Laslow's Loons
by Martial Arts Master
All Grand Theft Auto III characters copyrighted by Rockstar Games, DMA Design, and Rareware. If you're wondering who Laslow is, he's the guy who's the host of the Chatterbox radio station. To listen to it, just play the game, get inside a car, and change the radio station to Chatterbox. However, the callers that call in during this fanfic are not in the game. I made them up. This entire fanfic takes place in Laslow's point-of-view, and I made up his wife and daughter. With that said, let the story begin!

***

Hi. I'm Laslow.

Let me guess why you're here.

You want to know why I still do the Chatterbox radio station.

After all, so many loons call in, it's enough to make other people quit.

Well, first let me tell you something about Liberty City.

Liberty City is stagnant with crime, corruption, and chaos.

It would be a highly unusual event if there wasn't at least one hijacking a day, for example.

And gang members from lots of different gangs are free to walk the streets!

Oh, the police officers do try to help, of course. After all, it's their job.

And they do an admirable job of it, too.

The problem is that they really don't have the manpower to completely clean up all crime from Liberty City.

They also seem to be vulnerable to bribes.

Now, Liberty City has three sections: Portland, Shoreside Vale, and Staunton Island. You'd think that crime would be limited to just one section.

Well, unfortunately, crime is rampant in all three sections.

And don't even get me started on the prostitutes. Oh, the prostitutes. They've also infested this city.

But I didn't purchase one. I'm happily married, and my wife just so happens to be the CEO of Ammu-Nation. (Author's Note: Ammu-Nation is a gun store franchise in Grand Theft Auto III).

In that particular aspect, crime has indirectly helped me, because criminals purchase lots of guns, and Ammu-Nation is the only franchise to buy them from. At least, that I know about.

So, my wife's a billionaire, so our family is filthy rich.

Now you may be thinking, "Well, why not quit your job listening to lunatics and live on your wife's money?"

Well, there are two reasons.

The first reason is that I'm not a leech. I don't live off my wife's money. I believe in working for your money.

As for the second reason...well, I'll get to that later.

No, don't look so disappointed, I really will.

Anyway, I also have a seven-year-old daughter.

My wife and I have been able to teach her right from wrong. She knows that crime is wrong, so she won't grow up to be a prostitute like so many other women in this city have.

Actually the main reason she won't grow up to be a prostitute is because we taught her that women are not just sex objects. For that reason, she enrolled in a Tae Kwon Do class.

She's currently a green belt. She's a fast learner.

But enough about my family.

Let me take you on one of my days at the Chatterbox radio station.

Okay, so I've just gotten in and of course, immediately there's a caller.

At the risk of sounding like bragging, Chatterbox is a popular station.

So, I put the caller on the air and say, "Okay, caller, you're on the air on Chatterbox, where your opinion matters, or at least we say that. What's on your mind?"

"Well, Laslow, I've been possessed by Satan," the caller, a male, says.

I'm confused.

"I beg your pardon?" I say.

"I've been possessed by Satan, and to all of Laslow's listeners out there," the caller says, "Go out there and commit crimes! Rape, murder, lie, cheat, steal! Satan would just love it!"

I'm seriously weirded out here. This caller is obviously a new breed of crazy.

"Okay, I'm gonna have to cut you off---" I begin, but the caller cuts me off.

He does so by saying, "You cut me off and I'll damn you to hell! Imagine an eternity of pain, Laslow! But become my servant and I will spare your life! For I am Satan!"

Now I'm frightened, but not for the reason he wants me to be. Obviously he's just gotten crazier, because now, rather than believing Satan possesses him, he believes he's Satan himself!

"Get off of my airway!" I scream, hanging him up.

"Sorry about that, faithful listeners," I say as the phone rings again. The listeners, of course, can't hear the phone ringing. "Let's see if the next caller is sane."

I pick up the phone and say, "Caller, you're on the air."

"Hey baby," a female voice says. "Wanna have a good time? I could show you pleasures beyond your wildest dreams---"

"I'm married! Next!" I say, hanging up on this caller.

"Sorry, folks," I say to our listeners, "but this radio station does not support prostitution. Okay, let's see what our next caller has to say."

Once I admit the next caller onto the air, the caller, a male, says, in a normal enough voice, "I'm glad to be on this station."

"And we're glad to have you," I say. "So, what's on your mind?"

"Well, Laslow," the caller begins, "I have this amazing new idea."

I'm a little interested.

"What's your idea?" I say.

"There's this one thing you can eat that'll make you tougher," the caller says. "Nails. If you eat nails all the time, your body will develop a resistance to sharp objects."

I'm stunned.

"Are you crazy?!" I shout. "Nobody's gonna eat nails all the time!"

"But they're good for you!" the caller insists.

"They are not!" I insist. "If people eat nails all the time, their stomachs will get ruptured, they might get tetanus, they might---I don't even know why I'm bothering to argue with you! Good-bye!"

I hang up.

"Okay, is there anyone sane?" I ask of my listeners.

Once I put another caller on the line, I say, "What's on your mind?"

"I just wanted to talk about the environment," the caller, female, says.

I sigh in relief. This person seems normal.

"What about the environment?" I ask.

"Well, I think the pollution can be solved if everyone's cars' had rude pictures painted on them," the woman says.

I'm having second thoughts.

"What sort of pictures?" I ask.

"The middle finger extended, mens' private parts, poop, breasts," the woman answers.

I groan inwardly. Another idiot.

"And how would that solve the pollution problem?" I have to ask.

"Because if every car had rude pictures painted on it, everyone would be too embarassed to buy cars!" the woman answers. "Then there'd be no exhaust fumes."

"Okaaaaaaaay..." I answer, hanging up on you.

Oh, before I forget, let me tell you the second reason I don't quit Chatterbox.

You see, most of my callers may be loons...but at least they're honest loons!

Some of them may be inconsiderate pricks, like that guy who made his son be a chimney sweep/bathroom cleaner/paralegal at age seven! (Author's Note: This one actually does call in during the game. Listen to Chatterbox for a long time and hear it.)

But...at least they're honest pricks!

You see, as I said before, Liberty City is full of crime, corruption, and chaos.

When I'm at Chatterbox, at least all the listeners who call me are, for the most part, completely honest about their opinions. They're willing to tell me the whole truth about what they think, even if I'd disagree with them. Out of all my years at Chatterbox, maybe 1% of my past listeners weren't being honest with me. And that's a low percentage, let me tell you.

Chatterbox helps me to get away from all the dishonesty and bloodshed of Liberty City to a world where those who talk to me are honest, if a little nutty.

Besides, sometimes I actually get a sane caller.

I put another caller on the line and say, "Okay, welcome to Chatterbox. What would you like to talk about?"

"Aeris Running Shoes is a horrible place!" the caller, a male, says. (Author's Note: In the game, at one point on the Chatterbox radio station, there's a commercial about a fictious franchise called Aeris Running Shoes. Listen to it sometime.) "They make children work, even though children are too young to handle it! And they only give them a dollar! That place should be shut down!"

I sigh in relief. This caller seems to be sane, and I'm not just saying that because I agree with him. I'm a liberal Democrat, and proud of it. (Author's Note: I made this up because they didn't say his political affilation in Grand Theft Auto III.) Even if I disagreed, I'd know that this caller has all his brain cells in the right places.

"So what do you plan to do about it?" I ask.

"I've gathered lots of people, and we're gonna hold a rally right outside one of their stores!" the caller says. "It's high time they got adult workers and started paying people more! Well, I'm done here. I just called so your listeners could hear me and join me."

"Thank you, sir," I say, hanging up on him.

You see? I do get sane callers sometimes.

I get another call and put this one on the air. This caller's a female.

"The cops in this stupid city need to stop accepting bribes!" the woman says. "This city wouldn't be so full of crime if the cops enforced the law more often! I saw this one guy hijack a car right in front of a police officer. The police officer got in his car and chase after him, only all the hijacker had to do was pick up a bribe and offer it to the officer, and the officer went away! That is not justice!"

Then, the woman hangs up on me. Another relatively sane caller.

For a brief moment the woman's words remind me of all that's wrong with this town.

But then I think of my family, and about how 99% of my Chatterbox listeners are completely honest.

Ah...bliss...

***

The End

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