These two guys have a show on the public access cable TV channel here in town. They believe their program has deep merit and virtue and educates all who view it. Or they believe they uncover new and undisclosed injustices within society and expose them in an entertaining fashion. Or they believe they're fun and entertaining, smiting us with their sharp, sophisticated wit and sarcasm. Or they just want to jerk off as they watch themselves on the screen thinking, "I can't believe people go for this shit."
Whatever their desire, one thing is for certain: the fuel that drives the show is alcohol. Ethyl alcohol. Ethanol, next to coffee and TV the most abused drug on the planet.
It's called "Rox," as in "on the Rox," as in 'gimme a shot of "Jack" on the "Rox" or "I'll have J&B on the Rox." It's ice. They're cool. They're dripping wet. They're basically transparent. Yep. Ice.
This guy called "B" says he edits the show. After three years he's only gotten better and so has the pace and entertainment value of the show. "J" mixes drinks and stutters about why they're doing what they're doing. A whole host of other slacker types with deeply troubled visions and other dysfunctional traits cavort throughout an episode at "B's" whim and their own insistence on being videotaped.
Sound like fun? It is.
I've been there. I've seen it all; pre-production meetings, script editing, casting, makeup, dress rehearsal, opening night, tears etching rivers in the pancake as they read the night's reviews.
Time after time, they come up empty-handed. Why? As I said, the show can't go on without alcohol. Alcohol. Alcohol. Look at it. You can't spell it without a "ho." What is the "ho" on "Rox"? Sadly, it's the bartender, "J." Oh, sure, good banter, comedic grin, charming presence, jutting, shining forehead — but is this guy a bartender? Hey J! Ya gotta get the nozzle in the tank! Is an ounce a cup or a pint? Is vodka a good substitute for gin? Who the hell has ever mixed a drink with ginger liqueur? Do you make drinks you like? Ever? How come your viewers consistently make better drinks than you? Is Dextromethorphan a legitimate mixer? Define "mixture," "compound," "emulsion." Draw vinyl chloride. Do you give a damn at all!?
OK, sorry. I'm ranting a bit. But I have a right. As a college graduate with a telecommunications degree and an eye for production, I have no idea what "good" is. But as a professional brewer of beer with deep physiological needs I can say that "J" satisfies like no other bartender can — like, not at all.
J, you use the worst alcohol money can buy; and when you do use something worthwhile (who do you get to buy you the good stuff?) you either mix it in such disastrous proportions that the drink tastes like razors, or you combine it with totally unsuitable mixers. You regularly use the wrong style glass for the drink you're making. Often it's a dirty glass as well. Or maybe it's a trash can. Yes, dear Reader, place your eyeballs back in your head. I have actually seen J mix a drink in a 40 gallon trash can partially filled with fly maggots. I know for a fact that he only pretended to drink a sample from the can. Hey J! What do you think your viewers are — fools!?
Haven't we had enough shoddy journalism for one century? Don't we have enough to question in this world without having to doubt our seemingly trustworthy bartender? Doesn't this just smack of the Real Downfall of Society?
Again, I digress. My only friend, Little Timmy Flebeezy, ("The Boy with Half a Brain," starring Timmy Flebeezy, 1967) says maybe J is a buffoon on purpose, simply for the entertainment value. Histrionics and alcoholism? Hardly. It is obvious that J wishes to subvert his viewers. A simple mind is one thing but a simple mind drunk on bad booze mixed in the wrong proportions is directly controllable via phosphorescent media. Videodrome. Yea, sure, yuk it up as you plunge down your throat vile concoctions of J's insidious design. Will you remember what you did that night? Will you laugh at the tragedies of the morning news? Is it all the other guy's fault? Well, maybe it is, but where was he last night? Partying? Watching TV? Drinking alone? Drinking noxious brain- controlling swill through an electronic screen?
Just look out for this "J" guy, okay? You think he's sweet and goofy and cute and just a dope but when you wake in a pool of someone else's blood with static on channel three and a really dirty , sticky glass in your hand, don't say I didn't try to warn you.
Of course, maybe that's a good start for your own TV show...