Last Updated: 2023 Mar 15
Fan Day Again
“Such a pleasure doing business with you and Dethklok, Charles.”
“Well, with the way this band has been doing, I think we’ll all become very wealthy. It’s all quite metal.”
Charles Foster Offdensen was the chief financial officer of Dethklok. He was “the suit”, “the business man”, the one to work with the numbers and papers. While the band had wild, long hair and wore corpse paint for concerts, he had short slicked-back hair and rectangular-framed glasses.
His office was the heart of the band’s business administration. But today, he need not manage booking or a tour. Neither did the band get into legal trouble as of late. Charles chatted on the phone with a business partner and friend.
“Well, don’t get too emotionally attached to what you invest in because it’ll be hard to resell.
“I told you this but I got a 59. Mint condition.
“Why would I sell it? It’s my baby.
“Peter, is anything else before I go?
“Give me your list, alright?”
With the phone pressed to his ear by his shoulder, Charles took his pen and ejected the tip to scribble notes on to a piece of paper.
From outside of his office, however, Charles heard a chuckle. It could not have been any members of the band or the immediately available personnel. It was a young woman’s voice: a complete stranger.
A stray groupie? Someone who should not be on the premises? Or worse, an instance of corporate espionage? Charles put down his phone. When he walked outside his office to investigate, he turned the corner to find a crowd as large as the ones that would congregate around the band. They were all 20-to-30-somethings in goth and fannish clothing, a demographic he had no business with beyond marketing the band’s products, were waiting outside his office.
A young man from the back cheered,
“Charles Offdensen ASMR! WOO!”
For one day of the year, the residence and operating headquarters of Dethklok was open to the public. It was named Mordhaus, and it bore a strong semblance to old warships of Scandinavia. At the decorated prow of the metaphorical ship was the head of a dragon. The price of admission was high but so was the dedication of the fans.
Charles rushed to the meeting room where the band hosted internal discussions. By now, all members of the band would already be seated at the conference table and waiting.
Nathan Explosion, the front man and vocalist.
Skwisgaar Skwisgelf, the lead guitarist.
Toki Wartooth, the rhythm guitarist.
William Murderface, the bassist.
And Pickles the drummer.
Charles opened the door to the meeting room with an apology ready.
“Guys, sorry I’m late. There is a very important matter I need to speak with you all about—”
“Hold on,” Nathan interrupted, “you gotta see what I bought from Klokicon.”
Nathan had visited Klokicon, a fan convention dedicated to his own band. It was not unusual for Nathan to interrupt Charles to share a story. In many other causes, he would talk about practically anything: if he had gotten sick or what he had found at the store. Sometimes, he would tell a joke, and the band would join in. In that case, best way to get back on track as Charles knew was to let the joke run.
Okay. Whatever it is, just let it all out.
Once Nathan brought what he wanted to show to the table, Charles immediately recognized. Nathan had bought a body pillow with an anime drawing of Charles printed on the cover. In the illustration, his tie was loose and the top buttons of his work shirt were undone. The drawing was not without its artistic liberties. Charles did not see himself ever making a flustered, red-faced expression as depicted. Whoever the artist was also drew him ten years younger.
Charles made professional appearances. He served as the band’s representation for legal matters and public relations. He did not share the celebrity spotlight, for good reason, or so he thought.
The death metal singer was a larger man with larger lungs and a persistent guttural growl. Nathan over-attenuated the pitch of his deep voice and poorly imitated Charles.
“‘Hey guys, you should think about recording that new album’,” Nathan wagged the pillow around. “‘In the recording room. Go! Chop! Chop!’”
The entire band was awestruck at the impression.
“WOAH!” from Pickles.
“HAH!” from Murderface.
“Yow-za,” from Skwisgaar.
And Nathan explained further.
“So I walked up to some girl’s booth at Klokicon, and she was selling these pillows with Charles on it.”
“Don’t flip that thing to me.” Pickles shielded his eyes from the pillow. “The back side looks real gay.”
“Look!” Charles asserted. “I have confidential business calls to make. Your fans should not be at my office—!”
“Woah! Woah! Our fans? They’re your fans.”
“My fans? That’s impossible.”
“It’s true!” Toki said. “You’s included a lots in the really gay fanfictions on the internet! They even likes you more than Murderface!”
“I am… actually… okay with that,” Murderface commented.
“And, Nathans, I saws the internets too,” Skwisgaar said, “You should get rids of that pillow before the fans sees you with it.”
“So we decided to add your office as one of the exhibits for fan day.” Nathan explained to Charles. “Which is today.”
“This sounds like a silly question.” Skwisgaar said. “But why does we invites people to Mordhaus so they gives us a reason to hates them?”
“Yeah,” Pickles concurred. “Who came up with the idea to have regular jackoffs come to our rooms and watch us like zoo animals for fan day?”
“You guys did,” Charles said.
“Were we drunk when we came up with that?”
“Well. Mistakes has been made,” Skwisgaar shrugged. “Time to entertain your fans, Charles. Don’t keep the ladies waiting.”
“No. It’s fan day,” Nathan said.
How am I going to get these people away from my office.
Back at his office, Charles resumed what work he had at his laptop. He knew. To the chagrin of the band he managed, there had been many instances of inappropriate behavior and misconduct from fans. And to prevent or curb any potential outbursts, Charles had deployed the band employees, Klokateers, as bodyguards. Unfortunate for the unforeseen fan day event and himself, he had only stanchions and velvet rope between the mob and his office.
To the undesired audience, he figured he should offer little. Total silence, save for the click and snaps of his keyboard; then very likely, they would lose interest and leave. His assumption was not baseless as many cases he failed to gain the attention of the band.
When Skwisgaar fell asleep during a meeting.
When Nathan pulled out a phone to send a text message.
When Pickles demonstrated he could make his voice sound like a trumpet.
But the crowd remained. On the mounted widescreen displays, the jaws of the animated band mascot Facebones swung enthusiastically as the band narrated Charles’ exhibit off-sync.
“And this is where…” Toki said, “Charles does the business stuff and paperwork…”
“Things like booking tours,” Nathan added.
“And the legal papers…” Skwisgaar chimed in, “So people can comes here.”
“And tell us how to spend money,” Murderface lisped.
“And… eh… whatever,” Pickles closed the narration. The sound of him chugging a bottle of alcohol spilled through the microphone.
And the crowd commented.
“There was something oddly relaxing to listening to Offdensen talk on the phone.”
“I’d give this man complete financial control over my entire life if I could.”
“I feel like he’s my dad and I’m waiting for him to finish work.”
Upon those words, Charles realized he may have misjudged his audience.
Well. Attention is a resource. I should be making better use of this.
Hm. No romantic interest in the band or myself other than “shipping” and online publishing experience, How many of these young women… and men… can I recruit as Klokateers?
Should be a good fit for the IT department.