“I was born to be eaten, beaten, bartered and thrown away. But I fought back every step of the way,” he recalls in his book “My fight”. Please welcome Jared Milton!”
Jared walks onto the scene, looking like a million dollars. Ach! A million, that’s pocket money. The audience eats him up. He’s got a perfect smile and perfect hair. He’s kept the deformed nose – it gives him authenticity, and bad boy looks to die for. The nose was never his best feature, cartilage is not tough enough for a man like him. Give him tooth and nail, guts and grit. His thoughts revert to clichés whenever he’s nervous. It’s his first time on national tv. He’s well aware of the millions of eyes on him.
The host welcomes him and dives straight into the book “You
didn’t write this book, Jared, right?” “No Josh, as a matter of fact, it was
written by a ghostwriter, based on hundreds of hours of interviews. If you’d
read it, you’d know I was illiterate.” He turns to the closest camera and
addresses it “That’s right kids. I can’t read or write, yet I’m a millionaire.
Says something about our school system, doesn’t it?” The statement is met with
hoots and laughter, some heartfelt clapping as well as a certain unease. “Yes
folks, if you make friends with the right people, there is money to be made.”
The host interjects “By ‘right people’ you mean the derelicts you met when you
fled your foster family?” “I surely don’t mean either my family or foster
families, Josh.” He uses the host’s name deliberately, looking him straight in
the eye as he does so. The camera records the quiet confrontation, pans to the
audience when the host breaks eye contact.
“You had a difficult childhood, yet you came out on top.
What do you credit your success to?” “My good looks, of course,” he says,
holding his chin up to show a ravaged profile with jutting eyebrows, broken
nose and dimpled chin. He smiles winningly, his cold eyes sitting prettily
under a cap of salt and pepper longish hair. “The look of Caesar, you know?
Aquiline nose?” He’s managed to reframe his looks to his advantage, the
audience now superimposing their picture of a triumphant Caesar over his own.
They murmur amongst themselves, smugly. “I told you so,” can be heard.
The host tries to steer Jared back. “I enjoyed the pictures,
but was sorry to not see any of your youth.”
– “We were poor, yeah? The closest I ever came to a camera
was during my cousin’s wedding. They didn’t want me as a page, so there’s me
fake-strangling one my size. I wanted to steal his clothes to be in the
procession. They stopped me.” Laughter and whistling from the audience. He’s
invited his lieutenants in the crowd. They’re sitting in the front row, arms
crossed, sullen looks. In the wings awaits his loyal bodyguard. The watchdog is
facing the audience, scanning it for signs of trouble. He wasn’t allowed to
bring his weapons backstage but he’s got his fists, and those are lethal.
– Spunky fellow, you were.
– I say you want something, you go for it.
– Ah, the American way! Still, there’s the matter of the
– Told you I’m illiterate.
The audience erupts into laughter as he looks at them,
– Did you not, as a child, re-arrange Inuit sculptures
Inuktitut (he says that painfully, as though crunching through glass) as though
they were performing obscene acts?
– What is obscene is you making those kinds of accusations,
he says in a tight voice.
Jared glances backstage, the camera follows his gaze.
Close-up on the gorilla’s set jaw and angry eyes. The tension is palpable, that
of an animal ready to pounce. People look nervously behind for a guard with a
tranquilizer gun. They better be quick about it.
– I meant no offense. I was just referring to a scene in the
– Childhood was such a long time ago…
The host looks at his cue cards, makes a show of throwing
them over his shoulder.
– What would you like to discuss?
Jared turns to face the first guest, a lovely brunette, all
legs, a popular singer with a hit single and sketchy past. He looks her up and
– “I’m a legs man, myself.” He extends his hand, she extends
hers. He gives it a lick and winks at her. “Dee-licious,” he adds.
– You must be a wolf, she flirts. This perfume is called
‘Little Red Riding Hood.’
Like a magician, he whips out a smile, all canines glistening, and lets out a surprising howl. The audience howls back, under the host’s mock-horrified look. The hounds are off leash, a musky scent fills the air. After that, the host loses even the tiniest grasp on the interview and is left hanging limply, damp sheet left to dry but soaked by a sudden downpour. He runs a manicured hand through his thinning hair as they cut to a commercial. The makeup people run out to fix his hair, another help picks up the discarded cards, the producer whispers words of encouragement. They resume, the host focusing on the third guest as the first two exchange lascivious looks. Before the next commercial, Josh’s hand is resting proprietorially on the singer’s silky knee. The gorilla allows himself a sly grin as he relaxes. From then on, there are no surprises, he’s read the script a hundred times. The boss rules.