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The Great Escape

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Six days, two hours and five minutes - that was how long it took Michael to carefully craft and put in motion what he thought was the perfect escape plan. Well, maybe not ”carefully craft” but that was how long he'd been desperately seeking a solution before inspiration struck. He convinced one of the more malleable waitresses to try and sneak him out the back door during his break when Jon was making his rounds at the tables. Everyone was terrified of, and also in love with, Jon, which made it pretty tough to get anyone to even notice he was being held captive - they simply didn’t want to notice. Jon ruled the restaurant with an iron fist, but somehow everyone still loved him. It could have been the soul-piercing eyes or his finely chiseled jaw, or the fact he didn’t wear underwear half the time and his pants were super tight, but whatever it was, Michael had a hard time finding anyone who would go against Jon.

Anyway, Michael thought he had found the one waitress who was a little less terrified and not quite as in love with Jon as the others, and after some pleading, cajoling, and showing her the cot in the butler's pantry where Jon kept him at night, she agreed to distract the kitchen staff by dropping a platter so he could make his daring run into the night.

So everything seemed to be in line - Jon gave Michael his usual ten minute break between the acts in his ventriloquist show and started doing his rounds (Jon used to do his rounds during Michael’s act, but he said Michael’s voice "sounded liked fingers on a chalkboard” and he couldn't handle it when “he was trying to make them money by impressing the guests with his star power" so he made Michael take breaks when he was in the dining room.) Michael followed his “normal” routine and went to his assigned break corner in the kitchen (he usually spent his breaks trying to figure out how his life had come to this and gazing at the staff to see who would actually make eye contact with him, but tonight it was all about the plan.)

The waitress played her part perfectly - she waited until her tray was loaded up with a fresh out of the oven Hamm Buble (the heaviest item on the menu), and then she pretended to trip over a broken tile in the floor. While the main dining room was a showpiece, the kitchen looked like something out of Kitchen Nightmares - everything was broken down and woefully out of date. It worked like a charm - everyone started running around terrified for fear of disappointing Jon and hoping they could salvage at least some of the ham (Jon had strict rules about food waste - if the outside touched the floor, the inside could still be diced up into a Buble Hamm.) Now, Michael wasn’t sure that was in line with department of health requirements, but seeing as Jon didn’t seem to care much about labor laws, a few health violations to save money seemed in line with how Jon worked.

Michael used the distraction to slip out of his corner, along the back wall and to the back alley door and was half out with the door shutting behind him before he heard the barking. Really loud and scary barking. And then he saw the dogs doing the barking. The waitress hadn’t mentioned the dogs, but there they were - two very large Rottweilers with very large teeth. And he was a tiny bit scared of dogs - he had had a bad experience once at party with a German Shepherd and his leg and just . . . bad things happened. Which seemed to be kinda a new theme in his life, which was generally awesome, but somehow he ended up as Jon Hamm’s captive living in a pantry, doing a ventriloquist act and talking about William Faulkner, when the last time he read Faulkner was in 9th grade english (and he had tried to tell Jon that and Jon just printed out some articles from Wikipedia because “books are expensive, Michael” and just gave him the Look, so Michael had read the pages and hoped the patrons weren’t overly familiar with Faulkner either). But anyway, back to the dogs - he didn’t like dogs, but as the dogs were what stood between him and freedom, he would have to deal.

Except he hadn’t thought about the fact he was living in a butler’s pantry off a poorly ventilated kitchen that cooked primarily pork products, so he pretty much constantly smelled like ham (Jon let him “shower” in the dish sink every night after closing before he locked him in the pantry, but that pork smell never seemed to go away). At least Michael thought he smelled like ham, but he wasn't sure he could smell anything that wasn’t ham (or taste it for that matter, as Jon fed him leftovers for all three meals) so as soon as he stepped out the door the dogs started coming after him like he was a ham - it was like he could see the little ham signs in their eyes. Of course, at this point he had made it all the way out the door and had just heard it click shut behind him as he was thinking that maybe living in a butler's pantry and doing one-man shows for a very scary man actually wasn’t a bad thing, so he turned to open the door, and of course it was locked because really, that was where his life was at this point. So now he was trapped in an alley with two dogs eyeballing him like an Easter ham and no way out of the alley except past Jon’s canine sentries.

At this point he was pretty sure his life was going to end in an alley behind the most ridiculous concept for a restaurant he had ever heard of, with none of his friends or family actually knowing what happened to him (and seriously, six days with no contact - you would think at least his manager would be looking for him? But knowing Jon, he had been spinning some story - or so Michael hoped, because if not, everyone had a lot of answering to do if he got out of this). Then it occurred to him, he did have something to offer the dogs. His clothing. Jon had only given him two sets of clothing and he hadn’t been able to wash them yet, so they were pretty ripe and smelled like ham, so while the dogs figured out which parts of him they wanted to eat first (and thankfully, they were taking their time) he stripped down to his undershirt and boxers. He threw the rest of his stuff down the alley and finally, something in his life went his way - the dogs chased after them and started ripping them to shreds and eating them.

While they were occupied, Michael ran toward the exit as if he life depended on it (and he was pretty sure it actually did). When he made it to the end of the alley and all he saw were flashing bulbs and people were shouting and he started waving his arms and trying to explain. and At that point everything got a little blurry, but he is pretty sure that is how he ended up on the cover of People wearing only his underwear looking like a crazy man with the headline “Michael Buble’s Epic Breakdown and How His Best Friend Jon Hamm Tried To Save Him From Himself.”

And that is also how Michael ended up a lovely facility full of nurses with pretty smiles and men in white jackets, because seriously, who would believe that Jon Hamm was able to keep Michael Buble locked in a butler's pantry while forcing him to perform two shows a night for six days? Especially since Jon was telling everyone that Michael went on a ham and champagne bender after the new restaurant had opened to celebrate and had locked himself in the pantry to fuel his ham addiction and did the shows of his own free will to pay for his expensive ham and champagne habit. And because he was Jon freaking Hamm and everyone loved him (and also, were pretty much terrified of him - Michael hadn’t realized how widespread Jon’s reign of terror in Hollywood actually was until this incident - or even that it existed), everyone believed him. Hell, Michael almost believed him.

Regardless of how he had gotten himself into the situation, at least Michael wasn’t doing a one-man show about an author he wasn't familiar with or an act with a dummy, and he was eating Jello and chocolate pudding and not pork, so life was already better. Eventually he would like to you know, get back to singing (and deal with Jon because he was getting some pretty menacing postcards with pictures of his suit and the dogs and ham) but for now, he was going to enjoy the peacefulness of the lovely private facility he was currently calling home while he recovered from his allegedly ham-induced hallucinations and paranoia.