26th of April – Season 1
When Moodswing had explained that they would be reusing one of the previous pay-per-view tracks from earlier in the season, Glen wasn't sure. But at the end of the day, Glenwood Jacobs was the Vice President of the F-X Racing Club and Moodswing was the President. As much as he hated being called it, Moodswing was the boss. So Glen just had to trust that he knew what he was doing. But judging from what he was seeing in the crowd, they were loving it.
Looking into the crowd from the makeshift pitlane, Glen was amused to see that the crowd was littered with various signs supporting all of the most popular racers. Most notable though, were the signs for Touch Mkhize with many of those signs predicting Touch to become King. Everyone loves an underdog, thought Glen.
Glen had just finished with the four F-X reporters – Toney, Sherry, Belinda and Wikus – giving them an exclusive (which was all part of the Grand Prix marketing campaign), when he was approached by Thawn Oberhauser. "Well if it isn't 'The Impaler," said Glen. "What gives me the honor?"
"I'll assume for your sake that you're not being sarcastic."
"For my sake?" said Glen, almost laughing. Glen then rolled his eyes and moved on. "Anyway, what can I do for you?"
"What you can do for me, Glen, is tell me if you and Moodswing have decided who will be facing the Formula-X King at the Grand Prix?"
Of course you want to know that. "No Thawn, we haven't decided yet."
Thawn sighed heavily, as if he was talking to an idiot. "Let me rephrase that for you. Tell me if you and Moodswing have decided to name me as the King's opponent at the Grand Prix." Glen didn't answer. "I'll tell you right now, if you haven't, I'd consider that a mistake. You and I both know having me headlining the Grand Prix is what's best for business. You wanna sell tickets, you put me in the feature race."
Glen knew why Thawn had come to him with this: because he knew that Moodswing wouldn't even bother hearing this nonsense. Moodswing wasn't one to be told how to run his own business. But Glen had to handle this differently. "I'll tell you what, Thawn, I'll think about it." Glen then walked away, not caring to hear anymore and quite frankly, having other things to do.
LONGITUDE & LATITUDE vs. JIM KIECK
When Glen had stepped onto that racetrack this past week on Monday Night Fuel, he'd risked life and limb to stop these three racers from hurting someone. It was six days ago when Longitude and Latitude decided that they were going to chase Jim in their racecars around the concourse of the Fuel Speedway, through the parking lot, through the Clubhouse training track and onto the main racetrack before Glen got a chance to stop them. Of course, this wasn't the first time this had happened.
That was the reason that Glen had immediately sanctioned this two-on-one race but not after fining the hell out of them, making it clear that these unsanctioned races were not tolerated. Of course, none of that would have happened if Jim hadn't defaced the brothers' pit area who had only done that because they had defaced Brenda's pit area a week before. It was all ridiculous behavior... but good entertainment.
As the race got going, Glen was joined by Brenda. "I can't believe you actually sanctioned this race," she said. "You know Jim is going to lose, right?"
Glen hid a smile. "A little pessimistic, no? And I thought you didn't care."
"Oh, I don't care to team with Jim. It doesn't mean I wouldn't love to teach those boys a lesson."
This time, Glen didn't hide his smile. "Okay then, consider it done: Longitde and Latitude will defend their titles tomorrow night on Fuel against you and him," said Glen pointing at 'The Playboy' zipping past them. Glen almost laughed watching Brenda go from smiling to frowning.
"What?" Brenda shook her head as if trying to shake the idea out of her mind. "Did you not hear what I just said? I don't want to team with Jim."
"Yeah, I heard what you said. But face it, the four of you together make this story complete." Glen knew that Moodswing would be proud. After all, he was channeling him right now. "And before you start complaining, remember that there's a good chance that you could win the Duchess of Drag title meaning by the end of tomorrow night, you could be a double-monarch."
This didn't help Brenda's expression who just turned and left leaving Glen to enjoy the rest of the race. Brenda had called it as Jim went on to lose but this only made Glen believe in his decision more because now, the idea of Jim and Brenda winning the Relay Baron titles tomorrow, would be that much sweeter following their win tonight.
THAWN OBERHAUSER vs. DARCY STEVENS
Glen had made his way to the makeshift paddock area just in time to see Moodswing arguing with Thawn Oberhauser. "Look Thawn, I'm sure having you in the feature race of the Grand Prix would be a box office win but I'm not going to make the decision based simply on that."
"Then you're stupid," said the impulsive Impaler.
Instead of getting angry, Moodswing simply smiled. "Oh, you shouldn't have said that. Because now I've got a surprise for you."
"What surprise? What the hell are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about a request that came from Stevie. It appears that she didn't appreciate you turning on her on Monday so she secretly asked me to change your race tonight and not tell you. Now, because of what you said just now, I'm going to allow her request."
"What request? What race are you talking about?"
Moodswing's smile broadened. "You'll see."
A few minutes later, Thawn and Stevie were standing on the starting line, with one kilometre between them and the finish line. It was a One Kilometer Derby and the fans were relishing it. Glen was in awe, but not of the race but rather of Moodswing's genius. It's like he just knew what the fans wanted (even when they didn't know themselves) and just gave it to them. Both the One K.M. Derbies they'd sanctioned had both been smash hits. So it was just brilliant to not only have another one but to also not have it advertised.
The race itself was fast and thrilling. But in the end, Stevie had failed to capitalize on her plan and Thawn captured the win. Glen was still standing with Moodswing who was also watching this transpire. "Does this mean we're giving him that title shot?"
Moodswing thought for barely a second. "Truth? I never had any intention of giving him the title shot."
This was interesting. They had never discussed the feature race of the Grand Prix. With it being the biggest feature of the season, Glen fully expected Moodswing to sit the whole committee down in a proper committee meeting to discuss the who Grand Prix racecard. But clearly, Moodswing had other ideas. "Really? What did you have in mind?"
"Well, I haven't decided yet. I was still gonna have a committee meeting about it." Moodswing didn't react to Glen rolling his eyes and smiling. "But the one thing I do know is that we won't be repeating any feature race we've had on any other P.P.V. In fact, if we can help it, I want the Grand Prix feature race to be a race we've never seen before including on Fuel. It's the only way we can secure the draw we need."
Box office draw: something that Glen and Moodswing had been studying through the season. It was one of, if not the most important aspect of ensuring a successful P.P.V. It was the same with wrestling; it was the same with boxing and it was even the same with movies: in order to sell tickets, you needed to be able to attract an audience. And Moodswing had seemed to master the art.
"Okay, so who do you have in mind?"
"I don't know. But let's watch the rest of the races and find out."
PENNY, DUCHESS OF DRAG vs. BRENDA KOEK
Following the race he sanctioned for tomorrow night, Glen was very interested in the next race. He was curious to see if Brenda could defeat Penny. Despite not appearing on television for over a month after the incident at Heart-Attack, Glen had to admit that Penny Potgieter was one hell of a Duchess. In fact, Moodswing was not afraid to admit that she was a strong box office draw. Unfortunately for Penny, Moodswing had other things in mind for Penny to do at the Grand Prix, feeling that they should be using her draw power to set up a blockbuster drag race instead.
Glen noticed that while the crowd was very much into the drag race, the reaction wasn't the same as it was for the impromptu One K.M. Derby. Glen and Moodswing agreed that this was due to the Derby being a welcome surprise. While Brenda had given Penny a run for her money, in the end, it was the Duchess who won the race and retained her title. Which was a good thing because with Moodswing having plans for her, it ensured that she was going to the Grand Prix.
KING MANDLA XULU vs. TOUCH MKHIZE
"And now for the main event," said Glen to himself. Indeed it was the main event. If the previous race was an indication of waning fan interest, this was a direct opposite as it seemed that all the build-up they'd given to this showdown was worth it because all eyes were glued to the feature race about to take place.
"And what a main event it is." Glen turned around to see Solo Magubane standing there.
"Solo, it's good to see you."
"What, you thought just because I'm playing reserve that I wouldn't be here to watch this?" Indeed, Solo was a reserve for the night, which plainly meant that he had the night off, and was dressed casually in jeans, a three-button henley and a black biker jacket. "This is a hell of a feature race you have here."
Glen looked at him to see if he was being earnest. "You really think so?"
Solo nodded. "As Moodswing would say: the story writes itself. An underdog challenger from the wrong side of the tracks who rises to be the biggest box office draw of a racing series faces the son of the second most powerful man in the city for his throne? You couldn't make this stuff up even if you wanted to."
Glen smiled. If a racer could interpret the storyline so well without being told by him or Moodswing, then it meant that they got this one perfectly right. This was a good thing because tonight would be the last time they could practise getting this right before the big one.
"By the way," said Solo," who are those guys in the pit lane?" Solo pointed to a small collection of people with backstage passes around their necks talking to Moodswing who had gone down there between races.
"That's the local press. You know, journalists from local newspapers and radio shows and I think one of them is from a local TV station."
"Wait, you guys managed to get the press to a pay-per-view?" Solo's surprise was well placed. While Glen, Moodswing and the rest of the committee had tried to get the local media involved to report on the series, they'd found themselves hardpressed to get them there. Which left them with the sole option of paying for airtime which Moodswing was adamant that they'd only do during the marketing campaign for the Grand Prix. Ironically, now that they were forking out the cash and paying to be in the media, the press was now paying attention.
"Yeah, we did. So this better not suck," said Glen under his breath. Fortunately, any concerns that Glen had about the feature race sucking were totally drowned out by the crowd being so into the race, that it didn't matter if it wasn't the greatest of all time. In fact, the race delivered in its own right by being a fast-paced thriller which showed Touch at his best, giving the King a run for his money. Touch clearly had the crowd on his side. So when Mandla retained the Crown, Glen was expecting them to boo. But it seemed that King Mandla had earned their respect back by his tremendous show of dominance, proving why he was on the Throne.
Glen smiled when he saw that the crowd was genuinely pleased. But it wasn't over as Moodswing went onto their stage to deliver the good news that they'd advertised late enough that it was lightly to be a surprise to most. He informed the crowd that there would be an easter egg hunt for them to enjoy. at that point, an Easter Bunny mascot came onto the stage and gave Moodswing a big hug, earning a laugh from the crowd.
THE EASTER EGG HUNT
The idea for the Easter Egg Hunt had been conceived earlier in the week, after the latest episode of Fuel meaning they didn't get a chance to advertise it. This had forced them to use their social media platforms to market the event. So, Glen was surprised when fans descended from the stands en masse to take part in the hunt. To make things easier for them to control, the egg hunt was confined to the infield side of the street circuit.
As Glen walked the so-called hunting ground, he smiled watching all the kids having fun as that was this was all about. After Heart-Attack, Glen, Moodswing and the rest of the committee had gone out of their way to make up for how inclusive that event had been. After the success that was Festival of the Fall, Moodswing was hoping that the egg hunt would continue the trend. Glen then spotted John Kloof and his family. John noticed him and approached him.
"John, I thought you couldn't make because of your family obligation?" Glen remembered how Kloof had approached him and Moodswing to let them know that the pay-per-view clashed with something he'd already committed to.
"Yeah, I just came from it." Kloof gestured to his smart clothes which were a suit less a coat and tie. "But if you guys actually had this event on Sunday, I wouldn't have missed it." This was true. It was currently Saturday, despite the title of the P.P.V. being Sunday Night Easter. The reason for this was to avoid losing fans who would opt to go to church rather than come to the event.
After speaking for a minute, Kloof's wife called for John to join them. Watching John with his family made Glen smile. After all the turmoil that they'd put John through in the first three months of the season, he was glad that John was enjoying some time with his family.
"Now, isn't that a beautiful sight."
Glen just looked at Moodswing as if he was crazy. "What, you're Mister Family Values all of a sudden?"
"Nope," said Moodswing before playfully flinching. "Just don't tell my wife that." Moodswing gestured at Kloof who was quickly disappearing into the crowd. "You see this, I like this. I like that even though he couldn't be here to race, he still showed up to support the series."
Glen had to double-take. "Are you talking about John Kloof?"
"Yeah. Remember when you asked me who I had in mind to face Mandla for the Grand Prix?" Moodswing nodded towards Kloof more noticeably.
Glen looked at Moodswing as if he was a different man. "You want to see John Kloof in the feature race? Why?"
"Well, for one thing, it's something that we haven't seen before. But I also have other reasons. But what do you think? Because when I pitch this to the committee, I need you backing me up."
Glen thought about that and smiled. He liked it. He really did. "I think that will work out great." While they still had to have the meeting, Glen was sure that it would go through. But at the end of the day, that was only one race. They would still need to organise an entire racecard. But Glen wasn't worried. He was confident. He was confident that after either pay-per-views that they had this nailed down. They were going to do it. They were going to succeed in creating the biggest of the P.P.V. yet!