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The Secret Lives of Daft Punk

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“And that was Daft Punk Live, ladies and gentlemen!! Have a good night”  Pharell Williams announced over the screaming crowd, illuminated by the various stage lights.  The two robots in the booth nodded and gave awkward thumbs up at the roaring crowd as a sort of silent thank you.  They had finished the concert with their famous song called “Harder” and everyone loved it. The two robotically attired gentlemen as well as their stage crew exited stage left.  

“Great performance, Thomas and Guy!” one of the guitar players patted them both on the back.

“Euh, oui, merci beaucoup,” Thomas, the taller silver-headed robot thanked.

“Si, merci beaucoup aussie,” Guy-Manuel, the shorter robot with the golden head agreed. They both walked shoulder to shoulder all the way to their dressing room, ignoring the steady chant of encore growing more distant as they made their way down the hallway to a door marked with a star and the names “Thomas and Guy-Manuel.”

Once the door locked shut, the two robotic gentlemen removed their robotic helmets.  Thomas and Guy-Manuel were done being famous musical robots for today, and now they were back to being ordinary, non-famous humans Shane Madej and Ryan Bergara.

“I think we did pretty good today,” Shane elbowed Ryan gently.  Ryan sighed. “What’s wrong, babe?” Shane asked, concerned for his secret lover.

“Nothing, we did do pretty good out there.  And the lighting was sick as fuck. Everyone loved it,”  Ryan mumbled sadly as though his heart wasn’t in the words he was saying.

“Ryan, tell me the truth,” Shane urged Ryan.  Shane liked the truth and reality more than he liked most other things.  

“I guess like,” Ryan sighed again “It’s kinda exhausting trying to be French all the time I guess.”

That’s what you’re worried about?” Shane asked.

“Well I mean, I feel kinda ridiculous.  Our French and our accents are so bad and I’m afraid that people are going to catch on,” Ryan admitted.

“Ryan,” Shane placed both of his hands on Ryan’s shoulders and drew him close in a comforting sort of way. “No one cares if we’re French or not.  They only care that we’re kick-ass robot DJs.”

“I know! You tell me this all the time! Along with that we pretend we’re French so that—”

“—’So that suspicions are cast off of a couple American guys who don’t want to be public with their fame,’ yeah. Okay, tell me what’s really up,” Shane said.

“Well, I mean, that is part of the reason, but… I don’t know.  You probably won’t like what I have to say,” Ryan considered.

“Ryan, I don’t care if I’ll like it or not, I only care that it’s the truth and that it’s based on concrete facts we can see in reality.  And I want to know what’s going on in your reality; what’s been making you so upset?” Shane asked.

“It’s just…” Ryan hesitated.  “Maybe I don’t want to be anonymously famous as a French disco robot anymore…”

“Ryan, you always told me this was your dream !”

“No, this was your dream!  I only said I want to be famous, and you went and turned it into ‘ wouldn’t it be awesome if we were kick-ass techno-music making robots who were also French’ ” Ryan said.

“I was under the impression that you were super into the idea,” Shane was getting kind of irritated.

“No! I wasn’t! I literally said ‘that’s such a stupid idea’ and you dragged me into it anyway!” Ryan snapped at him.

“I sincerely thought we were on the same page here.  I thought we were doing what we both wanted. Didn’t you see the crowd out there?  They love us!” Shane tried to reason, like he always did.

“That may be so, Shane,” Ryan said.  “But it’s not what I want to do. It’s not my dream, Shane!”

“Then what is your dream!?” Shane begged.

“You want to know?” Ryan challenged. Shane nodded eagerly.


Ryan took a deep breath.

“I want to know if ghosts are real,” Ryan admitted.

“What?” Shane said between his teeth.

“There! I said it!” Ryan shouted.

“I can answer that question for you, Ryan. Ghosts are not real,” Shane reasoned.

“How the fuck can you say that?? This is my dream Shane and it’s not for you to shit all over with your bullshit ‘facts’ and ‘evidence’ thing you do!” Ryan was fighting back tears.  “And what about demons? Cryptids? Mothman, fucking Bigfoot, dude! What if they’re real and we just haven’t found evidence yet?”

“You’re not making any sense, Ryan, where is this all coming from?” Shane said.

“It’s coming from me! My dreams, my soul, and you’ve just been ignoring everything important to me in favor of what you understand! We’re not even fucking French, Shane!! What are we doing here??”

“Okay,” Shane breathed in.  “Okay say that we did your stupid ghost thing.  What about me? What can I do? We were supposed to be in this together!”

“I don’t know, maybe it doesn’t all have to be ghosts and shit.  Maybe we can cover things that already happened too, like real life murders and everything?” Ryan suggested.

“I mean, I guess that can work.  But, are we really ready to give up this life we started?  Living as the personas of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and as their robotic alter egos?  I know it isn’t your dream, but you can’t tell me it hasn’t been fun, that you haven’t enjoyed being kickass French robot DJs and making music with me,” Shane said.  Ryan thought about this, about all the happy memories, traveling the world with his secret lover Shane, AKA Thomas Bangalter, being anonymously famous, making music with him, meeting various fans, engineering kickass robotic gear.

“No, it has been really fun.  I never meant to say I didn’t enjoy it,” Ryan sighed.  “We don’t have to give it all up. Maybe we could just say we’re on hiatus, and then when we’re ready to come back, we will.”

“Sounds good, babe,” Shane kissed the top of Ryan’s head, but due to his freakish height he had to bend his knees just to reach.  “Okay, let’s do what you want to do. Maybe we can get into Buzzfeed or something and ask to make a show”

“And no one can know about who we really are,” Ryan reminded him.

“Of course. No one will find out that Shane Madej and Ryan Bergara, who are secret lovers, were really Daft Punk, and that we lived a fake double life as Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, who also aren’t real people but just us in disguise,”  Shane agreed.

“And that we’re not really French,” Ryan added.

“And that we’re not really French,” Shane repeated in agreement. “Let’s hunt us some motherfucking ghosts and make a show about it.”


Meanwhile, Pharell Williams, who was listening in the whole time from the other side of the closed door, quietly stepped away.

“Holy shit,” Pharell Williams whispered to himself as he walked down the hallway.  “Daft Punk aren’t actually French,” Pharell Williams mumbled to himself. “And now I know all about their secret identities.”