her open office door. Yes, she could have simply called him in, but she prefers not to look at the weasely man for any longer than she has to.

"Dirk, when Spencer's show tunes out, can you have him come into my office?" Her voice has that eerie calm about it, the tone that means business.

"I'll meet him outside his door."

Pushing the button one more time, the producer continues her review on her screen. It's a little difficult to accomplish, given the fact that every two minutes, she makes a sorry attempt at hiding a small smile. "The FCC violations for language alone are going to bankrupt me…" Pushing the button once again, she adds one more command. "Dirk, can you email me all the resumes for assistant producers while you're at it?"

Reuben ignores Dirk at the door when he comes to Kristen's office. He simply opens the double-doors with his foot and strolls in, hands on his head as if awaiting execution. On his lips lays a wide, vaguely shark-like smile. "I know what you're going to say, boss," Reuben says instantly. "And I want to say that he was given sugar pills. Nothing more. We already caught him, anyways, he was having a crying fit in the women's bathroom to Connie the Cougar. On the upside, she has a date for the weekend."

Kristen doesn't look up when the DJ barges into her office. She does, however, acknowledge Dirk when he buzzes her phone with a little announcement of, "He's here." Then, she finally looks up to meet Reuben's eyes and gives a small smile. It's tight lipped, much like it has been since their last face to face.

"Good show, I want you to try to remember to use your squelch every time you swear on the air. If you can't remember to do that, you're going to be the one paying the FCC ten grand every time they hear you." A.K.A. Hello Reuben, how are you today? Really? That's great, I loved your show. It's that special code she uses with all her nearest and dearest… talent. Getting close to the woman is a rather difficult task, she seems to live in her office.

"You know, I totally, totally would have, but it would've spoiled the joke. You know I've actually had people calling in asking when DJ Kenny Clean is coming back on the air? Some people are that stupid," he says, sitting down in the chair across from his boss's handsome desk and taking his sneakers off.

"So, what's up, doc? Besides letting one of the many cursewords that's in the Bible out on the air, what did you want to see me about?"

“I want to talk to you about this request for a better time slot.” Kristen’s cool as a cucumber voice is nothing but down to business. Strangely, she sounds a lot like her sister, as horrible as that thought would be for her to fully realize. “Even though we need you on in the morning, because I need someone to compete with Stern and Opie and that other guy… I’m going to cut you a deal. If you’re able to keep the studio clear of FCC violations for a month, I will give you your choice of slots.”

She’s a shark, she really is. When Reuben first came to work for her, it’s quite possible that he didn’t fully realize what to expect. Well now those tables have proper place settings and he’s been invited over for dinner. Good thing she’s not offering him an apple to hold in his mouth because that would be a guarantee that she’s about to eat him alive.

“Just keep in mind that if you’re not on the air in your current time slot, you’re not going to be able to do the kind of show you’re doing. People want music in the afternoon, not talk radio.”

“Then I’ll give them a mix of both. I play a ton of the stuff on my show as is, so as long as you don’t have any problem with what I play, I’ll keep the music a-coming,” he says, slouching in his chair. “And talk radio is good for all times of the day, not just morning when people are busy beating their kids into submission to get them on the bus.”

“Prime time means you play from a set list, we’d have to sell you to a completely new audience… But you’ll get those meetings and memos if it happens.” It’s a big if. Internally, Kristen highly doubts that the DJ will be able to keep himself off the FCC’s radar for an entire month. Leaning back in her chair, she taps her pen against the index finger of her opposite hand.

She’s considering how well she can sell a talk radio host to people who don’t want to listen.

Kids can be so fickle.

“An alternative route would be television… You remember that thing Stern did, right? Where they televised him while he was doing his show? I just don’t know if you’d do well in prime… at least on the radio.”

“Yes, well, what I enjoy doing is too ugly for television,” he says smilingly. “Look, if I can’t keep my show the way it is right now and go to afternoons, then I’ll just have to rely on little to no sleep.” He levelled Kristen with what could be considered a ‘business’ type of look. “I refuse to change what I stand for as far as radio’s concerned. I want people on the street and in their cars and homes listening to me, I don’t need them downloading a fucking podcast of me pressing lots of buttons in a cramped little room for comedic effect.”

“I’m not telling you to change what you stand for, I’m telling you what networks buy for what time slots. I can give you the spreadsheets, I can explain every little detail to you, what I’m telling you is that you would be a tough sell.” Tapping her pen on her chin now, she spins around in her chair and looks outside. “Tell you what… Let me think of something. You want evenings or do you want something nine to five?”

“Evenings,” Reuben says without hesitation. “People are driving home or they’re winding down from a long day at whatever it is that they do with their time and I want to be there.” He shifts behind the desk and slips his shoes back on.

“So send me your spreadsheets and timeshare tables and whatever. I’ll look over them and see what I want to do. In the meantime, I’m gonna continue to pull people off the streets until you either tell me not to or the FCC steps in and has me taken off the air,” he says, standing up and stretching. “Call me later, boss.”

With that, he turned and walks out the door.

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