The odds of becoming a TV celebrity are about one in a million, one would guess. But if someone wants to make it big, one man standing in their way is Rolando Jenkins. While the Smith Family was being greeted by his receptionist for their meeting, Rolando was sure of four things.
The first thing Rolando knew, the last three auditions would only get on TV if they started a life of crime and did a very bad job of it. Which, given their performances, there was a relatively high chance of it. The second thing, being a talent agent was better than living in a refrigerator box in an alley next to a man who referred to himself as “Toe Jam”. Thirdly, the more dirt you have on the insiders and the talent, the less likely he’d be looking behind appliance stores to find his next home. Lastly, the faster he could get rid of the Smith’s the quicker he could bend his assistant, Veronica, over his desk while the cleaning lady made good use of her broomstick. Which is exactly why the Smiths got an audition in the first place. Veronica SMITH had dirt on him.
The phone on his desk buzzed. “Mr. Jenkins, your ten o’clock is here.”
The talent agent slid his two pointer fingers over his upper lip slicking wax over his pencil-thin mustache. He straightened his ascot and lit a fat cigar. As the door swung wide, he spun in his chair to greet the family of four.
“Please, come in and have a seat.”
Mister Smith and his wife sat in the two ruddy leather arm chairs facing the agent’s desk. The children stood to their sides. Panting, their dog sat next to the son.
“Thank you for seeing us Mr. Jenkins. We really appreciate your time”
Rolando smiled and placed the tips of his fingers together, elbows on the desk. “No problem, any family of Veronica's. A very talented woman. She tells me you have an act.”
Mr. Smith beamed. “We do have acts Mr. Jenkins, but we would also like to pitch an idea for a reality TV show, starring us of course.”
“A show! Great!” Rolando again smiled then puffed on his cigar. “Tell me about your show.” Propping his Italian leather loafers up on his desk, he eyed the clock.
“Well Mr. Jenkins, the show is about our everyday life, you know, the all-American family.”
His large chair screeched as he threw his feet to the floor. “You got me.” The man chuckled. “What makes your family, special?” The thought of Veronica bent over his desk like a circus performer came to mind. “You do have very special talents, don’t you?” His eyes sparkled.
Mrs. Smith’s eyebrows lifted. “Oh! Yes! We do, Mr. Jenkins. My son, Johnny here, can do some amazing tricks with his dog. My oldest daughter can do things with her mouth that will just blow your mind. My husband Eddie, he really dazzles everyone with his balls.
The cigar hung from Rolando’s gaping mouth as his thousand mile gaze stare faded. “And your talent Mrs. Smith?”
“I service the donkey.”
Ashes fell from Rolando’s cigar. “You don’t say…” Rolando stared forward, eyes sparkling. Surely, they would all be rich within a few months. “It, seems I have underestimated you. Would you mind demonstrating your talents?”
“Of course!” Mrs. Smith let out a laugh, “we would love to!”
“Please, do! By all means.” Why don’t we start with you?” Rolando pointed to the son.
The boy thanked the man. “Lay down.” The boy demanded of the mutt. The dog rolled over on his belly anticipating a snack. The boy bent down on all fours and called the dog. Rolando watched and flashed a smile.
“I have heard about this, but never seen it.” The man hunched forward.
The dog jumps on the boys back. As the girl belted out a stunning version of The Star Spangled Banner, the dog danced a jig.
The smile left Rolando’s lips as the three bowed. “Is that it? I mean…what talent.” The man chuckled and clapped half-heartedly, remembering his lunch date with Veronica.
“And let’s talk about your act… Mr. Smith, can you tell me about that?” Jenkins smiled.
“Let me show you.” Mr. Smith stood, his wife bent over the armchair. He reached down, dropped his pants, revealing a pair of comical shorts. He jumped on the chair and juggled ping-pong balls that he had “removed” with slight-of-hand from behind his wife’s ear. The daughter started singing, the boy and dog danced. Mr. Smith started bouncing the balls up and down on his wife’s backside to the beat of the song. The family bowed.
“Mrs. Smith, you mentioned a donkey. You mean a pet donkey and you feed and groom the thing, right?”
“Yes, Mr. Jenkins. I take care of the family, home and pets.” She produced a picture of Clyde, their donkey with a blue ribbon.
“I see.” Jenkins threw his feet down, eyeing the clock. “You see, you have a great family. You seem to work well together, you have talent, you care about people, and you are just… wow. But I’m just not sure how to make a show about you.”
The phone buzzed. “Ahem, Mr. Jenkins, ten minutes until lunch.” Veronica cleared her throat.
Rolando closed his eyes tight and rubbed his forehead. “OK, thank you.” He said, tugging at his collar and slid his finger off the intercom button.
The man stared at the family. Thinking desperately for some way to work out a show idea for them to save his sex-life, his business, and make them all rich.
“You are the All-American family, clean, respectable, you work, pay taxes, and contribute to society. Can I ask what you would call your reality show?” He asked, hastily blotting sweat from his brow.
The family smiled. “The Rebellion.’”