Title: A Very Black Out Christmas (part 1)
Featuring: "Black Out" Pat Cassidy
Date: December 21, 2020
Location: The WrestlePlex (seats about 4,000 or so I've been told)

“The season's upon us, it's that time of year
Brandy and eggnog, there's plenty of cheeren
There's lights on the trees and there's wreaths to be hung
There's mischief and mayhem and songs to be sung.”

There’s quite a different feel to an arena when it’s empty, when it’s dark, and when it’s silent. The Faithful have gone and their life and energy have gone with them. 

And yet, even in this cold and lonely environment, there’s signs of life. Yes, while showtime belongs to the rabid energy of the performers and the fans, the quiet time in DEFarena is ruled over by a silent guardian, a true master of his domain, the person whom some even might say is the glue that holds the entire operation together: 

Rusty, the night custodian. 

Rusty is a pro, and he and the DEFarena have spent many a nights enjoying each other’s mutual silence while he makes sure the grounds are in tip-top shape. In a way, the sports complex is more than just a place of employment, but a loyal friend that’s always been there for him. If nothing else is going right, Rusty knows he has his hours of solitude with the Wrestleplex… a place that surely would never spill his secrets. 

Rusty is also no fool: it’s rare that the big whig suits from upstairs interact with him at all considering his third shift hours, but when they do - he stays out of their way.

And so on this fateful morning (as the clock struck 6am and Rusty was mentally preparing to head home for the day), Rusty is surprised to see an army of men in fancy suits march into the empty DEFarena. He is surprised, but not so surprised that he doesn’t know what do do: put away his headphones (he likes that wrestling podcast that has been ranking everyone), grab a mop, and start looking busy ASAP.

The men are mostly on their phones, but also shooting various glances at the facility as if silently judging it. Rusty, standing outside the ring and next to one of the ringposts, keeps his head down and his mop gripped tight. The men pass by him without even noticing he’s there… until they come to a sudden stop. Rusty’s heart skips a beat for a moment as the man in charge (he’s wearing the nicest suit) approaches him. The man looks at Rusty questionly.

Executive Type Guy:
Sir… do you know what this is all about?

The man points, and reluctantly, Rusty follows his finger… to a nearby third row seat. In that seat… sits a man!? Rusty is floored - he’d been here all night and hadn’t noticed. Could a fan have snuck in?

The man is slumped forward and covered by the Santa Claus hat that he wears atop his head. If you listen closely… you can hear the faintest sound a light snore. 

Rusty is immediately apologetic.

Rusty:
I’m… I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t see…

But the Favoured Saints exec has stopped listening. He approaches the sleeping Santa-hatted man and clears his throat loudly. The sleeping man doesn’t move. Clearly annoyed, the exec resorts to poking a single finger into the man’s shoulder. The man suddenly springs up, and when his Santa hat moves out of the way… we it’s a familiar bearded face. Everyone’s favorite Bostanian, “Black Out” Pat Cassidy. 

Cassidy smacks his own face once, looking to regain his bearings. He blinks a few times and rubs his eyes before looking at the gobsmacked exec who just discovered one of his wrestlers sleeping in his arena.

Cassidy:
Nice suit.

Cassidy stretches and hops to his feet. After he stands, he begins to look around the immediate area quizically.

Cassidy:
...have you seen my tacos? I think I bought like, twenty tacos last night and I’m sure I didn’t eat them all. I was up to my eyeballs in sour cream and cheese…

The exec still can’t process this. Nearby, Rusty is similarly in shock.

Executive Type Guy:
What… what are you doing here? It’s 6am.

Cassidy smiles. He walks over to the exec and slaps him on the shoulder.

Cassidy:
Apologies, my good man. Were you in the middle of a little meeting or something? See, I think the night got away from me at some point and I was a little far from Casa da Cassidy, if you catch my drift. I thought I’d crash here. Kinda a home-away-from-home type thing, you know? I… THERE THEY ARE!

Cassidy stops mid-sentence and reaches over to a nearby seat where an open bag, presumably of many tacos, rests. Cassidy lifts it up and gives it a sniff. 

Cassidy:
Questionable. But I might have no choice, breakfast-wise, if you know what I mean. This guy knows what I mean!

Cassidy shoots the double guns at another one of the fancy executives. 

The main executive, whose eyebrows haven’t lowered since this whole exchange began, is beginning to turn red.

Executive Type Guy:
Sir… this is a business, not a free hotel. Now I’m assuming you work here, and judging by your stature I have to assume that you’re a talent. What is your name?? People are going to hear about this.

Cassidy looks a little surprised that this guy is so upset, but he thinks quickly.

Cassidy:
Fuse, sir. Conor Fuse. I like… video games. Extra lives… and whatever. And I suppose I deserve a hefty fine or something. Hell, maybe even termination. You’re tough but fair. I’ll pack my stuff and head home. Make sure you let the office know that poor Conor Fuse has to be let go. 

The executive pulls on his coat roughly and shakes his head.

Executive Type Guy:
No… you wrestlers are far too much of an investment to just let go like that. I think a stern reprimand will have to do. However…

The exec turns, focusing his attention on poor Rusty.

Executive Type Guy:
Someone will have to pay for this blunder.

Rusty turns ghost white. Cassidy suddenly looks concerned. 

Cassidy:
Woah woah woah hold on! It’s not Rusty’s fault I’m a master of stealth. He’s a hard worker and he’s been here forever. 

Executive Type Guy:

Yes, well, be that as it may. We can’t have people sneaking in here under his watch. We can find another night custodian…

Tears begin to well up in Rusty’s eyes. No… no this can’t be…

Cassidy suddenly turns, and in a shocking move, grabs the executive by the collar. There’s a gasp from Rusty and the other businessmen.

Cassidy:
Now you listen to me, jackass… that guy over there? That guy who’s name you probably don’t even know? That’s Rusty. Say hi, Rusty.

Rusty, his mouth hanging open at what’s happening here, mindlessly waves. Cassidy still has the exec by the collar… and while the executive should be flying off the handle at this disrespect, he seems very put off by the rage in Cassidy’s eyes.

Cassidy:
Rusty takes care of this place every night. For peanuts. He puts more TLC into scrubbing these grimy floors than you’ve likely every put into anything in your entire life, you smug jackass. And what’s more? Rusty has a family of four home that he is supporting on your meager salary. And now here we are, mere days before Christmas, and you plan to ruin that family’s life on a whim. Why? Cause I got drunk and fell asleep in your chair? Does that hardly seem worth destroying a family over?

The exec says nothing.

Cassidy:
Look, we’ve got two options here. I’m clearly in too deep. Either you can Ebeenzer Scrooge it up in a hurry and admit that maybe firing Rusty is an overreaction and go about your day being satisfied with fining me, Conor Fuse, a hefty sum… or we go down the dark road where I end up in jail for punching your lights out. And I know, I’ll lose my job… but buddy, I’ve been fired before and I sure as hell have spent my fair share of time behind bars. So is any of this worth it? I’d rather not make things this unpleasant when we’re this close to the holidays…

While Cassdiy has been speaking, the exec hasn’t stopped looking him in the eye. Finally, he breaks out in a smile… that isn’t the least bit warm or happy.

Executive Type Guy:
No one will be losing their job. Now take your hands off me.

Cassidy releases him, and even helps fix his suit coat. The executive sneers at Cassidy one more time, and motions to his entourage that it’s time to go. The army of empty suits make a hasty exit.

Cassidy walks over to Rusty, whose eyes are gleaming with appreciation. 

Rusty:
Mr. Cassidy, I sure do appreciate that. But do you think it was smart pissing off someone so powerful?

Cassidy:
Nope. Probably not. But I’m not a terribly bright guy, Rusty. OH!

Cassidy snaps his fingers, and reaches into his bag. Seems it’s filled with more than just old tacos… he produces a small snow globe. He hands it to Rusty, who appears to be on the verge of genuine tears.

Cassidy:
Merry Christmas, buddy. Thanks for working so hard.

Before Rusty can find the words to respond, Cassidy is off.

 

A half hour later…

Rusty swings open the door to the Wrestle-plex, still shaken from his life nearly being ruined but looking to head home for some rest. He’s surprised to find Pat Cassidy in the locker room, still donning his Santa hat and putting similar snow globes as the one he gifted Rusty into the other employees’ lockers.

Cassidy [to himself]:
Let’s see… I hit the camera guys, the ring crew, the lighting guys, Keelber, Warner, Zane, Sawyers… all the refs… Okay! I think I hit everyone.

Cassidy turns and smiles at Rusty before heading to the door.

Cassidy:
Take care of the place, my good Rust-Man. I’ve been in New Orleans for seven months now… and what has two thumbs and is going home for the holidays?

Cassidy does the thumb thing.

Cassidy:
THIS GUY!


TO BE CONTINUED....



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