With a Body Like This....
by Upright & Long Haired
"Welcome to 'Phobos Today,' the only
show shown on Phobos for Phobos! This is Mara Taglietti in for
Hamilton Smith, who is on vacation." Mara smiled brilliantly
for the camera. "Today's special guests include Greased
Lightning of the Galactic Hero Carps, Harvey Winthrop, the last
living descendent of Martin Swanky, the first man to ever walk
the surface of Phobos, and Maria Punicello, who will give the
viewer audience their tailor made astrological horoscope.
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"We'll return right after these messages from our sponsors!"
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"Turn down that damned ad, for Christ's
° ° °
"Calm down Mara, you go back on air in one minute. No frown
"Go to hell, Tonio!"
"Make up! Touch her up! Mara, please, we need you to calm
"Why do we have to interview Greased Lightning today. He's
the most hated person in the galaxy!"
"Well, that's why the Corps sent him out on interplanetary
tour, Mara. He needs to make up popularity points and quickly
before he's drummed out of the Galactic Hero Corps."
"It's not simply a matter of popularity,. The guy's a pig!
"Shush, Mara, were on in ten seconds."
"Why today? Why not some other day when Hamilton is here?"
"Six, seven -- why do you think Hamilton's on vacation?
-- three, two..."
"Welcome back to 'Phobos Today,' the only show on Phobos
where Phobosians can actually call on the air without paying
interplanetary phone rates! Please help me welcome Greased Lightning
to our show!"
Greased Lightning entered, the sound of Mara's lone applause
echoed hollowly throughout the studio. The cue light labeled
'Applause' flashed, then flashed urgently.
Clap, clap, clap.
Greased Lightning was dressed in a white spandex one piece uniform
with a shiny black streak of lightning racing across his chest
in an inverted triangle from his shoulders to his abdomen. Black
leather knee high boots, black belt, and elbow length black gloves
rounded out the outfit. Muscles rolled underneath the tight cloth,
long chestnut hair waved out in majestic wave after wave, a black
visor is all that separated his perfect face from the rest of
"Why don't you drop off the face of Phobos and die, you
big shit!" someone in the studio audience hollered. The
Greased Lightning smirked. "Gee, and here I thought Phobos
was Earth's moron colony, but it seems you have the burning flame
of wit in your studio audience."
Not sure if Greased Lightning was complimenting or making fun,
the studio audience sat quietly and kept a careful eye on him.
Greased Lightning flexed a couple muscles for the cameras. He
stood right in front of Mara, so he flexed his butt a couple
times too. God, thought Greased Lightning, I'm so cool...
"Ahem, yes, all very, hmm, well, Mr. Lightning --"
"Just call me Greased, " he said, winking.
My God, he's a man among children, thought Mara.
"Wha..? How did you know..."
"What else would you've been thinking about? Look at them."
Greased Lightning tilted his head, indicating the audience. All
fifteen buck-toothed Corky-look-alikes in overalls were squinting
down at him, still wondering what he meant by his last comment.
Mara decided to move on. "Well, now that Phobos has been
introduced to the man, let's get to know him a little better.
Greased, why is it you have such a problem with the public?"
"Mara, it isn't me who has a problem with the public, it's
the public that has a problem with me. You see, when you're so
perfect, you tend to draw the hostility of the majority of people
who are not, and never can be, as great as the man before you
now. I mean, let's face it: who on Phobos looks as good as I
No one, thought Mara, though it disgusted her to think it.
"Exactly. But who wants to acknowledge that I look better
than everyone else, especially since I know it and face the truth
by telling everybody. I mean, really, who could call me a liar?"
Is there anybody? she thought. Please say there's some --
"No one, that's who. You see, the public can't face the
real truth. If they had to, civilization would collapse all around
us, for as Joseph Conrad showed us in The Heart Of Darkness,
civilization is dependent on little lies because the truth hurts
to the point of destruction. Oh, but I'm sure your viewing audience
already knew that. Heh, heh."
A pause. Mara caught her breath. "Hmm, yes."
Another pause. No one seemed to know what to say.
Except for Greased Lightning, of course. "You see, I'm not
really a bad guy. Obviously I'm not a bad guy, I'm always so
busy saving everyone's butt. I could kick everyone's butt just
as well. You guys should be happy that I'm happy with the money
you guys are paying me to be on your side."
Mara nodded. "Well, it's true that you've single-handedly
saved cities and even a lunar nation before. And that's not even
counting the times you've gotten the Corps out of a jam --"
"Yeah, I've saved their butts a bunch of times too."
"But you've never been able to capture the public's respect
like Captain Dick, Dirk Daring or the late Thirty-Minute Man
"Sure I have. I capture the imagination of young women all
over the solar system. I was voted Sexiest Man in Solar Woman's
Weekly last two years running. And when young men dream about
being a hero, who do you think they dream of? Captain Dick? Who'd
want to wear a red and white pinstripe uniform with a big black
dorky D on the chest? Who'd want to only be able to fly and bark
orders to people who don't respect him? Who'd want to be forty
years old, stupid and slow? Who'd want to be a leader no one
listens to? Who'd want --"
"Yes, yes," interrupted Mara. "But why are you
such a -- for lack of a better word -- a jerk?"
"Who's a jerk? Me?"
Mara smirked. I have him!
"Roll the film, Tonio. What we are about to show is a collection
of segments put together as a sort of documentary on the career
of Greased Lightning."
The lights dimmed. All eyes were turned to the viewing screens
placed strategically throughout the studio.
The film began...
An iconic, abstract image of Greased Lightning
appeared, making him look some what like a pig. Below the image
ran the title of the piece:
Protector of State,
Public Enemy #1
The narrator spoke. "One man in this
century has been voted more unpopular than Hitler. One man in
this nation of worlds has been impeached by the government concerning
the legality of his citizenship. One man has done his best to
make everyone hate him, absolutely and with no remorse. This
man is Greased Lightning."
° ° °
The abstract picture shifted into the real life photo of Greased
Lightning, who turned to the camera and flipped off the audience.
The audience gasped.
"Greased Lightning hit the big time in his quick, flashy
way four years ago, during the time when the Hero Corps, literally
decimated in the Gobi Campaign which took the life of Thirty
Minute Man and several others, was desperately recruiting anyone.
Considering that other new recruits had code names like Homewrecker,
Ordinary Joe and Bill, Greased Lightning had seemed to be a promising
young hero. Until, at least, he participated in his first mission.
"The four new members of the Corps were sent to Tokyo, under
the command of Assistant Executive Vice Commander Richard, to
end the Conglomerate Wars that had raged between the cartels
of business for seven years. Daunting under any circumstance,
but even more so when three of the five had code names such as
Homewrecker, Ordinary Joe and Bill."
The film showed the five disembark the official Hero Corps transport.
The former Assistant Executive Vice Commander Richard waved to
the crowd. Behind him stood Greased Lightning in his old blue
and yellow costume; an overpainted Asian woman with dyed blond
hair, red dress and high heels; somebody in a tank top and shorts
who looked like he had suddenly been pulled away from a picnic
and handed an official Galactic Hero Corps Membership Card; and
"Considering the job, the mission seemed to be going well."
On the screen, Assistant Executive Vice Commander Richard was
flying around, pointing and gesturing and telling everyone they
were pathetic. Greased Lightning was dismantling the right flank
a platoon of techno-soldiers. Homewrecker was slapping a techno-soldier
silly. A techno-soldier was slapping Ordinary Joe silly.
"Then came the grand finale, the last battle, the end to
end all ends." Assistant Executive Vice Commander Richard
lead the group to the entrance of the Tokyo Pyramid, headquarters
to Toyota-NEC-Bishi-Ungai-Sony Conglomerate. TNBUS techno-soldiers
blocked the way. The battle ensued, much like the first one.
The Corps made it past the soldiers and entered the Pyramid,
camera man following. They were intercepted by another group
of techno-soldiers, these more heavily armed than the last ones.
It was apparent that the Corps was kicking butt when all of the
sudden a blinding light shook the entire structure. The image
cleared a split second later. The camera swung and there was
Ordinary Joe, sprawled up against the wall and dead, dead, dead.
"Nooooo!" screamed Homewrecker, running like her mascara
and hose. She charged off the screen, swinging her deadly red
nails. The camera followed.
"How could you! He didn't have any special powers! He wasn't
nobody special, just an ordinary guy!"
The last moments of Homewrecker were recorded as she was consumed
in the same blinding light that killed Ordinary Joe. The light
cleared and was replaced by the image of a menacing and clearly
dangerous robot. It had a huge cannon in place of a head.
"Get it you (BLEEP)ing underling!" screamed Assistant
Executive Vice Commander Richard from somewhere off screen.
Greased Lightning simply stood and waited. He was frowning.
The deadly robot marched forward until it stood directly in front
of Greased Lightning. Still Greased Lightning waited. The cannon
fired. Never really striking Greased Lightning, the ray was directed
right above their heads, destroying the main support beam. The
room collapsed and the camera broke...
Another camera picked up where the last left off. Greased Lightning
stood just as he had before the building had collapsed, a pile
of debris making a ring about him.
"Afterward, at the ensuing press conference..."
Greased Lightning sat behind a bank of microphones, relaxed and
very cool. A subtitle read 'Greased Lightning.'
"How do you feel about the death of your teammate Ordinary
Joe?" asked a reporter.
"Not much. Couldn't do nothin' special. He's better off
"You beast!" screamed an old woman. A camera was trained
on her and a subtitle read 'Ordinary Joe's Mother.' "How
could you say such a thing! I hate you!"
Joe's mother began to cry.
"Cause Joe sucked. He had nothing going for him, he stunk
up the bathroom all the time an' he spent all his spare time
thinking about how he hated me because I was so cool an' he was
just an ordinary schmoe! HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Get it? Ordinary schmoe?"
"How about Homewrecker?" asked another reporter. "Did
you feel anguish for her passing?"
"Yeah I felt anguish! We were supposed to get it on after
the mission! Jesus! I got (BLEEP)ed on that deal! She had good
piece a (BLEEP)!"
"Yan Ooong Xine Xee Pok Bao Hanbizee, Greased Lightning-San?"
inquired another reporter. "Bui Ing Dao Bao Wung?"
"What the (BLEEP) did he say? Eggroll Sushi Teriyaki! Jesus
Christ, I go and save all of your (BLEEP)ing butts from your
(BLEEP)ing selves and you go and speak (BLEEP)ing gibber gabber
at me? Show a little respect, will ya? And hey, little guy, why
don't you go and sweet and sour your chicken chow mein while
you're at it. HA! Which reminds me. Joe had to beat his grease
all the time cause I always got the babes and he got frustrated
all the time. HA!"
Joe's mom was crying oceans.
"You know what, sir? You're just a big jerk, you know that?"
"Just telling it like it is," replied Greased Lightning.
"Worse, it only got worse," continued the announcer.
"Many missions and many press conferences later, nothing
had improved and in fact got disgusting..."
The camera was panned on Greased Lightning, now in his old black
uniform covered with thousands of yellow bolts of lightning.
He was boarding a Corps transport.
"Why you not salute El Presidente?" inquired the on-scene
"Salute a third-rate leader of a third-rate lunar state
like Titania? Jesus, I saved your butts from Big Buster and you
want me to salute? Here's your salute, El Presidente!"
A black edit square spared the viewer.
"Whoooeeee! Like that, El Presidente? Most people pay to
see something this good!"
"I think we've seen enough,"
said Mara smugly. The audience was shifting and groaning and
it seemed like they might get out of control at any time.
° ° °
"You're nothing but a butt face!" came a scream from
Greased didn't even notice. During the film clip, he had noticed
from the sitting position he was in, he had a clear view of Mara's
legs sitting behind the desk. She had on a short skirt that had
been riding up during the interview. And Greased had a feeling
that it had been on purpose.
"Well, Mara, anything else?" asked Greased, his gaze
never leaving Mara's thighs.
"Let's take a quick break to calm everybody down and bring
out our next guest."
"Phobos Burgers, Phobos Burgers, come and get your Phobos
Burgers..." The add quieted as Mara glared over at the director.
"So, Mara, considering leaving the show early?" Greased
glanced down at her exposed legs. Mara noticed his glance but
did nothing to fix her skirt.
"You're a pig, you know that."
"I know that. You know that. But, I'm a good looking pig,
probably the best looking pig you've ever seen. You want me."
"Ten seconds, Mara."
"We'll talk about it after the show," offered Greased
as Mara turned back to the camera, trying not to show the effect
that Greased Lightning was having over her.
"And now, Harvey Winthrop, last living descendant of Martin
Swanky, first man to ever walk on Phobos."
Thunderous applause filled the studio. Hooting and howling greeted
the crotchety old man as he limped over to the interview couch,
leaning on his cane the entire way.
"Way to go, Harvey," yelled out someone from the audience.
Harvey took his place next to Greased Lightning who had scooted
over. Way over, since the old man smelled like he'd been dead
at least a week.
"Well, how are you, Harvey?"
"Ehh? What did you say?" Harvey leaned closer to Mara
with a hand cupped to his ear. Mara winced from his smell and
repeated the question a bit louder.
"HOW ARE YOU, HARVEY?"
Greased was beginning to crack up from his end of the couch.
"No, I was never in the army, Miss. I remember a time when
I was about, oh, well, I'd say sixteen. My family was just barely
making it. The royalty checks for the family colonization of
Phobos weren't being sent at the time because there was some
litigation in the Goddamn courts. Some jerk wanted to contest
our rights to it. Hot damn, but we showed him! HEE-HEE-huck-cuff-huck.
. ." The old man began to choke on his laughter, coughing
up a huge ball of phlegm. "Excuse me, Miss," said Harvey
around a mouthful of snot. He turned and spit it behind the chair.
Off camera, Greased Lightning exploded with laughter. The studio
audience began shifting restlessly at the Corps member's amusement
of their national hero.
"ARE YOU OKAY, HARVEY?" asked Mara.
"Yeah, they eventually paid us, miss. But I tell you, that
guy who tried to rob us, huh, we took care of him real good."
Harvey glanced over at Greased who was laughing uncontrollably.
"What's wrong with him? He a comedian or something?"
"He's a joke, at the least," said Mara.
"What was that?" Harvey leaned in to Mara again. Mara
again winced from the smell. Greased continued to laugh.
"Did your family ever do anything to make a living except
get kicked off of the Earth to come live on this piece of (BLEEP)?
How can you be proud of starting a colony of rejects?" screamed
The audience gasped in unison.
"Tell him off, Harvey!" screamed someone from the audience.
"Yeah, you make him shut up!" shouted another.
"Give it to him, Harvey!" and another.
"Make him be quiet!" yelled someone else.
"Um, yeah!" screamed the rest of the group.
"What did he say? What did they say?" Harvey was looking
around perplexed. "Did he just tell a joke? Did I just miss
"Greased, please keep your comments to yourself," commanded
"What?" asked Harvey.
"HARVEY, HOW DID YOUR FAMILY TURN PHOBOS FROM A HUNK OF
ROCK INTO A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO LIVE HERE?"
"Well, I once had kidney problems but I don't think there
was ever anything wrong with my liver. My heart went about a
year back and I was dead for at least an hour. . ."
"Smells like it," laughed Greased.
"What?" Harvey turned toward Greased. "What was
that, young man? Did you tell another joke? Damn, I love a good
joke. I hate missing jokes. What did you say?"
"I SAID 'SMELLS LIKE IT'?
"Is that what goes for comedy now-a-days? You say a curse
word and everyone laughs. That's what I hate about kids today,
Miss." Harvey turned back to Mara. "They think that
cursin' is funny. All you have to do is sit down and yell (BLEEP),
(BLEEP), (BLEEP)ing (BLEEP) and they just get hysterical. That's
what's wrong with Phobos, ya know. It's these damn kids."
"Well, yes, thank you Harvey for coming on the show."
"THANK YOU FOR BEING ON THE SHOW!"
"Well, when you gotta go, you gotta go. You're excused,
I don't mind." Harvey turned and faced the camera, putting
his hands in his lap.
"We'll be right back with Maria Punicello with fortunes
for the audience."
Mara dropped her head in her hands. "Hamilton always gives
me the best guests. Wait til he gets back from vacation. I'm
going to kill him."
"I can give you this guy's fortune, Mara," said Greased
as he picked up Harvey's hand. "I see a nice dirt plot with
beautiful green grass in his future. Hah!"
"Shut up and sit down, Greased, we're coming back on."
"Welcome back. Our next guest is Maria Punicello, well known
psychic and palm reader. She has given fortunes to such space
greats as Gaglio Vernon, hero of Mars, Sameel Farchis, leader
of Deimos, and she even predicted the Flagael Attack of 2095.
And now, here's Maria to give the audience their tailor made
Applause filled the room as Maria came waltzing out in a red,
black and orange dress swaying loosely about her body. She was
covered in scarves and was wearing a purple headdress.
"Tank you! Tank you, all! Your all too tweet!" She
blew the audience a kiss as she sat down next to Harvey. "Ooooooh,
who is dis? He smell so bad!"
"What fortunes are in store for the viewer audience, Maria?"
"I can tell you what fortunes are in store for her if she
plays her tarot cards right, Mara." Greased winked at Maria
as she glanced over.
"Oh, who is dis here?" She got up and walked over to
sit by Greased. She pulled his hand up and turned it over, caressing
his palm with her other hand. "Oh, chyes, I see great tings
in store for you. Mmmm, what manly hands you got. Oh, dis line
here, dat say, you a very lucky fellow."
"Well, I think this leg says you're gonna be a very lucky
girl," commented Greased as he rubbed his hand up Maria's
"Okay, Maria, Maria, that's enough with Greased's reading.
You promised the audience that they'd get their fortune."
"Oh, chyes, let me tink." Maria closed her eyes and
turned toward the audience. Greased continued to rub her leg.
"Mmmmm, well, chyes, I feel some really weird vibes coming
from dem. Oh chyes, I feel some really, strong. . OH. . vibes."
Greased hand had become lost beneath the layer of scarves and
ripples of her dress. The camera remained above Maria's waist.
"Hey," yelled one of the Phobosians. "He's gonna
ruin our horoscope."
"Calm down, please. This is a viewer horoscope, not a studio
horoscope," said Mara, hoping to calm the studio guests
"Hey, we're viewers, too," screamed one of the audience.
"Yeah, let's get him."
"No, wait," said Maria. "I see trouble in your
future. Oh, grief and bad luck and -- OH CHYES -- death, too."
"Oh my God, we're all gonna die!" screamed someone
from the back row.
"Ahhhhhhh! What can we do, Maria, what can we do?"
"Der is noting for you to do. I -- OH, OH, OH MY GOD --
see deat' and destrwuction for you ah-aH-AH-ALL!"
"I don't want to die." The whole audience begin to
scream and yell. Some people in the back began to panic and started
pushing their way down the bleachers. They shoved on those ahead
of them, who tumbled over on the people in the next row. Pretty
soon, the whole lot of them began stampeding down the metal bleachers
that served as the audience's seats.
The camera panned on Mara's bewildered face as she stared as
Greased began to get on top of Maria.
"Mara," whispered Tonio. "Come on, get things
"Umm, well, this has been 'Phobos Today' and I'm your host,
Greased, um, I mean, Mara Gorgeous, uhm, well, I mean, OH MY
GOD, I've never seen a man so. . . Um, see you next time."
"And clear," yelled Tonio. "Dammit Mara, what
the hell happ..."
Suddenly there was a tremendous crash as the bleachers toppled
over on top of the swarming Phobosians. Screams of pain filled
the studio as all fifteen of the Phobosians were crushed to death.
"OH, Greased, OH OH!"
"What?" screamed Harvey. He had fallen asleep but now
he woke as the couch had begun to bounce up and down. He looked
over at Greased and Maria as they lay wrapped around each other
on the couch. Drool began to drip from the corner of his mouth.
He turned toward Mara. "So, what do you say me and you follow
"I think I'm going to be sick." Mara got up and ran
to her dressing room.
Mara was rinsing her mouth out at the sink
in her dressing room when a knock came at the door.
° ° °
"Mara? You in there." It was Greased. What did he want?
Mara looked in the mirror, wiped her mouth with a towel, fixed
her hair and pulled her shirt down off of one shoulder.
"Just a second." She walked over to the door and opened
it slowly. "What the hell do you want?"
"I thought maybe we could talk things over." Greased
glanced down at her legs again.
"After what you pulled out there? No way!"
"You mean, you were considering it before than, right? That
means you'll consider it again." Greased turned to walk
away. He gave his butt one more flex in her direction and she
screamed, "No, wait!"
The door swung open and she ran into the hall and threw her arms
"Give it to me, Greased. Come on, give it to me!" Greased
pushed her away.
"Maybe the next time I'm on the show. And next time, I want
to choose the clips."
"I'll talk to my director. I'll ask the producer. Anything,
Greased, OH, anything! Please don't leave yet."
"Sorry, Mara. You're missing out on a great thing and we
both know it." Greased turned and walked away, flexing his
butt all the way down the hallway.
"I can't belive that crap you pulled
on Phobos! All you're other stops on the tour are being canceled!
As soon as the show aired, we began getting calls. Nobody wants
you on their show! Nobody! You're a jerk, Greased! You're a total
"Well, if you want to risk you're lives and kick me out
of the Corps, go ahead."
Captain Dick stood and stared at Greased for about two seconds.
"Just get out of here, you pathetic waste. And don't you
ever go on another talk show again, you hear me! We don't need
your kind of publicity."
Greased Lightning walked out of Captain Dick's office whistling.
With a body like this, he thought, who needs good publicity?