Aw, Spit.

3 01 2011

It’s been a while since I have done anything that could be regarded as “legitimate” theater.  Matter of fact, when August of this year rolls around, it will be three years since I stepped onto a stage to perform previously scripted lines with inflection and objective and everything else that was imprinted onto my brain during my two-year duration in college.

I’ve kept myself busy, of course. Performing with one comedy group while leading another comedy group while working while finding time to get back to college since I’m apparently unqualified to even sell mattresses without holding a degree in anthropology. And guitar playing. Can’t forget that.

There have been times when I’ve felt the call of the “legitimate” stage. It’s a siren song, attempting to lure me back into the sweet embrace of notables like Chekhov, Shakespeare, Miller. And like the best sirens, these notables can’t wait to tear me to shreds.

What is it that has caused me to forgo the temptation, and keep on the path of improvisational comedy?

Like all good stories, this one involves a wad of saliva.

It was the end of what had been a 3-month tour.  I was in a production with three other people.  For the safety of the innocents, and the safety of myself, I’ll refrain from giving the names of the people and of the production. Aside from me, there were two males and a female.  Jake, the road manager, was on his second tour with the theater company.  Since he was the veteran out of the four of us, he had become the de facto leader.  Crystal, the female, was our ringer.  She was gorgeous, a great actress, and a terrific singing voice.  There was me, the plucky comic relief.

And then there was Matt.

Matt was the youngest of us all.  He was 19, but he had already lived a life of wonder and amazement.  He had, at different times in his life: Freestyled with some rapper that I can’t remember; Been pursued by law enforcement for 12 hours, leading up to a thrilling chase scene that culminated with a stand-off at the outlet of a sewer tunnel; Enlisted in the military and became a decorated paratrooper; And, the apex of all his accomplishments, modeled.

None of us took Matt that seriously.

Perhaps we should have.  If we did, then he may not have felt the need to lash out at inopportune times.  If only we had believed that he had descended gracefully into Iraq, he would not have felt the need to open the side door of the van while going 70 miles an hour on the interstate.  If only we had agreed that he was framed, he would not have felt the need to beat some kid up during one of our off-days, breaking his hand in the process (This was covered up by claiming he had caught his hand in a stair railing).  If only we had agreed that yes, he was the male incarnation of Heidi Klum, he would not have felt the need to make our lives much more difficult than they had to be.

Oh yes, I was looking forward to the end of this tour.

Morale was on the up-and-up.  It was the wrong kind of morale, though.  The kind of morale that manifests itself toward the end of any enterprise where people can’t wait to get out of it.  It was a sensation similar to that last month of senior year in high school, or the remaining five minutes of a sales meeting.  Our internal engines were revving, and all of us were eager to release the brake, pop the clutch, and zoom out into freedom.

I was tired.  Tired of the show, tired of the traveling, and tired of seeing these people every day.  Individually, they were lovely people.  However, put everyone into a passenger van for 9 hours, with set pieces banging into the head of anyone who was unfortunate to sit in the back, and emotions can get a little on edge.

It was with this mix of tiredness and morale that we made our way to what was our fourth-to-last show, an elementary school.  As it had been for the past three months, the show was booked toward the end of the day, a little treat for the kids and teachers.  I was on the stage, getting dressed behind the constructed set (Another fun aspect of this tour: getting dressed behind the set while loud children filed into the auditorium), when I heard Jake and Matt arguing.  Well, not arguing, per se, but vehemently debating.  What they were vehemently debating, I didn’t know.  It could’ve been anything: The show, the tour, behavior issues, whether Family Matters or Full House was the better family sitcom of the 1990s.  It really didn’t matter to me.  What mattered was after this show, there would be four more shows left, and then I would be home-free.  I was looking forward to unemployment.

Matt appeared behind the set as I was getting on the final pieces of my costume.  Matt was still dressed in his street clothes, his desire to prove himself superior to Jake taking precedent over getting ready to entertain people.  In the beginning, I attempted to be empathetic.  After all, I too noticed that Jake had taken a fascist-like approach to his position as road manager.  As the weeks wore on, however, my empathy morphed into indifference as I came to realize that there really was no way things were going to change.  Now, in this final week, I was in survival mode.  I stayed mostly silent, getting the job done and making sure the audience was going away with the faux-knowledge that gee golly, things were swell amongst the cast.

Now, this being a public forum, I’m going to replace a few choice words within the following dialogue.  The word that is replaced will be marked with an asterisk, so feel free to insert your favorite epithet.

Matt was grabbing his costume, hastily dressing while simultaneously talking to me.  “Can you believe that clown*?”

I shrugged.  With ten minutes to showtime, I was in no place to be a sense of reason.  “Dude, just let it go.  We got four days left, and then we’re done.”

Matt shook his head, pulling on his shirt. “Man, I can’t freakin’* believe you’re taking that clown’s* side.  You’re all freaking* against me.”

I spoke up a little.  Although Jake was the road manager, I was the oldest of the four of us.  “Look, I know you and him have some kind of beef, but show some professionalism, man.  I mean, there are kids coming in right now, and you keep talking like that, we’re all going to be in trouble with the theater.”

Matt looked over at me.  It was clear he now thought I was a traitor to his cause.  “Shoot* you’re all freaking* against me.”

I shook my head.  By this time, Crystal had joined us.  “Look, man, nobody’s against you.  We got a job to do, and we’re going to do it.  Then we’re going home.  Just let it go.”

“Forget* that.” Matt said.  That’s when he spotted Jake’s costume.  It was a costume for a king character, complete with crown.  Matt looked at us, then at the crown.  “He’s gonna see what happens when you mess* with me,” Matt said.  He picked up the crown, and spat a wad of saliva straight into the netting on the inside, right where Jake’s head would be.  He looked over at us, smirked, and moved over to the other side of the stage.

Crystal and I looked at each other.  It was a mix of emotions that could be found going between us.  We were stunned, certainly, but there was also the feeling that we had been here before.  It’s an odd feeling when a person who does something as base as spitting into another person’s clothing can be viewed as just a part of their natural state.  That’s not a person I like to know.

Jake came to get his costume.  He got dressed and was about to put on his crown when he looked inside and noticed the that there was something wet amongst the netting.  He turned to me.  “What happened to my crown?”

I was a defeated man.  I just shrugged.  “Matt spit in it.”

Jake’s eyes went wide.  I shrugged again.  “There’s a pair of scissors in the sewing bag.  Cut it out, and let’s get this over with.”

Jake cut the netting out.  We did the show, packed everything up, and returned home.

The next day, Matt had been fired from the tour.  Jake took the time to talk to Crystal and I, see if there were any other personal conflicts that needed to be sorted out.  There weren’t, fortunately.

We got a new person for the remaining four shows, and at the end of the week I celebrated my newly-found unemployment by going to an improv comedy show.

So why have I not done “legitimate” theater for a little over two years?

I don’t have to worry about someone spitting into my hat in improv.

 





It’s Been a Ride…

1 04 2010

Hey everyone, Zach here.  I got a little bit of news.

If you look at the previous post, you’ll see that there’s a video posted called “Footlooser”.  This was a video Aaron and myself did a couple of weeks ago.  If you’re familiar with the 1984 film, you realize that it’s a reenactment of the famous “Warehouse Dance” scene in the movie.  Several who have viewed it have said it was fantastic, really enjoyed my sweet moves, and so on.

There are those, unfortunately, who did not get as much amusement out of it.

It’s crazy, this business we’re in.  Everyone is a great mix of competitive and creative.  They come up with something fantastic, and then do their damnedest to ensure no one will steal and exploit their concept.  Which, if we’re being fair, is what Aaron and I did.

So, with that, it seems that the company that distributed Footloose, Paramount, has decided to place a law suit against myself for the “Intentional Theft of Intellectual Property”.  Apparently they have someone working there whose only job is to make sure that the budding filmmakers out there don’t exploit its ideas without proper compensation.  Basically, the studio’s miffed that we made this spectacular video, and they’re not receiving credit for providing the idea in the first place.

It’s only a civil suit, fortunately.  But still, this means I’m going to be wrangled up in legal red tape for a long time.

This is a long way of saying that I’m going to be forced to bow out of Made of Bees for a while, along with the other comedic ventures I’ve embroiled myself into.

It’s been a great ride the past couple of years, everyone.  I’m going to fight this thing from start to finish.  Maybe I’ll win, maybe I’ll lose.  I mean, what are they gonna take?  My car?  Hell, they can have it.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  I’m hoping this won’t take longer than the summer, but who knows.  Maybe they’ll try to make an example out of me, use me as a warning against other performers who desire to emulate Kevin Bacon.  The 21st-century equivalent to a head on a spike.

Stay good, everybody.

ZA





Zach Gets Subpoenaed.

1 03 2010

It’s all Apple’s fault.

After doing a system recovery on my PC for the 10th time within a 12-month period, I had had enough.  Enough with the consistent updates.  Enough with my computer being absolutely vulnerable to cyber-attacks.  Enough of walking into a Starbucks and not being able to engage in conversation with anyone other than the baristas, due to all customers having their nose buried in their smartphones.

I needed to burst into the latter half of the previous decade.

I needed a laptop.

I researched.  So many choices.  A netbook wouldn’t be enough.  This machine would be replacing my PC as my main computer.  I wanted it to have power, a nigh-limitless hard drive, and wireless built in so I don’t get looks from passers-by while I twirl my USB wireless adapter over my head, hoping to find a signal.

I decided that if I was going to do this, I had to make a splash.  Go big, or go home.  My friends were helpful, offering advice on what I should be looking for.  It’s a wonderful thing, having technical aficionados as friends.

I told them what I wanted: A machine that could be used to help me jumpstart my career as one of America’s foremost comedians.  A machine that would allow me to upload and edit video and sound effortlessly.  A machine that, yes, would bring me to the pinnacle of human existence.

They listened, and most agreed: My best bet would be a MacBook.

Of course!  Apple is usually the leader, tech-wise.  The innovations they have made have allowed us to condense even more productivity into our lives.  No longer do we have to idly sit at the dinner table, wondering when Uncle Steve was going to be done with his story about saving penguins.  With Apple, we could let everyone know we were wondering when the story would end!  24/7 access to the world!

I wanted it, I needed it, I craved it!

But, how much was I willing to pay for such luxury?  I certainly could not afford a refurbished MacBook, let alone a sparkling new one.  I had to be savvy.  Clever.  A Suze Orman of the computer world.

I turned to CraigsList.

So many choices!  And lo and behold, what did I find but a used MacBook, being sold for a mere $400.

My expression was aghast.  Did this person not know the brilliance they had in their hands?!  And it was to be mine, all mine, less than 50 cents on the dollar!

I consulted with a friend.  Showed him the ad.  He told me to be careful, said it was too good to be true.  I had a moment of pause.  Indeed, it was.  What were they trying to pull?  An elaborate scam, perhaps?  A ruse to get me in a dark alley, only to rob me of the 400 greenbacks I would have on my person?

“To Hell with it!” I countered in my mind.  “Fortune favors the bold!  I am a man!  I will make this choice, and let the consequences come if they shall!”

With the training montage of Rocky IV playing in my mind, I boldly emailed the seller, informing them of my interest.  After pressing Send, I leaned back in my chair and let out a long exhalation.  I was in this for the long haul.

The next day, I met up with the seller, and made the transaction.  As I slipped back into my car, I admired the sleekness of the MacBook.  It had some weight to it, some heft.  But it felt warm in my hands.  It felt…safe.  Secure.  Comfortable.

I headed to the nearest Starbucks.  Finding a seat near a power outlet, I proudly unfurled the power adapter and plugged it in.  Not only am I enjoying your tea, you corporate entity, I am now also stealing your power!

My finger traced over the touchpad, the pointer coming to rest on the icon to get onto the internet.  Taking a deep breath, I clicked.

My eyes went wide. Not because I hadn’t realized that in order to access the WiFi at Starbucks, you had to either purchase a Rewards card, or the time in of itself.

No, my eyes went wide because the page that the browser opened to was a static page for Henrico County Public Schools.

That’s…odd.

I closed out the browser, and looked at the dashboard.  To the left of the trash can, was an image of what looked to be a small, green, dinosaur-like creature.  Hovering the mouse over this image conjured up the text “HCPS Apps.”  I clicked on the faux-dinosaur, and was greeted with several applications that would be put to use in an elementary school.  Slideshows on Egypt and Saturn.  A folder labeled “Funtertainment.”  Lesson plans for grades 1-6.

The revelation hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was in possession of stolen property.

Closing the page, turning off the laptop, I made my way quickly out of the Starbucks.  Returning home in record time, I pulled the MacBook out again, turned it on, and took another long look.

Nope, nothing had changed.  Same static page, same faux-dinosaur.  Same slideshows on Egypt and Saturn.

There was only one thing to do.  I picked up my phone and got in touch with the police.  You don’t steal from kids.

As I’m talking with the officer on the other end of the line, I notice the light next to the built-in web camera (yet another innovation I was looking forward to using) began to flash on and off.  My mind went back to a story I read a few weeks ago, about how schools could remotely access the web cameras.  There is much debate over the ethics of schools having this power, with one argument being that if the technology were ever stolen, the camera could be used to catch an image of the suspect.

And that’s when another revelation hit.  This camera was taking photos of me.  On the phone.  With the cops.  I immediately said a silent blessing that I had decided to take the virtuous route and inform the authorities of my possession of the hot property.

Now, nearly a week later, and the story has come to a fairly happy ending.  The laptop was returned to its rightful owners.  The suspect who had sold me the computer in the first place had been arrested and was close to being arraigned.  I should have my money returned to me, more than likely after the case goes to court within the next couple of months.  And I’ll get to miss a day of work, once I’m subpoenaed to go and testify.  Hopefully it’ll be around the time Iron Man 2 has been released.

After all, there’s nothing like enjoying a movie on a hot summer day after being a witness in a larceny case.

-ZA





I Am Single for a Reason.

11 02 2010

Valentine’s Day is coming this weekend.  A wonderful time of year.  A time of love, joy, happiness.  A time where you remind your significant other just how much of a part they are in your life, and that without them by your side, you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself.

Unless you’re single.

In that case, you spend this weekend with your other single friends.  Perhaps you’ll go to a bar or a restaurant, and make condescending remarks under your breath as you mock the lovey-dovey couples around you, making goo-goo eyes at each other over the chocolate mousse or whatever it is couples get in celebration of their love.  After this group commiseration, 7 times out of 10  you’ll find yourself back at your place, listening to Michelle Branch’s “Goodbye To You” and wondering just where you went wrong in the past year to find yourself alone on the single most romantic day in the 365 days that comprise the calendar.

Wait, that’s just me?

I have a very good reason why I am single.

I am physically/mentally unable to ask a girl out in a straightforward manner.

Looking back on the 10 years I’ve been in the dating game, I have come to realize that my past couple of relationships in college were ignited by the girl taking the dive and asking me to some activity or out for a meal.

In high school, however, I still operated under the archaic idea that the man is supposed to be the one doing the asking out.

It’s a simple process.  Step 1) Approach girl.  Step 2) Ask girl out.  Step 3) If “Yes,” make plans.  If “No,” shrug it off and try again.

Not for me, though.  Oh, no.  If I was going to ask a girl out, damn it, she was going to remember it.

My first attempt in gaining a date was for the homecoming dance of my senior year.  I had not dated all through high school, and in a bid to have some fun my final year in public education, as well as disprove my mother’s theory that I was gay, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get a date.

I was interested in this one girl, who for the sake of her, I’ll give a pseudonym.  Let’s call her Jane.  Jane was a sophomore (I think: I haven’t talked to her in over 5 years).  She was a cute girl, nice, and I thought she’d be fun to take to a dance (She was, for the record).  Since this was to be my first time in asking a girl out in the 3-plus years I had been in high school, I wanted to make it memorable.  But how, how?!

It was then I looked down at the newspaper we got every Wednesday, and inspiration struck.  Peering up at me from the print was that day’s word jumble.

That was it.  I was going to make a puzzle.

Not just any puzzle.  I was going to make a rebus.

For those of you who are not part of the puzzle-loving crowd, a rebus is a puzzle where pictures are used to identify words.  For example, a picture of an eye would signify “I,” and so on.  I spent two weeks working this puzzle out in my unused notebook for physics, writing about 10 drafts until I had a decent puzzle.  It looked great on paper, and would no doubt win Jane over.

We had 5th period together.  I received permission from the teacher to use the chalkboard to write out this puzzle, and further permission from the teacher in my preceding class to leave ten minutes early so I would have plenty of time to get the puzzle onto the board.  I told my friends about my plan, and they all approved, telling me it was a genius idea, and no doubt that Jane would say yes.

I strolled into my 5th period class ten minutes early on that day, full of confidence.  The teacher and I exchanged knowing looks, her informing the class of freshmen what I was doing.  After telling the class, I got a few appreciative “Awwws” from some of the girls, along with a couple of confused looks from the guys.  No concern of mine.  They were lowly freshmen.  What did they know about asking someone out?

I picked up that chalk and proceeded to draw out my rebus.  My notebook in my other hand, I painstakingly recreated that final draft of that rebus, finishing it just as the bell rang, indicating 5th period was to begin.  I set the chalk down, wiped my hands clean of the dust, and got the rose out of my teacher’s fridge, which she had graciously kept in there for me.  I took another look at my creation, and nodded in satisfaction.  I began it with Jane’s name, followed by the rebus, ending with my name.  The message was simple, once deciphered: “Will you go to the dance with me?”  I had been clever in my choice of pictures: A quill pen, followed by -Qu, +W, a picture of a sheep with the female symbol overhead, a picture of a flower with an arrow pointing up beside, followed by -r&w, the number 2, a picture of a stick figure with little marks beside his legs to indicate dancing, the word “with”, and a picture of a bee, followed by -Be, then +M.

Perhaps I had been too clever.

Jane walked in.  I was sitting on the makeshift stage next to the door.  My friend, who was in on my plan, pointed the message out to Jane.  She went over to the board, saw her name, then mine.  She looked at me, smiled, and asked, “What is this?”  I smiled back and told her she’d have to figure it out.  She laughed, shook her head, and looked at the board.

And looked.

And looked.

Then she cocked her head slightly to the right, and looked some more.

By now, there were other people standing next to her, all attempting to figure out this rebus.  I stayed on the stage, still holding the rose behind my back.  I could hear the small crowd talking amongst themselves:

“What do you think that is?” “It looks like a feather.” “But a feather doesn’t have a q or a u in it.” “Is that supposed to be a sheep?” “What’s that stick figure guy doing?  Running?”

In my desire to make this attempt at getting a date memorable, I had forgot the fact that I am terrible at drawing.

Five minutes passed.  Then ten.  I shuffled my feet.  My teacher just stared at me.  The rose behind my back felt like lead.  This entire plan was going to hell.

Finally, I cleared my throat, stepped down off the stage, and explained it.  Jane’s eyes lit up as she looked it over again and with a quick nod, said “Oh, yeah!  I see it now!”  I presented her the rose, which she accepted and responded to by giving me a hug and agreeing to accompany me to the homecoming dance.

I’m pleased to say that we had a great time.  She was a sweet girl, and I’m sure she still is.

Now, though, whenever I get the inclination to ask a girl out, I decide against it.  Odds are I’d end up making it so complex, it could be used as a plot point in the next Da Vinci Code.

Someday I’ll get the hang of asking a girl out in a straightforward manner.  Until then, I’ll have Michelle Branch on repeat.

-ZA





Why I Have Failed at Twitter.

4 02 2010

Curse you, Twitter bird. Curse you.

Last year, I jumped on the bandwagon.  I joined in the Twitter craze.  I was young.  Naive.  Full of optimism that this branch of social media would once again bear fruits of knowledge and connect me to a larger portion of the world.

Now, some months later, I hang my head in shame.

I have failed Twitter.  Utterly and completely failed it.

How did I fall so far, so fast?  It’s difficult to say, but I have a couple of ideas.

For one, I’m bombastic.  Loquacious.  And yes, a little pompous.  I like to hear myself talk (mostly) and certainly enjoy going back to read what I’ve written.  But with Twitter’s 140-character limit, I found myself constrained.  My thoughts require more than 140 characters, blast it!  Talk to the people who text me; they’ll tell you my responses, while inane, typically reach the breaking point of the 160 characters afforded to me by my wireless carrier!

With Twitter’s 140 character limit, my brilliant writings become dull, witless, monosyllabic piles of dreck that a man who has received the miracle of eyesight after 20 years of blindness would take one glance upon them and immediately wish to return to the darkness.

Another is the self-promotion.  My god, people.  To paraphrase one of the most eloquent speakers of our times, Terrell Owens, “They love them some them.”  Every time I would log on, there would advertisements thrown at me from all directions…”Buy from me!  Come to my party!  Look at this photo of take-out I got from Taco Bell!  Now look at my tweet about eating Taco Bell!”

Twitter-loyalists will pipe up now, defending this, saying that we are bombarded with advertisements every day of our lives.  True.  However, I do not have to scroll through all those advertisements in the hope that there may be something worthwhile amongst these proclamations of self-promotion.

I admit, I attempted these advertisements early in my Twitter life.  But once again my pomposity, love of verbiage, and adversity to internet shorthand limited what I could advertise.  And now my daily tweet deals with a contest wherein I re-tweet a phrase in hopes of winning money for a car.  I have become a shill.

Another reason I have gloriously failed?  My location and access to technology.  I live 20 minutes outside of Richmond, as well as owning a cell phone that lacks a camera or any other kind of recording device.  Therefore, the great events I hear about being promoted in the city, as well as the real-time events, have no bearing on me.  I would have gone sledding in Byrd Park, if my car had not been snowed in and I lived anywhere close to that area.  But I do not.  And the tweets I put up there about events happening in my area?  The Richmonders don’t care.  I’m the outsider looking in.  The homeless man on Christmas Eve, looking into the window of the home that contains a loving family, where a turkey is being carved amidst marital and familial bliss.  I desperately wish to join their world, but know I would be shunned for my lack of social graces.

As for the lack of technology, I can not send twit-pics.  I can not become the metaphorical mayor of some place.  Even if I did, the places I visit on a regular basis would elicit no response, positive or negative.  My tweet followers would look and see I became the mayor of Wawa, and the reaction would be a yawn, a shrug, and their thumbs moving to indicate they had become the mayor of some upscale, chic cafe on Cary Street.  I have no hope.

So yes, I have failed Twitter.  I have failed it gloriously.  Will I keep it?  Sure.  There may come a time when I will utilize it to its full advantage, and become renowned for my sharp, biting wit that is oh-so-brief.  But soon I will put it on hiatus, and perhaps work on whittling my creative thoughts down to an acceptable length.

But for now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shill for a car company.

-ZA





Tales of Anxiety, Part 1.

21 01 2010

No doubt about it, I am an anxious person.  Not that my anxiety prevents me from being a hard-working, semi-productive member of society, but it’s always there, in the back of my mind.  Occasionally it gets bad enough where I begin freaking out over whether I’m walking in straight line.  Once I’m assured I am, I begin to get nervous yet again…what if I have to make a sudden turn?! 

And so on.

My anxiety especially peaks when I’m around people I am unfamiliar with.  This is one reason why I rarely go out to clubs, busy restaurants, amusement parks, sidewalks.  I always have the feeling I am in their way, or that if I’m not in their way right then, I certainly will be in their way within the hour.  Of course, all the fretting I do about impeding their path usually leads to me and this stranger having an awkward encounter, where I try like hell to get away from them. 

The latter event occurred yesterday.  I was in Barnes & Noble, browsing the “Buy2, Get 1 Free” table near the entrance.  I hear the woosh of the air that accompanies a door swinging open and look up.  It was a woman, looked to be in her late-30s.  She was talking on her cell phone, somewhat loudly.  I go back to looking at the books, as I’m used to people having no idea how loud they’re being when they are discussing plans with their friend over the phone on the wine tasting party that’s happening on Saturday.

I hear the phone-lady say adieu to her friend, followed by the sound of the phone dropping into her faux eco-friendly bag.

And then, silence.

I look up, and this woman is staring at me.  Our eyes meet briefly, and I give a quick smile and nod.  A genial greeting, really.  No malice whatsoever.  Her response to this lack of malice was a brief smile before going back to a straight face and staring at me.  I go back to looking over the BOGO table, but my attention is now split.  Every now and then I’ll look up and the woman’s still there.  She has her phone out and is now texting.

Following is my brief internal monologue:

“Why is that woman staring at me?  I don’t know her.  I doubt she knows me.  Don’t think our social circles would really intersect.  Maybe she wants to look at this table, too?  Then why isn’t she?  It’s a large table.  Certainly big enough for at least two people to peruse.  Why is she still standing there?  God, I wish she’d say something.  Come on, lady!  What do you want from me?!  Would you please just go walk somewhere else or something?!  Gah, forget this!”

I turn toward the exit, stepping away from the table lined with books.  I turn to look back and see this lady walking through where I was just standing to get to the bookshelf that was to the right of the table.  Not a horrible thing, except that there was plenty of room on the other side of the table where she could have easily made it to the shelf without freaking me out.

With my head turned, I don’t pay attention to my dragging feet, and catch the corner of the rug with the rubber edges.  I stumble, taking the corner of the rug with me.  The Barnes & Noble employees all stare at me as I attempt to kick the rug back into place, having no success and finally having to squat down to maneuver it into a place near where it was originally.

After finishing that task, I just slowly backed out of the store.  There was no longer any need for me to be there.  I had done enough.

-ZA





The True Victim of the Leno/O’Brien Feud.

16 01 2010

As it’s been reported through several news outlets, Jay Leno is moving back to the timeslot of 11:35pm.  This move is due to his current show, creatively titled The Jay Leno Show is doing dismal numbers, reducing the lead-in audience to local affiliates’ news programs, which hurts the advertising revenue.

Conan O’Brien, the redheaded gentleman who took over for Jay Leno in the 11:35pm slot, is extremely agitated and has spent the past week or so throwing epithets out toward the NBC network.

But, people, you’ve heard all of this, from several other media-savvy bloggers who are much more in tune with the late-night world than I am.  Therefore, I’m going to push aside all the main chatter, and focus on one subject that has not received the least amount of attention.

What’s going to happen to Andy Richter?

Think about it, ladies and gentlemen.  The man is basically known as Conan’s right-hand guy!  He was the Ed McMahon to O’Brien’s Carson.  And now that NBC has all but sealed the deal on getting Conan off of NBC, what is Andy going to do?

Star in a TV series?  Doubtful.  With a quick glance at his IMDb page, it’s painfully obvious that he’s unable to carry a show:

  • Andy Richter Controls the Universe: 19 episodes.  Two seasons, although it wasn’t brought back for a third, due to the majority of America becoming convinced they’re more entertained by vapid women with surgically-enhanced bodies vying for the affections of some guy with a bad haircut who pretends to be a millionaire but…surprise!…he’s not*.
  • Andy Barker, P.I.: 4 episodes.  For perspective, the sitcom Teen Angel, a TGIF sitcom concerning a friend whose guardian angel is his friend who just recently died from eating a 6-month old hamburger (Thanks, Wikipedia!) lasted for 17 episodes.

His other credits include a couple of Nickelodeon shows dealing with penguins, another one about some chick named B, and so forth.

Ladies and gentlemen, do you really want Andy Richter to be forced to make his living voicing a species that’ll be wiped out in 5 years due to climate change?  I think not.

So remember, friends.  Once Conan’s off the air, be sure to send Andy a card wishing him the best of luck in his endeavors.  Conan will be fine.  As will Max Weinberg, since he gets to go and drum for Bruce Springsteen.

And Andy will bounce back, as he always does.  Just remember, this late-night war has far more victims than can be imagined.

-ZA

*I honestly don’t know if Andy Richter Controls the Universe was cancelled to make way for Joe Millionaire.  I just like to bring up that horrible, horrible reality show whenever possible.