Jett isn’t sure why Goldie even cares about the Superbowl game. He knows he’s just here to watch Katy Perry, but he figures he may as well kill some time explaining. He loves how Goldie seems to hang on his every word even still, though at the moment he does seem slightly distracted in anticipation of Katy Perry’s show. “This is the second quarter. The game is tied. The patriots have the ball. Now, the Patriots — ha what a name — are headed by Tom Brady — he’s married to Gisele Bundchen, she’s very nice, I’ve met her a few times — and there’s this thing going on, deflate gate, where they may be engaged in wrongdoing.
“Cheating. But why anyone’s surprised PATRIOTS are cheating is beyond me — so the point is, that Tom Brady is gonna try to advance the ball down the field toward the end zone. He needs to achieve ten yards to get the first down. You follow?”
Goldie nods, but now the reason for his distraction has become more apparent. Two young people, apparently Katy Perry’s production assistants, are making their way quickly toward them.
When they arrive, they pause, biting their lips like they’re not sure they even dare say what they came around the field to say. “So here’s the thing… we lost our sharks!”
Goldie’s brows furrow and he tilts his head like he’s considering escaped fish. “Well… Glendale is pretty landlocked so…”
The PAs throw their hands in the air, nearly losing their clipboards. “No! Our dancing sharks! They didn’t show up. I know you’re just here to watch, but we need two people to be sharks for Katy’s show.”
Jett shrugs. “Oh. Sharks. Ok. Well, Goldie, we can be sharks but remind me later to explain to you why football is a depoliticized form of internecine warfare that appeases America’s deep tribal mindset of us vs them without undue bloodshed but at the expense of massive cranial trauma to our nation’s unprotected youth.”
Though Jett knows Goldie has to be listening, he gives all indications of no longer caring about football or the struggle of American identity. No, he is lost to Katy Perry’s need for sharks.
“Oh, okay. I’ll do that. So, do we just put the costumes on? Just shark around on stage?”
The PAs look warily at one another but whatever doubts they may have, they rush Jett and Goldie off backstage where the costumes are. “Well, there’s a dance. It’s not that difficult. Just from the video, you know?”
Dance? Jett sighs. He should have known. Capitalist America wouldn’t be happy without dancing sharks. “Just FYI to everyone, I don’t dance. I can shark, but I don’t dance.”
The PAs look at each other, then at Jett. “It’s really easy. Just like this. Uh. Uh. Uh. Uh… Teenage Dream tonight… see?”
Goldie executes it perfectly. “Yeah, like from the video, got it. You’ve seen the video, right Jett?”
“I don’t remember any sharks in the video. Isn’t that the one where she’s driving in a car with a guy and it’s all terribly unsafe? And people say bikers are making the roads dangerous. What about teenagers whose behavior is influenced by the irresponsible behavior of pop culture figures in music videos? Whatever. Look, it’s not gonna matter. Let’s get this show on the road.”
The PAs give Goldie the shark costume but eye Jett thoughtfully. “You know, maybe one of us should do it if you’re not feeling up to it, Mr. Golde–Mr. Black.”
“Goldie’s not gonna do it without me. Are you, Goldie?” Jett gives Goldie a flat, expectant look and holds out his hand for the costume.
Goldie pulls his costume up to his shoulders but looks around wildly at the question.
The PAs both look away like they’re afraid of everyone walking. Goldie’s gaze is forced to fix on Jett.
“No. I mean, of course not. You’ve got it, right?” He demonstrates the dance again, his flippers look surprisingly sharp and elegant when contorted into the cheerleading routine that passes for choreography that pop singers execute.
Jett doesn’t bother to front. He just snatches the costume and starts pulling it on with the compelling speed of a professional showman. Once he’s in it, they can’t really get him out of it, and he gives his best, panty-melting grin. “Hey, I was born to perform.” It’s a non-answer, but he’s got his own agenda. It’s fine. It’ll be fine.
The PAs both look up at Goldie with fear and hope in their eyes that he’ll somehow put a stop to this before it turns shambolic, but Goldie just shrugs and says, “He’s got it,” and pulls his head on.
Coming off stage, the PAs approach Jett, heads shaking, but what can they say? One takes the head from Jett’s hands as he says, “I resist the idea that this institution dominates our cultural conversations once yearly and will thwart the smooth flow of its sacred halftime ceremony. Also I made nacho farts in this suit. Ha-ha.”
If you don’t know who Jett and Goldie are, they have two books to their names and where were you?
(written with coauthor Thursday Euclid)