Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"The Depravity of Network Television" by Dr. Ace T. Jericho, Rogue Journalist

We were six hours into streaming The Gates via Netflix when "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana blared from my phone. The cats, who had been sitting quietly by our feet next to the couch, bared teeth, hissed and yowled, ears flattening, eyes going to slits, and batted at the air around them with exposed claws.

I hurried to my desk to answer the damned thing.

"Unforgiveable depraved son of a motherless loon!" I screamed into it. "How dare you interrupt our Netflixing. We were trying to figure out if Devon was a body snatcher when you interfered. Now speak or begone!"

"Or we'll have you boiled in man-boob sweat!" Anne called out from the couch.

"You foul bastard!" said the voice on the other end of the line. "Man-boob sweat is just wrong."

It was my good friend Parker from The Peninsula, who fought deranged computer hackers in command-line steel cage matches by day and fired off large-caliber hand weapons and tromped across online game realms by night. The Peninsula lay across San Francisco Bay, west of The Lair, a mysterious land shrouded in fog. I grew up there, and Parker knew how to survive the wild inhuman places with only a high-powered Dremel and a six-pack of Henry Weinhard's Cream Soda.

"You mutant coelacanth," I replied. "Good to hear from you."

"Who is Devon and why is she a pod person? And is Donald Sutherland involved? Or Leonard Nimoy?"

"We're watching The Gates on Netflix. Rhona Mitra is a vampire again but thankfully, she's sparkle-free. And Prince Edvard of Denmark left Julia Stiles to embrace a blood-drinker's life."

"The Gates?" said Parker. "Urban fantasy in an HOA?"

"That's the one."

"I'll bet Edvard left Julia because she was canoodling with Jason Bourne. Or was it The Joker?"

"But Evard is with Rhona now so that's a plus," I said. "Six eps in and it's pretty good. Shame it got canceled. Damn ABC and the Networks."

"The fate of Firefly and others," said Parker, his voice mournful.

"Network Execs are fools. I made a study of this."

"I remember. Two months, was it?"

"Six," I said. "In depth. By the time it was over I was so disgusted with their practices I nearly gave birth to a Chia Pet. They have no imagination or sense of their audience. Unless your count Bat Boy fans and those people who follow alien anal probe news. Just a bunch of delirious wide-eyed swine with brain parasites. They should be packed into small cages where hyperactive children can poke them with sharp sticks."

"You should just stick with anime," said Parker. "The pinnacle of visual entertainment phantasmagoria."

Parker was a huge anime aficionado. He had a closet full of DVDs and other memorabilia that threatened to burst open and bury smaller men. Willow Ufgood and Tyrion Lannister would not survive such an event, even if Tyrion had seen Wash standing on the roof of an English manor totally starkers and hopped up on acid. But Parker was six feet tall and broad shouldered. He could stave off the deluge with a twitch of the eyebrow. His wife, Mary, had been after him for years to build more storage space for his collection but Parker used most of his workshop time attempting to create a hand-held sun.

Parker was also a flashlight fetishist. But that's another story for another, depraved, soulless evening.

"And speaking of Bat Boy," Parker went on, "he was a chiropteran."

"As a matter of fact, we just finished Blood+."

"Good man," said Parker. "I'll forgive the excursion to network television But anime is the way to go."

"As long as it doesn't involve Matrix Boobs. That was a bit much."

"It was. But a small price to pay."

"Time's a-wasting!" Anne called out.

"Is that Anne?" said Parker. "Tell her I said hello."

I told Anne.

"Call back later!" Anne replied. "We're in the middle of entertainment. He's talked for too long!"

"Damn your timekeeping, Woman!" I shot back, then said to Parker, "I'd better go before she boils me in man-boob sweat. Death may follow."

"Let me know when you'll be heading this way again," he said. "I'll muster the troops and we'll revel in burgers and LAN parties."

Glorious.

Nothing like gluttony and technology.

And no boiled man-boob sweat to worry about.

Come back next week for another entry of The Jericho Files!
Read previous Jericho Files entries here.

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