Picking it up, he was still drawing the breath to say "Hello" when the tirade cut him off.
"How the hell did she get that?!?"
Wonderful. Britney Spears in yet another hissy fit.
"Who and what, pet?" Milt asked.
"Aquilera, that's who! Doing the half-time show of the damned Super Bowl!!! Why not me?"
A new record. It usually took Brit a full thirty seconds before she made a demand for herself. She must really be in a snit today.
Slowly, as if speaking with a dim-witted child, Milt explained, "Well, you WERE being considered for the job, but it seems one of the program's producers was a spectator to your catfight with Christina last November...you remember, the one you LOST?"
Milt could hear Britney audibly growl at the mention.
"Anyway, he was so impressed with her, she got the gig. Que sera sera, luv."
"It's not fair! I mean, like, the whole world watched that, right?" she whined.
"Well, not entirely. I'm rather certain that most Bedouin tribesmen don't have basic cable." he responded, his attention now half-focused on the resuming game.
Suddenly, Britney's voice turned coldly sober: "I WANT a big sports thing, and I want it NOW!"
"I'm afraid there's not much worth asking for, at least for the next six months or so. I suppose we could..." His voice trailed off as he realized his blunder for even mentioning it. Britney picked up on the thread immediately.
"What is it?"
"No guarantee...just the Baseball All-Star Game this summer, singing the National Anthem. But, it's practically booked already."
"Un-book it and get it for me!"
"Not quite that easy, dear. You see, the singer who's up for the gig also happens to be a client of mine as well."
"Don't tell me you're STILL trying to push Juice Newton!"
"No, no...it's Hoku."
"Hoku?!?" Britney's voice can barely contain her sarcasm. "Don Ho's daughter? Geez, she's not even a real blonde, y'know!"
"Um, quite right, but that's not really the point. Her record is a bullet...'Billboard' thinks she'll be Number One."
"I'M NUMBER ONE!" Britney hissed.
"In our hearts, pet, of course. Then again, you have been spending an awfully long time on your next record, and your previous CD is sliding down the charts. 2000 is going to be Hoku's year. But 2001 is yours, a total lock!" Despite himself, Milt couldn't help needling her with that one.
She took the bait: "I want that gig. You know what to do."
Suddenly, a better game than the Super Bowl was about to be played.
One week later, all of the notables were assembled in a spacious Bel-Air living room. The furniture had been cleared so as to create a sizable "arena" in the center of the room.
Britney was summoned from her bedroom first. This in and of itself was something of an insult, and an indication of how the perception of power had shifted away from her. She was the bigger star, and by rights, she should have made the last...and more grandiose...entrance. But Hoku was now the Flavor of the Month. Britney would be sure to make her pay for that.
The pop diva was dressed in a black sports bra and red thonged bottom. She certainly still knew how to dress to impress.
Next came her opponent. The Hawaiian singing sensation looked stunning in a faux leopard skin bikini, which was the perfect exotic touch for her bronzed skin and island features. In this opening round of fashion warfare, she had stolen her rival's thunder. Clearly, Hoku knew a thing or two about making it to the top over the bodies of others.
In this rules catfight, attacks to the face would be forbidden; it would be too tempting to try and permanently scar the other, so the temptation was denied. No matter...both girls still had plenty of other tricks in their arsenals.
Milt, ever the impartial host, gave the signal to begin. Britney charged at her opponent with a banshee's howl, tackling her to the ground. But Hoku was far from helpless...she wrapped her arms and legs around Spears and the two began to roll across the plush carpet.
When their rolling stopped, they each got to their knees and, grabbing handfuls of hair, began to yank one another's mane. Squeals of pain echoed throughout the room.
Ultimately, they tired of this and released their grips. Still on their knees facing each other, Hoku threw a punch into the belly of her rival. Britney grunted, but did not collapse; she had worked hard to develop her abs, and she wasn't about to let this bitch take her out with one stomach punch!
Spears returned the blow, and Hoku gasped as the fist sunk into her belly. Yet she, too, refused to collapse.
Thus began an unusual contest, with both teens trading punches to the abdomen. This odd test of endurance lasted through a dozen blows on either side before Hoku could stand it no longer and doubled over in agony.
A cruel smile crossed Britney's lips. However, the assault to her stomach had also left her exhausted and pained, and she had precious little strength left. She had to finish off her rival quickly and cheaply, with a move that wouldn't tax Spears too greatly.
Pushing the Hawaiian onto her back, Britney straddled her in a Schoolgirl Pin, and then lowered her breasts over Hoku's face. The smother would be as effective as anything else Spears could do to put her foe away for good.
But Hoku wasn't quite so ready to lose just yet! In desperation, she sunk her teeth into her tormentor's left breast. Britney screamed in electric agony as the blonde's teeth cut through the fabric of her bra and punctured her tender flesh!
To escape the torture, Britney pulled free and jumped to her feet. Massaging her aching breast, upon which tiny rivulets of blood now appeared, she momentarily took her attention off of her prone opponent...a fatal mistake.
Summoning her hidden reserves of strength, Hoku got unsteadily to her feet. With her left hand, she grabbed Britney's thong from behind and pulled up hard; the fabric dug painfully between her cheeks, forcing Spears onto her tiptoes. And with her right hand, Hoku grabbed her rival by the hair. Thus, she was able to guide/push her helpless foe over to the nearest wall, where she proceeded to bang Britney's head repeatedly into the unyielding plaster.
In mere moments, Britney's body went slack from the pounding. Hoku released her, and Spears spun around to face her, but her eyes were too glassy to focus. Britney threw a sloppy punch that Hoku easily sidestepped; the Hawaiian responded with a slap to the face that was meant more to humiliate than to harm.
With a condescending laugh, Hoku took a step backwards and, motioning with her hands, dared Spears to take another shot at her.
Britney didn't need a second invitation. Despite her seeming dire straits, she had been in enough catfights at this point to know how to run on pure instinct. She told her foggy brain to aim at the Hoku in the middle (as her addled eyesight now saw three Hoku's, at least) And with a dancer's grace, Britney lashed out her foot, catching her teenaged rival flush in the groin.
Hoku dropped to the floor as if she had been shot. Britney stumbled forward, and then collapsed atop her writhing foe. This time, sitting atop the Hawaiian and pinning her arms to her sides, Britney pinched her nose closed and covered her mouth, smothering her in a way so as Hoku could not bite her way to freedom again.
Already gasping for air from the pounding she had endured, it didn't take very long for the overwhelmed islander to pass out.
Britney had the match, and she had her gig. And she also had an impressive win, the better to use as a spring board to challenge Aguilera to a rematch. And next year, Britney promised herself, SHE would be singing at the Super Bowl!