Tonight with Hubert: “Zizz, a Celebration”

“Annnnnnd, welcome back folks to the Tonight Show with your host, Huberttttttt!”

The crowd in the studio cheer, as the lights pick out a huge man squeezed in behind a desk. He is massive; an enormous, grotesque head, hair lacquered in a quiff, heavy jowls, sweaty; he looks like a rich boss who has enjoyed and abused every part of his success.

“Welcome back everybody. We’re here tonight celebrating the life and career of our special guest, two-time Pro Championship winner Zizz Sprint-Dash of Rodentia Ad Nauseam.”

Hubert swivels in his chair. It takes a while to get his bulk facing the poor, skinny rat sat nervously opposite. Zizz is a shell of the rodent that transferred into the RAN training camp nine years ago. 

Hubert reads off a notes sheet, “314 star player points. 3866 yards running, 78 touchdowns from 78 matches and, most importantly, two Championship rings… how does it feel to be RAN’s most successful one-turner?”

Unless you were sitting next to him, you wouldn’t have seen the fear flash across Zizz’s eyes. He had been here before and it had, almost, ended very badly. “Me-I don’t think-believe we are the best. Team-team do well, then Zizz do well-good.”

“OK, we’ll come back to that. It says here you’ve sustained 92 injuries in your career. That’s gotta hurt, am I right?” The crowd laugh as Hubert knew they would.

Zizz squirms. The injuries had indeed taken a toll. You only had to look at him. Muscles once firm and strong were now weak and saggy. Jagged scars amongst bald patches of hair marked the places where the apothecaries had performed miracles just keeping him alive, just getting him back on the pitch for one more drive, one more chance at glory. Ethics be damned. 

Hubert licks his lips and shifts his bulk closer, sweat pouring down his face and making his bulging features seem to droop. “Come on Zizz, you’ve had an amazing career. You can tell us… it’s just between you, me and the studio here… you’re known for being modest and unassuming, but really, deep inside, the thought of getting your third Championship ring, that’s gotta feel good right? That’s gotta make you feel like you’re the top dog, the big rat, the GOAT of RAN, right?”

Zizz drops his head for a moment. He really believed that he was just a cog in the team but, if he was honest, he knew it was quite an achievement. He looks up meekly, “Me guess-suppose.”

“Ha! I knew it! He admitted it, everybody you heard that right? He admitted it!” Hubert spins in his chair to the slightly stunned audience. “I knew it, I knew it, me-I knew it, me knew-knew it, stinking fluff-ball, me KNEW!!!” And with a blood-curdling scream, Hubert shoots to his feet, his giant stomach flipping the table over. A gasp from the crowd as a clawed hand sneaks out from inside his suit jacket and digs into his face, his OWN FACE! Talons sink in up to the knuckle and then screams and shrieks from the audience as the claw pulls away, taking his face… off!

Zizz looks on in horror, rigid with fear, as Hubert’s ‘face’ comes away, stretching and sagging like melting plastic until with one huge squelch it detaches entirely to reveal not one, but the two heads of Han Tavirus!

“It no-not Hubert, you stupid-pitiful man-things been tricked-fooled by Han, greatest gutter runner of always-forever, Hero-god of all-things!”

Zizz scrambles to get away but Han is too quick and leaps onto him, pinning him in the chair. “We always knew-knew Dizzy Stumble-Step think-thought him best. No me-we have proof.” 

“But-but… how?”

A smug grin forms on Han’s intelligent head. “Han-Ratgod have lots of time now. Stupid Blitz coach-manthing not use us much. We watch-consume old talk-shows and genius Han think hmmmm, thought-idea… so we train-coach stupid head like Pavlova dog. Give-feed meringue as reward. Time-long later, stupid head still stupid, but speak well-good. Han-Ratgod disguise-hide himself in costume with big man-thing head and every-dumb-thing think he clever talky man-thing and give show straightaway. Man-things so stupid-fools. Han so smart-clever and so patient, he wait for best-perfect time to ruin-wreck Zizz so-called career… just-right before season 30 final!” Han laughs maniacally.  

“What you going to do with me-Zizz?” Zizz quivered.

Han’s smart head leans in close, a little snarl causes spittle to drip down onto Zizz’s chin, “There can be only-ever one…”

Tune in to tonight’s final to see if Zizz manages to evade Han’s evil clutches and make it to the Season 30 Pro Final on time and unscathed! (or if you’re reading this after the final… well, you already know, don’t you?). 

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