“Say What?”: Song Lyrics We Completely Misunderstood.

Everyone’s done it. Whether as children or even as adults, we hear a song and our brain processes what we are hearing incorrectly. We substitute words or phrases in place of the actual lyrics and we proceed to sing nonsense. Sometimes, we get pretty close  – (See Gowdy’s “Africa” by Toto blunder below) and sometimes we aren’t even in the same ballpark – “We built this city on sausage rolls” instead of “We build this city on rock and roll.” Seriously, that’s a real thing.

In that spirit, here are five song lyrics we totally botched.


Money For Nothing by Dire Straits (Gowdy Cannon)

I knew so many factual things about this song when it was released. I knew it was released in 1985. I knew there was a longer version of the song that would be extremely Non-PC today. I could recognize the song after two seconds of the drum intro, or if I had to from about one second of the opening guitar riff. This song played over and over in my life when I was seven and eight years old, including on rides to school in the back seat of my brother Tracy’s T-top convertible.

But 7-year old Gowdy was badly, badly mistaken by the lyrics. I had no idea if it was “chicks for free” or “checks for free,” but that is a common misunderstanding of the song, at least if the Google search bar on my computer is right when I type in “Money for nothing and my…” But even more embarrassing was that I thought the song was saying “Money for workin’.” It was around 1989–four years later–that my future sister-in-law corrected me. I pretended I got it wrong on purpose but that was a lie.

Also, I just found out that in the song “Africa” by Toto it’s “bless the rains” and not “miss the rains” but I forewent that one based on how I already displayed my ignorance about its lyrics in another REO article on the 80s.


Get on Your Knees and Fight Like a Man by Petra (Phill Lytle)

I don’t have a lot of excuses here. The lyric I “misheard” is literally the title of the song, and yet, to this day, I can’t hear it correctly. (In my defense, I was pretty young when this album came out – 10 or so.) The entire song is about the power of prayer, something that Petra sang about often, and the lyrics were a great subversion of the world’s idea of manliness and what Scripture says about it. I understood that even then, yet I still always heard (and sang along) to “Get on your knees, and cry like a man!” It made no sense to me, yet that is what I heard so that is what it was.


We Three Kings (Ben Plunkett)

The first line of this song has always been a bit frustrating to me in that it is actually written to make it confusing. We three kings of Orient Are? It makes it even more frustrating that sometimes the song is actually called We Three Kings of Orient Are. (insert Tim “the tool man” Taylor question grunt). So I was a kid in church at Christmas time and I was always like, “Where is this magical land called Orient Are?”

Like many poetic type works, the blame is on the author awkwardly manipulating it for the sake of rhyming. I can’t stand it when poets and songwriters do that. In this case, this little bit of manipulation madness was brought to you just so the author could rhyme “are” with “afar”. Just say “we are three kings of Orient” and end our misery. Come on! (Of course, that creates a little awkwardness in itself, but at least it’s a starting point for a revision).


Brother by NEEDTOBREATHE (Michael Lytle)

A few years ago the band NEEDTOBREATHE scored a hit with the song Brother. It’s a great anthem on the theme of brotherly love. My family enjoyed the song, but one line in the chorus gave us some trouble. For those who are unfamiliar, the chorus says:

Brother let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call when you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way, bring you home

The second to last line was the one we couldn’t figure out. Various alternatives were suggested. My son was convinced it was “In the night with the diamond ore”. My personal favorite was “When you might need a Tylenol”. Eventually, we figured it out. Or maybe we just looked it up. Either way, we all can now sing “When the night winds are driving on” with confidence, and all is right with the world again.


Bringing in the Sheaves (Ben Plunkett)

It never crossed my young mind to wonder why they were singing “Bringing in the Cheese” on “The Little House On the Prairie” nor did it phase me when we sang it at church. Never mind that the rest of the song offers the biblical metaphor of harvesting. Actually, at that point in my life, it would not have mattered what food product they were bringing in, sheaves, cheese, beef steak, pizza. it was all the same to me. While sheaves alone really does fit best with the visual and biblical context of the rest of the song, I was a kid, I didn’t give a hoot for context–so get off my back! Now I want some pizza. Bring in the cheese!


Now it’s your turn. Tell us what song lyrics you have butchered – use the comment section below. And if you enjoy this article, please consider liking and sharing it on Facebook or Twitter. We appreciate the support!

 

 

 




500 Words of Less Reviews: The Count of Monte Cristo (Book)

 

Sprawling, epic, multifaceted, ingenious. Those are just four great words that describe the 1462-page unabridged copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. This massive work was written by Alexandre Dumas. It was published in 18 installments in a popular French newspaper. Do you want to know what happens? Everything. Everything happens. The tale recounts the long story of the young, promising seaman Edmund Dantes. On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, three jealous rivals (technically four, but he is very drunk and doesn’t really know what’s going on) plot to get him thrown into prison for treason.

Halfway through this term, he is on the brink of madness and committing suicide when he meets the kindly, wise, industrious and extremely knowledgeable Abbe Faria. For the next few years, the abbe bequeaths to Dantes all of his substantial earthly knowledge and on his final deathbed the knowledge of a vast fortune hidden on the island of Monte Cristo. After the death of his friend, teacher, and mentor, Dantes escapes and indeed finds this mountain of treasure securely hidden on the island for many, many years.

Despite the wise words of the abbe that revenge will not bring him peace, Edmund (who now calls himself The Count of Monte Cristo) spends the next ten years concocting an incredibly complex plan of vengeance of the men involved in his wrongful imprisonment with almost 1200 pages worth of carrying out his end game.

The synopsis I have just given might be sufficient to describe the recent 2002 movie adaption of the book (it is to that popular adaptation I will be referring to when I mention the film version), but it is certainly not an adequate representation of the novel itself. The staggering complexity of the novel is something the movie did not even hint at. I love the movie, I really do, but it is barely an outline of the real deal. It is really only minorly inspired by the full story. The real story is infinitely more complex, rich, and, as mentioned, sprawling. When I say that everything is in this book I mean there is just that. And that is only a slight exaggeration. There is action, adventure, mystery, comedy, drama, romance, and at least a hundred subgenres in each of these genres. There are stories in stories and stories in stories in stories.

There are so many richly drawn characters and subplots here that for sizable chunks of the book the count isn’t even involved or is but a secondary character. One of the overarching of these characters: God. Not surprisingly, almost all talk of God is exempt from the theatrical rendition. As a result, I think the ending is very different and the conclusions of the count are very different from the cut and dried tale on film.

In conclusion, although the trip is long and sometimes tedious, it is a trip incredibly worth it. Here’s to them making the wise decision to make this into a two-week miniseries.

 

This is the cover of the edition I read.




How are Good Works and Salvation Connected?

People love the idea of earning stuff. There are trophies awarded in sports for winning a competition. Money earned by doing some sort of work. Students get a good grade for doing well on a test. The list goes on and on. Most of the time earning what you get is not wrong at all. In fact, much of the time it is good, right, and biblically-based. However, the mindset of needing to earn rewards explains why it is so hard to accept how salvation really works.

 

What All Christians Need to Accept

As indicated, we didn’t and don’t earn Salvation. That’s a very good thing because it would be impossible for any human to actually do so. It is equally true, however, that now that we have been saved, we should be compelled to do good works for the person and cause of Jesus. Scripture tells us that a faith that does not result in good works is dead (James 2:14-26).

 

Accepting What You’ve Already Accepted

Sometimes this is a truth that is hard to really accept even for those of us who have already supposedly accepted it. Sometimes, if we are not careful, we who have known this truth for years can drift into backward ways of unbiblical thinking. Biblical Christian thought goes against the natural way most of society thinks today in so many ones. This idea that we don’t have to and can’t earn this really good thing, this salvation, is just one of those things. Like so many other Christian counter-cultural thoughts, we will likely be struggling with this issue for the rest of our Christian lives.

Accepting the counter-cultural teaching of Scripture is something I have had trouble with in the past. Not just this particular truth, but many other biblical truths as well. If we are not careful and alert, unbiblical “spiritual” practices and ideas can become a lazy habit. For myself, sometimes along the road of the Christian life, while I thought I had fully accepted a truth, the Holy Spirit will lead me to take a long look at myself and show me that, no I hadn’t actually and fully accepted it yet, just some of it and that that some of it needed to be revitalized and more fully rounded. This kind of spiritual growth is what happens on the lifelong climb of sanctification.

 

The Short Story of Salvation

The whole need for human salvation in the first place started in the Garden of Eden. There was one particular tree there known as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This tree was exactly what its name implies. It embodied our free will to choose good or evil, to either willfully obey God or to willfully disobey Him. Adam and Eve, the first couple, chose evil, sin, disobedience of God’s one rule. Therefore, through them all humanity from that day forward was sentenced to death, eternal death.

The entirety of the rest of the Old Testament is God’s path toward the redemption of mankind through Jesus in the New Testament. We’re talking His own beloved Son here – His only Son. God the Father sent His only Son to die for a people who spat in His face and deserved exactly what they got. He did this so that we could be reunified with Him and have access to everlasting life (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9). Doing what God did would be an unthinkable, mind-boggling sacrifice for any parent–and this was our Creator!

After he arose from the dead, Jesus went to heaven to intercede on our behalf before the Father. For our benefit, he left the Holy Spirit to guide His believers to the end. We did not deserve access to the Holy Spirit; He was freely given (Titus 3:4-5).

Yes, acceptance of this sacrifice of God’s Son Jesus was and still is the only way for us to begin on that Holy Spirit-led path. As Romans 3:23 points out, all of us have sinned and therefore fall short of the glory of God. Because of this, we are completely unworthy to stand in the presence of God. Accepting the sacrifice of Jesus cleanses our sin and makes us able to stand in His presence. It is then that the Holy Spirit leads us up the road of salvation. It will prove to be an up and down road for us, with lots of hills and valleys, but thankfully His work on our behalf does not depend on our constant spiritual highs. His infinite love and grace have got our back.

 

The Final Answer

Going back to that first question about the connection between good works and salvation, While the two are definitely connected, it’s not like one might first assume. Salvation is nothing any human will ever earn by doing good. It was given to us. We were freely given the gift of salvation through the death of Jesus (Romans 6:23). With an authentic salvation experience, we are now bound for heaven, on the road of sanctification with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to the end of final glorification in the eternal presence of God. And how does that authentic salvation experience work? It is by fully confessing complete and lifelong acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior in you’re heart and through your mouth (Romans 10:8-9). That is how salvation comes about. Now we do our good works not to earn salvation, more salvation, or continued salvation, but because Christ saved us, because He commanded us to do so, because we love, honor, and praise Him for everything He has done for us and for humanity. Now we do so for the rewards awaiting us after this life with Jesus in eternity.

Now we obey His words and do our good works because He is truly our Lord today and forever (Luke 6:46).




Around the Table: Five of Our Favorite TV Dinner Scenes

Both of our dinner scenes of film Fives have gone over well (to varying degrees). But in recent days it has come to our attention that television felt left out, cast into the cold and trodden underneath our calloused feet, as it were. For our part, we are aghast that it has taken us this long to highlight some great dinner scenes depicted on TV. Hysterical, awkward, heartfelt, masterfully orchestrated, these are a few of our favorites:


The IT Crowd – “The Dinner Party” (Phill Lytle)

I did not love The IT Crowd immediately. In fact, my first attempt to watch the show ended after the second episode of the first season, much to the dismay and consternation of a few of my fellow REO contributors. It just didn’t work for me. I gave up after those two episodes and figured I would never come back to it.

A few years later, I changed my mind and decided to give it another chance. Some of the REO braintrust, Nathan Patton, Gowdy Cannon, and Benjamin Plunkett, were huge fans, and as I value their opinions on most things, I knew that I had to stick it out.

I’m so glad I did.

Now, it did not work right off the bat, even the second time through. I still found some things in those early episodes that annoyed me, but slowly, I started to appreciate the humor and the characters. For the uninitiated, The IT Crowd follows two socially dysfunctional men (Roy and Moss) who work for the IT department of a large company. In the first episode, we are introduced to the woman (Jen) who somehow manages to be placed in their department as some sort of manager though she has no IT or computer expertise. It’s a match made in heaven. Of course, there are many side characters that add a lot of humor and charm to the show – characters like Denholm Reynholm, his son Douglas, and most importantly, Richmond Avenal, a reclusive gothic weirdo who hides/lives/works in the basement of the building.

In the second season (Series Two for the Brits) Jen is having a dinner party with her new boyfriend. At the last minute, the men she had invited are unable to attend, so she is forced to invite a few of her coworkers – Roy, Moss, and Richmond. I doubt I have laughed more at any other scene in the series as I did during the dinner party that ensues. From the three men and their inability to be remotely normal – their efforts to look normal kill me every time I watch it – to their absolute lack of self-awareness when it comes to conversation and social etiquette. Jen is beside herself in embarrassment but we as the audience are all better off having seen the insanity on display. This was the episode that convinced me that the show had greatness in it. It made every episode around it better due to how perfectly every aspect of this dinner party was deployed.

I’ll leave you with the classic, “look normal” pose.


Psych – “American Duos” (Gowdy Cannon)

Psych was about Shawn and Gus but in this episode, Tim Curry steals the show. Guest starring as Nigel St. Nigel, the lead judge on the fictional American Duos, Curry plays a parody of Simon Cowell. Except if Cowell were about 100X funnier. Wielding an acerbic wit and his natural and phenomenal British accent, he trash-talks everyone with whom he comes in contact with clever and side-splitting material. As when he claims Lassiter’s hair looks like it’s been poured out of a cake mold.

So naturally he has enemies and the main plot is that someone is trying to kill him. He is seemingly not safe anywhere so they eventually put him at Henry’s house, where the competent ex-cop can keep an eye on him. And as Henry, Nigel, Shawn and Gus sit down to steaks that Henry has evenly marinated, the fun begins.

Nigel has helped himself to Henry’s bathrobe. He calls Henry “Horace”.  He asks who decorated the place, “Kris Kristofferson?”  Henry tries to keep up in the putdown war but he’s clearly outmatched as if he brought a fork to a gun fight. Nigel has an endless arsenal of insults and they are all hilarious. Shawn and Gus are not to be completely ignored, however, as Gus procures three full ears of corn from the fridge and continuously and violently slaps Shawn’s hand away when he tries to have some. The seriousness and tenacity with which Gus denies Shawn his corn (“Keep playing, Shawn! Go ahead!) is evidence of why Gus is one of the great TV characters ever to me.

The scene ends with Nigel claiming that while wearing Henry’s plush robe, “I feel like an angel baby, swaddled in a cocoon of cloud candy,” just before Shawn takes a timeout with Henry in the next room where Henry declares that Nigel has violated “basic robe code”. But not before it leaves a wake of tear-inducing laughter behind. It was the first scene in this show’s run that caused me to think “This show can be ROTFL funny.”


The Office – “The Dinner Party” (Ben Plunkett)

The Office is famous for being hilarious yet so awkward it’s almost hard to watch. This episode is a prime example of that. In fact, it would not surprise me one bit if this were officially awarded The Most Awkward Dinner Party in TV History. It definitely deserves an awkward award. Again, it is hilariously so. The evening begins simply enough for Jim and Pam, albeit with a small glimpse into Michael and Jan’s decidedly dysfunctional relationship in their clearly Jan-centric home. After they are joined by Andy and Angela, the evening slowly continues to escalate to ever more horribly awkward levels. At one point Jim tells the camera, “Michael and Jan seem to be playing their own separate game, and it’s called, ‘let’s see how uncomfortable we can make our guests.’ And they’re both winning.” About three hours later Dwight arrives uninvited with a date (his former babysitter), and his own glasses and food (beet salad, of course.) For the rest of the evening he is gloriously oblivious to the mounting tension in the room (either that or in his own Dwightly way he just doesn’t care). But he is only to delighted to take his bosom pal Michael home with him following a huge Jan and Michael blowout that brings the police to their door, serving as the awkward evening’s grand finale.

I feel compelled to add at this point that it is in this episode that Michael describes a wine as having “an oaky afterbirth.” And, really, that describes Michael and Jan’s dinner party, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it? It had some sort of awesome oaky, hokey afterbirth.

Jim: “What was that?”


Parenthood (Phill Lytle)

For some time, I have wanted to write about the importance of sitting around a table and eating with friends or family. There is a sacredness to breaking bread together – something that feels almost divinely designed. One of my favorite shows of the last 10 years, Parenthood, used dinner scenes as a way to explore family bonds and unity. There are too many dinner scenes in the six-season run of the show to only focus on one, so I won’t even try.

Parenthood follows the Braverman family. They are a close-knit group, to say the least. The whole family tree is included, from the patriarch and matriarch to the grown siblings – two boys and two girls, and all their respective families. They are passionate and deeply protective of each other. They fight, they argue, and yet they always find their ways back to each other. A key dynamic in all this passion and familial color is the dinner table. The opening credits even reinforce this idea of what it says about a family that eats together. They are united in all the ways that count. The dialogue in each dinner scene is real – avoiding feeble attempts at plot building, instead opting for character and relationship development. The scenes feel real because they remind us of all those times we’ve sat at a table with our families and friends, with all the accompanying shouts, laughs, and noise. It’s beautiful and sacred stuff and we need more of it in our lives.


Seinfeld – “The Strike” (Gowdy Cannon)

Seinfeld has flooded our culture with so much that is now iconic you can’t escape it. From the Puffy Shirt in the Smithsonian, to Patrick Warburton painting his face in real life for a New Jersey Devils playoff game, to nearly everyone having invoked some version of “No soup for you!”

But at the very top of the list is the Festivus episode, named “The Strike” for Kramer’s subplot. But there is one big reason everyone remembers this episode: the introduction and celebration of Festivus. It’s so popular that a few years ago Jason Alexander said it was the most common thing shouted to him in public, which is saying something. And perhaps no scene in the episode is more memorable and lasting than when a motley crew of nine people–The Big 4, the Costanzas, Kruger and two random mega-creepy guys from the horse track–gather to celebrate this ridiculous made-up holiday.

Frank dominates the gathering. He invented it, so he gets the mic. And he does not disappoint. He begins the airing of grievances (He’s got a lot of problems with those people) by trying to insult Kruger but gets disoriented: “You couldn’t smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a babe—-I lost my train of thought.”  It’s so realistic I could totally believe Jerry Stiller really forgot his line.

Festivus is epic, and it’s never over until George pins Frank. So for that it makes our list.

 


Those are some of our favorites. What are yours? Let us know in the comment section below. And while we’re at it, spend some time around the dinner table with your family and friends. It’s good stuff.




500 Words or Less Reviews: Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 10-part documentary “The Vietnam War”, highlighting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam through the mid-50s to mid-70s, is a profoundly well-made one. Nevertheless, some who lived during these times have criticized the two for skewing the material in various ways.

On the other hand, the miniseries has the approval of the nationally respected organization, Vietnam Veterans of America. In his review on behalf of the VVA, Marc Leepson, states they feared the worst of the miniseries, the making of which they were never consulted. But he says they were largely delighted with the well-presented production that lays out an accurate, balanced depiction of the events (You can view Leepson’s review here.)

The documentary begins things in 1898 at the beginning of the Vietnamese struggle against French colonialism, the French would lose control to the Japanese during World War II, followed by a failed attempt by France to take it back after the war.

The now independent Vietnam became steeped in a bitter civil war between communist northern Vietnam and increasingly politically corrupt southern Vietnam. In the U.S. fight against all faces of communism, the U.S. sided with South Vietnam. The nearly 20-year U.S. involvement in Vietnam was done under the authorization of five U.S. presidents and a host of other politicians who carried it out with a combination of pride, political ambition, and misunderstanding of the Vietnamese people. The official start date for our involvement is said to be 1955. After the U.S. fighting forces finally left in 1973, the now dependent South Vietnamese army was left to defend itself and failed miserably.

The 10-part, 17.5-hour miniseries is told via video clips; historic sound recordings; snapshots; the narration of Peter Coyote; and the first-hand commentary from many of the players involved. These commentators present an extremely heartfelt collage of the many facets of what went down during those many years. Included are both Vietnamese and U.S. individuals. Without exception, all of these commentators are very well spoken and articulate clearly their very strong feelings for this bloody chapter of world history. In the closing minutes of the final episode, many of the main commentators are today revealed to be writers of memoirs, poetry, and novels; counselors; historians; teachers; career military officers; doctors; and judges.

Each episode begins with a “Viewer Discretion Advised” warning, alerting viewers that the following episode contains mature content, strong language, and graphic violence. This is well deserved. Most of this material is expected because of the nature of the subject, but there is also a gratuitous, unnecessary topless Jane Fonda video clip (episode 9, from 1:26:25 to 1:27:02).

And then there is the construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a moving tribute of the many thousands of U.S. soldiers who died in Vietnam. Many who were very skeptical of such a memorial came to tears at the first sight of it, some collapsing in emotional exhaustion. This miniseries itself is a beautiful memorial and should be viewed by all Americans above the age of 13.




The Man Card

Real men are becoming an endangered species. We live in a culture that is replacing men with namby-pamby, wishy-washy, touchy-feely losers. This is not good. It is not right. All the best things about our world can be traced back to an awesome man doing awesome and manly things. A man who was a MAN and not some wussified and worthless replacement.

Fear not, REO is here to fix this problem by developing our very own “Man Card.” Frankly, the “man cards” we have seen online are spineless things – only worthy of ridicule. Our “Man Card” gets right to the heart of the matter. Heed these words of wisdom and you will become a real man. A man deserving of accolades, riches, and women. Ignore these words of wisdom and you will spend the rest of your pitiful days engaged in activities unbecoming to any red-blooded male. Things like emotional availability, respect for women, and anything remotely associated with art appreciation. …Shudder…

We proudly present, The REO approved, Man Card!

 

 

 




Five More Reasons to Never, Ever Step on a Crack

A few years ago, I stated five great reasons to never, ever step on a crack. Here are five more.

1. Your dad will break his back. In my last article on crack stepping dangers, I mentioned that stepping on a crack will lead to breaking your mothers back. That little piece of crack lore has already been common knowledge now for more than a hundred years. What is very little known is that your father’s back will also broken. Why history has forgotten this obviously life-changing fact is quite beyond me. Maybe the original composer had a bad experience with his father and just considered mothers the important parental member. Maybe the writer was ashamed that Bigfoot was their father. I don’t know. All I know is that sidewalk walkers everywhere need to be made aware of this possible danger.

2. You run the risk of having your foot eternally lodged in its narrow fissure. Sidewalk crack walls are of similar material to Mithril mail, they are incredibly flexible, easily expanding to allow for unfortunate feet to be pulled in, but so strong that very little can extricate said feet from their grasp. This is thanks to the makers of crack walls. Construction companies typically outsource said work to the sidewalk crack elves of Middle Earth, who forge it in their home-based cracks of doom.

3. You may very well crush the peace-loving Tiny Crackeletti Tribe citizens with falling debris. As mentioned in my last article, the gloomy depths of the average crack world is indeed a dismal, dark realm. One might assume that everything that dwells therein is the same. But lo, there is a bright spot in this black land of despair, the peace-loving Tiny Crackeletti Tribe. They have long foraged their homes in this dark environment, busying themselves with inventing horrible puns to brighten their netherworlds. Yea, verily, they have inhabited these floors ever since the first sidewalk appeared in ancient Greece. Stepping on a crack may mean raining down shoe debris on the homes of these kindly, pun-loving folk. That’s just rude.

4. This falling debris might also lend hurtling weapons for the Crackeletti’s formidable and evil foes, the Teeny Crevice Creatures. As mentioned, it is very true that the Crackeletti are the one bright spot in the crack netherworld. Alas, all else here really is bleak and evil. One of the worst and most vile things that you will find are the sworn enemies of the Tiny Crackeletti’s, the Teeny Crevice Creatures. Say you do step on a crack, the debris that does miss smashing the Crackeletti’s humble homes will still make for very useful hurtling weapons for the Teeny Crevice Creatures in their long and terrible feud with the Tiny Crackeleti’s.

5. It is considered very uncouth sidewalk etiquette to step on a bridgeless crack. Back in the times of ancient Greece, the Tiny Crackeletti were held in high honor all over the sidewalk world for their great philosophical wisdom. However, as time progressed, the Crackeletti became less wise and therefore less revered and of less social standing. As a result, there are almost now no Crackeletti’s with lucrative philosophy jobs today. Few people know that today, to maintain their livelihood Crackeletti tribes all over the world are charged with the care of tiny sidewalk crack bridges. Although stepping on a bridgeless crack is not against the law, it is in extremely bad form to do so. In fact, I feel embarrassed even broaching the subject so I will just suggest that if you really do feel compelled to step on a crack, find one of these very helpful but extremely rare bridges first. By doing so, you may be saving not one life only, but two.




The Fifth Ivy

“Look, there’s something really big in the water out there!” squeals the blonde-haired nurse, but she isn’t fooling anyone in the ICU. This includes Mom and Dad who are not impressed. They stand beside my bed looking down at me. Mom on my right side holding my hand. Dad on the left, bunched beside the medicine bags and I.V. machine. Angel guardians, the two of them, standing vigil. It has been a very long day. The past few hours have involved a rather complicated procedure to correct several abnormalities in my brain. “Rather complicated” might be an understatement. Maybe, I don’t really know.

My doctor says the brain is so complex that it largely remains a mystery to the medical world and that they never really know how it’s going to react in any given situation, that each situation is unique.

Prior to the surgery, I pictured in my mind the stretching of the scalp, the cutting of the skull, the manipulation of the brain tissue. Now that all of this is done the back of my head feels like a sea of large, churning objects.

The nurse looks away from the window and turns her attention to me. “How are you feeling, Clay?”

“Mm.”

“Just remember to breathe. You been out for ten hours so it’s important to remember to breathe. When you have been out that long sometimes your brain forgets.”

My doctor comes in at that moment.

“When do you think he can come home?” asks Mom.

“It’s hard to say right now. Maybe Monday depending on how well he does this weekend. I’ll be in Sunday afternoon to check on him and make a final decision then.”

Mom asks a big grabbag full of other questions and finally stops, apparently satisfied for the moment. The doctor leaves. And because visiting hours for family are over in the ICU, Mom and Dad leave soon afterward as well.

“All right, young man, I’m going to hook you to some stuff that will help you sleep.” The nurse fiddles with the machine. “Then you’ll understand…” I am obviously susceptible to this stuff because that is the last thing I hear before I am off to dreamland.

In the next moment…

I was in a cell. The cell was almost bare except for a toilet, sink, mirror, and bed. I was already standing in front of the mirror. I stared at my reflection.

There was a knock at the door. Without waiting for a response, a man opened it. “Hurry up, your appointments in 15 minutes on the dot. On the dot means on the dot.” So I finished. There was not much I could do in the way of grooming with only a washcloth hanging over the side of the sink and a toothbrush and comb sitting on the other side. I gave myself a quick sponge bath. Then I noticed a strange tattoo on my neck. I leaned toward the mirror for a better look. In bright red ink were the numbers 76001120666.

I shrugged and donned the black suit and shoes that were lying on the bed because I assumed these were the clothes I was supposed to wear. I exited the room and passed into a long hall. The man was sitting behind a desk. He looked up from a ledger when I appeared. He pointed down a long silver hallway, “Hurry.” Everything had a cold metallic look to it. As I passed down the hall, I encountered a line of gaunt men and women and children in similar black suits sitting on silver chairs against one side of the hallway. On the opposite side was a line of evenly spaced white doorways. Above each of these was a long, thin screen. And above each of these screens were small signs. Above the first doorway, “a-c,” the second doorway, “d-f,” and so on. I stopped in front of the “g-i” door.

No sooner have I sat down then a woman in a black suit exited “g-i” with a folder. She left. She did not look happy. Neon green digital lettering appeared. “Occupant 76001120666 may now enter,” said a slightly robotic female voice. My memory usually isn’t that great, but somehow, I remembered that tattooed number on my neck as clearly as if I had photographic memory. I stood a little unsure, hesitating.

“Next!” yelled an impatient and very human voice beyond the still open door. I entered a small, cramped, and stuffy office that seemed very out of place here. A man in a faded brown suit sat behind the desk. Directly behind him was a door to another room.

“Have a seat,” he said as he dug out a file from a box beside his chair. He plopped the file on his desk and flipped it open. He was one of the most bored characters I have ever seen. He sighed. “Okay Clay Ivy, what do we got here. Clay Ivy. So Mr. Ivy,” he looked directly at me,” …where are you?” At that, I fell into a slumber where I sat.

When I opened my eyes

I was lying flat on my back staring up into a clear, blue sky. The bluest blue I’ve ever seen. I got to my feet. An appraisal of the immediate environment showed nothing. Literally nothing. I seemed to be smack in the middle of an orange, empty desert. The earth was so dry it was cracked, but it really wasn’t hot. In fact, there was a cool breeze blowing from the west. That is when I saw that in the far distance in that direction there was a large body of water. I blinked.

When I unblinked…

I was back in the office with Brown Suit Man. He acted like nothing at all amiss had just happened.

“Alrighty, this is your resume. Not much to it. Order picker.”

“Highschool job. Greenhouse.”

The man grunted. “Is that why it says ‘works at a greenhouse during high school’”?

“Er.”

He threw the folder in another box. “Come closer.”

I got up and approached the desk.

“Lean over the desk toward me.”

I leaned over the desk a little.

“Closer.”

He did this until we were practically face to face. He placed two fingers on my neck. He glanced at the fresh tattoo grunting approval. “Okay, stand up straight.” He fingered through a stack of debit-like cards and handed me one. The front of it bore my name and number. “Guard that with your life and carry it with you at all times. I repeat, don’t lose it.”

Brown Suit Man checked his folder again. “For now, I’m placing you as an assistant.”

“An assistant? An assistant to whom?”

“To whom, to whom he says, so correct. That would be Francine Verom. You will be her assistant. Ahhh, Francine, our very own in-house curmudgeon. You shall see right about now.”

I blinked and suddenly

I was back in the orange desert. This time the blonde-haired nurse was there.

“Look” she said pointing into the distance.

“How did you get here? Where are we?”

“Look where I’m pointing.” She pointed in the direction of the water in the distance.

“The sea over there? That’s a sea, right?”

“Yeah. That over there is where a hospital sits. Your hospital. By the water. You will be a patient in that hospital and I am your nurse. We won’t find it there, but it is there at another time.”

“Will be, right?”

“Will be, are. Both, in a way. We’re there right now in the future—the real future. And in the real future beyond that, you are 706001120666 and I am 55924319666.”

I blinked and then…

I was back in the office with Brown Suit Man. He coughed and proceeded. “Remember that name, Francine.” The blonde-haired nurse rather unceremoniously burst into the room.

“Speak of the devil,” Said Brown Suit Man apparently unsurprised. “Francine,” he told me. “Clay will be your other assistant,” he told her.

Francine ignored the comment and me entirely, scanning the office. “This is disgraceful. Clean your office.”

Brown Suit Man just smiled.

Francine glared at him and abruptly departed. It seemed strange to me that she should enter and leave without really doing anything, but Brown Suit Man didn’t seem to care.

“Is she the boss?” I asked.

“She thinks so. Okay, Mr. Ivy. Take this folder. Tomorrow you’ll give it to the guys in the Medical Ward when you go down there. 7 a.m. sharp. They’ll put a sensor right about here.” He placed two fingers right below his left ear. “Only on you.”

“A sensor? What exactly is that?”

“It’s just a teeny tiny chip they put under your skin, so they can keep track of you. Nothing to worry about.”

“Everyone here has one?’

“Most.” Then he indicated the folder in my hands. “Tonight you’ll probably want to go over the rules and regulations of the place, stipulations and such. Okaaaay, have a nice day now.”

I opened the door. Brown Suit Man was looking for another folder then added, “Oh, a piece of advice about working with Francine. She doesn’t know as much as she thinks.” I nodded. And opened the door.

I must have blinked

as I was passing through the door because I exited into the orange desert.

“So is everything clear now?” asked Francine.

“No, not even slightly.”

“You know you’re traveling from time to time to time, right?”

“Yeah, I figured that had something to do with it. What’s to understand?”

“Well, it’s complicated.”

“Okay, well?” I blinked away.

 

When I open my eyes again

I am in my hospital bed. Francine, mom, and dad are standing on either side of my bed. My parents are overjoyed at my waking, but they are clearly drained. The calendar over the bed indicates that it has been almost three weeks since I first entered into the ICU room. I can’t speak for some reason.

I am very drowsy and rest my eyes again.

“His feet are really swollen,” says dad, “I bet it feels good to have them rubbed.”

“Surely it does,” replies Mom, “especially with your cold hands.”

“I wish he could tell me himself.”

“It’s probably best that we keep quiet for now anyway.”

Their words grow increasingly muffled. After a while, I open my eyes. Mom and Dad have gone for the day and Francine is there injecting a glowing yellow liquid into the I.V. machine. I am soon gone again.

I was still on the threshold of Brown Suit Man’s door.

I turned to ask him what in the world is going on, but he is looking for another folder and no longer listening. As I retraced my steps down the hallway, I heard the female robot voice saying “76001121666 may now enter.” Francine was standing at the end of the hallway where it intersects with another hallway. She is looking at the contents of a folder. As I am about to pass her she mutters, “Do you understand?”

And then I am in the hospital. It is morning.

“Well. Morning!” says the doctor. I try to respond but I still can’t talk. “Yeah, you can’t talk right now. You weren’t breathing real well so we put in a trach a couple weeks ago. Right now, you’re breathing through your neck.”

Dad holds up a cardboard cutout with the alphabet written on it. ”I made this so you can say stuff to us. Just point out what you want to say.”

“We have devices to make it easier to communicate,” says the doctor. “But that’s great for now, though.”

“See this is the space button,” says Dad pointing to a small space bar icon at the bottom.

WHATS GOING ON? I point.

“You had a brain surgery about a month ago and now you’re just getting better,” said Mom.

“How are you feeling right now, Clay? Do you have any pain?”

SCARED

“Oh, Don’t be scared. We’re right here,” says Mom.

“And we’re not going anywhere,” adds Dad.

DONT TRUST ANYONE

“What do you mean?” says Dad.

I was getting frustrated. How could they possibly not know? DONT KNOW WHO TO TRUST

“Really?” said Dad.

“Not even us?” says Mom.

“He may be talking about hallucinations and having strange dreams,” says the doctor. “It happens to brain patients. A lot of really strange stuff can happen when you tamper with the brain. It starts playing tricks.”

Mom took my hand and knelt face to face with me. “Clay,” she says with tears in her eyes. “You may not know what is real, you may not know who you can trust, but know that you can always trust God. He’s always real.”

After a while, they leave and I am alone with Francine. “Do you understand?”

No, I think, of course not.

She fiddles with the machine and I doze off again.

 

And then I returned to the orange desert.

Francine and I spent the next few hours journeying toward the water. I didn’t know why she was so intent on this, but it was water, which was better than a dry desert any day. When we got near the water which appeared to be a kind of harbor, we found there were steep red ridges bordering it. We carefully descended. As we did so, a gust of wind blew against us. I beheld that under the waters below swam the shadows of several huge creatures. When we were about halfway down we ventured alongside a narrow rock formation that jutted out into the middle of the harbor. Beside it was docked a large and very strange ship.

“Are we getting on that ship?”

“Yes.”

“Why?

Francine sighed. “Sit down.”

“Where?”

“On that ledge behind you.” I sat down. “Okay, Clay….Where to start, where to start. Many years from now, a scientist, that man you just met—”

“That dude in the future in the brown suit?”

“That’s him.”

“He’s a scientist?”

“Yes. Anyway, the year after you meet him he will discover the secret of time travel. It’s through dreams. It’s all very complicated, really. Anyway, radioactivity is key. I won’t pretend to know everything about it, but he has brought it here to this time. He’s been back here numerous times in order to change the future. He will keep on doing this until he engineers a future that works for him. Making more copies of himself as he does so. Our task is to rid the ship of nuclear waste and end it.”

“Why? Why is that necessary?” It also occurred to me that if jumping to a time meant making another copy of yourself, this had to mean that there should be four of me here since I had been here four times now.

“It’s essential partly so our existence will remain on one line. You may not realize it, but he’s created a dozen alternate universes already and all of them are suffering from life-altering nuclear fallout because of his work. Enough chit-chat.”

We descended and boarded the ship. It was strangely noiseless and seemingly deserted. We ventured to the middle of the boat where there sat many barrels of something or other. Francine walked beside me across the deck. “I’ve done this many times before. Just do what I do and you won’t get hurt.” I then wondered where all the other Francines were.

“Where are the other mes and all the other yous?” I asked.

Francine did not seem to hear my question. “Now listen, there’s some stuff you have to do if you don’t want to fall into the nuclear waste. But, like I said, you’ll be all right if you just do what I do.” As we stood speaking the floor in front of us began to lower until the barrels disappeared. In its place was a boiling, glowing, steaming pool of liquid fire. The pool was at least 40 feet from side to side. I was hesitant. “Francine, that guy in the brown suit told me that you don’t know as much as you think. What exactly do you think he meant by that?”

“He said that?” She thought. “Well, he clearly knows I’m on to him.”

Francine got a good run at the pool and suddenly jumped. She almost floated over the pool in slow motion. She gracefully landed on a small ledge on the other side. And then I saw a door on that ledge that looked so familiar. She turned and cried something I couldn’t quite make out. Then I saw what seemed to be human hands reaching up at me from the ooze. And for the first time, I also noticed a surrealistic crowd gathered around the gyrating pool, obscured by the murky fumes.

Francine was desperately shouting at me. I could not make out what she was saying. And then Brown Suit Man was standing beside me saying,” This is what I call the Pond of Lost Souls. See that ledge on the other side? You can get there. To cross it you just need to get a good run and then jump.”

“Is that what Francine wants?”

“Yes, but she doesn’t want you to get to that ledge.”

I did not know why Brown Suit Man was apparently helping me. But I ran and jumped. Things looked great as I soared halfway across the pool. But then Francine spoke and I heard her as clearly as if she was in my head. “Oh, the futility of it all. I don’t think you’re going to make it, Clay.”

In my heart, I believed she was right. It was then that I slowly began to descend toward the glowing waste.

The still not quite seen surrealistic figures cried to me from the billowing fumes, “Clay, you have to believe!”

“Why won’t you listen to me?” cried one of the voices.

“It’s over,” I said giving up.

I slowly sank toward the fiery waste. Francine had gone through the door, thinking that I was no more, but Brown Suit Man and the shadows in the fumes continued watching, hoping. And it was surely mere seconds before entering its boiling depths that I saw that the fiery pool was inhabited by all manner of men and women and boys and girls. Then I understood. We had all been fooled, lured into Francine’s grand scam. I suddenly believed. And then I understood even more. I slowly began to rise.

And then I was walking down the hallway…

in what I believed was the far future. In the shining black mirrors of the flooring, the waves of the harbor crashed and the shadows of the enormous beasts swam.

I approached the doorway and knew, knew that I would find a former me talking to Brown Suit Man on the other side. I opened the door. Brown Suit Man did not seem surprised in the slightest to see me. The other me, on the other hand, was speechless.

“Ivy Number Four,” he said in greeting. He indicated the me sitting in the chair,“Meet Ivy Number Two. I knew you would make it.”

“Unless I miss my guess,” I, Ivy Four, replied, “Francine should be coming through that door behind you.”

“I know.”

“And she says you’re bad.”

“I know that too…And while I did know you were coming, I am very proud of you. Very few make the crossing.”

The door burst open and a smiling Francine entered. Behind her swirled the pool of fire and Ivy Three was slowly drifting toward the molten hands.

“Speak of the devil,” Said Brown Suit Man. “Francine, Clay is my assistant now so you can keep your gloating today.”

Francine glared at him and at both of me and abruptly departed the way she came.

“Leave the door open,” he told her as she exited.

Francine’s smile was long gone and then she was gone as well. She had literally vanished. Once on the platform, Brown Suit Man turned to me. “You can go now. Take the others with you.” The three of us stepped out onto the landing. Ivy Three landed beside us and did not seem surprised at all to see us.

“Where’d she go?” asked Three.

“Oh, She’s off doing her thing again. Don’t worry. She will be dealt with eventually.”

“So, when exactly is this?” asked Four.

“If you’re asking about a time, it isn’t. There has been no time travel involved. Francine likes to make stuff up.

“So that copy thing she was talking about?”

“Not a thing. Not like she meant, anyway.”

All three mes had so many more questions.

“It’s time for you all to get going,” said Brown Suit Man.

Together we ascended. As we did so we blended into one. The fiery waste swirled further and further below me as I continued to ascend. The wind blew across me as I soared over the strange ship, over the shadows of the large creatures in the water, over the orange desert. I passed silently across the sea to eternal safety.

A voice spoke to me in the wind. “Where are you going?”

“Home.”

“Go.”

“This has to be a dream. But even if it is, I will choose to go.”

 

I am still very weak…

but feel worlds better. “Good news,” says Mom. “The doctor says we can take you home.”

I still can’t speak.

“That’s all right,” she said. “Just rest.”

“You need to fight this,” Dad said continuing to whisper to me and pat me on the hand.

“At home,” says Mom. I fall asleep.

When I awake, I am still in this literal state of being. A nurse who isn’t Francine is helping me from a wheelchair into the waiting car as Dad helps.

“Everything’s gonna be fine; you look great,” says Mom.

Soon we are moving away, away from the enormous shadows in the water, away from all Francines, away, away into an entirely new state of being. I believe, as Brown Suit Man would say, it is the fifth Ivy. As we turn a corner I see the looming hospital one last time. In an upper window, I see a figure in a brown suit staring down at the world. It may be my imagination, but I think he is smiling.




The Advent of the All-Inclusive Events Law

July, 2070 – In August 2020 Congress passed the All-Inclusive Events Law which stated that all private and public events were required to have at least one event attendee representative of every race in the U.S., including American Indian, Asian, African American, Caucasian; a member of every sexual orientation represented by LGBTQ; and a practicing member of a major U.S. religions, including a Christian, Judaist, Muslim, Buddhist, Hinduist, and atheist in attendance (with the inclusion of a heterosexual member optional).

On the 27th of the same month, the brothers John and Steve Earnest became the first arrested offenders of the law. Upon raiding their shared apartment, the investigating FBI agents discovered a Bachelor Party put on for the soon to be wed family friend, Thoreau Heew. Two other friends also in attendance included Bubba Jones and Alfred Lady.

The arresting agents found the event to be shockingly white-washed with solely heterosexual males present and none of the required 15 to 16 attendants. They then informed the Earnest brothers (as the ringleaders of the crime) that they would be placed under immediate arrest for failing to maintain the melting pot idealism envisioned by the law. Heew, a law student, came to the defense of the brothers, stating that in this case, the law allowed for the waiver of the required members in the event the size of the space only allowed for a smaller number of guests. In such cases, the law stipulated that only that number be in attendance. He went on to state that while the brother’s three guests were all heterosexual males, they all fulfilled a different demographic: lispers, the morbidly obese, and men who identified as Wonder Woman when they were 5-years old.

Nevertheless, since those three demographics were not on the list of accepted demographics, the agents confiscated the white cake and moved to detain the brothers. John Earnest’s heinous evasion of the law ended when he suddenly stated that he was sorry that the cake was white but that he didn’t like chocolate cake. The agents immediately downed the perpetrator in a hail of bullets. Bubba Jones later confessed to being the creator and mastermind behind the entirely white cake. He escaped immediate execution only after stating in writing that he was fully willing to consume deserts in any shape, form, size and color.

In court, Steve Earnest, the remaining alleged perpetrator, confessed to engineering the whole scheme with his brother. The judge sentenced him to a 10-year suspended sentence during which he would personally apologize to everyone and animal he had ever offended. After a year, having failed to consistently send in a daily 5-page report on his progress, the judge sentenced him to a 50-year prison term.

In the many ensuing years, Heew became a senator, being instrumental in adding a rock, dog, cat, and a stereotype to the required attendees list under the All-Inclusive Event Law; Jones lost 360 pounds; and Lady helped form the Justice League.




Five Hilarious Side Characters in Television

Introduction by Ben Plunkett

Why should the main characters of the great sitcoms get all the glory? Well, in most cases the main characters of these great shows deserve a lot of it because they are, like, main. But there are truly great and equally as hilarious side characters. They should not be so callously ignored and brushed to the side of our comedic subconscious. The best of them add much to the hilarity and substance of the show. Today’s Five pays honor to five great and hilarious side characters in T.V. history.


Floyd Lawson – The Andy Griffith Show

Floyd Lawson is a barber, supposedly. We rarely see him actually cutting hair, but he does hang out in the barber shop a lot. At least, when he is not sitting outside on a bench with Gomer, or Goober, or Andy. Or at the Court House hanging out with Barney and Andy. Or doing who knows what else. Floyd leads a simple life. A quiet life. He occasionally cuts hair and spends the rest of his time with his friends. And for that, I love Floyd. But mainly, I love Floyd because he is a complete lunatic living right in the middle of Mayberry. Based on some of the other citizens of that fair town (Ernest T. Bass, Gomer, Goober, The Darlings), it’s not surprising he blends right in. Still, he’s crazy and listening to him talk about…anything is one of my favorite things on any show. His dramatic reactions. His wacky conspiracy theories. His soft-spoken nuttery just make my heart smile. I have no idea if Floyd Lawson was a good barber, but I am sure he was a great character on an iconic television show. (Phill Lytle)


Ethel Mertz – I Love Lucy

When one thinks of I Love Lucy, in all likelihood Lucille Balle (AKA Lucy Ricardo) instantly springs to mind. And there is absolutely no denying that she deserves so much praise for this role. Lucy was one of the funniest T.V. characters of all time, portrayed by one of the funniest women of all time. However, although her high accolades are very well deserved, her great shadow too often obscures a perfect sidekick and comedic partner. I speak, of course, of the great Ethel Mertz. Ethel was frumpy, oldish, simple, and kind of drab. It says a lot about her that she was once disappointed not to get an iron for her birthday. All of this made Ethel (Vivianne Vance) an incredibly odd best friend for the young, good-looking, full of life, and totally insane Lucy.  Plus, Ethel could sing really well and Lucy famously could not sing a lick.

But as simple a life that she much preferred, Ethel grudgingly but always with great humor went along with just about all of Lucy’s crazy schemes. As different as the two were, the truly loved each other. That was very evident. Like sisters, they were constantly getting into fights but in every single such instance, they were always weepingly apologizing in a very short time. Ethel’s brand of pure comedy complimented her BFF to such a level that it highlighted and accentuated Lucy’s funniness. (Ben Plunkett)


Richmond Avenal – The IT Crowd

“I mean, I don’t know what any of this stuff even does. What’s going on there? I don’t know. Is it good that it’s doing that? Usually, it doesn’t do that. And I think I should tell them, but often I just look away. And this one: Flash. Flash. Flash. Then wait for it. Nothing for a while. Here it comes. Double flash. Brilliant.”

And with that quote, I think I fully began to appreciate the brilliance that is Richmond Avenal. Weird. Random. Could be Tim Burton. Richmond could be creepy and hilarious at the same time, as when he tells a woman, “When you laugh I can see the outline of your skull”.

The IT Crowd is a hidden gem of a show to me and Moss, Roy, Jen, Douglas and Denholm all play their parts superbly. But Richmond joins a pantheon of characters that didn’t appear in every episode, but made every scene they were in funnier. Whether he was hiding on the ceiling or pontificating about why the gang shouldn’t go to the theater (“I trod on a piece of lego, O it went right in the heel”), he had us in stitches. He truly deserves to be on this short list. (Gowdy Cannon)


Jean-Ralphio Saperstein – Parks and Recreation

There are some characters that only work in small doses. Jean-Ralphio is the textbook example of such a character. Through his unbridled bravado, his terrible rhymes, and his abject lack of discipline, self awareness, or life goals (outside of strongly desiring to be rich and famous though having no discernible skills), Jean-Ralphio comes on strong. Too strong if the show was centered around his character. Fortunately, the writers of Parks and Rec know exactly how utilize him to get the biggest laughs without overstaying their welcome. Throughout the show – from his introductory scene where he sings about being “Flushed with cash!” after the death of a disliked relative, to his absurd business venture, Entertainment 720 with Tom Haveford – the writers unleash Jean-Ralphio as a little comedy grenade, perfectly thrown into the mix to make good scenes better.

Jean-Ralphio would be the worst sort of person to be friends with in real life. Fortunately, a sitcom is not real life and his absurd confidence and absolute smarminess work perfectly in a fictionalized setting. In a show like Parks and Recreation, already populated with dozens of insane characters, Jean-Ralphio is so insane, so unpredictable, and so funny that he stands out and brings giant laughs every minute he is on the screen. (Phill Lytle)


Mary Lightly – Psych

Not counting the Musical and the Movie, Mary is only in three episodes of Psych…the Yang Trilogy. Yet without a doubt this portrayal of a serial killer expert by Jimmi Simpson is my favorite — and the funniest – secondary character of any TV show I’ve ever watched. Whether he’s telling Gus “That’s very good, Gustus,” running with ankle weights or donning a monkey ascot, Mary has made me laugh extremely hard. I don’t know that there is any thing he says or any gesture he makes that isn’t funny to me. He’s subtle and overt, random and calculating, creepy and warm all at the same time. It’s a true masterpiece of a role.

My favorite Mary moment is actually a montage of himself on video, that Shawn and Gus watch in “Yang 3 in 2D”. The video keeps changing scenes of Mary talking to himself.
“Day One, Hour One. What’s the deal with One Tree Hill? It’s like a poorly executed Dawson’s Creek…
Jasper peaks, arrows and bows, the tickle of a good friend’s nose, a tom tom filled with Spaghetti-O’s…
I think CGI has ruined storytelling for all of us.
[Gus: Is he wearing a onesie?  Shawn: Yes.] I don’t wanna say it’s completely Michael Bay’s fault but that guy needs to be stopped because it’s all his fault…”

I don’t know how he does it, but there is something about Mary. He kills me every scene he’s in. (Gowdy Cannon)

 


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