Now it all comes together: the bouncy cocoa-brown hair, the piggin’ string, the “Gentleman’s Fancy” quilt, the North Korean dictator, the Harness Room, the …
Uh, North Korean dictator?
Yes, in this brand-spanking-new, tumultuous-but-ultimately-happy ending of “Fifty Shades of Hay,” even Seth Rogen’s “The Interview” makes a cameo. Not to mention, perhaps, a little bundle of joy? That’s just how Larry Hightower of Kansas City rolls. He’s the winning writer of Chapter 6: The Finale. (If his name sounds familiar, he was also the author behind Chapter 3.)
We launched this innuendo-laced, pun-filled satire of “Fifty Shades of Grey” a few weeks ago with the first nonsensical chapter and asked readers to keep it rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rawhide!
Hightower will receive the enhanced prize package: two tickets to “50 Shades! The Musical Parody,” coming to Starlight Theatre next week (details below), a $20 AMC Theatres gift card and a “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie swag bag. Sorry, no black leather.
Respect to all of our contestants, particularly those this week who flailed away at the final chapter. It was no small task, figuring out the braided fates of formerly virtuous, still vegan Fantasia and her loaded lover, a carnivore and confessed quilter.
Sadly, we had to reject the Russian rugby player, the oddly programmed robot and a remote-control cattle herd. Much appreciated was a finale that imagined a barn wedding, where hay of many types played a prominent role as a party decoration. “Who knew there were 50 shades of hay?” exclaims Fantasia. “Jeez!” Exactly!
Click here to read the full story. The short version:
As a fill-in reporter for her college newspaper, Fantasia Irons interviews Tristan Hay, who’s richy rich in ranching and restaurants and sports a belt buckle big enough to gate a corral. Though she is but a pre-veterinary student at Kansas State, he finds something enticing in her saucer-like blue eyes. He takes her to dinner at one of his restaurants, then home to his townhouse in Manhattan.
Kansas, that is. They seem not to go outside for a whole weekend. Tristan wants her on his arm at a fancy charity event, but when he jokes about harvesting cattle to buy her this and that, the vegan Fantasia is sickened.
Fantasia is minding her own business at an outdoor concert when a cow, charging from a nearby pasture, mows her down. Tristan’s pasture. Tristan’s cow. Still, the on-again, off-again couple recouple at the hospital, sharing a kiss with her in a full-body cast. Tristan promises never to use his cattle-slaughtering profits on her behalf.
Later, worried they had grown distant, Fantasia begs Tristan to explain what’s wrong. He takes her to the third floor of the ranch house, declares he never meant to hurt her and unlocks the secret door. “I’m a quilter,” he cries. Fantasia accepts his obsession, kisses him and says, “Teach me. I want to learn.”
Chapter 6: The Finale
By Larry Hightower
Tristan cocked his head. “You’re OK with my … secret passion?”
I smiled at my hunk. “Everything’s hunky-dory.” I bit my lip. “I have my own … secret passion. I do woodworking — a lot — I even have a name for the curlicues of wood you get when you drill — borange — ’cause you’re boring into wood.”
“Fantastic! We finally have a word that rhymes with orange.” He bent to one knee and took my hand. “Will you marry me?”
You had me at piggin’ string. I pointed to the sumptuous quilt. “Emphatically, yes!” I repeatedly said yes through the night and appreciated his “Gentleman’s Fancy.”
We went to the courthouse to get a marriage license for a Valentine’s Day wedding. We waited in a long line behind cowgirls and cowboys, cowboys and cowboys and cowgirls and cowgirls. Toto, the topography’s unchanged, but the landscape is different.
Tristan, having donated a building to Kansas State, pulled strings so we could be married at mid-court at Bramlage Coliseum during halftime of the KSU-Oklahoma game. We planned an intimate reception at the Harness Room. Kassidy agreed to be my maid of honor and even to be the date of Tristan’s brother, Andy.
“Kass, let’s go dress shopping.”
“I’m doing the final edits on your interview with Tristan. We can go as soon as I email it to the Gazette.”
We went dress shopping. I needed a size two square. Kass needed a size three square. My folks flew in from Oshkosh, b’gosh.
A whirlwind courtship was capped off by a buzzer-beater wedding. OMG, I was Fantasia Irons-Hay. I kissed my husband. “OMG, we’re hitched.” OMG, I’d said hitched.
We immediately left for the Harness Room. We were less than an hour into the reception when the lights went out, not just at the Harness Room, but all over town. People lit the room with their cellphones as we continued to celebrate our love, our wedding and this special Valentine’s Day. The reception tapered off as phone batteries faded. Tristan swept me into his sculpted arms to carry me away. As we left, Andy and Kassidy locked themselves in the restaurant with a treasure trove of fine wines.
On the other side of the world, the supreme leader summoned Melvin Linger, the head of his cyber-attack operations. “Tell me of our glorious success.”
“Revered comrade, I intercepted an email from Manhattan. The subject was ‘The Interview’ and there was an attachment. I assumed it was the Seth Rogen movie and focused our cyber-attack there. We completely shut down Manhattan. It is even darker there at night than … here.”
“Fearless leader, I must confess, I’ve since learned there is more than one Manhattan, and, uh, the one whose power grid we destroyed was in Kansas, not in New York City.”
The dictator raged. “Shazbot! No one understands me but Dennis Rodman.”
His wife pleaded: “Don’t kill the Mel Linger.”
Back in Manhattan, power was restored two days later. Locals assumed the outage was the result of further government cutbacks. Oklahoma fans, who’d been trapped on a stalled escalator, were able to go home. Couples, having no television to watch, did what couples did before there was “Sports Center.”
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I returned Kassidy’s calls, as I’d been tied up earlier. “Kass. How are you?”
“Fine. How’s the new bride?”
“Blissfully happy. We’re already trying to get pregnant. I want to be a mama, Kass. How’d things go with Andy?”
“You remember we locked ourselves in the Harness Room after the reception?”
“We were drinking this delightful Merlot and making out hot and heavy. I was hot, he was heavy. Anyway, at the worst possible moment he jumps up and runs to the bathroom, yelling that the dates he’d eaten had given him cramps.”
“Talk about bad dates. Colitis interuptus.”
The next morning I woke in Tristan’s arms. My big, bouncy, cocoa-brown hair was draped over his rock hard bicep. Suddenly my stomach did a double Axel. I ran to the bathroom big enough to have its own ZIP code. I called Ralph on the big white phone and lost my chow when my stomach did a triple Salchow. I brushed my teeth, gargled and padded back to the bedroom. The concern on Tristan’s face could not have been plainer if it had been written with a Sharpie. Where do panhandlers get magic markers? Focus, Fanny!
The thought hit me like the Charolais in Chapter 4. “Maybe I’m pregnant?”
“Nice!” he brightened. “I told you we ought to make a little Hay while the sun shines!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Larry Hightower, also the winner for Chapter 3, is an aspiring novelist who has written screenplays and dabbled in acting. The Kansas City man also competes in track and field events and plays softball in state and national tournaments.
Retired from work in employment and training with the state of Missouri, he was an undergraduate major in theater and has a master’s in education.
Hightower has high hopes for a neo-noir detective novel he has written, set in Natchez, Miss., in the 1950s. He’s no fan of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but “parody comes relatively easy for me,” he says.
COMING TO STARLIGHT
So you’ve enjoyed poking fun at “Fifty Shades of Grey?” It doesn’t have to end here. The national touring production of “50 Shades! The Musical Parody” opens Tuesday and runs through Feb. 15 at Starlight Theatre. The giant stage there will be enclosed for the indoor show, a first for the theater in Swope Park. Call 816-363-7827 or go to kcstarlight.com. And check out our preview of the show in Sunday’s A+E section.