Glitz and Glamour

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Believe it or not, this came from the movie, "Josie and the Pussycats" (which was probably one of the worst movies based on a cartoon show I've ever seen in my life, but that's my own opinion). Basically, it's an interesting idea, and (if you ask me) it's how these teen pop groups of today are so popular (j/k!)

Mike and Phyllis were sitting around the studio, both strumming guitars. Mike was making an attempt to teach Phyllis how to play it. He tried teaching Jerry, but he never was able to get the hang of it. Phyllis was a better student.

"You guys are getting there," Jerry said, walking over.

"Yeah," Phyllis said. "Now how come you were never able to get this? This is easy!"

"What can I say?" Jerry said, shrugging. "The only thing I play is records, and the tambourine, but you gotta admit, how hard is it banging that thing?"

"True," Mike said, with a nod. Then he started tuning his guitar. Then he started thinking about something.

"Hey," he said. "Jerry, go get that tape recorder of yours."

"What do you want that for?" Jerry asked.

"Let's do a demo," Mike said. "The three of us."

"Yeah?" Phyllis asked. "What do you want to do?"

"Some old folk songs," Mike said.

Jerry shrugged, and went to get his tape recorder, as well as borrow Davy's tambourine. Mike continued to tune his guitar. As he was tuning, so was Phyllis. Once Jerry got his recorder, he put a tape in, and pushed the record button.

"All set," he said.

"Okay," Mike said. "Mike Nesmith Trio, take one."

"Mike Nesmith Trio?" Phyllis asked.

"You've heard of the Chad Mitchell Trio?" Mike asked. "Besides, I thought of startin' us as a group!"

"Let him have his ego trip, Phyllis," Jerry said. "We're wasting tape."

Phyllis shrugged, and she and Mike started strumming, as Jerry began banging the tambourine. The three of them started singing a song by the Springfields called "Silver Threads and Golden Needles." They figured that would be a good base song to start with, and then come up with original material when they could.

In the meantime, another record label was busy with the latest teen pop sensation. The label was called Wax Works Records (and if you weren't careful, you might end up talking like Elmer Fudd when saying that!) A girl, probably in her late teens, was playing with a recording she'd done. The song sounded like your typical Britney Spears "Pop Princess" tune. The girl's name was Sparkle Glitzer (no, that's not her real name). She and her agent, Nigel Higgenbathaum, were working with the recording on the sound mixer.

"I hope you're putting in what I tell you to put in," she said.

"The messages will be hidden underneath the music," Nigel said. "The only ones who will pick them up are anyone within the ages of ten and seventeen."

"That's perfect," Sparkle said, smiling sneakily. "In a matter of months, I'll have control of every teen and preteen in the world! I'll be the biggest pop sensation since the Partridge Family!"

Nigel laughed, and turned down the sound on the song, so that the subliminal messages were the only things audible.

"Buy this CD now," a voice said. "You can't live one day without it. All the other groups you listen to are lame and out of style! Sparkle Glitzer is the only one you should buy and listen to! Sparkle Glitzer is the coolest."

"Perfect," Sparkle said, turning off the sound mixer. Then she started cackling madly. This was exactly what she wanted.

Two weeks, Sparkle and Nigel were walking downtown, Sparkle's entourage loaded with boxes filled with copies of her album. They ran across the Troubadour club, and saw Mike and Jerry standing in front of it, passing out fliers.

"What are you Discophonic Dummies doing?" Sparkle asked. "Promoting another lame Doo Wop album?"

"Obviously a Britney fan," Mike muttered. Then he cleared his throat and handed Nigel a flier.

"We're promoting a new folk act," Jerry said. "The Mike Nesmith Trio."

"Don't you losers have anything better to do than start another loser group?" Sparkle asked. "I mean, Screen Gems has got the Monkees, the Mallards, the Discophonics, Elusive Butterfly, and a bunch of other spin off groups with the same people! Who doesn't Screen Gems produce that know you guys?"

"The Impossibles," Mike and Jerry said at the same time.

"And that's a good thing," Nigel said. "Those boys have talent. If they were on Screen Gems, their talent would be flushed down the drain."

Sparkle walked away, crumpling up the flier as she went. Mike and Jerry looked at each other and made a face.

"If you ask me, it sounds like she's already one of those teenage pop singers," Mike said.

Jerry nodded, and he and Mike continued handing out fliers, promoting their group. At a store known as the Record Pad, Nigel, Sparkle, and the entourage dropped off Sparkle's CD, and saw an advertisement for The Mike Nesmith Trio. Apparently, Bob had an album released planned, and it was arriving the very next day. That was the reason why Mike and Jerry were handing out the fliers. To draw in a crowd.

"If folk music makes a comeback, I could be sunk," Sparkle said.

"Maybe this trio isn't that great," Nigel said. "Let's check in on them and see exactly what we're up against."

"Good idea. Although they'll probably be ultra losers!"

Nigel nodded and laughed. He and Sparkle left part of their entourage there to put the CD in it's display. The next night, they went to the Troubadour to check out the Mike Nesmith Trio. They played a couple of classic folk songs (most of which were done in the 60's. They didn't have time to think of new folk songs). The crowd went wild, except Sparkle and Nigel.

"This doesn't look good," Nigel said.

"I know," Sparkle said. "But I like the female singer's style. I want her in my back up band."

"But she's a folkie."

"Who cares? We can make her over into our own image! But I want her in my all girl back up band!"

Once the show was over, Sparkle and Nigel went backstage and approached the Trio, pushing right past the boys, knocking them to the floor.

"Ow!" Jerry shouted, as he crashed.

"Hey, watch it!" Mike yelled.

"Hey Blondie," Sparkle said. "I may not be much into folk, but I like what you do with that guitar. Can you do electric?"

"I think I could learn," Phyllis said. "Mike could teach me, couldn't you, Mike?"

"Yeah, sure," Mike said, standing up. He pulled Jerry to his feet as well.

"Fabulous!" Sparkle shouted. "If you can learn it, that'll be perfect! You're my new guitarist in my back up band!"

"Uhh, no thanks," Phyllis said. "I'm already part of a couple of music groups. I don't think I can take on another this soon."

"But you have to. Whatever I say goes. I always get what I want, and I want you in my band."

"Hey, you heard her, Pop Princess," Mike said. "She doesn't want to do it!"

"Oh who asked you, Wool Hat?" Sparkle asked. "Nobody listens to folk music anymore!"

"After today they will," Jerry said. "Check the crowd, kid. We're a smash!"

Sparkle glared at the Geator, and then stormed off. Nigel followed her.

"What are you going to do now?" he asked. "We'll have to hire another girl guitarist."

"No," Sparkle said. "I want that folkie girl. I like her style. Just promote the CD at the Record Pad. Tomorrow's Saturday. Every Saturday, the Impossibles go to the Record Pad and check out the new CD's. And since Fluey McAlister's uncle is one of the Monkees, as well as Wool Hat, he'll be hanging around the folkie music, to check out the Wool Hat Nesmith Trio. You make sure he, and his friends hear my song. If we can get the Impossibles to buy my CD, then all the other teenagers in the store will, too."

Nigel nodded. He and Sparkle knew the Impossibles were one of the biggest teen idols in the music business of the day. They influenced a lot of teenagers, girls who wanted to date them, and boys who wanted to be like them. Sparkle was planning on taking that away from them, but they didn't have the slightest clue about her plan. Saturday, Nigel was hanging by the Record Pad. A bunch of teenagers were hanging out, going through CD's and other stuff. The Sparkle Glitzer display was front and center, but no one paid any attention to it. At the time, they figured it was just another teen singer, trying to break into show biz, with no talent whatsoever. Nigel walked over to the person who was managing the speaker, and handed him a CD.

"I'd like you to play this," he said. "I want to see the reaction it gets."

"Okay," the guy said, and he put Sparkle's CD into his player, and turned on the speakers. Sparkle's first song came out, and it immediately reached the ears of the Impossibles, who were gathered around the Mike Nesmith Trio's display, ready to plug the album.

"Hey, what's that?" Multi asked.

"Sparkle Glitzer," Coiley replied. "Hey, this is great!"

"Yeah!" Fluey shouted. "Come on!"

The boys made a mad dash to the Sparkle Glitzer display. All the other teenagers in the store heard the music, and ran to the display as well, nearly tearing it apart, trying to get a CD. They also nearly trampled each other. Nigel smiled sneakily.

"I think they reacted quite nicely," he said, walking away.

A few moments later, Mike and Jerry entered the store, to see how the sales of The Mike Nesmith Trio albums were selling. To their ultimate surprise, the record store looked deserted, except for the long line of teenagers at the cash register.

"Whoa," Mike said. "Those kids must've gotten their hands on somethin' big!"

"Well, it obviously wasn't the MN Trio," Jerry said, looking at the display. "All the discs are still here."

"I thought Multi, Coiley, and Fluey agreed to plug this."

"They probably found something they liked better. Hey, Mike, check that out! Wasn't that the girl who was at the Troubadour last night?"

Mike looked over at the Sparkle Glitzer display and nodded.

"Yeah, that's her," he said, then he whistled. "Sheesh, this display is practically destroyed."

"That must be her on the speakers. Ooh boy, is she rotten!"

"Well, she's not that bad, I give her brownie points for not whinin', but she sounds like any other teen pop star on the charts these days."

"Hey, here come the boys. I'll ask them what's up."

The Impossibles were just about ready to walk out of the Record Pad, talking non stop about the disc when Mike and Jerry blocked them off.

"Hey, guys, we thought you were plugging the Trio's disc," Mike said.

"We were about to," Fluey said, handing Mike his CD. "But then we heard this."

"Sparkle Glitzer?" Mike asked. "Are you tellin' me you're into this stuff?"

"She's the best," Multi said.

"She's the coolest," Coiley said.

"Yeah, compared to her, even the Beatles are out of style," Fluey said. "See you guys later!"

The boys walked off. Mike and Jerry looked at each other, not sure what in the world to make of this.

"Somethin' weird's goin' on about this Sparkle Glitzer," Mike said.

"You said it," Jerry said. "Even the Monkees first album didn't fly off the shelves this fast!"

"I wouldn't worry, though. They'll be people who'll buy the Mike Nesmith Trio. At least I hope."

Jerry nodded. He wasn't so sure about it, though. But he agreed with Mike. This whole Sparkle Glitzer thing was a bit fishy. A week went by. Every single record store in the country was sold out of Sparkle Glitzer's album. Reggie brought in the latest Billboard Chart.

"I don't believe this," Mike said, looking at the magazine. "Sparkle Glitzer has the top seven songs on the chart!"

"That must beat the Beatles old record," Davy said. "They 'ad the top five songs on the charts once."

"This is completely insane," Phyllis said. "There's not much to this girl."

"Tell that to Fluey," Peter said. "He's become a Sparkle Maniac! You should see his bedroom. His walls are plastered with pictures of her from all these teen magazines. I've forgotten what color his walls are."

"It's only been a week, and already this Sparkle Glitzer has merchandise galore," Phyllis said.

"Her label must've had things stocked in advance," Reggie replied. "How else would she get all this stuff out so fast?"

The others nodded. Jerry came into the studio, looking mad at the world. Linda followed him, playing her own copy of the Sparkle Glitzer CD. She had been doing that ever since she got the disc, and it was starting to wear Jerry's nerves thin.

"Linda's gone Sparkle Crazy, too, huh?" Mike asked.

"Isn't it obvious?" Jerry asked.

The boys glanced at Linda. She was wearing a pink T-shirt with Sparkle's glittering logo on it, wearing glittery pink lipstick, glittery purple eye shadow, and silver glitter on her cheeks. Her finger nails were painted with silver sparkle nail polish. They stared at her as if she were nuts.

"I don't believe that," Davy said.

"Yeah," Peter said. "You'd think she'd show a little more loyalty!"

"Well, she can like what she wants," Jerry said, shrugging. "But I don't mind telling you, if I hear any more out of Sparkle Glitzer, I swear I'm gonna go crazy!"

"Oh come on, Jerry!" Linda shouted. "Sparkle Glitzer's so cool!"

"And what about me?" Davy asked. "Didn't you used to think I was cool?"

"Sparkle's cooler."

"Coolah?! Coolah than me?!"

"Davy, cool it," Jerry said. "Don't make a scene, okay?"

"Ditching me for you was one thing, Geatah," Davy said. "But no pop stah's coolah than me!"

"Davy, you gotta deflate that ego of yours," Mike said.

Davy shrugged. Linda walked off, listening her CD player. After about an hour, Multi, Fluey, and the rest of Linda's crew from Carson, as well as Coiley and Sebastian, dropped by the studio, and all of the girls were wearing sparkly make-up and nail polish, including Erin. Mike was a little shocked.

"Erin, you're wearin' make-up?!" he shouted.

"Yeah," Erin said.

"Now I've seen everythin'. You don't ever wear make-up! We'd actually have to beg to get you to do it!"

"Sparkle Mania," Jerry muttered.

"Whoa, hold it, guys," Mike said. "What are you wearin'?"

The boys happened to be wearing the same Sparkle logo shirts as the girls, only they looked more masculine than the girls' T-shirts.

"Get with it, Mike," Fluey said. "Sparkle Glitzer is the biggest thing since the Beatles!"

"She's bigger than the Beatles!" Shawn exclaimed.

Mike sighed, and shook his head. There was no way to talk the kids out of this. And he still thought the whole thing was fishy. The kids didn't care. Shawn popped in the CD into Bob's CD player, and started listening to the music. If you could call it that.

"I wish I could figure out what's with this music," Mike said.

"Yeah, usually you don't get a reaction like this from the teen singers," Phyllis said. "And they threw our album into the Bargain Bin."

"The Record Pad couldn't even give it away," Jerry said. "Looks like our careers as folk singers are over before they even began!"

"Was there ever a doubt?" an obnoxious voice said. The group turned around and saw none other than Sparkle Glitzer and Nigel standing right there.

"What are you doing here?" Phyllis asked.

"Oh, I just came to tell you my album's a sell out," Sparkle said. "It sold off the shelves in ten seconds flat. And I can see some of your friends like it."

"They're kids," Mike said. "What do they know?"

"So, are we ready to join my band?" Sparkle asked.

"No way," Phyllis said. "The type of music isn't my style."

"Come on, your folk career is going nowhere. Join my band. You'll love it!"

"Well . . . ."

"Don't do it," Mike said. "I'm pickin' up really weird vibes from these two. Somethin's up."

"Yeah, you're right," Phyllis said. "Sorry, Sparkle, but I'm not interested. Come on, guys. Let's go. We've still got that week stint at the Troubadour."

Phyllis, Mike, and Jerry walked away. Sparkle grinded her teeth. She was about ready to clobber Mike. Instead, she decided to capitalize on her popularity. She had a feeling if she could get some publicity with the Impossibles as well as Linda (after all, she, with Jerry's help, cut an album of her own and was pretty popular with the kids), her popularity would soar. She walked over to the teens in the corner, listening to her music.

"Hey guys," she said, using mock enthusiasm. The kids didn't know the difference. They turned and saw Sparkle Glitzer standing right there, and they began to go nuts.

"Whoa!" Sebastian shouted.

"Oh my god!" Shawn yelled.

"I don't believe it!" Linda exclaimed.

"Sparkle Glitzer!" Fluey shouted.

"Listen up, guys," Sparkle said. "I'm having a pool party next Saturday at my place, and you're all invited."

"Whoa, cool!" Sebastian shouted.

"Outta site!" Fluey exclaimed.

"Fabulous!" Sparkle shouted. "See you Saturday!"

Sparkle giggled, and walked off. The kids began screaming. They couldn't believe they were going to a pool party with Sparkle Glitzer.

"She's just the coolest," Shawn said.

"Yeah, the best," Linda said.

Once they were out of sight and earshot, Sparkle turned to Nigel.

"Make sure the photographers are at my pool party," she said. "I want as many pictures with me and those fifth-rate Impossibles, and that wanna-be Linda Blavat. You know they're popular with the kids. My popularity should soar to new heights."

"Of course," Nigel said.

"And you keep an eye on the Wool Hat Nesmith Trio. I want you to gather as much info as you can from their act. I can't afford a folk revolution."

"We have the subliminal messages on the songs. What could go wrong?"

"Them backfiring! Make sure the Wool Hat Nesmith Trio sinks!"

"Right away."

Sparkle and Nigel walked off. They had a lot of planning to do. That night, Mike, Jerry, and Phyllis were performing at a folk club, for the kids in town who weren't sucked into Sparkle's music. They liked the folk music, much to Nigel's dismay. For three nights in a row, Nigel went to the concerts and began to make notes on his notepad. On Saturday, he reported to Sparkle's Beverly Hills mansion, to give her the full report. Her stone faced butler led him to the backyard, where her pool party was taking place. She had a photographer there, taking pictures right and left. Sparkle saw Nigel, and waved him over.

"What did you find out?" she asked.

"Apparently, there are kids in this town who actually like folk music," Nigel said. "The Wool Hat Trio is about to start a folkie revolution."

"If that happens, I'll never get that girl singer to join my side. I'll have something thought up by Monday. Just make sure my photographer is at Carson High School then."

"Right."

Nigel left the backyard. Sparkle went back over to the pool, and began mumbling over something or another.

"What was that all about?" Fluey asked, walking over.

"Oh, you know the music business," Sparkle said, smiling a very fake smile.

"Yeah, I guess so."

Sparkle kept on smiling, and motioned for her photographer. He loaded his camera, and began taking pictures of the scene. Monday rolled around, Mike was reading the latest copy of Teen Scene. Plastered all over it were pictures of Sparkle, and those included shots from her pool party.

"She moves fast, doesn't she?" Jerry asked, leaning over his shoulder.

"Yeah, that's for sure," Mike replied. "She probably bribed the editor."

"Yeah, I know. This is freaky, isn't it?"

"You said it. I don't understand how she can be so popular in that amount of time."

"Well, you Monkees . . . . . ."

"This isn't the same thing, Jerry. There's somethin' not right about this entire thing. My sixth sense's actin' up about it."

Jerry shrugged. He, Mike, and Phyllis had rehearsing to do for a concert of the Mike Nesmith Trio's that night. Sparkle or not, they were still getting booked at the folk clubs around town. Speaking of Sparkle, she was waltzing the halls of Carson High School, and all the kids were fawning over her. Her photographer took pictures of her right and left. She was on her way to the auditorium to deliver an important announcement to the students.

"And now," the principal, Ms. Henderson said. "Carson High School is proud to present Sparkle Glitzer!"

The kids in the jam packed auditorium screamed, applauded, whistled, and cheered. Sparkle giggled, and waved to them. Then she stepped up to the microphone.

"Okay everybody!" she shouted. "Saturday night's the big night of the concert! Do you all have your tickets?"

"YES!" the entire student body shouted.

"Fabulous!" Sparkle shouted. "Don't forget on your way out, to pick up these special headbands to wear at the concert! We'll be handing them out at the door of the auditorium!"

The kids began racing for the doors, practically trampling each other trying to get the headbands. Sparkle didn't need to tell them what they were for. The kids didn't care. They were mesmerized by Sparkle. If she told them to shave their heads, pierce their eye lids, and become professional shriners, they'd do it, no questions asked!

Actually, the headbands were very important to Sparkle's concert. The headbands were linked to a mind control unit, and the concert was going to permanently brainwash the kids. In any case, Sparkle ran over to Linda at her locker. She was putting her books, and the headband in her locker.

"Hi," Sparkle said.

"Hi!" Linda shouted. "That pool party was great the other day."

"I knew you'd like it. Listen, I'm having a party Friday night, and I was hoping maybe you could come, and bring the Geator along."

"I don't know. I'd love to come, but Jerry isn't really that big a fan of your music."

"Well, you can talk to him, can't you? I really want him there. If you can get him there, I'll be your best friend."

"Well, okay."

After school, Linda went by Screen Gems and told Jerry about the party. His response?

"Over my dead body!" he yelled.

"Aw, come on, Jerry!" Linda shouted. "Sparkle's my new best friend!"

"I thought Fluey was your best friend," Mike said.

"He's my old best friend," Linda asked. "Sparkle's my new best friend. Come on, Jerry! It'll be fun!"

"No!" Jerry shouted.

Before Linda could plead her case again, who should come walking into the studio but Sparkle Glitzer? Mike rolled his eyes and groaned. She walked right up to Phyllis, Linda, Mike, and Jerry, and smiled her fake smile.

"Hi, guys," she said. "Phyllis, I'm having a party Friday, and I'd be just tickled pink if you and Mike came."

"Where does she come up with this corny dialogue?" Mike asked.

"She is so fake," Jerry replied, shaking his head.

"Well, gosh darn it, Sparkle, you caught me at a bad time," Phyllis said, snapping her fingers. "Friday's the night I wash my cat's hair."

Jerry and Mike started laughing at the corny excuse, at least until Phyllis shot them both a killer Look. Linda sighed and looked at Phyllis and the boys.

"Come on, guys!" she shouted. "I really, really want to go to this party!"

"So go," Jerry said. "But I'm not going."

"Me neither," Mike said.

"But I insist," Sparkle said.

Mike wanted to say no again, but then he realized something. He knew something funny was going on with Sparkle and her mass popularity. This could be the opportunity he was looking for to expose her.

"Okay," he said. "You win. We'll go."

"What?!" Jerry and Phyllis shouted in perfect unison.

"Fabulous!" Sparkle shouted. "See you Friday!"

"Mike, are you crazy?!" Jerry shouted once Sparkle left.

"What are you thinking?" Phyllis asked.

"I want to see how she can be so popular in such a short amount of time," Mike said. "And this looks like the perfect opportunity. Phyllis, you distract her, and Jerry and I will look for anythin' out of the ordinary."

Phyllis and Jerry shrugged. There was no way out of this. Friday night came around. The Nesmiths and the Blavats arrived at Wax Works Records, where Sparkle was throwing her party. They had gone completely all out for this shindig. Everything there was pink. Pink streamers, pink balloons, pink wallpaper, pink curtains, pink carpet, you name it, it was pink!

"I've never seen so much pink in my life," Jerry said.

"What happened?" Mike asked. "Did we walk into a giant cotton candy machine?"

"Must have," Phyllis said. "I like pink as much as the next girl, but this is too much!"

"I don't know, I kind of like it," Linda said.

"You would," Jerry replied. "You're girlie enough to dig a lot of pink."

Linda smacked Jerry in the arm. As they were looking around, Sparkle ran over, wearing pink glitter (of course).

"Hi!" she shouted, with mock enthusiasm. "So glad you came!"

"Really," Mike said, looking around.

"Why don't you two boys just hang out?" Sparkle asked. "While the girls in me retreat to my special Girlie Room for a little girl talk?"

"Suits me just fine," Jerry said, giving Mike a wink.

"Oh yeah, me too," Mike said, winking himself.

"All right," Phyllis said, a little reluctantly, and she walked off with Sparkle and Linda, listening to their conversation about doing each other's hair and giving each other makeovers and girlie stuff like that.

"Come on!" Mike shouted, as he ran towards a large pink door labeled Recording Studio.

Jerry followed Mike into the room. Finally, they got away from all that pink. It was sickening. The boys saw Nigel in the middle of the room, playing with the sound mixer, talking on his cell phone.

"I think we've got everything set up," he said. "After tomorrow night, Sparkle Glitzer will control every teenager in Los Angeles. Once we do that, we'll control all the teenagers in the world. Keep in touch. Ciao."

Nigel turned off his phone, and walked out of the studio. Mike and Jerry looked at each other, and ran to the sound mixer.

"I wonder what he meant by that?" Jerry said.

"I don't know, but we're gonna find out," Mike replied. He picked up Sparkle's disc, put it in the mixer, and pushed the play button.

"I still don't see what all the kids see in this girl," Jerry said. "She sounds just like any teen pop princess out there these days."

"I know," Mike said, turning down the singing a little. "And that's what bugs me. She's a Britney Spears clone, and Linda, Fluey, Multi, and the rest can't stand Britney Spears. I don't get why they like Sparkle, though."

"Turn down the music while you're turning down the singing, Mike. I think I may know what's up."

Mike shrugged, and turned down the music as well as the singing, bit by bit. Finally, all the singing and music was turned off, and all that was left was a voice.

"Sparkle Glitzer is the best," it said. "Sparkle Glitzer is number one. Sparkle Glitzer is the only teen pop star you should buy. She's better than the Beatles. If you don't buy Sparkle's albums, you're a loser!"

Mike and Jerry looked at each other and nodded. This was the exact thing they were looking for.

"I think this should do it," Mike said. "I knew somethin' was up! No one becomes that popular in that short a time!"

"Right," Jerry said. "Man, can you believe it? Subliminal messages hidden in the music. No wonder she was so popular, especially among teenagers who don't like this sort of thing to begin with!"

"Time to spill Sparkle's secret to everyone at the party."

Mike and Jerry were about to leave the room, when someone grabbed both of them by the shoulders. They looked around, and saw Nigel standing there.

"And just where do you think you're going?" he asked.

"Nigel, baby, I'm glad you're here," Mike said. "Your client's usin' subliminal messages to boost her career."

"I know," Nigel said.

"You gotta help us expose her," Jerry said, and then he realized what Nigel had just said. "Say that again?"

"I know what Sparkle's doing," Nigel replied. "You boys should try it. It does wonders for a struggling artist's career."

"Let's get outta here!" Mike shouted, snapping his fingers. A water bomb fell from nowhere, and socked Nigel on his perfectly combed head. SPLAT!

"Aggghhh!" Nigel shouted, as Mike and Jerry ran for the door.

"Let's split!" Jerry shouted.

Nigel glared at both of them, and pushed a button on the wall. An iron door fell from the ceiling, blocking the door. Another door opened, and a team of security guards appeared, surrounding Mike and Jerry.

"Uh oh," Jerry said.

"Oooh, we're in trouble," Mike said.

Meanwhile, Phyllis was wandering around the party area, looking for Mike and Jerry. She was ready to leave the party. She couldn't take much more of Sparkle's persistence to get her to join her All Girl Backing Band. She wanted out! Linda and Sparkle were following her.

"Listen, Phyllis," Sparkle said. "It'll give your career a boost."

"My career doesn't need a boost, thank you very much," Phyllis said. "I would just like to find the boys and go."

"Oh the boys left already," Nigel said. "They got a call from Screen Gems. They had to put some final touches on an album, and it couldn't wait. They told me to let you know."

"Well, that's just great," Phyllis said. "Now how are we supposed to get home?"

"I've already arranged for a limo to take you ladies home," Nigel said. "It's right out front. You can't miss it. It's a big pink stretch limo."

"Of course," Phyllis said, rolling her eyes. "Come on, Linda. Let's go."

"Bye, Sparkle!" Linda called, as she and Phyllis left.

"Bye-bye!" Sparkle called, with her mock enthusiasm. Once they left, Sparkle groaned.

"I hate playing all buddy-buddy with her," she said. "But she's a key factor in my popularity. Unfortunately. So, what about the boys?"

"Security's taking care of them as we speak," Nigel said.

"I knew Nesmith would try to find the sound mixer. Him and his so-called sixth sense. Let's go check on them, shall we?"

Nigel nodded, and he and Sparkle walked through a door, to Wax Works Records storage area. They had Mike and Jerry sitting back to back, tied to chairs. Mike was just biding his time before he broke them out.

"I knew you'd try to find out my secret," Sparkle said.

"Your goose is cooked now, kiddo," Mike said. "Once we get out of here, we're gonna tell the world about you."

"And just how are you planning on escaping?"

"I don't think you realized I'm part witch."

"Oh you are, are you?" Nigel said, pretending this was news to him. "Imagine that. I'm a full witch. Don't pull that with me, Nesmith. I knew you were half witch the moment I met you. So I've got a little something to make sure you don't escape."

Nigel opened a box, and pulled out a pink metal bracelet of some kind. He fastened it to Mike's wrist.

"I do so love these little bracelets," he said. "They constrict all kinds of magic."

"Rats!" Mike shouted, as he tried snapping his fingers. Nothing was coming out, and he knew his battery wasn't dead.

"What do we do now?" Jerry asked.

"No clue," Mike replied. "But don't worry, I'll get us out of this somehow."

"You'd like to think that, wouldn't you?" Sparkle asked. "Nigel, I have the perfect idea in mind for these boys. Send a note to Nesmith's house. I've got a little surprise for Phyllis."

Nigel nodded, and pulled out his cell phone in order to get the message out. Mike and Jerry looked at each other. They didn't like the look in Sparkle's eyes. The next morning, a messenger rang the Nesmiths' doorbell. Warren answered it.

"Telegram," the messenger said.

"A little early, aren't you?" Warren asked. "It's only eight thirty in the mornin'."

"Western Union sleeps for no one, buddy," the messenger said, as Warren paid him. Then he left.

"Hey, Phyllis!" Warren called. "Telegram."

"Maybe it's from Mike saying why he didn't come home last night," Phyllis said, as she opened the telegram. "Oh groan. It's from Sparkle Glitzer."

"What does she want?"

"She wants me to come down to the arena where she's playing tonight. I'm gonna go down there, and tell her once and for all that I don't want to join her back up band, and if she asks me again, she'll be plucking false eyelashes off the ceiling!"

"Subtle, but firm."

Phyllis groaned, and walked up the stairs to get ready to leave. Half an hour later, she arrived at the arena. Nigel was waiting for her outside the door.

"Welcome to the arena," he said, as Phyllis climbed out of her car. "Come with me, please. Sparkle's been expecting you."

"Look, Nigel, I just want to tell her that I am not interested in being in her back up band," Phyllis said.

"Of course, of course," Nigel said. "Sparkle, Phyllis is here, but she still refuses our generous offer."

"I figured she would," Sparkle said, admiring herself in her mirror. "Phyllis, doll, come on, you can't possibly enjoy being a folkie!"

"I happen to like it, Sparkle," Phyllis said. "What does it take to get through to you that I don't want to join your band?"

"Actually, I was hoping you'd refuse my offer. Oh Nigel!"

Sparkle snapped her fingers. Nigel smiled sneakily and pulled a lever. Sparkle guided Phyllis's attention to a rotating platform that was backstage. On it was a fire engine red convertible, a real expensive one at that.

"Oh no," Phyllis said, shaking her head. "You are not getting to me this way. You can't bribe me into being part of your band, Sparkle. Nope, uh-uh, no way!"

"Wait 'til you see the interior," Sparkle said. She pulled out a remote control, and pushed a button on it. The top of the car started to go down, only to reveal Mike and Jerry, both bound and gagged.

"This is my last offer," Sparkle said. "You become part of my band, or I'll take this remote control here, and drive the car, with the boys in it, off Mulholland Drive."

Phyllis just stood there, at a loss for words. Mike was shaking his head vigorously, wanting to scream, but he couldn't.

"All right," Phyllis said. "You win. I'll join the band."

Both Mike and Jerry groaned. They couldn't believe Phyllis was willingly joining the band. Sparkle smiled sneakily, and turned to Nigel.

"Get her into wardrobe, and to my stylist," she instructed. "This is going to take all day to get her in shape for the concert tonight."

"Of course," Nigel said, motioning for Sparkle's entourage to take Phyllis into their capable hands. Once they were out of sight and earshot, Sparkle handed the remote control to the car to Nigel.

"During the concert, take the car to Mulholland and push it down the cliff," she said. "And make sure, when it crashes, to untie them and remove their gags. I don't want any evidence of foul play."

"Of course," Nigel said.

"And make sure they don't survive. I can't have them exposing my master plan."

"Right away."

Sparkle looked at the boys and laughed, obnoxiously. Mike glared at her. Jerry closed his eyes and groaned. There was absolutely no way out of this one, unless Mike managed to get his wrist out of that bracelet, and that was going to be easier said than done.

Around eight o' clock, every last teen and pre-teen in LA begin to file into the arena, all wearing their headbands. Phyllis was tuning her (pink) guitar. The whole concert had a pink theme. Sparkle wore pink, her back up band wore pink, the instruments were pink, the lights were pink, the amplifiers were pink, there was even pink smoke!

"You like pink, don't you?" Phyllis asked.

"Pink is my life," Sparkle said. "Okay, girls, let's make some magic!"

A smoke bomb exploded on stage. The kids in the audience began screaming their heads off when Sparkle appeared. She started singing her first song. It was so loud, no one could hear a thing!

"All right," Nigel said to two security goons. "You make sure everything goes all right here. I'll take care of these two snoopers."

Mike took a deep breath and began looking around for that remote control. He found it on the desk. His zapping finger may not have been working, but his telepathy was still active. He concentrated on the remote control, and it slowly rose into the air, higher and higher until it reached the ceiling. Mike immediately brought himself out of deep concentration, and the remote fell, smashing to pieces once it hit. Then Mike concentrated on his ropes, and untied himself. He yanked the gag out of his mouth, and smiled.

"Never underestimate the power of a psychic," he said as he untied Jerry.

"You said it," Jerry said. He took Mike's wrist, and managed to unlock the bracelet.

Nigel didn't notice a thing. The two guards walked to the other side of the stage, making sure everything remained ship shape on stage. Nigel walked over to the desk, ready to grab his remote control.

"ATTACK!" Mike yelled, as he and Jerry jumped.

"What the?" Nigel asked, as Mike and Jerry pounced on him. They tied him up, and stuffed the gag in his mouth.

"Those Eagle Scout knots sure came in handy there," Mike said.

"What do we do with him now?" Jerry asked.

"Uhhh . . . . . . I know!"

Mike snapped his fingers, and the trunk of the car opened. He and Jerry picked up Nigel and threw him in, and then closed it. Nigel began screaming, and kicking on the trunk.

"Relax, Nigel baby," Mike said. "We'll let you out when the cops come."

"Now all we've got to do is stop this concert!" Jerry shouted.

"And find the hypnosis device," Mike said. "Wherever that is. And it can't be in that sound mixer, 'cause it isn't here."

"Hey you!" a security guard shouted.

"Uh oh!" Jerry shouted.

"Let's get outta here!" Mike yelled.

Mike and Jerry ran to a flight of stairs, that lead towards the catwalk. The guards followed them. These guards were the big, buff, burly types, and they had strict orders from Sparkle and Nigel not to let Mike or Jerry expose the plan. They growled, and inched closer and closer to the boys.

"What do we do now?" Jerry asked.

"Keep runnin'!" Mike yelled. "I'll hold 'em off!"

Mike pointed his index finger and zapped at the guards. They were blocked off for a moment or so. Jerry made his way to the other side of the catwalk, but another set of guards was already there. They growled, and began closing in.

"Mike, we're in trouble!" Jerry shouted.

"Oh man," Mike groaned.

"I think the only way out is down. Geronimo!"

"Jerry!"

Too late, Jerry climbed up to the edge of the catwalk and jumped. Mike looked at him as if he were nuts. Jerry landed right onto one of Sparkle's pink amps, which resulted in a loud screech. Sparkle stopped singing abruptly, and the band stopped playing. All the kids in the audience groaned, gnashed their teeth, and held their ears. It was the loudest for them.

"The amps," Mike said. "The amps! The hypnosis device is in the amps!"

"Hypnosis device?" Phyllis asked. Mike jumped onto the stage, and grabbed the pink microphone away from Sparkle.

"Way to go, Jerry," he said.

"Yeah, thanks," Jerry said, climbing off the amp. "Better tell these kids what's going on."

"Right," Mike said, and he held up the mic. "All right, listen up, everybody! Sparkle Glitzer is a fraud! She's put subliminal messages in her music just to boost her popularity!"

The kids in the audience began murmuring to each other. Sparkle was ready to kill Mike for this. She jacked up the volume on the amps, and grabbed the mic away from Mike.

"Don't listen to him!" she shouted. "He's just jealous of my popularity! Do you guys want the show to go on?"

"YES!" the audience screamed.

"Then get these two boys!"

A sea of teenagers swept over the stage, knocking Mike and Jerry off their feet. It was like a Monkees concert, with girls wanting to tear their clothes off, but this time, they were more hostile, and intended on either smothering them, or tearing them apart. Mike did his best to use his magic to fight them off. The boys managed to crawl out from underneath the sea of humanity, only to be met by the Impossibles, standing in front of them.

"Uh oh," Mike said. "Listen, guys, she's not what she seems."

"Yeah, she's a fake," Jerry said.

Fluey then kicked Jerry in the stomach, karate style. Multi grabbed the Geator by the shoulders, and flung him to the crowd.

"That's what they said about Uncle Peter and the other Monkees!" Fluey shouted. "Come on, fellas. Charge!"

The Impossibles then dove on Mike, steering him towards the other girls. It was a mess! Phyllis had to do something and fast before the kids killed Mike and Jerry, and themselves in the process! She glanced at the amplifier, and then her guitar.

"That's it!" she shouted.

Phyllis held her guitar by the neck, and in true Who fashion, smashed it against the amplifier. WHACK! Sparks and feedback filled the stage. Every single teen and pre-teen screamed, groaned, and yanked the headbands off their heads, since those seemed to be causing that awful screeching noise.

"Man, what in the world is that?!" Fluey shouted.

"Oooh, have I got a headache!" Linda moaned.

All the other kids climbed off Mike and Jerry, wondering what in the world was going on. Mike stood up, and yanked the mic away from Sparkle, glaring at her.

"Now that we got that out of the way," he said. "Listen to this!"

Mike snapped his fingers, and sudddenly, the kids heard all those subliminal messages. They all looked at each other, shocked. Sparkle grabbed the mic back.

"What does he know?!" she shouted. "He's just jealous! Jealous I tell you! Jealous!"

"Get her!" a girl in the audience screamed.

Sparkle screamed, and ran out of the auditorium as fast as she could. She stopped off at the box office, and grabbed the profits from the ticket sales, ran to her car, jumped in, and drove off, nearly breaking the sound barrier. Everyone inside tries to follow, but it's too late.

"Just let her go," Mike said. "We can't stop her now."

"Well, we just wasted our money on a rotten concert experience," Fluey said. "What are we gonna do now?"

"Well, you guys came for a concert," Mike said. "We'll give you one."

Everyone walked back into the arena, and took their seats. Mike climbed up onto the stage, and picked up a guitar. He handed Jerry a tambourine, and gave Phyllis the microphone.

"Okay, kids," he said. "Get ready for the Mike Nesmith Trio! A one, a two, a one two three!"

Mike began playing his guitar, and Jerry banged on his tambourine. The three played the Springfields' "Silver Threads and Golden Needles." The kids listened intently. Once the group was finished singing, the kids applauded and cheered like crazy, with Fluey and Linda encouraging them to clap. The Mike Nesmith Trio was a big hit.

 

The End