Categories > Celebrities > The Used > Why Don't You Just Drop Dead, McCracken?

Chapter 6

by cretingirl 3 reviews

In which Bert and Marla meet.

Category: The Used - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Humor,Romance - Published: 2008-05-15 - Updated: 2008-05-15 - 1540 words

We had made it over to where Russ’s friends were standing and before he had even finished telling us the name of their band the silence of the now empty Jubilee Theater was broken by a high pitched screech reminiscent of a cheesy horror flick. I spun around quickly as the eyes of the three strange guys in front of me widened in shock at whatever was going on behind me. Amy looked like she was either have an asthma attack or a seizure, either way she was turning very red in the face and jumping up and down hysterically.

“What’s wrong, babe?” Waldo said moving towards her as she pointed at the three guys and made incoherent noises.

I gave the three men a querulous look and started towards Amy myself just as she found her voice and ,breaking out of Waldo’s worried embrace, raced towards them at high speed. Two of them, one with mullet-like dark hair and a multitude of piercings and the other with blonde hair and tattoos up and down his arms, stepped easily out of her reach just as she reached the other guy, who gave his friends a pleading look, and wrapped herself around him.

“Oh my GOD!” Amy shrieked in the poor boy’s ear as the other two snickered at him. “You’re freaking Dan Whitesides!!!”

“I know,” the guy who was trying not to fall over from Amy’s weight replied in a deep kinda scared sounding voice.

“And you’re Quinn Allman. And you’re Jeph Howard.” Amy said pointing at the other two guys in turn who backed away from her a little further as Waldo and I went over to pull her off of their friend. I think they thought that we would sic her on them next.

“I love you guys,” Amy said at last as Waldo murmured apologies to the guy that she had practically raped. “But where is the other one, the cute little short guy?”

“Speaking of Bert,” the blonde guys said giving Russ a small smile and a resigned shrug. “I lost that little ogre as soon as the cab stopped. I haven’t been able to find him since we got here.”

“You lost him?” Russ said in a slightly panicked voice. “Have you been looking for him?”

“You told us not to move,” mumbled the pierced guy who I thought Amy had called ‘Jeff’. “Not even if we were about to be hit by a bus.”

“Fuck,” Russ whispered pulling out an ultra-thin cell phone and punching in a few numbers. “He could be halfway to Mexico by now. Excuse me, I have to take care of this.”

“No prob,” Payton replied as Russ stormed of the stage and over to a far corner of the room where he began to shout into his tiny phone for a couple of minutes.

We all kinda just stood around awkwardly smiling at each other like shy fifth graders at their first school dance. After about five minutes the boy that Amy had called Dan found the courage to speak and went over to Waldo to ask him about something he had heard him play onstage. I noticed that he kept plenty of distance between him and Amy, who looked as if she might strip him and sell his clothes on eBay at any moment. After that there was a more formal round of introductions and then we split up into our respective musical groups, Jeph (with a ph, who would’ve thunk) going with Adam and Quinn went with Payton, and I was left all by myself so I just picked up my notebook that I always kept handy to work on songs, put in my ear buds, and settled down to work while listening to Ben Gibbard of The Postal Service.

I was just getting into writing a new song that I liked to call “Convenient Love” which featured a duet for a girl and a guy when I heard a noise that rose over even the sound of my iPod and looked up into the bluest eyes I have ever seen. The eyes belonged to a shortish boy with black and blonde hair and a scruffy looking beard, as I looked at him I noticed that his lips were moving and I shook my head to let him know that I couldn’t hear him. This elicited a confused look from the boy and he reached out and plucked one of my ear buds out and giggled in a nervous kind of way (I now realized that this giggle was the strange noise that had pulled me out of my self-induced trance) before he tried to speak to me again.

“Hi,” the boy said with a small wave. “My name’s Bert. Whatcha working on?”

“Nothing,” I said instinctively covering up what I had been writing so that he couldn’t see it before I recognized the name. “Bert? You’re the guy that Russ is looking for.”

“Really?” Bert said as an amusing smile quirked the corners of his mouth and he looked around stealthily for his manager. Spotting him still over in the corner with his back to us, Bert pantomimed me following him as he began to tiptoe in an overly exaggerated way towards Russ.

I followed somewhat reluctantly and once we were situated behind Russ in a way that Bert was happy with, he crouched down on his knees behind the unsuspecting manager and then motioned for me to go around to face him.

“Hey, Russ,” I said finally understanding the joke that Bert had in mind and hoping that Russ was used to being the target of Bert and his friends’ pranks. “ I think that that Bert guy you were looking for is here.”

“Finally,” Russ sighed in relief as he turned around quickly and fell flat on top of Bert, tripping in exactly the way I’m sure Bert wanted.

I heard the girlish sounding giggle, that I would now and forever only associate with Bert, accompanied by a loud booming laugh that let me know that Russ was not mad or hurt in anyway. I helped Russ to his feet as everyone began to amble over to us to see what was going on.

“Robert Edward McCracken…” Russ began trying to sound serious even as he was forcing back laughter.

“No,no,no,” Quinn cut in. “Let me.”

“Alright,” Russ said beginning to laugh anew.

Quinn cleared his throat in a very dramatic way.

“Robert Edward McCracken,” Quinn began in a deep voice that was overly seriously and deeply comedic. “Where have you been? Do you know have any idea how worried I have been about you? What if some crazed fan had kidnapped you? Or a cab driver had run you down? And why weren’t you answering your phone?”

“Okay Russ,” Bert said putting emphasis his manager ‘s name. “I’m twenty-five years old, not five. I’ve been waiting outside for you guys ever since the show ended and Quinn pushed me out of our room so fast that I couldn’t grab my phone. So obviously I am not currently being raped by some crazed fan.”

“Well,” the real Russ said resignedly. “It’s not your fault that you left your phone…don’t let it happen again.”

“You know I will,” Bert said clapping Russ on the back. “Now, shouldn’t we be getting this young lady to her birthday party?”

“Shit,” I said looking around at all the equipment that still needed to be packed up. I began to run towards the stage with my band mates right behind me and jumped onto it before blindly grabbing cords and amps and wrapping them up as Billy chased the dangling ends thinking that I was playing a game with him.

“Need some help,” Dan asked from the edge of the stage were he and the rest of The Used were standing around with nothing to do.

“Sure,” Adam said thrusting some microphone stands into his arms. “Just toss it all into the white van outside.”

“All right,” Jeph began unzipping the black hoodie he was wearing and pulling it off. “You know I mean business when I take off my sweater. Let’s get this junk packed.”

We all laughed at that and thanks to the extra help all of the equipment was packed in record time and before I knew it I was screaming from the front seat of the van for Amy to hurry the hell up. She finished whatever she was saying to Quinn and then rushed over the van and hopped in. Soon we were pulling away from the curb and waving at Russ and Shay who were busy ushering the boys of The Used into Shay’s beat up Suburban. Right before Adam pulled the van onto the busy street Bert stuck his head out of the back window of the old car and screamed somewhat incoherently towards us.

“Wait,” I said turning slowly around in my seat to face Amy who was trying her best not to look at me. “Did he just say, ‘See you at the party.’?”
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