Darrell Vickers – Mick Fire For Hire: Chapter Seven (Episode 2 – Part 1)

Mick Fire is a flaming, insalubrious has-been rock photographer. When albums were king, he was the toast of the town. Then, he was just toast. With the coming of CD’s, his career sank quicker than a Pakistani ferryboat. His fairytale life consists of a long suffering daughter, a 23 year old girlfriend, an ex-wife, an agent who hates him, a room-temperature refrigerator and a dead ferret.  Then one day, as Mick is wallowing at the bottom of his self-made shit well, someone lowers him a bucket. A job! A job that could put him back on top. And that’s when his troubles begin.

OPENING CREDITS

SEBASTIAN
Rock ‘n’ Roll is a fucked up world. The individuals in it live fucked up lives. Usually short ones. But most people can only dream of living such a short, fucked up, life.

We pull out. Sebastian is wearing a Tutu. He raises a starry wand and lightly flicks it. We hear a “Ding.” He winks.

As we pull out further, Sebastian is standing on a huge rock ‘n’ roll stage. “Youth Gone Wild” bursts from the towering speaker stacks.

As the opening credits roll, we pull back until the stadium becomes a dot.

The J. Geils Band – Hotline

SOUND FX: Telephone ringing.

INT. MAX’S BEDROOM – MORNING

Max and Skychild lie naked and asleep atop a silky white bed sheet. The twice-a-week lovebirds are brought to an unsteady-consciousness by the clarion call of their cell phones. They pick them up on opposite sides of the mattress like synchronized swimmers, but without the psychotic smiles.

BOTH

(sleepily)
Hello?

(beat)

What?

(beat)

Shit!

INT. SONDRA’S BEDROOM – MORNING

The phone on the side table blurts out its Born in the U.S.A. ringtone. Bruce Springsteen hands it to a disgruntled Sondra.

BRUCE
If it’s Patti, tell her I went to the desert with Nils Lofgren.

Sondra takes the phone.

SONDRA

(sleepily annoyed)
Hello?

(beat)

What?

(beat)

Holy shit biscuits.

INT. FANNY’S BEDROOM – MORNING

A t-shirted Fanny reaches over her copy of “The Story of O” to answer her phone. She strokes the book lovingly, as she passes by.

FANNY

(to book)

You were amazing last night.
(into phone)
Hello?

(beat)

What?

(beat)

Motherfucking shit cream!

Fanny bounds out of bed.

Art Brut – Hospital

STEPHEN STILLS (OS)

Hey Mick, what are you doing here this time?

We match fade the IV on the cover with…

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Mick’s IV. Multifarious wires and tubes connect him to beeping machinery and bags of various liquids. He is also bandaged up a treat. Stephen stands at his bedside, holding a small bouquet of flowers.

STEPHEN STILLS

Did you have a heart attack or a stroke? Overdose?

MICK

A what? No. I had the shit beaten out of me.

STEPHEN STILLS

Really?

(looks closer)

Oh yeah, I guess you do look slightly worse than usual. Bummer, man.

MICK

How did you know where I was?

STEPHEN

I didn’t. I just drop by the hospital a couple of times a week. There’s always someone I toured with in here.

He hands Mick the flowers.

STEPHEN (CONT)

I guess you might as well have these. Izzy Stradlin is out of town at the moment.

A nurse enters the room.

NURSE
Hello, Mr. Fire. It’s time to change your morphine drip.

STEPHEN

(ears perking up)
Oooh. Sharsies!

INT. F.B.I. LADIES ROOM – MORNING 

Assistant Director Hyde shares a shower with her best agent. Abernathy Love suds up her boss’s back – especially those hard to reach places. Hyde is naked. Abernathy is wearing underwear and looking like she wished it was a hazmat suit.

HYDE

And just how did we find ourselves in the middle of a major mob war? (microbeat) Oooh. Just scratch there, right next to the shoulder blade.

Abernathy complies.

ABERNATHY

Hard to tell what kicked it off, but this photographer seems to be a major player in the turf fight.

HYDE

The bowlin’ in the colon guy?

ABERNATHY

No. Archie is just a douchebag with a gambling habit. We think Mick Fire might be the key to this whole conflict.

Abernathy reaches over and grabs a bottle of shampoo off a shelf and splurts a gooey blob into her hand.

HYDE
Do we have anything on him?

She begins to lather up Hyde’s hair.

ABERNATHY

(from memory)

Ah, multiple and I do mean Multiple charges of public drunkenness and drug possession. Vomiting on a traffic cop. Vomiting on a marching band. He was once found lying naked and unconscious inside a decapitated Bob’s Big Boy statue. Vomiting on…

HYDE
I get the idea.

(looks down)

Shit. I only shaved two days ago. Feel this thing.

ABERNATHY

I really don’t think…

Hyde grabs Ab’s sudsy hand and jams it onto her howdy. Abernathy’s frontal accoutrements are now pressed uncomfortably tight against the Assistant Director’s soapy back.

HYDE

See? It feels like I’ve got John Tester’s head stuffed between my legs.

ABERNATHY

Who?

HYDE
The Montana senator with the brush cut?

ABERNATHY

I’m from Wyoming.

(beat)

Can I have my hand back?

HYDE

Ooops.

She lets go and Abernathy’s palm is quickly retrieved.

HYDE (CONT)

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone in for that sort of thing since college.

Abernathy takes Hyde’s head and begins rinsing it.

ABERNATHY

Do you use a conditioner?

HYDE

(indicating)

The Nexxus Humectress.

Abs reaches for the bottle and begins to apply it.

HYDE (CONT)

So, how does Mr. Goodtime Charlie go from taking pics of hair bands to tasting a pair of Salavtore Ferragamos behind the Hollywood Bowl?

ABERNATHY
Hair Bands were the 80s, Grunge was the 90s and now all we’ve got left is Ed Fucking Sheeran.

HYDE

I’ll keep that in mind, if I ever buy a radio station.

ABERNATHY

(back to business)

We’re not sure what Mick Fire’s function is within the Veenstra organization but we do feel it’s a significant one.

HYDE

Well, keep me in the loop. I want you and Jonsey on this day and night.

Abs sighs as she combs out Hyde’s tangles.

ABERNATHY

No problem. Luckily, I have no life.

HYDE

Excellent.

(beat)

Abernathy, did you stick a finger up my asshole?

ABERNATHY

What? No.

A confused Abernathy opens up her boss’s cheeks and peers into the valley.

ABERNATHY (CONT)

It’s a tampon.

Hyde reaches back and pulls it out.

HYDE

Shit. I’ve just got to stop drinking while I’m on my period.

INT. MICK’S HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY 

Mick has an unlit cigarette in his morphine-loosened lips. Fanny stands beside him, the epitome of daughterly concern.

FANNY

(forced cheery)

The doctors say that you’ll be back to your old self in no time?

MICK

That’s all they can offer me? I want upgrades. I demand some transplants, Goddamn it!

The Beach Boys – Surfin’ Safari

LENNY (OS)

Paul Gagnon?

VINNY (OS)

Kill him.

INT. HUGE MALIBU MANSION – CONTINUOUS

A palatial abode. Everything inside this place costs-up-to-eleven. Vinny sits at an ultra-expensive table, breezing through the paper and sipping orange juice. The Pacific Ocean rolls up onto the sand outside as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb the occupants. Manny is reading from a list on a clipboard. He does not have any orange juice.

LENNY

David Rhodes?

VINNY

(considers)

Cut his pinky off.

LENNY

Sam Pratt?

VINNY

Cut his ring finger and his pinky off.

LENNY

Sally Wilson?

VINNY

I don’t like hurting women. Kill her husband and make her eat his eyeballs.

LENNY
Good one.

Lenny gleefully scribbles the particulars onto a sheet. Vinny turns the page in the L.A. Times and sees a picture of Mick with the headline, “Rock Photographer Found Viscously Beaten at Hollywood Bowl” He closes the paper and folds it neatly.

VINNY (CONT)

Tell Benny to get the Rolls out. We’re going to Cedar Sinai.

INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM – DAY

Max and Skychild sit in uncomfortable chairs. They look unkempt.

FANNY

Mick is getting a sponge bath.

MAX
Man, I don’t envy that sponge.

Fanny takes note of their unkemptness.

FANNY

And just where the fuck have you two been?

SKYCHILD
Max made us rifle through a dumpster for flowers.

Max holds up a motley assemblage of wildly mismatched posies.

MAX

This is probably more than that fucker deserves.

SKYCHILD

I think I might have stepped on an AIDS needle.

MAX

All medical waste is sent separately to an incinerator. Except in New Jersey. It was probably a rat bite. The worst you can get is the plague.

SKYCHILD
The plague? Are my teeth going to go all yellow?

FANNY

That’s plaque. A far more serious disease in Hollywood.

Skychild’s complaints are not at an end.

SKYCHILD

And the smell made me feel really sick.

MAX

She’s obviously never done your father’s laundry.

FANNY
Can we try and show a little compassion, here? He has just had the living shit beaten out of him, Max.

MAX

Hey, if I hadn’t divorced your father, I’d be living in that fucking dumpster, not digging through it for get-well presents.

FANNY

Is this really the time to re-litigate your fairytale marriage?

Sky regains her smile and holds up a plastic figurine covered in egg and other sticky refuse.

SKYCHILD

D’ya suppose he’d like a Duck Dynasty Funko Pop?

INT. PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO – DAY

Sondra stands perplexed, just to one side of James Hetfield of Metallica. He’s in the middle of a photo shoot. James sports a turn-of-the-century boxing outfit and has his fists aimed at a stuffed kangaroo. Annie Lebowitz snaps pics as gofers etc. mill around.

SONDRA

So, you used to be a pretty big bastard, right?

JAMES

Have you been talking to everyone I know?

ANNIE
Can you try and be a little more menacing? I’m not feeling that you’re feeling the true threat of the kangaroo.

James grits his teeth a little and tenses his arm muscles. More pics are snapped.

SONDRA
I’m feeling guilty because this utter prick client of mine got badly beaten up last night and I can’t even get up the energy to send him a get well card.

JAMES

Being a total dirtbag is a lonely place, Sondra. Believe me, I know.

ANNIE

(nodding head)

I did some work on his Reload tour. What a fucking asshole.

(beat)

Bend down and put your chin against the Kangaroo’s boxing glove.

JAMES
I thought I was supposed to win this fight?

ANNIE

Just in case the sponsor decides to go a different direction. At the moment, Mrs. Hoppity is coming off as more likeable.

James complies. Annie adjusts him and snaps, as he and Sondra gab.

JAMES

Many times, it’s not even the person you hate – it’s the drugs and the booze that are contorting and obscuring the decent person within, who is trapped at the bottom of that depthless well of their own addiction.

SONDRA
So, you think I should send this fucker a card?

JAMES
Deliver it personally. Show him that no matter how far he has sunk, no matter what outrages he has committed, there are still caring people waiting for him, should he do what’s right for himself and his family. I’ll come with you, if you’d like.

SONDRA

Well, I know Mick would be pleased to see you.

JAMES
Jagger?

ANNIE
Fleetwood?

SONDRA
Fire.

JAMES/ANNIE

Fuck.

There is an extended silence, whilst brain-wheels spin. Fingers tap.

SONDRA
I suppose I could visit Izzy Stradlin while we’re there.

JAMES
No. I heard he was out of town.

Another small pause.

SONDRA
Well, maybe if he dies, I’ll go to his funeral.

This seems like a better idea to everyone.

ANNIE

(nodding head)
Very respectful.

James straightens up and rubs his sore back.

JAMES

(to Annie)

So what product am I selling in these ads, again?

ANNIE
Margarine.

JAMES
Australian margarine?

ANNIE

Not unless they moved the Land ‘O Lakes.

JAMES
So, what’s with the fucking Kangaroo?

ANNIE

(shrugs)

The money’s the same if it makes sense or it don’t. Now put your fucking chin back and cross your eyes, like you’re about to go down for the count.

=DV=

Please scroll down to leave Your Comments, Kudos, and Complaints

DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com

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