Suzi stood on the Splosh Pit Stage and looked into the camera. “We’ve got less than half an hour left, everyone,” she said, solemnly, the crowds and production staff all going “aww” in disappointment. “That means we’ve come to the main event! Warpaint! St. Vincent! One of them is about to perform right here, and the other is about to send one of their members right there.” She pointed into the thick vat of slimy green gunge. “The lines are closed, the votes are all counted and the results are final!” She dashed over to the pair of sofas next to the dunk seat. “Warpaint, things were looking great for you earlier. Confident that they’ve stayed about the same?”
Theresa smiled nervously. “I sure hope so!” she said, her bandmates concurring with nods.
“As for you, Annie, you’re not nervous at all at the fact that you were trailing by a lot earlier, are you?”
Annie chuckled and licked her lips. “Anything could happen!”
The host nodded and donned her reading glasses. She produced a small envelope from her jacket’s inside pocket held it up to the camera. “You’re right, anything could happen. In here are the results of what did.” She opened it up and read the card inside. “I can reveal that actually, nothing happened! Warpaint still have 64% of the vote, meaning they get to play us out and that Annie’s getting gunged!” announced Suzi. “Warpaint, anything you want to say before you go up and play for us?”
Theresa breathed a deep sigh of relief and shared an embrace with her bandmates. “Yes, thank you for voting for us!”
“It would have been pretty funny to see Theresa get it, though!” Jenny added.
“Yeah, but this is going to be even better!” Theresa retorted.
“Yes, I think you’re going to enjoy playing this set!” Suzi chuckled. “When you get up there, you’ll notice we added an extra pedal to your rig. I mean the big green one. If you stomp on it, you’ll activate the dunk seat.” As Warpaint left their seats to get to the stage, Suzi turned her attention to Annie. “As for you…”
Annie grinned cheekily. She rubbed her hands together and looked at the dunk tank seat. “This is going to be interesting…”
“That’s certainly one word for it! Anything you want to say before you take your shoes off and get on the seat?”
“Will you go in with me?”
Suzi scoffed. “As if I don’t get gunged enough in my job! No, you’re on your own! Get up there!”
The eccentric musician sighed and kicked her black high-heeled shoes off, before scrambling onto the dunk tank seat. Her long legs dangled over the edge of the seat, leaving her naked feet dipped in the thick, cold goo. Annie couldn’t resist the urge to swirl her feet through the gunge, wincing a little as it ran through her toes and all over her soles and insteps. As Annie raised her feet out of the slime, they left a trail of gunge leading back into the vat dripping from her heels.
Suzi signed the show off. “It’s the end of the show, and I just want to say thank you for watching, thanks to our guests for being here, especially Becky for getting gunged earlier and Annie for her imminent dunking! Join us next week for some more great music and gunge. Now, you’ve voted for them, so here’s Warpaint!”
As Warpaint were approaching the end of the first verse, Theresa placed her right foot on the big green pedal and cracked a cheeky smile. As she and Emily sang and repeated the lyric, “Now I’ve got you in the undertow”, Theresa pressed down on the pedal, sending Annie down into the vat of green gunge.
Annie squealed as she hit the slime, falling forwards and sinking slowly. She closed her eyes tightly as she went under, the gunge seeping into her dress. She emerged, her formerly impressive curls now a sodden, sticky mess. She grabbed a clump of her hair and looked it at, chuckling a bit. “Gross!” she whispered to herself. She flicked her hair away and looked at the “damage”, but couldn’t see very far down. Although she wasn’t touching the floor of the vat, she was up to her shoulders in the goo. As Warpaint’s set continued, through the rest of Undertow, to Beetles and closer Disco//Very, Annie had to deal with the bombardment from six nozzles hidden in the rim of the dunk tank, spaced out evenly. Each one sprayed one of three colours – red, yellow and blue in that order, starting with red at stage right and going clockwise. Sometimes the sprays were short, other times long. Sometimes all six would go off together. Sometimes it would be one or two at a time. Regardless, no matter what Annie did to try and shield herself from the gunge, she ended up getting messier and messier, squealing from a strange mix of surprise and amusement the entire time.
Finally, the set was over and Annie’s messy punishment was similarly concluded. So she hoped anyway. Right now she looked more like a Pollock work than a person, her dress stained and saturated with colourful gunk and her lovely curls turned into an ugly, matted mess. Unfortunately for her, there was one thing left. Above her was one last tank of gunge, smaller than the one Becky had faced earlier, but aimed straight for the middle of the tank, where she was floating. Of course, Annie had no idea until it was too late, and a deluge of lilac sludge was pouring down upon her. She screamed and shut her eyes, wiping the gunge off her face in a doomed attempt to try and see what was happening. All she managed to do was just rub the gunge from her hands into the gunge on her face, making a streaky mess of different colours, half of which were some variation of sludgy brown. Whenever a patch of clean face appeared, the lilac deluge soon covered it. Eventually Annie just sighed and let it wash over her. When it finally stopped, she couldn’t help smiling and thinking, “Well, this will certainly make for some interesting subject matter on the next album!”
I’d like to take this point to give a little update on the Character Competition. It is now closed, and I will be contacting the top six contributors soon. The characters edition of Splosh Pit will be out some time between now and the end of the year – got some other stuff I need to get out of my system first. For example, wrapping up a very long-running series, giving Nicki another job and finishing The Pairing Game!