Author's Note: I recently watched the 1960's movie version of Bye Bye Birdie and really enjoyed it. Knowing nothing about it other than it was a musical and had a character who was a singer named Conrad Birdie, I was surprised to find that though he was a large part of the title, Conrad Birdie was a very small part of the movie's plot as a whole. I felt that his character was less developed then some of the others, and realized he really didn't have many lines in the show other than his songs. These observations prompted me to look deeper into the character of Conrad Birdie. I wanted to know what his story was, not what was going on with Hugo and Kim or Albert and Rosie, but what sorts of trials was Conrad facing after finding out he was being drafted? What was really going through his head on the Ed Sullivan show? Why didn't he fight back when Hugo punched him? In short, I decided to write a story that showed another side of the cocky rock and roller, one that gave more depth to his character and explained some of his faults. Hopefully I will succeed and my story will be enjoyed. As a small side note, I added a new character to be Birdie's manager because though Albert essentially played the part of manager in the film, his real role was simply 'songwriter,' and no mention of Birdie's manager is made. At any rate, without further ado, I give you...
Conrad Birdie poured himself a large bowl of Cocoa Puffs and a glass of orange juice and sat down at the small dining table in his suite. He was trying his best to ignore the incessant chatter of the rotund, bespectacled man who was Michael Bergman, his manager.
"Are you even listening to a word I'm saying?" Mr. Bergman, who had been standing across the table from him, put his hands on the sides of the table and leaned forward, trying to get some eye contact.
Conrad's only response was to shove another large spoonful of cereal in his mouth, chewing loudly. Man, will the guy ever shut up? I'm tryin' to eat my cereal here. It's too early for this!
"Conrad! Stop crunching that cereal and listen you me for once in your life. I've got something important to tell you." Mr. Bergman peered at him over his horn-rimmed glasses.
His mouth full of the crunchy, chocolate cereal, Conrad looked up just long enough to see the red, frustrated look on his manager's face. Who does this guy think he is, my mother?
"I mean it Birdie. This news could change your career; Permanently!" Beads of perspiration were forming on Mr. Bergman's brow.
"Alright, alright, cool it man." Birdie set down his spoon and scooted his chair back, resting his feet on the table and putting his hands behind his head. " Let me guess..." He began, "You're gonna tell me that I just sold more records than the other nineteen acts on the top twenty list combined!"
Conrad didn't let him finish. "Oh, so I outsold the other ninety-nine acts on the top hundred list then. Hmm...impressive..." He smiled, tipping back slightly in his chair.
Mr. Bergman looked even more flustered than before. "Conrad, be serious. This isn't a game! I have something very important to tell you, and you've got to listen to me!"
"Okay, okay, well let's have it then." Man, the guy's too uptight. He needs to loosen up a bit.
"Uncle Sam just called your number, Buddy."
With one hand still behind his head, Conrad gestured with the other for emphasis. "That's crazy. What would the army want with Conrad Birdie?"
"This is no joke Pal, you're being drafted and here's a letter to prove it!" Mr. Bergman stepped forward and thrust an envelope into Birdie's hands.
"What?" Conrad took one look at the envelope and nearly fell out of his chair. Swinging his feet down of the table, he stood to face his manager, accidently spilling his half full glass of orange juice in the process. "No! Huh-uh man. The idol of millions nationwide does not get drafted! It just don't happen!"
Mr. Bergman seemed a little calmer and his face less flushed. To Birdie, it seemed as though the man might actually be enjoying his shocked reaction to the news. A slight smile tugged at the corner of the man's lips as he spoke. "Well, sorry to ruin your little theory of how life works, but it did happen." He cleared his throat then added, "Farewell tour starts day after tomorrow."
"Farewell tour?" Conrad's eyes widened in shock.
"Yes Conrad. Your one last hurrah. Possibly your swan song. No telling what, if anything, will be left of your career once Uncle Sam gets through with you."
"Get's through with me? What are you tryin' to say, man?"
"Oh nothing," Mr. Bergman paused, "Just that two years is a long time. All stars fade in time you know. If you're not out there where the public can see you, touch you, hear you, well... they start to forget. Next thing you know, some young pigeon croons his way to the top, and WHAM-O!" Mr. Bergman slammed a fist onto the table to emphasize his point, sending Cocoa Puffs and milk sloshing all over the already soiled tablecloth. "All that remains of Conrad Birdie, is an album of greatest hits and about three minutes of radio air time, if you're lucky. Hardly a shadow of the star he once was." As he spoke, Mr. Bergman held his hat to his chest and looked toward the ceiling, like a man delivering a eulogy.
Conrad Birdie was not amused. "Impossible!" He stood and stormed off toward his bedroom, throwing over his shoulder one last remark before slamming the door behind him, "Conrad Birdie will not be forgotten! Not now, not ever!"
Disclaimer: Please be pateint with me. I will update this story as often as my schedule, and inspiration, permit. I do intend to finish it, but it may take some time. Thanks! =)