"Don't you see!" said the guru, jumping up and down like a ninny, pantsless and covered in vinegar. "Enlightenment is not intelligence, but perception! You must realize that matter is meaningless, time is an illusion and all that we are are energies moving through space, transferring themselves from body to body, evolving shape yet staying constant in essence!"
"I just want to get some smokes," said Britney Spears. The pop star was staring at the pantsless man behind the counter of the convenience store thirty miles out of Los Angeles.
"No. You have come here for enlightenment."
"Nope," said Britney, her head hanging down in exhaustion. "Just smokes."
"You were compelled to come here through the ever-flowing energies of the universe!" proclaimed the guru as he jumped up onto the counter and stretched his arms out to the heavens, putting his pantsless crotch in the area of Britney's face. Britney turned away slightly.
"I came out here to avoid the press. Now Camels, please."
"But, but…" stammered the guru. "I took of my pants. I covered myself in vinegar."
"I thought…" The guru climbed back down behind the counter and slowly put his pants back on. "I thought, you know, here I am, a guru working in a convenience store out in the boonies, and here comes a mega-celebrity in need of spiritual guidance. I thought it was destiny, the universe aligning paths of energy and…"
"Well, it wasn't," Britney said, grabbing a Diet Coke from a small refrigerator unit to the side of the counter. "Cigarettes or I'm leaving, and just taking the Coke."
The guru took down a pack of Camels and set them on the counter and rang up the items. Britney put down her money, opened the pack of cigarettes and put one in her mouth as she headed towards the exit.
"You know, as a singer you really shouldn't be smoking," said the guru after her.
"Like anyone thinks I'm a singer," said Britney, pushing open the door and walking out to her car.
It was a beautiful morning in California, so Britney decided to drive with the windows rolled down. Maybe she'd listen to some music, she thought. Really enjoy herself for a minute, a nice moment alone with herself. She had the new CD by Justin Timberlake in the car's stereo, and decided to turn it on. Britney looked at the city and listened to the music. It was good. Really good. It made her want to go dancing, get away from herself, just listen and move. But where would she go where there wouldn't be eyes on her, where people wouldn't swarm her? Britney felt her mouth go dry. "Fuck," she muttered, then turned the music off. Maybe some silence would be good.
Britney heard the voice, but ignored it.
Britney turned her head and saw in the lane to her left and saw a middle-aged woman with her window rolled down yelling at her. Britney gave a little smile and waved.
"WAY TO FUCK UP YOUR KIDS, YOU CRAZY BITCH!" yelled the woman. "YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING TO…"
Britney rolled up the window and kept driving.
"Great, you made it back," said her court-appointed parenting coach, coming out to the car with a folder of papers and a phone. "You're not drunk are you?"
"No," said Britney.
"You wouldn't happen to have picked up a newspaper while you were out, did you?" asked the parenting coach, with more than a hint of snideness. Britney looked at the coach from under lowered eyes.
"Well, you're in it."
"I'm always in it," said Britney. "Which paper?"
"All of them."
"Jesus. What did I do now?"
The coach handed Britney a newspaper. On the front page was the grinning face of a handsome young man in the passenger's seat of a sports car. The headline screamed in all caps, "MAN TELLS ALL: MY WILD NIGHT WITH BRITNEY!"
"You know this guy?" asked the coach.
"Yeah," said Britney.
"You remember him?"
Oh yeah. She remembered him.
"Look, is this going to be bad?" asked the coach. "Are these things true?"
"Yep," said Britney, taking out a cigarette and putting it in her mouth as she walked into her mansion. Of course this would happen, she thought. He'd been so nice. He'd told her everything she'd wanted to hear. He'd let her just have fun and be young again. It had been the best night she'd had in a long, long time. What a little piece of shit.
"We can deal with this." The parenting coach was flipping through her phone. "I'll call your press agent, we'll send out an official statement. This guy says this all happened just before your coaching started, so that's good. The damage should be minimal."
"Good," said Britney. "I'd hate for my reputation to be tarnished."
Britney entered her house and began climbing the stairs to her bedroom. "Britney!" the coach yelled after her. "Britney, we've got a drug test today. You can't miss this one."
"I just took one!" moaned Britney loudly, dragging her body with exaggerated exhaustion.
"Well, it's time for another one."
"Honestly, what have I done? These past few days, what have I done? I've sat around this fucking house, listening to you tell me what an idiot I am, reading a library's worth of shit about me, most of it true, going out to millions of people. I've got a million people on my back just dying to tell someone whenever I fuck up. Trust me, if I was doing drugs, you'd be reading about it."
"I am reading about it!" said the publicist, holding up the paper. "He says you snorted coke off a girl's tits!"
Britney huffed and rolled her eyes. "Sure, yes, but that was before the court ordered me to do drug testing."
"This is not heartening news," said the coach, shaking the paper. "This isn't really helping us get your kids back."
"Maybe I shouldn't get my kids back," said Britney. She walked down two steps to get closer to the parenting coach. "You think I haven't noticed how everyone was hemming and hawing about how I should have my children taken away, and now that they have been taken away everyone's hemming and hawing at how much I should be working to try and get my kids back. Maybe they're better off with Kevin. Isn't that what everyone's saying? I notice he doesn't have any court-appointed parenting coach. Let him keep the kids. I'll see them once a week, with my court-appointed child supervisor, you can go back to doing whatever the hell it is you do when you're not riding my ass, and we can all be happy."
"You don't want your kids back?" asked the coach.
"I don't know what I want," said Britney, going up the rest of the stairs and into her bedroom.
"The drug testing!" yelled the coach as Britney slammed the door to her bedroom.
Britney's cigarette was nearly burnt up to her lips. She ashed what remained and put in a fresh one. As she lit the new cigarette she took a bottle of whiskey out of her dresser and poured herself a glass. She wondered if alcohol showed up on a drug test, and if it did, would it count against her? Fuck it, she thought, like I'm actually going to take that drug test. She crawled into her bed and turned the TV on. "It's time to play everyone's favorite drinking game," Britney said to herself, holding the full glass of whiskey in one hand and the remote in the other. "Train Wreck." She flipped through the channels, CNN, FoxNews, E!. She flipped past the morning shows, the news hours, the cooking shows. Every time someone mentioned her name, she took a drink. By the end of the hour she was hammered.
She felt restless and angsty. A head full of whiskey made her punchy, so Britney hopped out of bed and went to her closet. Her clothes felt heavy and wrong on her skin. She took them off and changed into her red silk pajamas. With the bottle of whiskey in hand she walked out onto the staircase and looked down into the foyer. "This is my house," she said. "MY HOUSE!" She walked slowly down the staircase, her hand clutching the railing to steady her.
"Ms. Spears?" Britney's housekeeper poked her head around the corner.
"You there!" shouted Britney, pointing to the old woman. "Tell me, what day is it?"
"June 12th," said the housekeeper.
"Christmas morning!" shouted Britney. "Then there's still time! I want you to go buy a goose, my lad. The biggest goose in all of London!"
Britney hustled shakily down the staircase and put an arm around the housekeeper's neck. "Whose house is this?"
"Yours," said the housekeeper.
"Do you like it?" asked Britney. "Do you think it's a nice house?"
"Yes, ma'am," the housekeeper's voice wavered uncertainly. "Very nice house."
"I'm going to tell you a secret." Britney pulled the woman closer to her. "It's not a house."
"Nope," Britney said. "It's a palace. I'm royalty. I'm a pop princess. A PRINCESS! A princess of pop, of popularity, of the populous. This is a palace built on the adoration of a nation! And do you know what you do with a palace built on the adoration of a nation, old woman?"
"No, ma'am," said the housekeeper.
"What every self-respecting American would do with a palace this big. Run through it bare-ass naked." And with that Britney shimmied out of her pajamas and ran through the house stark naked, waving her whiskey bottle as she hollered through the hallways of her Xanadu.
When the parenting coach found her she was in the media room, blaring Madonna's Erotica album and jumping up and down on her couch while drinking whiskey straight from the bottle.
"So I'm guessing you're not planning on doing the drug testing then," the parenting coach said through pursed lips.
Britney stopped jumping and stood with wobbly legs on the couch. "That depends. Do you think they'd hold this against me?" she said, bending over and vomiting a stream of clear liquid onto the floor.
"I'll make some phone calls." The coach turned and walked away. Britney lay down on the couch and poked her stomach. "Tummy doesn't think she can handle any more boozy-booze." Britney reached out to the coffee table and grabbed the whiskey bottle. "Tummy is a fool."
By the time Erotica ended the bottle was empty and Britney was stumbling through the house in the search for more booze, or possibly food, or even more possibly both. In the kitchen Britney filled a bowl with Lucky Charms and then poured a quarter of a bottle of Jameson in as well. As she neared the bottom of the bowl Britney heard the parental coach come in.
"You know what's funny?" Britney asked. "You'd think Lucky Charms and Irish whiskey would go together really well. Well, you know what? You'd be absolutely fucking right." Britney picked up the bowl and slurped down the multi-colored contents. "Hell yeah. Now, I've only got one thing to ask you. Are you a fucking retard, or is it time to go driving?"
"You are so wrong."
Minutes later Britney and the court-appointed parental coach were weaving their way through downtown Los Angeles with Britney at the wheel.
"You know what I hate?" Britney yelled to the parental coach.
"Personal responsibility?" replied the coach.
"I hate the double standard. There's a double standard at work here, court-appointed parental coach. If I was a man, people would be loving me for my crazy antics. They'd say 'Aww, that Britney, he's a big ole rock star, just like the old days!' It's only cause I'm a woman that everybody's all pissed."
"Well, that and you have kids."
"Rock stars have kids! They have them all the time! Mick Jagger's probably having another kid right now! Or rap stars! What about rap stars? Rap stars get to do anything! Nobody expects a rapper to act responsibly."
"Maybe that says more about the subtle racism of society where we expect or encourage less of certain individuals than…"
"Who told you that? Did you learn that in college? I learned my shit on the streets."
"Oh shit, we're on the wrong street."
Britney made a hard left across five lanes of traffic.
"All I'm saying is, if Common was acting like me he'd have his own reality show."
"You had your own reality show."
"Yeah, but I had to do it all by myself. My camerawork sucks!"
The parental coach clutched her handbag and turned her head down to the side so she couldn't see Britney's driving.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"There's some thing for Christina Aguilera's new perfume, I'm gonna show up and trash that bitch."
The coach began crying quietly. "Why are you doing this?"
"What's my job?" Britney yelled to the parental coach. "WHAT'S MY JOB?"
"An entertainer?" the coach choked out through small sobs.
"Damn straight. And let me ask you, in all honesty, how entertaining was my last album? Or my last live shows? Or anything I've put out in the last three years?"
"No. But I'm a professional," said Britney, looking at herself in the mirror and licking her finger, then futzing with her eye shadow. "I'm going to entertain people, and I'll do it any way I can. You know why?"
"Because I care," said Britney, pushing her foot down on the gas pedal. "I care SO. DAMN. MUCH."
The parenting coach put an arm out to brace herself against the dashboard. "Why are you speeding up?"
"You think Christina Aguilera would invite me to an opening?" said Britney. "No ma'am. We're crashing."
As they approached the red carpet entrance for the unveiling of Christina Aguilera's new fragrance 'Debutantes,' Britney twisted the steering wheel hard and careened into a row of parked cars. All the reporters and photographers turned and began taking pictures. Kelis, who was in the middle of an interview, screamed. The court-appointed parenting coach was slumped in the passenger's seat, unconscious, with a gash across her forehead. Britney opened the door and stumbled out of the car. She was bleeding from her left shoulder and was walking with a limp. She crawled onto the hood of her car and stood above the crowd.
"I come with a message!" yelled Britney. "Enlightenment is perception! Matter is meaningless, time is an illusion and we are energies moving through space, transferring ourselves from body to body! For the past three years I have taken in your negative energies, and I have stored them, stored them within my very heart! And now I bring you the great day of transference!" And with that Britney pulled her leg back and kicked Katherine Heigl square in the face.
"Oh shit!" yelled Ne-Yo. "Bitch just kicked Grey's Anatomy in the face!"
Britney let out a roar and jumped from the hood of her car onto John Mayer. She then went on to KITBASH Hilary Duff, throat-punch Heidi Montag and bloody Shia LaBeouf's face. As she was chasing Perez Hilton inside, threatening to strangle him with a camera strap, America watched all of the action live on CNN, CNBC, FoxNews, MSNBC, E!, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW, TNT, TBS, The Home Shopping Network, Telemundo, The History Channel, Nick GAS, G4, Cartoon Network, USA, PBS, ABC Family, A&E, CourtTV, The Discovery Channel, Hallmark, Mtv, VH1, VH1 Classics, Fuse, Oh!, Spike, The Sci-Fi Channel and The Learning Channel, and they all sighed, shook their heads and smiled.