Lionheart Radio

Fear Strikes

I’m like a king who dresses up like common folk to be a joker. I wish everyone nothing but riches, but fear strikes. Everything starts with a dream.

The worst nightmare in the world. A sweat-stained shirt and drool-stained pillow were the only indicators that at least part of what happened was in my head.

It almost started out normal, but I was in full native tribal gear. I was paying a visit to Richard Weber and I would visit the president on his birthday. Vivian Ecstasy was the woman acting as vice president arranging all the minor details like she always did, and she invited me over to his house to celebrate. My show was getting critical praise, and it was time to party. I was stoked, ready to get it on.

I wanted to celebrate. A birthday and company takeover worth celebration. I took the city bus out, wearing rubber boots, just in case, and I walked a block or two uphill to his residential townhouse, or as he fantastically called it, Weber Tower, a castle surrounded by flat land, rocks, and sea. It was a ruined castle until they renovated it into a house. Birds chirped, I could hear the sounds of kids playing off in the distance and there were street lights on as it got dark. I walked up to his door. There was a gargoyle of a lion on his doorstep. The door was wide open. I walked in after opening the door wider and everything was quiet. I proceeded to where there was a dull thumping coming from the basement. I carefully walked down the stairs, but this was a surprise party and I was ready to start the party with a royal native presence. I opened his basement door. There was just plain pandemonium, but I didn’t soak in the magic. Tadaa, I’m here!

The usual, a partially flooded basement. But not a typical basement. A frightening room with lots of couches and chairs, heavily fortified. A mop in one corner. My eyes bulged, staring at the little furry objects.

Teddy bears guarded the basement. Their army hats almost looked cute. There must’ve been at least thirty of them. Some of them held sharp knives. They were small, but very much alive with dead eyes. They had angry and skeptical faces. I looked at their tiny claws and sharp teeth. The stuffed bears had no pupils in their dull eyes, but they moved and they talked. “Greetings,” said the teddy bears, “welcome to the dungeon.”

They spoke foreign and turned their heads away. The teddy bears were guarding the bastard-king, who was partially nude and moaning whilst fucking Vivian Ecstasy on his love seat. “Long live the king,” the smallest teddy bear said, stroking his fake bear fur and grinning with real sharp teeth. The teddy bears were guarding the bastard-king, who was nude, moaning amid fucking Vivian Ecstasy on the velvet sofa. “Long live the king,” he repeated. He didn’t look happy. He had a bottle of Aleve in one furry hand. The bear took a pill and fell asleep.

Richard pushed Vivian to the side of the love seat. He wiped off a bead of sweat from his forehead. There was a black eye patch covering his right eye, scruffy stubble on his upper lip and chin. The king-dude was a bloody pirate, rude, crude, unlikeable. After sitting upright, Richard Weber snorted a bit, fixed his patch, then the pirate spoke in a deep, raspy voice. “Daniel…” he said, because the king spoke to me using the slave name given to Ottis. He had mistaken me for Ottis. He was new to the job. But I couldn’t tell if this bastard-king pirate was using a suck-ass impersonator’s voice or if it was the dude’s authentic voice. “I am thy sick gleek cometh true. Thou art wrong to believeth this is a fartuous tryppe. But Daniel, doth thee knoweth wherefore thou art h’re?”

“No,” I said. “I really don’t know.”

“Cometh on. Thee knoweth. Cometh on anon. Daniel is thy slave nameth. Thou art h’re because thou art the chosen one. Nev’r-mind mine own birthday ‘r Nuns and Roses, Run-DMV, Nerdvana ‘r playing merit rec’rds. Thou art a crudely offensive native and the next Joseph Brant. Act as mine own slave. Showeth thy teeth and treateth me as thy dentist of business.”

“Whatever your noble heart desires,” I said, “but my name is Richard and maybe you want to talk to Ottis instead.”

He ignored me. “Has’t thee hath met Aunt Percy?” He motioned at his desk, where Aunt Percy was sitting in front of the computer and downloading soft porn. She must’ve been something like seventy-five. I was watching her and the monitor was flashing crude porn that seemed over fifty years old.

I turned, and she smiled at me. “No,” I said, and I took a step back, while the teddy bears started speaking Russian, then Italian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern languages. Their cute paws were reaching out at me, and they were on guard. I glared at the bastard-king, all sweaty from his fuck. Vivian panicked, doing up a white-laced bra. She was panting. Her dark skin was sweaty, and she seemed preoccupied with making it look like nothing happened.

“We’re ripping off thy mat’rial,” he said with dark, sexy wavy, long hair hanging down. The dickhead was wearing a tattered robe with his name on it, smiling and gazing up at his Queen of Hearts portrait decorating the wall beside the love seat. His eye twinkled, and he was a bad-ass with the black eye patch, but his one eye blinked, and he looked around and stuck out his tongue in the unfinished, dark, damp, hell-hole of a basement, resembling a cold dungeon. Saliva from his mouth. That was when I first realized Richard Weber was one really fucked-up presidential pirate with an impeccably bad taste and a desire to do terrible things.  

The teddy bears started growling. They protected the basement, the cold dungeon, and their king. The bears needed to protect the king’s penis from the head getting chopped off. I would’ve served it to my native brothers and sisters. This all seemed so wrong. It wasn’t how business was done.

“I hate it down here,” I said, staring at his one good eye.

“Look, things can’t be that bad,” his language was different. “I’m president and you’re not. It must be a humbling experience for you to meet your master. It’s not all bad.” He nodded, looked at me with one eye, fixed the patch over his other eye, straightened up, stood up, stopped speaking old English, and carried on speaking normally. “I’m no longer the king of the dream-world known as radio.” The miraculous Pencil Dick was tall, almost seven feet tall, and he almost hit the ceiling of his dungeon-basement when he stood up. “Ah yes, I want to abdicate.” Then he said it. “It was a pleasure killing Tuesday… I shall announce your new king.” There was something more to it. Nothing sounded right. It made no sense. I couldn’t believe it.

“What the fuck?” I couldn’t believe the presidential pirate murdered Tuesday with his own bare hands. I was curious who would take over the company. “Who is it?”

“Richard Phillip Garner shall be the next king of the empire that I’ve created.” He raised his head and bugged out his eyes. “You will bow to him. Show reverence.”

“Richard Garner? You want to ruin the poor soul?”


“Doesn’t he do sports for a Sportsnet channel?”


“Yeah, well, he sucks. But I bet he’ll be a mammoth Dick,” I said and nearly chuckled.

“You will listen to us.”

“No Mas,” I said. “No way. I could do a better job pouring you one of Mario’s drinks and poisoning you to death.” The teddy bears quickly re-armed and surrounded Richard Weber’s couch.

“That’s funny. No chance. My bears listen to me, and so shall you. I want to be your Lord Lollipop of Candyland. Or your Count Cockula.”

“What if I don’t listen?”

“It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters, except Miss Universe pageants that I’ll be hosting.” The president paused. I realized the collector of bears was serious.

“Is there anything I can do for you on your birthday?” I said sarcastically. “What do you want?”

“I had my cake and ate it too.” Richard Weber was licking his lips and said, “This goes a lot deeper. You’ve given radio a bad name and now it’s payback time.”

“No,” I said. “You’ve ruined Lionheart and satellite radio.”

“Monkeys in space could’ve done a better job, but I don’t give a damn. And I don’t give a flying monkey’s banana if you work for the Russians or King Kong.” Pencil Dick was rambling again.

“Bless you. Sweet Jim Morrison, our Lord, and Savior, every bad day,” I said.

“Don’t believe the Second Coming crap. Your holiness is James Brown,” he said.

“If that’s what you really believe, that’s fine.” I was sweating and I just wanted out.

“I shall not take the Jim Brown name in vain, but James is the real man of the cloth.”

“No, it’s blessed, Jim Morrison. Jim Morrison of the Doors.” I huffed in protest, turning angrier.

“Sorry, you’ve got the wrong Jim.” The art of the president’s confused random utterances pissed me off. He needed to hang.

“No,” I said, “Goddamn it, no. Jim Morrison died for our sins and they resurrected him.” I was playing into the circus he had created.

“If you eat enough psilocybin mushrooms, I swear you will hear the voice of God, but it’s almost entirely cooking quotes from The Buck Burger Show.”

“Thy will be done,” I said sarcastically but took his words to heart. There was a pause. Richard turned on his big-screen Sony HDTV and turned on YouTube with the Smart TV functions. We were watching the stupid show and tripping out on mushrooms and Doritos.

Vivian nodded. She stood up. “Listen, you both need a quack. Be quiet, my babies. Rich, you’ve got a screw loose. Sorry about your head injury, baby. But Richard Weber is a nut-job. He’s a pure psychopath. I’m trying to help him, baby. In the meantime, you gotta work. I can help you,” she said. I want to start a new employment agency.

“What?” I started picking my nose calmly, searching around for Kleenex.

“I’m a registered nurse,” she said, “I took Russian courses. I’m here to help you. I want to start a new employment agency for adults with special needs. There has to be change, baby.”

“I’m beyond your help,” I said. She leaned down and grabbed me a Brewington beer from a cooler beside the couch. Richard Weber was drinking for most of the day, at least. I grabbed the bottle and took a sip. “What do you know about nursing and what about your royal duties? What happened to the noble cause you were fighting for?”

“Be cool, baby. Just let it go. The world doesn’t need Lionheart.”

“You had me at letting it go. Are you speaking Demi Lovato?”

“I’m your soul-sister.”

“I feel you,” I played along, took a chug of Brewington beer, chugging almost casually, ogling her chocolate thighs.

“Do you feel the Ecstasy?” Vivian asked, disheveled, wiping sweat from her forehead. “You have Johnny Egnatius, but there’s also me. I’m Vivian Ecstasy, baby.”

“Yeah, I guess. I feel it.” After another swig of beer, I belched. Pencil Dick turned off the show on his HDTV, took a Brewington for himself, started chugging, got up, walking over to a small table in the basement’s corner where there was a vintage dual-tape ghetto-blaster. The leader of the teddy bears walked up over to him with a bag of potato chips and handed him the Lays. Richard turned on a cassette tape of himself imitating my voice in what sounded like a piss-poor imitation of my radio show. As he gobbled up the potato chips, he cackled and laughed out loud, listening to his voice. I didn’t want to listen to the shit.

“Do you want some?” he asked and passed the chips.

“No, you… fucking bastard,” I said and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on tape. The dickhead was listening to himself doing piss-poor imitations mixed with low-quality audio. “Time to lower the bar.” I needed to take it down to a clown’s level, but only the best joker could compete with King Pencil Dick, a big-time loser dickwad.

The manic president pulled away from the chips and turned away from me to sit back down on the couch. Vivian bobbed her head, grooving to James Brown’s I Got You (I Feel Good) and seriously digging the godfather of soul. I wanted it to stop and imitations of my absurdities had to end. But Richard loved it and wouldn’t stop laughing and eating chips. Maybe all pirate-buddy ever did was amuse himself. Who was this jack-ass? I had never met a bigger nut-case in my life. The pirate had stolen everything from my soul.

“Feel the Ecstasy,” she said, unzipping her blouse, flashing me, and smiling. She had been partially naked and revealing bare black flesh the whole time. I stared down at the bear-skin rug and there were pink panties and chip bags covering the damp floor. It covered the bear’s head at the top of the rug in rusty-red ketchup chip dust. The dungeon was a filthy mess. I took another look at Vivian to see if she was real. She was winking. She was trying to tell me to take off my headdress, but I wasn’t listening.

I started tripping. Everything felt so real, and maybe it was, and I wasn’t sure about anything. Richard turned back on his big-screen HDTV, which looked like it had been stolen, and he paused it on the same stupid show on YouTube. He played the show, called The Buck Burger Show, but it was on mute and music blasted louder. There were aliens with antennas serving burgers to naked chicks with huge tits. “Beautiful,” I said, straining my eyes to gaze at the alien features. Everything was huge on the giant screen, but I was focusing on erect nipples.

“Feel the Ecstasy, baby. I know you’re horny. Are you a skin-dog or a horn-dog?”

“I don’t know.” I felt everything was turning even more awkward.

Next to two couches of nine or ten teddy bears sat Matt Lauer. I never noticed him there before. He was quiet. Matt sat in the opposite corner of the room sitting erect on a fold-out chair wearing a giant sombrero, Mexican vest, smoking a cigar, but Matt didn’t want to talk. There was a ginormous clock above him and Matt pointed at the wall clock, muttering, “El tiempo.” I couldn’t believe I was actually watching Matt Lauer like he was a groovy Today show rerun. His head bobbed from side to side.

“I decide when it’s over,” Richard Weber said.

“I’m sorry, baby. No, you don’t. Rich has to wake the fuck up before a teddy bear drops a safe on him. But he’s seen enough. Baby, you’re right. Time to end this,” she said sternly. She walked over to the light switch and turned off the lights. The water started rising faster in the flooded basement. I was under water, rubber boots on. Soon it was up to my neck, but I could still breathe. The room went dark, and it might have been something in the bottle I was drinking or in prior substances, but the basement turned dark and I was out cold, catching my last breath and cursing. I was sleeping the whole fucking time.            

I scratched my head, thinking I’ve learned nothing and dreams are way bad.

WRICH Radio didn’t hold a candle to newer stations out there. I had to end it, but it wasn’t based primarily on fear. I was past my prime. As much as I love comedians, I didn’t want to be one. The writing was fun and so was the satire stuff, but it had to end. Everything started to go haywire.

If I could give birth to any animal, it would be something small. I would want it to be something that wouldn’t kill me and I wouldn’t want it coming out the butt-hole. I would love a baby grizzly and I would want to give birth on the radio. On second thought, I’ll adopt a teddy bear. But I won’t start a teddy bear collection or call myself Richard Weber. Sometimes what you learn in the process lasts a lifetime.

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