Chapter Two

Minutes later, Manny started to come to. The showgirl was kneeling beside him, her bare bosom jiggling inches above his face.

"Don't you worry Manny. Everything's gonna' be alright. I'm gonna' stay right here beside you 'till the ambulance comes." She said softly in her teenager's voice, stroking the unconscious man's forehead.

"Oooh, what happened? Am I dead?" He moaned, slowly cranking open one eye. Then Manny opened both eyes, suddenly awake. "My lord, there really is a heaven! Hallelujah!" He smiled, staring upwards with joy. Then Manny shut his eyes in a state of bliss and whispered, "Oh thank you. Thank you, God."

Yet, he swiftly opened them again. Manny wasn't about to waste a second of his first few moments in paradise.

"Which angel are you then, doll?" He grinned, reaching a hand up to fondle the objects of his utmost desire. He grabbed the nearest one and gave it a affectionate squeeze. "Oooh, if I'd known the afterlife was like this, I would'a offed myself years ago." He said reverently.

"Hey! Quit it, will ya'?" The showgirl complained, batting his hand away. "I didn't pay six month's salary for these things, just to have some old geezer pawing away at them."

The Showgirl abruptly stood, making Manny's head clunk back to the floor. He passed out again.

"Oh dear. Did I do that?" She said sarcastically, without a trace of sympathy now. She tilted her head and rolled her eyes at the old man lying on the floor. "What a shame."

Manny came to again with a groan. He slowly sat up, seemingly in a daze. He looked around in confusion. Then he cleared his throat and smiled broadly. He put his hand to his mouth, as if holding a microphone.

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen," He said in a suddenly younger, hipper sounding, smooth voice, "and welcome to the Starlight Hotel and Casino. I'm Manny Love, and tonight I'd like to start off the show with one of my favorite Burt Bacharach numbers..."

"Starlight Hotel?" The showgirl puzzled, "But...they knocked that down to make room for the convention center, twenty years ago. What's going on? Hey, you idiot," She said looking down, nudging Manny's leg with her foot—she wasn't about to let him near her boobs again, "don't ya' even know where ya' are?"

"Where the hell's the rest of the show, assholes?" The perpetually pissed off waitress poked her head through the stage curtain. "The tourists are getting restless. And they're good tippers. I ain't had any decent tips in this shithole since like...forever. If you make them leave, I will fucking kill you all."

"Manny's hurt." The showgirl said.

"Whatever." The goth girl shrugged indifferently. Then added as an afterthought, "If the old fart kicks off, I get first dibs on his locker, OK?"

"Maybe you should tell Morris to go and get Mr. Whiskers." The showgirl suggested. "I'll run to the office and let the boss know what's goin' on, soon as the ambulance gets here."

"Whatever." The bored goth waitress said again, and went off to do as she was told...eventually.

Just then, a thin, nervous looking man came bustling up to Manny. The showgirl looked him over, finding the newcomer rather easy on the eye. He was somewhere in his thirties, wearing a pair of perfectly creased chinos and a navy blue polo shirt. His dark hair was well gelled and brushed back to reveal a slightly receding hairline. The man had a handsome, fox-like face, with dark brooding eyes., that the showgirl instantly fell in love with.

"What the hell happened? Manny's supposed to be on stage right now." The man complained.

"Who?" The Showgirl asked blankly, drinking in the presence of the man.

Completely oblivious of her attraction to him, the thin man looked down dispassionately at the unconscious singer. "Him. On the floor. The guy playing dead in the vintage tux. I'm Kevin Bishop, Manny's manager. I had to call in a lot of favors to get him this gig..." Kevin suddenly threw up his hands and groaned, "...oh my god, no. Don't tell me! Has Manny been huffing his underarm deodorant spray again?"

"Oh, him." The showgirl remembered suddenly. "A light fell down from up there." She pointed towards the ceiling. Then pointed at Manny. "It hit him on the head. Knocked him out cold. Poor old guy. He's lucky he's not bleedin' or nothin'."

Kevin gave a grunt of agreement. "Good thing Manny had his toupee to cushion the blow. He might've killed."

"Say, you wouldn't have a card with your phone number on it, would you?" The showgirl asked. "You know, so maybe we could have a little chat over drinks sometime?"

"What?" The manager seemed temporarily discombobulated by the sudden change in conversation. "Erm—I hardly think this is the time for me to discuss taking on a new client." That's when he gave the showgirl a second glance, finally registering her bare double D bosoms. Kevin suddenly cleared his throat and gave her what he deemed to be his most charming smile."Then again...what's say we go for a drink after the show, and discuss your future career prospects..."

Manny suddenly stirred, giving long, painful moan. It took a whole ten seconds for the two of them to register that the singer was still down there. The girl gave Kevin a sympathetic smile.

"Sorry Manny didn't make it on stage. Must be tough booking an old guy like that in this town. Looks like he's coming around, though." She prattled on, " That's a good sign. I think? Anyway, I had someone call him and ambulance. I wonder what's taking so long? Maybe this will help." The showgirl said, as she knelt once again beside Manny. "I'll give him a big wet kiss. That might wake him up."

"Hmmm-" the manager murmured in agreement, watching the girl's breasts jiggling just inches from Manny's face. "Either that, or give him a hard—I mean, a heart attack."

The girl gave the old singer a big smooch. As if by magic, Manny's eyes fluttered open. He stared up at the girl's breasts, looking dazed and confused. He gave a long groan and sat up slowly, with Kevin's help.

"You OK, old fella?" The showgirl asked him.

"Manny, I know you're not feeling your best right now, but you need to be out on stage. Please, please, for me, Manny. Think you can at least sing one number?" Kevin asked insensitively. "You don't sing tonight, and I gotta' pay back the owner your fee and my commission goes down the drain."

"Yeah, yeah, sure. No prob. I'm rarin' to go." Manny croaked, rubbing the back of his head and wincing. Oddly, to Kevin, the old man's voice suddenly sounded more youthful. Hip and swinging.

The old man's hand suddenly reared up and grasped one of the showgirl's bosoms.

"Ethel! What are you doing here?" He said excitedly. "We weren't supposed to meet until after the show. You want your husband to find out? I don't know about you babe, but I'm not fond of wearing a cement overcoat. Those mobsters don't take kindly to guys like me horning in on their girlfriends."

"Horning." Kevin snorted, "Wrong word Manny. But ya' almost got it."

"Ethel?" The showgirl said, prying the old singer's fingers loose and backing away. "Who the hell's Ethel? I'm Bobo, the balloon girl. You remember me, Manny. Of course you do. You just watched me do my act. I do that dance number with the three big balloons and the oversize safety pin."

"Balloons? What happened to the boa constrictor? You know that snake really turns me on, Ethel." Manny suddenly seemed to be aware of his surroundings. "Wow, my head feels like Ringo's been drummin' on it with a fistful of drumsticks. Must have been one heck of a party last night. Did Elvis ever show up? Hey, I better get goin'. Don't wanna' miss my opening night at the Starlight Hotel."

"Starlight hotel? Manny, old buddy, something's wrong here. Don't you know where you are?" Kevin asked him, finally showing some real concern.

"Sure. It's the swingin' sixties, the groovy summer of love," Manny smiled reverently, "and I'm opening for Sammy Davis tonight. How could I forget a thing like that?"

Kevin tilted his head back and gave a frustrated sigh. "Oh Christ. I used to manage the best acts on the strip. Now it's come down to this? I should of listened to my mother and joined a rock band like my old man." Then, those eyes lit up as he was jolted by a thought. Kevin looked at the showgirl with a gleam in his eyes. "Call off the ambulance, Bobo. I've just had a brilliant idea. Brilliant!" He told her, grinning from ear to ear.

"But...what about Manny?" A confused Bobo asked. She often felt baffled by life, but she never let that stop her.

Manny's manager pulled Bobo away from Manny, and whispered to her, "He's going out there tonight and opening for Sammy Davis Jr."

"Huh? I thought he was dead." A puzzled Bobo said.

"Shhh—! Not so loud! He is dead, but Manny doesn't know that." Kevin grinned. "Listen to him! He sounds forty years younger." He shrugged, "Maybe he'll sing that way. Anyway, I've got everything to lose, so we're gonna' do it. With a little luck, Manny's going on stage right now, and he's gonna' sing like he's hasn't done in forty years."