The scene is unlike any other.
Well, maybe something like one other.
Raw, red meat hangs from countless hooks throughout the room, but one in particular draws the eye. Smack dab in the middle of them all hangs the largest slab of beef you’ve ever seen. Oddly, as if the size wasn’t impressive enough (TWSS), it’s wearing a black top hat… and a billowing, black cape. Stapled just under the hat? A picture of amaretto liqueur.
Standing alongside the weirdly decorated meat is none other than Bobby Dean himself. He’s bundled up in a pair of grey sweatpants and a fox fur-lined overcoat. He looks toasty warm. Unlike his partner in crime, who’s facing the fancy beef slab in only a pair of shorts, tennis shoes, and goosebumps.
BBD: Risin’ up, back on the street! Did my time, took my chances.
Bob sings. Lunchbox Larry unenthusiastically reaches out and slaps the meat with the flat of his hand. Repeatedly, all the while Bobby keeps bellowing the song we all know so well.
Larry’s slap rate begins to slow. Causing Bobby to reluctantly end his performance and stare at his protégé, waiting, with a look of utter disappointment. Feeling eyes on him, but refusing to turn, Larry snaps like a petulant child.
LL: I just don’t understand why I’m doing this!
BBD: Listen, Perry. We need to train! The best training montages of our time have always included some guy, half naked, standing before a beefy slab of meat, punching it over and over and over again. You know I have very sensitive skin, or it would be me standing there freezing my nips off, going to town on that beautiful cut of prime beef! Instead, you’ll have to do. Now, shut your mouth and get punching!
Bob belts out the next verse to ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ Larry groans, then continues to haphazardly reach out and slap the meat. Before Dean can finish his verse, Lunchbox stops and looks at him like a child who doesn’t want to do his chores.
LL: I still don’t understand.
BBD: Gosh darnit, Perry!
Bobby shouts loud enough to startle Larry.
BBD: I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the things you don’t understand! But let me see if I can explain this once more. If we have to rely on me to win the match against the evil Wizards, then we’re doomed!
Lunchbox stares down at his shoes, unable to look up.
LL: But I’m nervous. It’s my first time…
LL: I mean, Slam-A-Thon is huge. And Tag tiles too?
Bobby offers a pssshaw and waves his hands like this is the most normal thing in the world. Like he’s had countless title shots throughout his career.
BBD: THAT’S what’s been bothering you? Here I thought you were worried because we were facing masters of the dark arts.
Larry gulps audibly.
BBD: Come on, everyone knows magic isn’t real. Either way, we won’t stand a chance unless you get your head out of your butt and start beating your meat, ya Crap Sack!
Clearly trying to ignite a fire within his young partner, Dean’s face turns lobster red after yet another series of lackadaisical slaps.
BBD: You punch like a girl!
Hoping schoolyard barbs will be the magical trigger, insult after insult is hurled, with no change from Larry. Bob shakes his head in dismay, the titles floating further from his greedy grasp.
BBD: Yo mama so nasty, they used to call ‘em jumpolines ‘til she bounced on one!
The words freeze every muscle in Larry’s body. He looks at the meat, then looks over at Bobby, then back at the meat. His eyes furrow. Chilled air billows from his flared nostrils.
Bob’s blue eyes light up.
BBD: Yo mama so fat, I swerved to miss her in my car and ran outta gas!
A sinister smirk begins to form.
With a roar of unrivaled rage, Larry’s fist collides with the beef so hard blood squirts out from the impact. Punch after punch lands, causing the top hat to topple to the ground. The picture of the Amaretto rips to shreds. The tiny face of a bunny rabbit peeks it’s nose out from the hat, looking around carefully, as Larry continues to roar.
Dean makes a run for the door.
BBD: I just gotta go… uh… write some stuff down for Slam-A-Thon! Need some new materi- uh, strategies!
Lunchbox shrugs and nods.
That poor slab of meat.