Concerning CC Fan Fiction: CC refers to the name of the restaurant where I work, and has been abbreviated just in case some corporate prude has Google Alerts set up for the restaurant’s full name. This story is full of inside jokes that might only be funny to about three of my coworkers. All of the characters are more or less one-dimensional and since I’m the one writing this, I’ve given myself all of the good lines. If you work with me and you hate this, I challenge you to write your own CC Fan Fiction. Then, you will realize just how big of a waste of time these stories are and you will cease to be offended.
Brooker’s Big Performance
It was a typical Monday morning at CC. Brooker and Brantley were the opening servers, Diana was the opening bartender, and Tiffany the opening hostess.
The horrendous 10-song playlist that CC subjects its guests to had just begun its first rotation of the day. Every single individual employee had, on countless occasions, begged Kerver, the general manager, to change the music to literally anything else. Literally. Anything. Else. Kid’s Bop. Music from the 1940’s. Cher. Anything was better than the smooth jazz, elevator music, castrated game-show jingles, blasphemous Beatles covers, and that Muzak version of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ that eroded Brantley’s soul every time it came on.
For Valentine’s Day, Kerver finally caved to the voice of the people. He trusted Pandora to provide the restaurants patrons, primarily couples, with uncontroversial love songs. Pandora started with Alicia Keys before throwing it back to Aaliyah. Some of Beyonce’s less grunt-y songs made appearances. Staff morale reached an all-time high. Nearly 1 in 3 guests complimented the music selection.
Then, in a schizophrenic or anarchic impulse, Pandora decided to play Missy Elliot’s ‘Work It.’ Perhaps more than any other song that has ever existed, this tune was impossible for servers to ignore as they recited the lengthy, overblown information dump restaurant spiel that CC chooses to burden their guests with.
Calamity played out as follows:
Brantley: “Hi, welcome to CC. My name is Brantley. I’ll be your server today.”
Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott: “If you got a big dick, let me search ya.”
Brantley: “Is this your first time dining with us?”
Brantley: “Fantastic. Thanks for joining us this evening. A few things about our restaurant…”
Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliot: “Phone before you come, I need to shave my cha cha.”
Brantley was not the only victim of Missy on Valentine’s day. Other servers were interrupted by: “Take my thong off and my ass go VROOM,” “I’m not a prostitute but I could give you what you want,” and most devastatingly, “Kunta Kinte a slave again, no sir. Picture black sayin’ ‘Oh yessa massa.’”
Ever since, when asked about changing the music, Kerver responds, “Maybe,” in the tone of a parent – the implied meaning of “Absolutely not, now fuck off and stop asking,” obvious even to small children.
On this particular Monday morning, Kerver could have saved lives by turning on a local radio station and trusting the FCC’s censorship efforts at least until the restaurant opened. But he didn’t. The Missy incident was that traumatic to him.
Radio stations throughout Orlando were documenting up to the second reports of a giant, 6-story tall crab-like monster that was stomping its way through tourist town. With haphazard swipes of its monstrous claws, it had wiped out the attractions of Fun Spot. Presumably amongst the chaos and din of the monster’s fleeing victims could be heard someone screaming in terror, “It’s HUGE!!!!”
The Crab Monster had then proceeded to knock over the seemingly complete but not yet opened to the public, Orlando Eye (the world’s largest ferris wheel, complete with a perfect view of absolutely nothing).
Inside the restaurant, the terrible 10-songs were blaring torturously. Brooker was singing as he worked on the various tasks required before opening at 11:30 AM each day. The hellish playlist not only didn’t phase this aspiring singer, but he actually liked it and sang along to at least three of the songs, literally every single time that they came on (which must have been approximately twice per hour).
One song was a soul-crushingly terrible cover of the Beatles “Drive My Car.” The other two were songs with gibberish lyrics in no language discernible to even the most astute linguistics experts. This tendency of Brooker’s was a source of annoyance for many of his coworkers, because his singing wasn’t a gentle hum or muttered recitation of song lyrics. He belted out imitations of the language-less noises with all of the gusto and conviction of a Broadway performer.
Brantley and the rest of Brooker’s coworkers counted themselves blessed that he didn’t sing along to the French song that culminates in the female singer having the fakest orgasm in the long history of unsatisfied-but-polite women. Amongst croaks of “Oui, Oui!” are pterodactyl-like screeches causing skin to crawl and penises to go stubbornly flaccid.
Nearby, the approaching Crab Monster had ripped Wonderworks from its foundation and tossed it in the air, causing the upside down museum tourist trap to land upright and surprisingly in tact (though its kitschy International Drive curb appeal was ruined).
Displaying completely unexpected laser vision, the Crab Monster had then melted both of the Ice-themed bars that were built inexplicably less than a quarter-mile apart for some reason.
The prep cooks and front of house employees of CC might have known that the monster was headed to level their restaurant (though Maggiano’s was originally its first choice), had Kerver simply acquiesced to the staff demand for any of Orlando’s pitifully mediocre radio stations.
Instead, the theme song from the James Bond film, “Goldfinger,” was blasting as the monster tore through the roof with its enormous pinchers and demolished the host stand. Had Tiffany been standing at the front, ready to greet customers as they walked in (like she was supposed to be this close to opening time), she would have surely been killed. But she survived, because she was in the bathroom. Or somewhere. Nobody really knew.
Brantley turned the corner carrying an urn full of unsweetened tea. His contemplation of how calling these tea containers “urns” was kind of morbid was cut short by the screeching roar of the monster which coincidentally sounded a little bit like the fake orgasming French woman from that stupid song.
This Crab Monster stood upright somehow, walking forward and backward rather than side to side like regular sized crabs are known to do. It had a strangely elongated torso that allowed it to walk on its back two sets of legs, but the pinchers and weird eyes-on-sticks (Brantley didn’t know the biological term for the body part, but vowed to Google it should he survive the encounter) definitely suggested that this was a Crab Monster, not a Lobster Monster.
Brantley already had his mind set on putting the tea urn (or “monolith” as he had decided to call it from now on) down in its proper place – and held to his plan in spite of the presence of a giant monster, waddling with the weight of the liquid to a counter nearby. This was a new low for his prevalent task-oriented mindset, but it worked out in his favor seeing as how the Crab Monster’s laser vision trailed him as he waddled with the tea, rather than vaporizing him on the spot.
Meanwhile, the Crab Monster didn’t notice Diana hiding beneath the bar because she is very quiet until you get to know her.
In the midst of one of his annoying performances and thus completely unaware of the chaos and destruction around him, Brooker turned the corner from the back of house and walked towards the restaurant floor croning, “BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP, YEAH!”
The Crab Monster, who had raised its giant pincher claw and was prepared to bring it down on Brantley (and the tea monolith), stopped in its tracks.
“Yes, I’m gonna be a star!” Brooker continued, finishing one last line before noticing the gaping hole in the building and the monster before him. As soon as the next line didn’t come as anticipated, the stunned monster shook out of its trance and began roaring once more. Hearing the roar, Brantley stifled a giggle before piecing together that the Crab Monster genuinely enjoyed Brooker’s singing.
And Brooker wasn’t a bad singer by any means. He was simply an incessant singer, and therein lied the problem. Only under this set of extremely unlikely circumstances, Brooker’s singing wasn’t a problem at all. It was salvation.
“Keep singing!” Brantley whispered forcibly.
The Beatles cover had trailed off, a poorly executed ending to a miserably unnecessary cover. A jazzy gibberish tune came on next, another one Brooker’s favorites and without missing a beat, he started imitating the guttural, meaningless syllables.
Once again, the monster stopped in its tracks.
Brantley’s mind took him on a roller coaster of emotions. First, he felt elation. The day was saved! Then, he panicked. Brooker couldn’t hold the monster at bay forever. Sooner or later he would have to stop singing. Finally, Brantley remembered the Brooker literally never stopped singing, ever. That was why it was so irritating to begin with. It never stopped.
In his mind, Brantley began concocting an evacuation mission. He had to get everyone out of the building while Brooker held the monster at bay.
One step towards Diana was as far as he got. Unconcerned with the complete absence of smoke or fire in the building, the fire alarm went off. This was a known facilities issue that Kerver did not possess enough profanity to force Pointe Orlando to address. Despite the recurrence of this problem, every single time it happened, the entire restaurant staff panicked, groaned, or pretended that it wasn’t actually happening (which was how Brantley reacted). When sold properly, this last option truly baffled some guests and caused them to question whether the screaming alarm was happening in real life or if they were just having their own private seizure.
The Crab Monster thrashed in agony at the screeching of the fire alarm. Brantley couldn’t help but feel like this was a little bit melodramatic, seeing as how it wasn’t that loud.
Enraged, a pincher shot out and grabbed Brooker, who God bless him, hadn’t stopped singing throughout the whole devolution of the situation into chaos once more. The Crab Monster brought him close to its mouth, the little finger-arm things that it had instead of lips, “mandibles” maybe (Brantley added this to the list of animal body parts to Google later) dancing with anticipation.
It certainly appeared that Brooker was about to be eaten alive, his irritating singing-turned-salvation silenced forever. But the pincher stopped short of shoveling Brooker down the monster’s gullet. Though the structure of its mouth and obvious lack of lips made it ambiguous, Brantley could have sworn that the monster kissed Brooker right on the mouth. It cradled him close and rocked him like a baby, Brooker still singing relentlessly the whole time.
Then, just as quickly as it tore its way into the restaurant, the monster turned around and left, a singing Brooker still grasped gently in its pinchers.
Diana emerged from underneath the bar and Brantley contemplated whether the shared trauma of the situation brought them close enough to share a reassuring hug. He decided that they weren’t quite there yet.
Tiffany emerged from the bathroom 5 minutes after the monster’s retreat, still texting, completely oblivious to the destruction around her even as she took her spot amongst the rubble that was once the host stand.
Kerver eventually emerged from the office, screaming at someone on his cell phone about the fire alarm going off unprovoked again. “This is the fifth fucking time this month!”
Brantley found himself walking aimlessly around the restaurant, trying to process it all. Near the dishwashing area, he noticed that most of the back of house guys seemed to be alright, albeit a little scared and confused. He considered asking if any of them were hurt, but most spoke iffy English, so he decided against it.
The Crab Monster stomped its way through Orlando before presumably jumping on 528 and heading back to its ocean home somewhere, prized singing captor in tow. Brantley wondered what would become of Brooker and the Crab Monster, if they would fall in love and start a family; if Brooker might serenade the monster until he went blue in the face and died; or most likely if Brooker would drown somewhere along the way on the journey to the Crab Monster’s ocean trench abode.
Brantley couldn’t help but find himself disheveled by the monster’s humanized posture. He agreed that old monster movies featuring real tarantulas or ants rampaging through tiny model cityscapes looked cheesy, but he wasn’t sold on the decision to give enormous animals anthropomorphized biologies before setting them loose to destroy the world. Hollywood had swung from one extreme to the other, missing the mark in the process.
Brantley vowed not to make this mistake regarding giant animal monsters in his own writing.
Next Time: Brantley steals Arrested Development’s device of using the “Next Time” segment at the end of an episode to allude to a promising, yet limited joke that isn’t actually worth pursuing in a longer format (and most importantly, won’t actually be included “Next Time”).
Trust me, it makes more sense in practice than in theory.