Mediation with Bradley Cooper
This piece contains sexual content and coarse language not appropriate for all ages.
Hey Guys! This is another piece for university that I have decided to upload to my blog. This has been work-shopped by my class and after adding their editorial corrections thought I might open this up to a wider audience. If you see any errors with spelling, grammar or sentence construction, may you please alert me? Thank you!
Bradley Cooper, sat at one end of the table, his orange hair tidily placed atop his head. His eyes were a dull green, with a couple of freckles lining the sides of his nose, his breath slow and strenuous. He wore a checked blue top and black jeans, his arms crossed in front of his chest while he stared at the individual sitting across from him. His name was Steven Carnes and he was the reason why he was there.
Steven had jet black hair which was beginning to recede at the front, his eyes being just as dark. His lips were rather crooked and his eyes were narrowed dangerously as he eyed Bradley, his arms folded neatly across his dark brown leather jacket, a belt buckle visible beneath it which was holding up his loose blue jeans.
Between the two of them at the front of the table sat the appointed mediator, Michael York. He had a round, boyishly handsome face, which was strange for someone who was breaching 60. His hair would have been all but gone if not for the transplants which only managed to cover half of his scalp in a dense light brown colouration of fluff. His eyes were small and blue, his face looking a little crinkled, whilst his blue suit and red tie gleamed pretentiously upon his person.
The door behind Steven opened without warning and another individual stepped into the room. He had graying hair and large black rimmed spectacles that covered half of his face. His nose was rather large for a face his size, his eyes looking as old and frail as the rest of his body did and yet, he walked with a lively passion for life as though every step promoted some excitement. He wore a grey suit with blue stripes down the front and red ones along his shoulders which continued down his sleeves. A checked orange tie completed the image, his entire attire being so well designed it could only ever be described as ‘loud’. It was so ‘loud’ in fact that if it were to speak it no doubt would have screamed.
‘Who’s this douche bag?’ whispered Bradley in the direction of the mediator.
‘That’s Jeremiah Delaney,’ replied Michael out from the corner of his mouth, his lips barely moving. ‘He’s every plaintiff’s wet dream. They call him the terminator; hasta la vista baby!’
‘I’m sorry,’ said Jeremiah, sitting down beside Steven. ‘I was busy having lunch with our prime minister.’
‘Glad you could make it,’ grunted Steven in the direction of his lawyer. ‘I was about to start paving the town with flyers if you didn’t show up in the next few minutes.’
‘Watch your tone boy,’ retorted Jeremiah. ‘I didn’t take this case because of your smile. As long as you can provide the sum I agreed to you needn’t concern yourself with my tardiness. I see Michael York is the man hired to supervise our mediation. This should be a walk in the park. The man is well into his dotage.’
‘He’s not the only one,’ shot back Steven under his breath.
Jeremiah pretended not to hear his client as he cracked his fingers before noting ‘I’ll handle this, you just sit there and look pretty unless called upon.’
‘I see someone doesn’t have a lawyer,’ said Steven mockingly, his voice loud enough for everyone else to hear as Bradley shot him a menacing glance.
Jeremiah took a quick breath before announcing ‘okay, how about we get this show on the road? I have numerous other venues to appear at today and do not wish to be kept waiting.’
‘Is he always so blunt?’ continued Bradley softly towards the mediator.
‘Pretty much,’ replied Michael. ‘May the plaintiff provide his name and age for the record,’ he said, turning to face Bradley.
‘Bradley Cooper, 32, no relation to the actor.’
‘May the defendant do the same’ enquired Michael in Steven’s direction.
‘Steven Carnes, 31.’
‘Now Bradley,’ continued Jeremiah, ‘why don’t you explain to us why you have gone to such lengths to call this enquiry?’
‘Well,’ began Bradley, ‘two months ago I was at home and I made my way outside to admire my front lawn. You see, I had a very beautiful lawn. It had won lawn of the year five times in a row. I took great pride in it. It was my livelihood, the only thing that had never betrayed me. You can tell a lot about people by the type of lawn they have. Me, I had one hell of a lawn.’
‘What do you mean by that?’ asked Jeremiah, ‘your lawn never betraying you I mean?’ he added as Bradley nodded upon realising what he meant.
‘My lawn has remained by my side through thick and thicker,’ explained Bradley. ‘Unlike my ex-wife who ran off with the kids several years back, my lawn has never been anything but good to me. It has, did I mention, won lawn of the year?’ he asked, his teeth sparkling as he smiled.
‘Yeah, I caught that part,’ said Jeremiah, rolling his eyes.
‘Anyway,’ said Bradley, ‘I made my way outside one morning to find my lawn had been desecrated! It had been torn to shreds by a lawn mower and the centre of my lawn had been set alight. My roses had been pruned to death and one of my gnomes was missing. And the culprit for this malicious crime was none other than the man sitting before me!’ shouted Bradley, pointing a disapproving finger in Steven’s direction.
‘How you can be so sure that my client was the man responsible for this heinous offence?’ asked Jeremiah.
‘I looked over at his house, which is opposite my own, and saw him watering down my lawn mower which he had borrowed from me several months before but never returned,’ explained Bradley. ‘At the time he had run off with my lawn mower as though it were Julius Caesar’s balls! Also, my stolen gnome was standing directly beside him, and the name ‘Steven Carnes’ was burnt into my lawn.’
Jeremiah shot Steven a menacing look before continuing. ‘Perhaps there was another Steven Carnes?’
‘Another Steven Carnes?’ exploded Bradley. ‘In my neighborhood at 10 a.m. in the morning washing down my lawnmower? I doubt that very much, one’s enough isn’t it?’ Bradley took a deep breath before continuing. ‘Now, I want some justice. That, is my dream.’
‘I had a dream last night that a thick shake was drinking me!’ exploded Michael with a smile, the other three people in the room turning to face him before continuing with the proceedings.
‘Is he alright?’ asked Steven, pointing in the direction of the mediator, ‘or should I call the men in white suits and arrange for a rubber room to be prepared for Mr. York’s indefinite stay?’
Once more his lawyer ignored his outburst as he continued with the proceedings. ‘And where were you when these actions occurred Bradley?’ asked Jeremiah, giving Michael a strange look.
‘I told you, I was at home,’ explained Bradley.
‘And what were you doing?’ asked Jeremiah. ‘I want to know the precise actions that you were undertaking whilst my client supposedly ransacked your lawn.’
Bradley swallowed before answering the question. ‘I was in my bedroom, rubbing my ‘away itch’ formula onto my testicles.’
Michael shook his head whilst Steven sniggered.
‘I think it only fair that we turn the attention to my client and receive his half of the story,’ explained Jeremiah. ‘Were you in any way responsible for the occurrences which took place on Mr. Cooper’s lawn?’
‘You’re damn right I was!’ cried out Steven as Bradley looked as though he wouldn’t be able to contain his excitement for much longer.
‘Excuse me?’ questioned Jeremiah. ‘I think we need to take a moment here.’
‘I don’t think we do’ said Steven with a bright and cunning smile.
Jeremiah wrenched Steven out from his chair by his ear and dragged him kicking into the corner of the room, away from prying eyes. ‘You seem to think you have a choice here boy’ shot back Jeremiah in a harsh whisper that despite his best efforts reverberated throughout the room. ‘You asked me to assist you and out of the goodness of my heart I agreed. Now, I have not lost a single proceeding in my life and I will be damned if you are going to break my record you arrogant little prick! So how ‘bout you and I step outside for a moment so I might educate you on matters concerning our legal system; beginning with how to break it.’
‘I’m not going to deny it’ retorted Steven, Jeremiah realising it was hopeless to even try and coach his client as the two of them returned to the table. ‘And you know what,’ continued Steven, ‘I have the single most perfect and legitimate excuse for doing so as well. Mr. Bradley Cooper slept with my sweet baby sister.’
‘Define slept,’ said Michael.
‘What do you mean?’ asked Steven with a dumbfounded expression.
‘I mean it’s a very loose term,’ stated Michael, ‘and leaves room for speculation.’
‘He knows damn well what I mean by that!’ roared Steven, menacingly staring at Bradley as he spoke. ‘He was in her bed and he was in her, you know! Do I really have to say? This is all very disconcerting!’
‘So, sex’ said Michael, ‘yes?’
‘What do you think I’m talking about here, you stupid old fart!’ exploded Steven.
‘Really?’ asked Jeremiah, his eyes lighting up with interest. ‘What was she like?’
‘She certainly wasn’t how Steven described her’ stated Bradley. ‘She was like a wild fucking animal! All of this panting and growling and clawing. We went at it for hours.’
‘I bet the hounds would have been after her,’ smiled Michael.
‘Yeah,’ nodded Bradley, ‘the hounds of the Baskervilles.’
‘What?’ spluttered Michael as those on the other side of the table looked at him peculiarly. ‘Mrs. York apparently took a vow of abstinence when I wasn’t looking so I have to take my action where I can get it…’
Steven cleared his throat, in a failed attempt to garner the attention of the others in the room, continuing to explain his actions regardless. ‘I clearly remember the day it happened too. A couple of days before I destroyed his lawn he came over to my place and met my sister for the first time in years. She had been residing in Brisbane studying at an arts college. I remember his pick up line too,’ expressed Steven as the moment played out in his mind, remembering back to a time when he and Bradley were not bitter rivals.
It was several months earlier, with a gorgeous sunshine descending across the grounds. Steven opened his front door after hearing the doorbell and was instantly thrown a plate of blueberry pudding.
‘My mother baked them,’ noted Bradley as Steven allowed him entrance into his humble abode. ‘Ever since I kicked her arse into an institution she has been making this,’ he said, looking a little disgusted.
The landing was constructed of wood, with stairs opposite leading to the higher levels. The living room was adjacent to the landing, which was where an old creaking arm chair was placed in the corner containing the body of Steven’s decrepit, lifeless, snoring, burping, farting grandfather whom nobody wanted to go near.
‘Why are you here Cooper?’ asked Steven.
‘Can’t a friend visit every now and then?’ retaliated Bradley with a smile.
‘Not if this friend is intending to steal secrets about what I am planning on doing this year to win the lawn of the year award,’ retorted Steven.
‘The day I take advice on lawns from you will be a sad day indeed,’ said Bradley, leaning up against the door frame.
A creaking on the stairs alerted Bradley to another presence in the house. Jeanette, Steven’s sister, was making her way down the staircase. She had long, light brown coloured hair with blue eyes that shone out like street lamps. She wore a pale violet dress that clung to her body and jet black knee high boots.
‘Wow, fancy seeing you here,’ said Bradley with a smirk.
‘I live here you twerp,’ shot back Steven’s sister as the two of them smiled at one another.
Steven instantly recognised that something very wrong was happening in the house he currently resided in. Or was it an opportunity?
Returning to reality, Steven had a look of pain spread across his features. ‘Bradley found her impossible to resist because she has the body of an hour glass.’
‘I’m sure many women would love to be shaped that way,’ exclaimed Jeremiah. ‘I know my wife would especially. Unfortunately for me she happens to be shaped like a pear.’
Steven stared at Bradley wickedly. ‘What you two had in common – remains a mystery’ he said. ‘Bradley has always preferred women who were made from sugar and spice and my sister is quite the opposite. For one, she burps.’
‘She burps?’ questioned Michael with a weird expression.
‘Yeah,’ nodded Steven. ‘When our car broke down in Darwin she got out behind it and burped it across five states.’
‘Seriously?’ asked Michael.
‘All the best stories require a little exaggeration’ shot back Steven with an annoyed look. He shook his head before progressing onward. ‘But what really shakes me up is that he simply used her. I mean, if he wanted some smelly snatch he could have gone anywhere in town, but no, he chose my house to conduct his malicious sexual desires.’
‘For a man who went to so much trouble to defend his sister’s honor you saw have a funny way of showing your affection for her,’ said Michael, looking rather unimpressed at the terminology that Steven had used. ‘You seem like quite the chauvinistic misogynist.’
‘Well shit old timer!’ cried Steven. ‘Perhaps I should watch my fucking language? It’s not like that worm of a man inserted himself into your sister!’ he roared, pointing a finger in Bradley’s direction, ‘so excuse me if I am a little fucking infuriated right now!’ He took a deep breath as to calm himself down before beginning to speak once more. ‘On top of that I don’t know what my sister saw in him. I’d always given her credit where it was due and believed her to have sufficient intellectual capabilities. She told me Mr. Cooper had informed her that her presence helped open a window to his soul. Well, I can tell you I once looked through that window, and screamed at him to close the blinds.’
‘I don’t see why I have to be humiliated by this man!’ shouted Bradley, ‘besides, how did you find out about any of this in the first place?’
‘How do you think?’ retorted Steven. ‘My sister and I don’t keep secrets from one another. She told me all about how you firstly couldn’t get it up, and then how you couldn’t get it in.’
‘That is a blasphemy!’ erupted Bradley. ‘Just because I took his sister’s virginity!’
‘You did what?’ cried an astounded Steven, ‘oh you mother fucker!’ he shouted, launching himself across the table before Jeremiah could contain him. Steven grabbed hold of Bradley’s hair, who struggled to be free from his grip. ‘That’s just great!’ shouted an out of control Steven as he ripped at Bradley’s hair with all his might. ‘Not only does her vagina have to be fumigated because you decided to desecrate it with your filth, but you were the first one to give her the snake. Terrific! She’ll be remembering you until the next friggin’ apocalypse!’ he cried, just as a great ripping sound echoed about the room and Bradley’s hair came off in his hands.
‘Oh my fucking God!’ shouted Bradley as he felt the naked flesh atop his head. ‘First my lawn now my toupee! Give it back to me you bastard!’
‘Never!’ shouted Steven, jumping back to his side of the table.
‘Release the hat back to its owner,’ said Jeremiah to his client through pursed lips. ‘Male baldness is no laughing matter. After you do so, perhaps we might continue this ridiculous mediation.’
‘Oh, I’ll release it!’ shouted Steven, spit flying out in all directions, ‘I’ll release it into the fucking atmosphere! Would you like that?’ he laughed in Bradley’s direction.
‘Hey!’ shouted Bradley, ‘you sent your sister over to my place to spy on me in your last desperate attempt to win the lawn of the year award! You used her to get to me, and then you complain when we fall in love?’
‘Fall in love?’ roared Steven. ‘What the hell are you on chrome dome! I sincerely doubt the feeling was mutual baldy.’
‘You should have been there on our first night together,’ said Bradley with a smile plastered across his lips. ‘I made love to her smack bang in the centre of my lawn in front of an audience of several dozen gnomes.’
‘I don’t think we needed to hear that,’ stated Michael.
‘You are sick!’ roared Steven. ‘Who has sex with gnomes?’
‘I said we did it in front of gnomes!’ retorted Bradley. ‘Besides, I don’t know why you are complaining. Your sister is a consenting adult. She was nineteen at the time! I thought she would have seen a million of ‘em by then!’ he said, looking down at his crotch as he spoke. ‘Besides, you should have known what I did to her if she indeed tells you everything!’
‘She had a boyfriend up in Brisbane!’ roared Steven. ‘I thought she would have played doctor with him.’
‘I guess she wasn’t your prized informant after all!’ said Bradley, stifling a smile.
‘Just because of that,’ said Steven angrily, ‘you’re not getting this back now’ he said, shaking the orange hair hat in Bradley’s face before thrusting it into his pocket.
‘Well,’ began Jeremiah, halting the fight as to continue the legal proceedings. ‘I personally concur that this particular occurrence, along with my client’s testimony regarding the events which took place is a sufficient excuse to explain his actions, malicious or otherwise.’
‘What?’ roared Bradley angrily. ‘But what about justice? That is what I want.’
‘Mr. Cooper believes that Mr. Carnes should reimburse him twenty- five thousand dollars for the pain and destruction he has so wrongly caused him,’ expressed Michael.
‘No,’ said Jeremiah with a shake of his head.
‘Okay, how about twenty grand,’ said Bradley, receiving the same answer.
‘Fifteen thousand?’ enquired a desperate Bradley.
‘No,’ replied Jeremiah once more.
‘Ten thousand?’ asked Bradley, his face beginning to droop.
‘Not on your life,’ explained Jeremiah.
‘Okay, I can go as low as a grand, but that is it,’ said Bradley.
‘No,’ restated Jeremiah, his arms clasped over his chest.
‘Not even nine hundred dollars?’ probed Bradley, grasping at straws.
‘No, not even nine hundred dollars,’ replied Jeremiah in an unchanged, unemotionally zealous tone.
‘Eight hundred dollars?’ pleaded Bradley.
‘No,’ shot back Jeremiah.
‘Five hundred?’ questioned Bradley, his hands clasped together as though he were about to pray.
‘Not in this life time,’ exclaimed Jeremiah as Steven smiled menacingly beside him.
‘One hundred?’ asked Bradley.
‘What did we just say?’ retorted Jeremiah with a chuckle.
‘Okay, how about fifty. Fifty dollars?’ cried Bradley, realising his chance to be reimbursed for his losses was slowly dissipating.
‘Not going to happen,’ said Jeremiah.
‘Twenty?’ asked Bradley.
‘Nope,’ replied Jeremiah.
‘Ten?’ cried Bradley, with what looked to be a tear making its way out from the corner of his eye.
‘Not today,’ said Jeremiah with a smile, knowing full well he had won.
‘Okay, how about four dollars and fifty cents for the train ride home?’ questioned Bradley.
Jeremiah nodded. ‘Sure, we could do that.’
Posted on May 14, 2013, in Short Story, writing and tagged Bradley Cooper, comedy, conflict, contemporary fiction, editing, funny, humor, law, lawn of the year, lawyers, mediation, Mediation with Bradley Cooper, neighbors, prose, sex, short fiction, short story, university, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.