“Honey, do these pants make my butt look too big?” Shaunette strains to see every side of herself in the full-length mirror. The tight black and purple capris look good to her, and the lambs on the butt pockets emphasize her bountiful gluteus, but she wants to know what her husband thinks.
Tedrick snorts and thinks that what his wife really needs is a full-width mirror that takes up the full door that it’s latched to, but he doesn’t dare say as much. He dutifully responds as any man with two brain cells does. “No, of course not, honey. You look great. Super sexy!”
“Are you sure, babe? I really need to know!”
“Of course I’m sure. Would I lie to you?”
“Nah, I guess not…Thanks, babe.” She leans over and gives him a kiss on his hair-covered chin before reminding him that she’ll be gone at least half of the day, so he needs to get out of bed and attend to Tomelle ASAP.
“I got it, I got it. See you in a few hours, and don’t spend too much of my money, hear?”
“OUR money, and I won’t.”
She takes another look in the mirror, taking in her long strawberry blonde braids partly covering a black top straining to contain her ample cleavage. Her skin color is what is known as “high yella’”, a reminder of the days when their people’s color was mixed with the slave masters’, but that is neither here nor now. Her muddy brown eyes are overseen by dark brown awnings that have been caked with mascara, and her full lips are tinged fuchsia, thanks to Bey No. 48 Shiny Glow. On her size 8s are black gladiator sandals, the better to show off her fuchsia toenails.
Satisfied, Shaunette breezes down the stairs and through the living room, barely stopping to give her son a peck on the top of his head. “You behave for your father, hear?” Without waiting for a response, she dances outside and jumps into her mauve Ford Taurus.
Inside Wally’s Mart, Shaunette purchases several more pairs of capris, tube tops, and sandals. On the way out, she passes by a pack of teenage girls. One of them giggles and, twirling a lock of her pink hair around a finger, says “Baaa baaa baaad ‘fit for that butt!” Her friends snicker, and the girls rush out. Shaunette thinks, Screw them. They just WISH they had this body!
Her next stop is Toys Us B, where she gets a Black Jaguard figure – “Complete with Fauxbranium Spear!” - for Tomelle. She also nabs a few LAWL Surprise dolls for her niece, Angelita – who really is not an angel – and some Brattiez for her own personal collection. Standing in line, she hears murmuring behind her. She turns her head a shade and sees some little boys looking at her.
“She got a big butt!” one says.
“Her legs look like the sausages my moms makes for dinner sometimes,” his friend returns.
Y'all'll be prayin' for a honey wit' a butt like I got, when you're older, Shaunette thinks, and flicks a lock of hair behind her right ear.
Next, Shaunette stops at McConnell's for an upsized Big Con meal and an apple pie. As she waits for her order, she hears an old lady standing behind her tell her old lady friend that some people should know when they shouldn't wear something. Her friend responds that some people should also maybe be downsizing their meals.
Shaunette rolls her eyes, thinking, Y'all ole biddies got one foot in the grave. I would say you're has-beens, but by the looks of you, you never were! Jealous!
On the way home, Shaunette passes by the Stampaford Media Center and realizes that it's almost time for the taping of the Terry Slinger show. It's been a few months since she was last at a show, so she finds a parking spot and gets in the long line, hoping she'll make it in. Tickets are free, so they go fast, but she's willing to chance it.
Amazingly, she makes it in. Inside the studio, she finds a seat about midway down, and settles in, ready to enjoy some craziness.
Fifteen minutes later, a producer comes out and gives the audience their instructions. Before her first time coming to a taping two years ago, she didn't realize there were instructions for the show, but that would kind of explain the simultaneous 'boos' and such that are a regular occurrence on the circus-like show.
Fifteen minutes after that, the announcer introduces Terry, and the audience goes wild.
Terry announces that today's episode is titled “There's Something I Need You to Know” before bringing out the circus performers, including Alexxa and Alexis, sisters sharing a man, unbeknownst to Alexxa; Charles and Tiffanda, both of them cheating with the same person, Glynn; and Mi'chael and Jaysen, fighting over Freddi, but neither one the baby daddy. During the next to the last segment, Shaunette stands up to make a comment.
“This is for the trashy ho' in the red... That twerkin' you did ain't workin'; maybe go back to the dance book, girl.”
The ho' – given name, Alexis – responds, “At least I don't look like an overdone smoked sausage in my pants! In your case, it's KILLbasa cuz the ugly could kill somebody!”
Shaunette wasn't letting that go. “Fuck you, bitch! My man – and he's ONLY mine – says I look goo-oo-ood, and I know I do!” She dances into the aisle and prances around, showing off what God didn't necessarily give her.
“Then yo' man is a liar, cuz them pants sho' ain't fire on you!”
The crowd goes wild, and Terry moves on before Shaunette can throw her next grenade.
Shaunette is still steaming after Terry's 'Final Cuz I Said So' that ends the show, and after waiting in the lot for an hour after, she sees the ho' in red, now in street clothes, exit from the back, along with some of the other show participants. She races up to the female and confronts her, “What you gotta say, now Terry ain't out here to save you?”
The bitch looks her up and down, her blue lips in a sneer. “Bitch, you better get out'a here. You don't want none of this!”
“I ain't the only one cuz Jake sure as hell didn't, either!”
With that, the ho' jumps on Shaunette, and the two throw down, nails clawing, hair flying, fake lashes hanging on to eyes by a thread. The other performers just watch, egging them on, glad to be just witnessing for now. Finally, Shaunette has Alexis on the ground, her hands around the ho's throat when a loud BANG! suddenly assaults the night, and Shaunette shrieks and falls over, blood pouring from a wound on her right butt cheek. Alexxa says, “She's a ho' alright, but she's MY ho' sister, and I'm the only one that gets to kill her...one day.” She kicks Shaunette, and the performers leave, Alexxa helping her sister up before the two walk off in different directions.
Shaunette plays possum until she's sure she's alone. As she tries to move, searching for her phone in a pocket, she smells something. Damn. Her pants are singed, now, thanks to the bullet. She manages to stamp out the aspiring flame before it can grow into a full-fledged fire, further bloodying her hands in the process. Finally, she finds her phone and manages to call 9-1-1. Call completed, she thinks, At least I don't seem to be paralyzed, so I can rock my new pants another day, before passing out.
The next morning, Shaunette is front-page news under a heading titled “Pants Almost On Fire” and captioned “Woman Assaulted By Terry Slinger Guest Hours After Husband Lies About Her Pants.”