“If that guy’s lifeguard duties were as good as his singing, a lot of people would be drowning,” Simon said.
He stuck a mitt full of popcorn into his gob, smacked it noisily then wiped his greasy fingers on his V-necked sweater. Paula grabbed the clicker from the coffee table and turned up the volume on the TV so she wouldn’t hear the noises he was making. She wondered what fans’ reaction would be to his appalling eating habits and she thought about all the times she was asked about him. “There is love there,” she would say. “And then there’s times when I can’t even stomach him.”
This was one of those times.
“All you can do is the best you can do,” she said aloud.
“It’s like Randy went deaf this year,” he said. “I don’t know what happened.”
Paula shrugged her bony shoulders and plucked one small kernel of popcorn from the bowl. She ate half and held her abdomen like she was full.
“Constructive criticism is about finding something good and positive to soften the blow to the real critique of what really went on,” she said.
He looked at her like she was daft. “I find you patronizing. It’s as simple as that. You were more damaging than I was to these contestants because a lot of people just shouldn’t be singing for a living.”
She made a face at him. “Can you imagine yourself as a kid? Your imaginary friends probably never wanted to play with you.”
He leered, just loving it whenever she got her dander up. “You are a saucy little thing aren’t you?”
She nodded and smiled at him, a tiny piece of kernel stuck between her impossibly white teeth. “I just hope that J-Lo and Steve have as much fun as I did being able to be in the presence of budding and raw talent. They’re seasoned veterans. They know what they’re doing.”
He was about to say something when a well-proportioned young woman on the TV took off her jacket, revealing a bikini top decorated with two large silver stars.
That’s when Steven Tyler exclaimed “What’s with the jujubees on your oohoohbees?”
“Seasoned veterans, eh?” Simon said.
Paula changed the channel to PBS.
*Based on actual quotes, stuck together all weird. Just because.