Thursday, September 27, 2018

Stub 5.10: Strawberry-Serrano

By now Domo’s three cases of Domo’s Delight had shown up. The boxes were heavily secured with duct tape. Domo ripped up a corner and pulled out a bottle.

“I will do it for free on one condition, that you shoot some footage of DeLeon Redd drinking one of these.” Domo said, handing the bottle to Vincent.

Vincent looked at the label. Then he looked at Domo. Then he looked back at the label.

“Oh! You are THAT Domo!” was all Vincent could say.

“I gotta have you shoot some footage of DeLeon drinking some more of this stuff during the game.” Domo said.

Vincent assured him that he could take the footage but there were no guarantees that the producer would splice it in on national TV.

Domo was only able to bootleg in six bottles of Strawberry-Serrano, his newest flavor and it was almost impossible to get them to DeLeon in the swirl and hubbub of the pregame.

Any optimism that Domo had was crushed by half-time. Detroit was getting crushed by thirty points. They looked tired and DeLeon’s shooting was cold, stone cold. The thing about the five point line is that when you are hot, you are smoking hot. But when you are cold you are as cold as ice.

At half time DeLeon’s teammates asked why he was getting so much action from the videotographers. They did not know it, but none of that footage was making it to the audience. All they saw was Vincent shooting footage of DeLeon way more than his shooting warranted.

DeLeon admitted it was because he was helping out a friend by drinking the hot new beverage Domo’s Delight. The five starters leaned on DeLeon and he coughed up the five unopened bottles in his gym bag.

At the same time, Domo was asking the game producer why the footage wasn’t making the cut. Domo exuded naivety and puppy-dog enthusiasm and the producer felt compelled to make him more worldly.

“Whats in it for me?” the producer asked. “I got my ass handed to me the last time footage of DeLeon drinking something other than Croc-piz went on TV. Crock-piz is a huge sponsor of the NBA and they were plenty steamed about giving a potential competitor free air time.”

“We got lots of bunks. We could put you up next time you are out in Sedelia.” Domo said.

Normally, this kind of offer would have been met with scorn and derision by the producer. But the lodging in Cali and Sedelia sucked! That was something that all socialist countries seem to have in common: Bedbugs, saggy mattresses and miserable breakfasts.

“How are the breakfasts?” the producer asked.

“Fresh bacon and ham, eggs any way you want them, french toast, hashbrowns. More than you can eat.” Domo said.

“Ok, kid.” the producer said. “I ain’t making no promises but I will see what I can do.”

If anything, Detroit was even colder after the half-time break than before. Part of it was the air conditioning. If there is one thing Texans know how to do, it is air condition!

Four of the starters were benched when Vincent and Domo came back around. Seeing Vincent and his camera, they reached into their bags, pulled out bottles and drained the contents and then slammed the bottles down on the bench. In unison, like a barbershop quartet, they piped, “Damn—That’s good!”

Vincent took care to zoom in on Domo’s beaming face on the label.

The producer put it “in the can” in case he had a lull he needed to fill.

The coach gave his players a dirty look. He sketched out a play on his board and put the four starters back in.

And the serrano pepper in the drink caused the four players to pop out into a sweat.

In theory, basketball is a non-contact sport. In practice basketball is a bump-grind-and-grab sport.

Except now the Pistons were ungrabbable. They slithered through the defense and were able to roll out of traps. When tripped, they slid twenty feet and the refs had to call fouls, if only because they had to stop the game and mop the floor.

The Pistons now played up-tempo and Houston looked like tired old men. Part of it was the magic wrought by good-old-sweat. Part of it was because Domo’s Delight was isotonic and quickly supplemented the fluids lost by the body. Crock-piz was sweet and very drinkable...but it was not isotonic. It did not have enough salt.

The Pistons lost the game by two points but it was a hell of a comeback. The head honchos at NBA headquarters were beyond delighted. That game made the 10 PM news across the country and now viewers wouldn't think of surfing away from an NBA game, even if one of the teams was getting monkey-hammered by twenty-or-thirty points. That "stickiness" translated into huge upscaling of advertising rates.

And the producer inserted the footage of the Pistons drinking Domo’s Delight in one of the lulls when the floors were being mopped.

At the end of the game, Domo realized that he had committed Escutia Farms to hosting the producer and camera men in three weeks. Then, Domo was the one sweating bullets.

Next Installment

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