Chicken A La King

An Elvis Impersonator meets a farm girl from Iowa and takes on a fast
food conglomerate in order to save a few chickens. Ali is a farm girl
from Iowa who meets Scott, an Elvis impersonator from Las Vegas. They
fall in love.....Sam Fullbein is known as the King Of Wings, a rich
chicken mogul who will do everything to protect his secret recipe. His
wife Mindy is a wealthy bored socialite, always in trouble with the
paparazzi....Mona Meredith is a sexy superstar devoted to saving
chickens from the evil fast food conglomerate....Scott and Ali take a
trip across the country only to be followed by a private investigator
as they battle against the evil fast food empire only to save a few
chickens from their fate and discover each other.



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3. Chicken A La King

Traffic was heavier than usual Monday morning. Sam was in the back seat of a long black limousine drinking espresso. The limo swung up to the front door of the convention center and he stepped inside as the driver held the door open for him.

Mmm! Foods was the leading conglomerate in the world of fast foods and a mini-village was set up of various restaurants owned by the conglomerate. Brightly colored signs and graphics depicted the famous identities of each chain of restaurants all umbrellas owned by Mmm! Foods. There was H&P, Fisherman’s Delight, Pizza Oven and Taco King, all giants in the food industry.

Sam approached the main podium where chairs and tables were set up. David Newirth approached him with a welcoming handshake.

“Welcome Sam”, David greeted him

“Thanks, good to be here David.”

“Please, take a seat. I am going to give a short speech and then we’d like a few words from you.”

“Of course!”

David took the podium.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here. We want to welcome you to the world of Mmm! Foods, where our customers are our best friends”...

David took a sip of coffee from a company mug.

“The world of Mmm... Foods make a world of difference when it comes to delivering consistent growth. I’m pleased to report that this year was once again another year that demonstrated the underlying power of our global portfolio of leading restaurant brands.”

A big screen popped up in the ceiling and an image of an Mmm! Foods restaurant flashed on the screen. There was signage in Chinese on it.

“We are pioneers in China and we fully intend to capitalize on the total opportunity. We have bold goals to build dominant restaurants brands in every category. So in addition to casual dining we have begun to expand delivery service. We will soon have more restaurants in China than we do in the US.”

And today we have a special guest here, Sam Fullbein of Uncle Sam’s Chicken. We are on the threshold of having Uncle Sam become part of our family of restaurant chains. Sam, we’d like to hear a few words from you now. Everyone welcome Uncle Sam!”

David whispered in his ear.

“Seventy-five million for your chain consider it Sam”.

Sam nodded and took the podium.

“It certainly is an honor to be here in Arkansas today. I have enjoyed tremendous success as an independent retailer of chicken. My chain has fifty stores strong across the US, and I am proud to be known as The King of Wings. I know all of you youngsters out there have newfangled ideas about business and this global marketplace, but I am happy just to be doing business here in the USA where Uncle Sam’s was born. I intend to oversee operations at my stores myself and with a team of close associates. I thank you for inviting me to join Mmm! Foods! But for right now business will run as usual. Thank you.”

David approached the podium.

“Any questions for Sam?”

A young woman stood up.

“What about the secret recipe? Will you ever reveal it?” Sam smiled.

“I do have a secret recipe that has been in the family for thirty years. It is locked in a vault and no one has the list of ingredients. I will never reveal it to anyone.”

A man raised his hand.

“What’s next for your chain of restaurants?”

“I’m planning on expansion, building more stores in more cities and promoting those stores with a very aggressive ad campaign.”

A young woman stood up with a sign that reads chicken wings = murder.

‘What about the cruelty charges and what do you plan on doing to stop it?”

Sam’s face got redder and he stammered.

“Well, uh...we do not see the processing of chicken as cruel or do we consider it murder. It is necessary to feed the public and we are not going to stop production of chicken wings. I am very sorry miss, I do not see your point”.

She waved her sign at him.

“It’s slaughter.”

“Please get her out of here”, Sam said into the microphone.

Two burly men came and escorted her out of the convention center. David took over the podium.

“Thank you Sam, for being with us today. I am sure we will be doing business soon.”

David whispered in his ear. ”We’re willing to offer you one hundred million for your chain Sam, think about it.”

His mothers voice echoed in his ear. “Never tell anyone the secret recipe Sam, promise me Son”.

He vowed he would make good on his promise. They shook hands and Sam exited the building to his waiting limousine. The driver held the door open for him. Sam sat back in the plush seat. One hundred million dollars, it was staggering. He took a deep breath and lit up a cigar. He inhaled deeply, taking in the aroma of the pungent leaves. He stared out the window and wondered if not selling was a wise move. His cell phone rang. It was Mindy.

“Hi honey, how did it go?”

“Not bad.”

“What happened?”

“They made me an offer. I didn’t take it, I decided to stay.”

“How much?”

“One hundred million.”

“One hundred million? Sam? Are you sure? Why don’t you sell out honey?”

“Because it is not the time to sell. I have a lot of plans.”

“No, what you have honey, is a lot of headaches...We could retire!”

You are retired, he thought. He was the one who busted his ass, every day out there fighting the fight in the world of chickens while she spent his money and fooled around with gigolos.

“Let’ s discuss this at home.” he said.

“Well, that what I’m calling about...I’m on my way to the airport.”

”The airport? Why?”

“I’m flying with Cynthia for a week at St. Tropez. She rented a villa there darling...just a teensy-weensy week and then a tiny stopover in Sardinia.” Her voice had that tone to it, that tone that said she was going to get her way, as usual.

He was quiet.

“Do what you want” he said roughly.

“Sam? You’re not mad at me are you? If you are I won’t go, I’ll just stay home and be bored” she pouted.

“Go honey, have a good time...”

“Thanks sweetheart.”

“When are you getting back?”

“Sunday”

“Alright, see you then.”

Click. Sam was angry with himself for being manipulated once again by his wife. Any more of her hijacks and she was out. She had signed a prenuptial that entitled her to two million dollars if the marriage lasted five years, six million if it went to ten. He doubted they would make the five years. Even that was too damn much money.

“Mr. Fullbein?”

“Yes?”

”We’re here, sir.”

“Oh yes.”

 

Mindy Fullbein arrived in Paris at the Charles De Gaulle International Airport at 2:00 pm. It was the largest airport serving Paris and second busiest airport after Heathrow. It was a drizzly, muggy summer afternoon and the place was mobbed with summer vacationers.

The driver met them at the airport. Cynthia had arranged for all the details of the trip with Madame Natasha Floyd. The Madame offered over 250 villas, offering the best choices of St. Tropez. She offered grand prix tickets, balcony spaces, helicopter and car hire, cleaners, chefs, bodyguards, musicians and more. Cynthia was such a dear for taking care of her this way. Mindy and Cynthia dashed through the airport, chatting away about their summer plans.

The driver loaded their Louis Vitton luggage into the BMW sedan and they sped off towards the city. They would spend the first night in town and drive to St. Tropez the following day.

Mindy was glad to be away from America. All of the media attention was getting old. She would be happy to be an unknown for a spell, just another glimmer on the beach of fascinating shells in St. Tropez. Eye’s candy for the rich and famous it is.

Paris was a favorite destination for her. She made buying trips twice yearly in the spring and fall to see the collections. She always stayed at the Ritz.

“Paris, so wonderful, isn’t it darling”, moaned Cynthia.

“Lagerfeld, Versace, Ungaro...I love them all.... Its like coming home” Mindy agreed. They arrived in the center of the city and the driver unloaded their luggage at the hotel. They checked into the opulent lobby, encrusted with marble columns and decorative statuary. The prim clerk wearing a starched white blouse gave her the once over.

“It’s under Fullbein”

“Madame Fullbein, welcome to the Ritz”

“Thank you”

“Ah, yes, the Coco Chanel suite.... It is ready for you, please follow us.”

The bellman opened the door to the suite. It was decorated in muted gold with heavy baroque mirrors adorning the walls. The bed and the chairs were quilted in white suede. Mindy threw her purse on the bed.

“Its good to be home.”

The driver tipped the bellman and the two women settled in, opening a bottle of chilled champagne at the floor of the bed.

“To Paris”

“To a marvelous time”

Cynthia undressed slowly, seductively in front of Mindy. She unbuttoned her silk blouse to reveal a lacy sheer bra and unhooked it slowly, her full ripe breasts perkily staring at her.

“To us”...

At the Super Chicken Ranch, Manuel Vargas had a lot of organizing to do. The chicken houses were in need of repairs, there was an overflow of birds and the birds needed water. He would get someone on these issues right away.

There was talk of approaching a neighboring farm to expand but Manuel knew that the crotchety old widow that owned the farm was difficult and stubborn. She had already complained to him about rodents on her land. He doubted that she would be interested in having poultry there.

Rosalita came out with a bottle of water.

“For you.”

“Gracias.”

“Are you coming in for lunch today?”

“No, I don’t have time. Bring it to me beauty.”

“I will.”

His wife was very sweet and dutiful, not like these spoiled American wives he saw on TV. He pitied the Boss Sam about his wife. He had seen pictures of her in the newspapers kissing another man. How could a man put up with such a thing? Not him, Rosalita would always be true to him, of that he was sure. She came out carrying a tray with some chicken and rice on it.

“Thank you Mama”.

“You’re welcome.”

“Where is Pedro?”

“I don’t know...he disappeared off playing an hour ago.”

“He must be around somewhere.”

“I’ll find him.”

Rosalita went off to search for Pedro...

Pedro was crouching in the barn, behind an old tractor. He was hiding from an invisible enemy who would strike at any moment if he were found...

Lili rested in the barn. She saw the boy there, playing on the other side. She didn’t like children, but they were safer than men. Men could be cruel. She counted her chicks, one, two, three, four, five...Where was the sixth? Sonny was gone!!

Lili stood up and looked around the barn. There was Sonny. He was walking wobbly legged towards the boy. Damn it! She called to him.

“Sonny!!! Sonny!!! Come to Mama.”

Sonny kept walking, right into the boy’s arms. Lili ran over to him and the boy ran out of the barn with Sonny clutched in his hands. Lili followed them to the front step of the house.

“Pedro!”

“Look Mama, a chucky.”

“Pedro, put it down! See, there’s his Mama coming to get him.”

Lili clucked gratefully and led Sonny away. It was tough being a mother hen.

Scott and Ali returned from riding. It had been a long wonderful day and Ali was happy. She liked Scott a lot and it was good getting to know him better. She was getting used to all the attention he got as Elvis. The motorcycle came to a full stop. She jumped off.

“Home sweet home”.

“I hope you had a good time today sweet thing.”

“I did, I really did.”

“I guess I’ll let you go even though I could spend every minute with you.”

“Cool.”

“Its true”

“Do you want to come in?”

“No, I have to go. I have my show tonight. I have to go over some songs with the band.”

“I’m so beat. I think I’ll take a nap.”

“Go on, get some rest...I’ll call you in the morning.”

He gave her a kiss on the lips.

“Okay, bye.”

She watched him drive away and looked through her bag for her key. She found it tucked away at the very bottom of her bag and she fumbled with the lock. Inside was dark and cool and she went into the kitchen and got a drink of ice water.

 

Today had been a wonderful day with Scott. The wedding had been really cool and then they had lunch and talked. She found out more about him, His parents were both dead and he had a sister in California who was a film producer. He was tender, funny, very, very talented, and not at all tacky like you would think an impersonator would be.

She turned the TV on and surfed through the channels. She was so tired; maybe she would just take a little nap.... She drifted off to sleep and when she woke up she thought she heard knocking on the door.

“Hello? Ali?”

A familiar voice was outside her door. She stopped. It couldn’t be... She looked through the keyhole. It was Chet. Chet was standing outside her door wearing his uniform of a T-shirt and jeans and running shoes. Oh my God! She opened the door.

“Chet? Is that you?”

“Ali!”

“What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you baby”

“All the way from Iowa?”

“Yes! Can I come in?”

“Oh yes, come on in.”

He gave her a big bear hug and twirled her around. He stepped inside and scrutinized her place. She sure was living high off the hog these days.... Nice furniture and a big TV... It was very different from the farm.

“Nice.”

“Thanks...My God!! What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you Al..... I’ve really missed you baby doll.”

He hugged her again.

“Oh Chet!”

“Aren’t you glad to see me?”

“Well, I... I thought things were over between us Chet.”

“I still love you Ali.”

“Oh Chet!”

“No, I really love you Al....I want you to come home with me.”

She was aghast.

“Home?”

“Yeah. Get packed and let’s go back home and get married.”

Ali sat down, her head spinning.

“Chet, you don’t understand...I don’t belong in Iowa anymore.... This is my home now.”

”What? Are you nuts? You call this home? This ain’t a home Ali, it’s a cesspool of drug addicts and gamblers and hookers. All the scum of the earth is here.”

“Well, I’m on a journey in my life and this is part of it.”

“You’re just going through growing pains Ali. You’ve known me all your life and you feel you have to run from me now, but you don’t. You don’t...I’m the one who loves you Al. I always have and I always will. These people don’t know who you are and they don’t care who you are. All they want is a piece of your ass.”

“Chet! You don’t understand...Its over between us.”

“I don’t believe it”

“Well, believe it.”

She stood up, her voice cold and quiet.

“Do you want a beer?”

“Yeah.”

She went to the fridge and got him a Budweiser. She watched while he opened it and took a swig.

“How are Mom and Dad?”

“They’re fine. They know I’m here.”

“Oh God! Who else knows? The whole town?””

“Ali, we are your home, we are the people that love you.”

“Listen.... I love you all too. I do. But for this one time in my life I want to do something on my own and feel like I can accomplish something and make myself into something besides good old Ali from the cannery.”

“It’s not like that Ali”

“It is.”

She moped around the room. She was tired and now this. She couldn’t believe it. It was getting late and she knew that Chet probably had nowhere to sleep.

“Do you have a place to stay?”

“No. I was fixing’ to stay with you.”

“I guess you can sleep here on the couch.”

“Man, you sure have changed.”

“Yes, my life has changed.”

“Hey, I’ll sleep on the couch, I don’t care.”

She got some sheets and a pillow and made a bed for him.

“You are too much”

“Ali. I would do anything for you”

“Then shut up and go to sleep.”

“Alright...Anything to make you happy.”

She turned off the light, went into the bedroom, and shut the door. She didn’t want to sleep with Chet and give him any false hopes. She would kick him out in the morning.

The day was over at Super Chicken Ranch. The workers filed out of the Big House and a few stragglers headed off to the barn. Jed and Dwight were handlers at the ranch and dealt with those damn chickens all day long. At the end of the day all you wanted was a good steak and a nice cold beer. Tonight they were going to party a bit. Jed had brought his guitar and Dwight had a drum set in his truck.

“Come on, let’s set up in the barn”

“I hear you man.... Where are the beers?”

“I got’em in back of the truck.”

“Hell, go get them man.”

Some Mexicans came and sat on the hay in the barn and watched them set up the band. Manuel was away in town and wouldn’t be back until late. It was a good time to party. They started playing country music and the Mexicans got up and danced, stomping their feet and laughing as they got drunker and drunker.

Lili was in her spot at the barn and was increasingly worried about all the ruckus. What were those men doing? It looked like a party but one could never tell. She guarded her chicks under her wings.

Ritchie was beside her and was watching the party in progress.

“Looks like they’re having a good old time.” chuckled Ritchie.

 

One of the Mexican workers came over, picked Ritchie up, and tossed him up in the air. He flew down, feathers flying all over the place. Lili was scared. They were going to hurt Ritchie!!!

“You stupid bird”!! Dwight shouted. The other men laughed.

One of the other men lifted Ritchie up by his beak and smashed his face. Ritcthie yelled out in pain. Lili was scared for her husband. Scared for her chicks and scared for her. At the top of the barn in the loft a reported for the New York Times lay crouched down, shooting pictures of the workers manhandling the bird. He shot some close ups of their cruel expressions. He pocketed the film and made a run for it. One of the workers saw him running and threw Ricthie back on the ground.

“Gringo!! Gringo!!”

They chased after the reporter who fled to his car outside the barn.

Lili cuddled Ritchie and tended to his wounds. He was beat up but would live and for that he was grateful. This had been another close call, almost as bad as The Big House.

Scott pulled up to Ali’s place in a new, large motor home with his Elvis picture painted on both sides of it. It was his new toy, his vehicle for traveling around the country. He was going to take his show on the road and he couldn’t wait to tell Ali the good news.

He jumped out of the motor home and walked up to her door.

“Ali! Wake up, it’s me sweetheart!”

The door opened and a grumpy, sleepy Chet looked at him wiping the sleep out of his eyes.

“Who are you?” asked Scott

“I’m Ali’s husband.... Who the fucks are you, Elvis or something?”

“Is Ali here?”

“Yeah, she’s in the bedroom.”

“Would you mind getting her for me?”

“Yeah, whatever...Ali, the circus is in town.”

Chet disappeared inside and Ali appeared at the door in a bathrobe.

“”Oh Scott! I am so sorry”

“Yeah, I’m sorry too.”

“No, Scott, it’s not what you think.”

“I think it is what I think. That dude there says he’s your husband...Is that true?”

“No! He’s not my husband. I’ve known him all my life.... He’s a friend.”

“A friend?”

“Yes. From Iowa.”

“A friend from Iowa. Well now, isn’t that convenient...and so he just thought he’s come to town and shack up with you for the night.”

“No, we didn’t sleep together, he slept on the couch.’”

“Listen. Ali, it was nice knowing you all right. Fuck!”

Scott turned around to leave and Ali pulled him back around.

“It’s over. He’s leaving. I am throwing him out, alright?”

“ I think we’re over Ali”

“Why? I didn’t do anything!”

“I have to go. I don’t need this bullshit in my life.”

Scot turned down the driveway, jumped into the motor home, and sped away. Chet came over and put his arms around her. She pushed him away.

“Who the fuck was that?”

“That was my boyfriend”

“You already have a boyfriend? Don’t waste any time do ya?”

“Get out”

“What?”

“Get out now. I mean it, get out or I will.... I’ll beat you up.”

“You’re crazy!”

“One, two, three...”

“You belong out here in this cesspool. You belong out here with these crazy people Ali. You’re not the girl I used to know anymore.”

“Get out! “She screamed.

He got his clothes and left. She slammed the door behind him. He was gone. Now she would have to try and get Scott back.

Sam Fullbein arrived at Primrose studios on time for his commercial debut.

“Come into makeup Sam”. Demato took him by the arm.

“I want to look natural”.

“Don’t worry, this is Sheila...She’s the best”

“Let me just wipe your face Sam, it won’t hurt a bit.”

Sheila was a serious looking woman in her thirties. She had a soft touch whom Sam appreciated and she wiped his face over with a small sponge, her fingers working lightly over his face.

“I’m just going to give you a base and then we’ll go from there”.

She applied light touches of makeup while he fidgeted in his chair. Being a star was hard work, he thought. This was the beginning of his dream to be known as the King Of Wings. The world would know of his empire and of the man who founded it. He was leaving a legacy.

“Sam, we need to go over the final script approval.” Demato said, holding a clipboard in his hand.

“Alright, hit me.”

“Alright, first you’re on the horse, galloping towards the castle. Then the peasant girls in the castle, at the feast, surround you. You say, “Try my wings, they’re X-TRA Crunchy, that’s why I’m the King of Wings... Got it?”

“Yeah, I got it.... On the horse, in the castle, surrounded by girls....”

“Ready for the first take?”

“Ready.”

The shoot went well that day and Uncle Sam became a star. His first commercial was ready to air. The X-TRA Crunchy campaign was on its way. After it was all over Demato came over and gave him a pat on the back.

“You were great”

“I’m ready to do more”

“Well, there’s a whole campaign. We’ll send you the boards as soon as the concept is finalized.”

“Right.”

Sam sat back in his limo on the way to the East Side townhouse and thought about the spot. It was a hit and he’d be a star! Sam had always been a shy guy, not one for the limelight. He was a behind the scenes character but now it was time for the world to know who Uncle Sam The Chicken Man was.

The limo pulled into the driveway and the driver opened the door for him. He stepped inside the massive red doors and his small dog Walter greeted him barking ferociously.

The walls of the townhouse were painted a soft yellow and the marble in the foyer was black and white checkered pattern. There was oak paneling everywhere and the townhouse was very spacious and elegant. He had had it decorated by the famed interior designer Juan Pablo Montoya, who had offices in New York and Los Angeles.

He deposited his briefcase in the study and checked his messages. There were no messages from Mindy. She must be having a good time. No news was good news. There was a message from David Newirth who wanted to meet him later for a drink. He called him back immediately; he could handle that.

“David, Sam here”

“Sam, good to hear from you. I’m in town, thought we could have a drink at the Egret at 8:00”.

“I’ll see you there.”

The club was an elite gentleman’s club on the East side where powerful and rich men gathered to smoke cigars, make deals and generally avoid women kind. Women were not members of the club; it was tradition.

Sam took the elevator down to his basement, which he had fully remodeled. He went through a series of doors to a small room in the back, past the wine cellar, which stocked over 500 wines; He unlocked the door and let himself in. This was his secret room, a room that Mindy didn’t have a key to. His computer was the latest G-5 with a large monitor and electronic equipment lined the walls.

 

He sat down at the console and played a videotape of actress Mona Meredith, the sexy blonde bombshell superstar of Cove Island. She was known for her outspoken nature and her outrageous antics. Mona Meredith would stop at nothing to save a cat, a dog or in his case, a chicken. She was his biggest enemy these days, the way she courted the press.

He watched more videos of her talking and then switched to an image of her naked in playboy Magazine. He ogled the pictures and then fantasized about being with her.

She would be attending a function at the St. Regis in honor of the Humane Society and luckily Mindy would be out of town. He had made it a point to have a private invitation.

But she hates you, he thought. She thought of him as a repulsive murderer, an animal killer. Hmmm, that was true. She wouldn’t be receptive to him...He needed another identity, a disguise. That was it. Now he was thinking.... a tuxedo and perhaps a beard with an eye patch. Ah yes, women loved pirates. A bad boy image for him! He looked at her picture again and thought about capturing this lovely creature for his very own. He could make her love him.

Scott walked into Pleasures Lounge off the strip and took a seat at the bar. He was dressed in his Elvis costume but didn’t give a damn what anybody thought. At least no fans would bother him here. A topless dancer was on stage, shaking her ass to a loud disco beat.

He was so pissed off and down in the dumps. His girl had cheated on him. She had lied to him just when he thought he might be falling in love with her. Women. You could never trust them, he thought. They’re all the same; take and take and take and then they take your heart and stomp on it.

“Hit me with a bourbon on the rocks”.

“Sure Elvis”.

The bartender laid down his drink on a napkin. He shot it back quickly, the bourbon burning down his throat. He looked up at the TV and there was a commercial of The King Of Wings surrounded by young peasant girls at a castle.

“I’m Uncle Sam the King of Wings and I want you to try my new secret recipe for X-TRA crunchy wings...”

“The King Of Wings!!!! What an asshole”, the bartender said.

Scott looked away from the TV. Another Elvis impersonator came and sat beside him at the bar. He had a lot of thick black hair and was wearing a white jumpsuit with a lot of gold rings on his fingers.

“Hi Mate”.

“Hi....” Scott looked sad and surprised to see a twin at the bar.

“Hit me again”, Scott said to the bartender.

The bartender laid down another drink in front of him and he shot it back. The other Elvis spoke.

“Hitting the sauce fairly early this morning’ eh?” He had a thick English accent.

“Yeah, that’s right, dude”.

“Must be the likes of a woman that’s done this to ya”.

“What else?”

The other Elvis extended his hand.

“I’m Arnold Wexler, nice to meet you Matey”.

“I’m Scott Raymond, likewise.”

“Been doing shows long?”

“Long enough!”

“I’ve been doing shows in England for twenty years now, I do Leeds, Manchester and London.”

“I didn’t know they had Elvis impersonators in England.”

“Oh yes, Matey, very popular.... Can I have a Foster’s please?”

“What are you doing in Vegas?”

“I’m here for a convention, they hired me to do five shows”.

“Good for you”.

“So what’s got you down?”

“I guess I shouldn’t be drinking but I just found out my lady had a husband.”

“A husband eh?”

“Yeah, she told me that he wasn’t really her husband so I don’t know the whole story. She was such a nice girl, beautiful, sexy, pure....”

“Aren’t they all? It’s just the devil in disguise Matey, don’t you know that yet?”

“Ain’t that the truth...I had some big plans for us.”

“Maybe its not too late.”

“Nah, it s over...”

“Give it time Matey.”

“Yeah, sure, well thanks for the talk dude.”

“God bless.”

“Adios”.

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