Table of Contents

Brian the Writer

You're Going to get it NOW

Brian McCorkle

Involuntary guests on a talk show take over.

Applause and cheering. The audience rose to their feet as the pleasant looking woman walked to the stage. She beamed at the audience, then assumed a beatific look. She absorbed adulation from the mostly female audience.

Over the tumult, the announcer said, "Welcome, everyone to You're Going to get it NOW. And, welcome to your hostess, Vicki Eerie."

Vicki smiled and waved for silence. She repeated the gesture several times. When the audience quieted, she said, "This is the show where we resurrect a famous man from the past and interview him. As we question this man, we will discover how heinous the famous really are. Of course, his male ego will do him in and the truth will out. At the end of the show a selected audience member will destroy this simulacrum."

The camera panned excited faces in the audience.

"Before we start, we have and important disclaimer from our announcer, Axel Otel."

While Vicki beamed, a voice spoke mostly unintelligible words finishing with, "Back to you Vicki."

"As some of you may know, the technology required to do this is very complex. You might see a little fading in and out while the simulacrum solidifies. This is quite normal. The resurrected will fade away normally after a couple of days. Since their days are numbered anyway, an early termination won't mean a thing to them. But, it brings so much pleasure to a lucky audience member."

Vicki gestured at a rhinestone studded pull handle that looked like a gallows release, "That person will pull this handle and the simulacrum will light up. I love those special effects."

"Axel, before we go on, would you tell our viewers about next week's attraction?"

"We will have a famous painter, an arteest, who stole the innocence of a seventeen-year-old and ruined her life so much, that she said she enjoyed his filthy lovemaking."

The audience murmured and moaned.

Vicki said, "Today's interview is with the infamous Macheath. Pimp, thief, murderer," she paused, "AND womanizer."

There were hisses and boos from the audience. Vicki smiled.

"So without further ado, let's welcome our guest Macheath." Vicki applauded limply; the audience followed suit.

A short, slightly-built man walked uncertainly onto the stage. He wore high water trousers, gloves, spats, a five o'clock shadow, and a pencil thin mustache. He looked up at the lights. As he noted the cameras, he jerked, stopped, and stared. Two burly men stepped out, guided him to a stool, and pushed him into place.

Vicki looked over the audience. "Tell me Macheath, why did you take advantage of so, so many poor young women?" She pouted her lips.

He stared at her. A slight smile flitted across his face. "What is this? This is like nothing I ever saw. I think I like it."

Vicki repeated her question.

Macheath looked confused. "What are you? What do you want?"

"I'm talking about those young women, who were poverty stricken, whom you seduced. You bedded them by sweet talking and promises. In my book, that's rape."

The audience applauded.

"Poor young women? Anyone can be young and poor. I like women; rich or poor. Take advantage? We all live off others. Women live off men. Men live off women. Poor and young must survive. Why am I here?"

Vicki ignored the question. "You stole innocence from women. Innocence they can never get back. In my opinion that makes you scum, but don't take my word for it. Ask our announcer Axel. He's a man." She paused and glared at her guest. "What about it Axel?"

"You know Vicki, when I think about this, I just get sick to my stomach. This makes me ashamed to be male."

"Well said, Axel." She turned to Macheath. "You should feel real bad. Another man just told you so."

Macheath sneered. "Let him tell me to my face. He'll feel my sting and say no more."

The audience gasped.

"Some people call you Mackie Messer. What does that mean?"

"Just a nickname. Doesn't mean anything." He stared at her for a moment. "You know, I think I could get you a job."

"I have a job, no thank you. I do a service for all women. I love doing it, and I do it well."

The audience applauded briefly.

"Good money. Easy work. Mostly laying around," Macheath said.

Vicki looked disgusted, "And now, we're doing something different. Tell us about it Axel."

"We have resurrected three women who have been corrupted by this man. They will spill their hearts for us. And, for special treatment, we will be providing counseling to help them before they go back."

The audience applauded uncertainly.

"Plus, each will get a makeover."

The audience cheered.

"Vicki, the first of these is Jenny. A woman who became a prostitute for the love of this cad."

Vicki said, "Put your hands together for our next guest. She has most certainly been done wrong. Welcome Jenny."

A slightly unkempt, blond, middle-aged woman stepped out into the stage area, stopped, then looked around. Black hair peeked from her underarms. A tight low cut blouse and a short circle skirt accentuated her fine face and form.

Macheath stood and shouted, "Jenny." He spread his arms and smiled before his handlers pushed him back onto his stool.

Jenny whispered, "Mackie," smiled and started toward him before an escort took her arm and steered her toward a sofa several feet from Macheath.

"Uh, Jenny, I don't have your last name. Did this man steal it?"


"Hmm, that's an odd name."

Jenny shrugged. "What is this? I should be out and about."

"So Jenny, how did this pimp turn you into a whore?"


"Well, our records show that you two lived together while you were turning tricks. He lived off your income. He could have made an honest woman of you but didn't."

"Yeah, we shared a flat. We each helped pay the rent and buy some food. We were poor in those days. So what."

Macheath interjected, "Sure, when she had company, I walked around the block a few times. And sometimes I earned a bit of cash while I was out. That was a great time."

"Oh, Mackie," Jenny gushed. She turned and stared sullenly at Vicki.

"If he were any kind of man, he would have married you. Not lived off you."

"Amen," Axel said.

"You noble married women. You suck your husbands dry and then want working girls like me to take care of the husks. No thanks. I'll pay my own way."

"Well, I um, when I get married I expect my husband to support me, and listen to my every word, and do exactly what I tell him. Wouldn't that be lovely? Wouldn't you do that Axel?"

"Absolutely. Any real man would be honored."

Jenny twirled her finger around her ear and pointed it at Vicki. "I don't have to get married to have men support me. I have an independent life. What else do I need."

"Well, a nice home, with a nice flower garden, and a nice man are what you really want. Or at least an honest job. But, with the right man you wouldn't need that."

"I worked in a hotel once, as a maid. I had dreams of blasting that lumpy hotel to smithereens. No thanks. I like what I do, and I do it well."

"Well, I can see you're going to need some long term counseling. New clothes, nice makeup, and wicked high heels will do a lot to build your self-esteem. It's on the house." Vicki smiled at the audience and raised her right fist high while the audience clapped. "That's what I'm going to do for you, girlfriend. Believe me, I know what you need."

Jenny shouted, "You will not be my company. I only like men."

Vicki put her hand to forehead and shook her head. "This could be tough. We'll do what it takes. Well Axel, tell us who comes next."

"Sure will Vicki. This poor innocent is the daughter of the Chief of Police, Macheath's drinking buddy. Of all people that worm should have left alone, it is this one. I'm not sure what she'll tell her father, but I bet ..."

"Hey Axel, I know this is upsetting for you as well as everyone else, but please introduce this poor soul."

"This is Lucy Brown."

A youngish woman walked out into the spotlight. She wore a black, tight fitting, high neck, top and a black, floor length, slit skirt. Her lipstick was grey; her cheeks red; and hair orange. She stopped and gawked. "What the bleep is this?"

"Hey young lady, we don't talk like that here. If you want to say that word, spell it instead." Vicki smiled and turned to the audience.

A husky escort guided Lucy to a seat next to Jenny.

Lucy turned to Jenny and asked, "What's going on?"

Jenny raised her eyebrows and shrugged.

Vicki said, "Lucy, you're such a young nice looking woman. Your father is the police chief. How did this creep manage to corrupt your innocence?"

"Who, what are you talking about?"

"This here, Macheath, Mackie Messer, or whatever name he hides behind."

Lucy turned and smiled brightly. "Hey Mackie! Looking good. What's up."

Macheath smiled and waved. He started to get up, but his guards pushed him down.

Vicki interjected, "I ask the questions here. By the way, after this is over, you will get a makeover to raise your self-esteem and help protect you from predators like this. Now tell me, how did you first meet this jerk?"

"You mean Mackie? I was hanging at the station house. The coppers brought this man in. He looked so forlorn and cute when he looked at me."

"And, that act was enough to blind you?" Vicki asked.

"When the coppers put this small bag of money on the desk, I asked myself, why shouldn't I have that? If I kept it they would have to let him go, and then there would more from where that came from."

The audience gasped and moaned.

Vicki quickly said, "So this Svengali exerted some kind of control by his gaze. It's a good thing you're here so we can save you."

"The coppers had to let him go. Pop was really bleeped off."

"Lucy, I warned you about those words. You really have to learn how to spell. So how did you break loose from this hellion?"

"Oh, we dated for a while, but he didn't spend nearly enough on me. We enjoyed ourselves together. But, not enough cash you know."

"So he wasn't a good supporter on top of everything else."

Lucy stared at Vicki for a moment. "Why do you keep butting in, you bleeping cow."

Vicki and the audience gasped simultaneously. "Well, you are really in need of a makeover. We are going to restore your innocence girl."

The audience applauded.

Macheath spoke up, "Hey Lucy, want to go pick some pockets later?"

"You bet. I'd like to start right here." Lucy's eyes swept the front row of the audience. She smiled.

Vicki put the palms of her hands on her temples then dropped them. She smiled bleakly at the audience. Some of the audience giggled.

"Well, it's time for our final guest. Axel?"

"This woman was duped by Macheath so he could worm his way into the family business. Her parents weren't much help. They even told her not to marry for love. So welcome Polly Peachum. She really needs our understanding."

A pretty, young woman was guided to the sofa. She wore a knee length gingham dress. Her hair was made up in page boy with high-set bangs. Lucy immediately stood up and shook her fist at Polly.

Vicki said, "Whoa. We'll have none of that here Ms. Brown. Polly, you are so young and so pretty. You could have your choice of men. Why let this ne'er do well ruin your life?"

Polly saw Macheath, turned and held her arms out to welcome him. The seating assistant firmly pushed her into the sofa.

"I played the game. All the polite well-to-do men came courting. I kept them at arm's length. That's the way it's supposed to work. Then this one showed up, not polite, no money. My body trembled for his. I had to have him …"

Vicki quickly interrupted, "Tell me about the family business."

"It's a school for beggars. Mom and pop both run it. They do well."

"A school for beggars? What do you have to learn for that?" Vicki asked.

"If beggars want to be successful, why they have to learn and practice. They must aspire to higher begging. Some of our graduates have even gone on to be mayors of large cities. They really followed their dreams."

Vicki rolled her eyes. "We're going to get you on the right path. We'll show you how to see right through men like him."

Polly mouthed an I love you to Macheath.

Lucy jumped up, rushed to Polly and shook her fist. "You slut, I have his child in my belly. You think if you flash your pudgy legs, you can get a real man? Bull bleep."

"You couldn't get knocked up even if you wanted to. That takes a real woman," Polly retorted. "I see you need to cover up those pencil sticks of yours."

Vicki said, "Ladies, don't fight over a man. I can assure you they're not worth it."

The bouncer had trouble getting a grip on Lucy, but finally got her seated.

"You two need to get real with each other," Vicki said.

"Now Axel, tell us who is the lucky one who will zap this Macheath into oblivion."

"The lucky audience member is Antoinette Comstock. Come on up Ms. Comstock."

A middle-aged woman wearing a pin-striped suit moved swiftly through the applause and moved up to join Vicki. She raised her right fist high proclaiming, "Down with indecency. Protect the innocence of women." She smiled brightly and jumped up and down.

"Well Mr. Macheath. Any last words before this lucky woman gets to erase you from all that is just and good? This a chance for you to tell the truth and be a real man for a change. Boy, I hope you don't leave a stain."

Some audience members tittered.

Polly crouched and held her arms out. Tears dropped from her face.

Ms. Comstock licked her lips. She began quivering.

Macheath stood. A spotlight shined on him. "Please forgive me for being poor; for loving these three ladies. I know they loved me too. You tell me that is wrong."

"We poor get promised so much, but like love, promises don't last. We each have our needs. In the end, it is up to us to live and survive, not to those who promise and make pretty speeches."

"Women snare men with their breasts. Men snare women with their prowess. We all have a sexual dependency. That is our nature."

"Not mine," Axel and Vicki chimed together.

"Forgive me for not staying. I could be useful. You could blame me for all wrongs in the world. Then you wouldn't have to worry and think about yourself. You could live off my badness."

"A few people gave up their purses for me. Some crossed my path and disappeared. I ask their forgiveness. If I were a captain of industry, such things would be all right. But, it is not so for us poor folk."

He turned to Jenny, Lucy, and Polly. "Each of these women in their turn filled a need for me. In return I filled theirs. Good bye Jenny. Farewell Lucy. Adieu my Polly." He looked at Vicki.

Polly stood, "Adieu Mackie"

Ms. Comstock danced impatiently. "Can I do it now?"

Vicki said, "Let's eviscerate this shadow of a man. Not only did he not rescue the pitiful whore Jenny, but he was banging the daughter of the chief of police. This criminal corrupted the symbol of law and order and purity. Then he messed around, at the same time, with poor Polly who needed saving, not seducing. Macheath, you are going to get it now." She pointed, stiff armed, at Macheath.

The audience booed and hissed. Macheath glared at them. His hands clenched and unfurled.

Comstock put her hand on the pull handle. Everyone could see she was in total bliss.

"CEASE and desist."

All eyes turned to the sound. Two people in pinstripe suits marched to center stage.

A slight mousy looking woman spoke, "We are from the ACLU. This is a court order prohibiting you from making Macheath disappear or in any other way interfering with his inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Behind her stood a short rotund man talking on a cell phone. The mousy woman pointed at Ms. Comstock. "OK Missy back to your place," then pointing out to the audience, "You won't get your jollies off today."

Ms. Comstock seemed to shrink. Her shoulders slumped, and she shuffled slowly into the anonymity of the audience.

Macheath smiled sweetly at the woman. "I'm saved. Unbelievable."

Polly jumped up. "My beloved. He is rescued. We'll take over Mom and Pop's business." She held her hands high and rippled her fingers.

Vicki stepped to the center of the stage. Her lip curled "I swear by all that's holy, that this worm will go back to where he came from." Her voice pitched high, "Justice will be done."

Macheath's head swiveled toward Vicki. "Justice? Here and now?" He smiled a smile of condescension.

Jenny stared at the rotund lawyer, smiled and made some action with her hands. Lucy placed her hands over her heart. Polly eyed purses in the audience. Macheath beamed.

As Macheath turned toward Polly, the bouncers tried to stop him. Their hands went through his arms. One fell. Macheath strode to Polly. Vicki stepped in to stop him. He walked through her. The audience gasped.

Vicki said, "My God, I'm fading. What's happening?"

Axel whispered, "Oh, the humanity."

Jenny marched to the pudgy male lawyer, arms akimbo. Her hair brushed his shoulder.

Lucy said she wanted to make a man of someone.

Polly walked to Macheath. They embraced.

Macheath turned to the audience. "This is true love. The end that everyone wants. Together, Polly and me, we will train some of the best darn mayors in the world." They looked at each other with love.

Polly smiled. "We'll even have some little mayors, no make that little governors of our own."

Polly and Macheath leaned on each other. Each had an arm around the other's shoulder. They looked so happy.

Applause sputtered, steadied, then swelled to a thundering climax.

First Appeared in Ego Trips Number Four (Autumn 2005)
Experimental Literary Journal of the Fox Valley Writers Club (Wisconsin)