The band stepped down from the stage, victorious, to find two police officers waiting for them.
The larger of the two officers addressed the band’s lead singer.
“Percy? Percy Dorkwiener?”
“That’s my name–don’t wear it out!” Percy said, looking at his bandmates as they chuckled in approval.
“You’re going to have to come with us.”
“Wait, I’m sorry. Is there a…problem, officers?”
“There is. That check you wrote to pay for that parachuting class you took recently? It bounced.”
“Well, OK…that is a misunderstanding. I dropped out of that class.”
“Doesn’t matter. You signed an agreement that you’d pay a non-refundable fee when you registered for the class. And since you haven’t paid it, we need to find out why. So let’s go downtown and talk about it, OK?” The officers motioned for him to come along peacefully.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, now. I can write another check–I’ll get a certified one if that’s necessary.”
The officers paused and looked at each other. “Well, the thing is, Percy…we need to talk about more than just the parachuting class. There’s also the little stunt you pulled the other day at the Stop-N-Fil.”
“The…what? Wait, you mean with the drink cards? The 1 (One) Free Hot Beverage Of Any Size?”
“Exactly. You redeemed two cards at once, and got your 1 (One) Free Hot Beverage Of Any Size at the same time as you purchased the beverage that earned you the 1 (One) Free Hot Beverage Of Any Size, in clear violation of the Coffee Card guidelines.”
“But…the cashier let me!”
“Oh, we know. We’ve dealt with her.” the smaller of the two officers said.
“There’s also the matter of your french fry fraud at the McDonald’s.” the larger officer said.
“The…huh?” (Percy had genuinely forgotten about that one).
“Don’t try to deny it! We have you on security cameras stuffing your face with fries you claimed you ordered but didn’t get! That’s a lie! You got all your fries!” the smaller officer hissed.
“Percy, is all this true?” came a voice from behind him.
Percy turned. It was Snork Goodbeard, President of the Cover Bands Council, sponsors of the Cover Band Battle Royale Percy’s Presidents of the United States of America cover band–The Residents of the United States of America–had just won.
“Percy, as you know, all CBC members must abide by a strict Morals Code. If any part of this is true, then I’m afraid The Residents of the United States of America will have to be disqualified as Cover Band Battle Royale Champions. We’ll have to give the Grand Prize to CAUTION: CONTAINS P-NUT, the 311 cover band, for their rendition of “All Mixed Up”. Please hand over the trophy.”
Percy hung his head and handed Snork the trophy.
This turn of events enraged Percy’s bandmates. They immediately declared Percy kicked out of the band for life and demanded immediate repayment of the money they had loaned him so he could buy the sweet pair of parachute pants he was wearing. When he told them he didn’t have it, the band decided to repossess their collateral and they forcibly de-pantsed Percy, right there in the middle of the Hard Rock Cafe.
For some reason, the police officers allowed this to happen (probably because they didn’t like Percy much).
While the de-pantsing was happening, Percy’s phone fell out of one of the parachute pants’ many pockets and hit the floor. It was vibrating.
Percy picked it up. “Hello?”
“Percy? This is Quinn.” It was Percy’s boss, Quinn Duplestain. “Percy, we received some troubling news. That team mascot idea of The Pandemonium, featuring Loco The Clinically Insane Panda Bear that you pitched to the Myrtle Beach volleyball team? We have it on good authority that the entire concept and design was stolen from an already existing design in use by a Chinese table tennis team. So I’ll make this short and to the point: You’re fired. The contents of your desk will be placed into a garbage bag and set out on the curb in front of the building for you to pick up. And you better pick it up soon–tomorrow’s trash day. Best of luck to you son, but as of now, you’re dead to me.”
The call ended and Percy Dorkwiener stood there, pantsless, staring at his phone.
He had been on such a hot streak, but now? It was gone. All of it.
All of it except for his recent big win on Jeopardy!
But then it occurred to him that even that hadn’t actually happened; it had just been a particularly awesome dream he’d had one night in the midst of his hot streak. He knew now that it was definitely a dream because in it, Alex Trebek still had a mustache and his opponents–both of whom were women–had matching old-school Alex Trebek mustaches. (It really had been a particularly awesome dream).
As he was led away by the officers, dejected and sans pants, though, that ‘stache-filled memory was all he had left.
Yes, at that moment, life had suddenly gone south on Percy Dorkwiener.