by Wendy Parker
The Vile Underbelly For $99.99 a Month
In the recent forced conversion from trusty (and free) rabbit ears to pay cable and digital programming, an entire world of extremely specific and possibly litigious television channels have become available for my viewing pleasure. I have discovered television channels about television channels. There are entire networks dedicated to the extremely important issues of undiagnosed medical conditions caused by the ingestion of phlegm and the heartbreak of head lice among baby warthogs. There are endless streams of commercials about drugs and their disabling side effects, and not one part of the human anatomy is left private or sacred.
I became trapped in a never-ending vortex of food you wouldn't even try to cook but like to watch other people cook and the benefits of colon cleansing being broadcast on the same channel back to back, hour after hour. I have it on good authority that it is against the Geneva Convention to carry out such torture, and of course, the matter is being looked into as we speak.
Among the swirling abyss of pointlessness, there are several venues dedicated to what some people call comedy. I became transfixed by one of these portals straight from hell the other night and was enlightened to the fact that drunk people will laugh at absolutely anything.
Obtain a camera and someone willing to get slammed in the private parts with a Volkswagen while being filmed and presto! You’ve got a prime time comedy special. If you care to frankly discuss vile personal habits involving toe nails and having sexual relations with a chicken while intoxicated and driving a school bus full of mentally challenged children to church, then by God you’ve got a series and two movie deals.
I was more than a little annoyed and a somewhat concerned that so many people seem to think it’s the height of hilarity to live in a trailer. Everyone knows that living in a trailer affords you the privilege of not having to wear your tin foil hat while reclining in your LayZ Boy. It is widely rumored that people who live in trailers will be the only ones to survive the alien invasion planned for 2013. When asked for comment, organizers of said invasion claim this to be slanderous rumor and innuendo, but it's common knowledge that you can’t trust anything a filthy alien says.
As I continued to flip through the seven hundred channels (all for just 99.99 a month) I realized the incredibly dangerous implications of these specialized forums.
One show encouraged me to rent and use a nail gun that shoots a nail approximately the size of a steak knife with the deadly force of a .22 caliber handgun. The only safety rule involved was to ‘be sure to use protective eye wear'.
I’m assuming this is to protect your eyes from the shattered glass of your neighbors’ front picture window. You might also want to include ear plugs so that you won’t have to listen to the anguished cries of the mailman after you nail him in the skull while attempting a simple shingle repair on the roof, which is at least twenty feet off the ground.
Never any mention of the deadly force gravity may have upon your spleen should you fall off the roof while inadvertently murdering a federal employee with the rented nail gun. I did check with the Home Depot though, and you definitely do not get your deposit back if someone dies while using a contracted weapon of destruction from their establishment.
This all being said, I still cannot seem to tear myself away from the old channels, the ones that we could get for free in the good old days (2008).
I always meander back to whether or not Nick and Sharon will ever be a couple again and all of the fantastic douche and diaper commercials that come with them. I still get a thrill when I hear the opening music for the Johnny Carson Show (yes I know the name has changed – leave me to my fantasy) and I still wonder why any bodily fluid represented in advertisements is blue. I’ve contacted the authorities on bodily fluids, but they were all absorbed at the time and will get back to me at a later date when I, of course, will let you know.
Notes on Fifty Dollar Popcorn
Due to incessant begging and whining on the behalf of children that I am related to by blood, I recently made my regular half-decade visit to the hometown movie theater. I have since had to make many trips to the local plasma bank to sell off parts of my personal self in order to cover the exorbitant expense of this venture; so much of the information contained below may be either unimportant or fabricated. This would be due to the loss of available oxygenated blood cells in my body and in no way reflect the fact that I could possibly be a filthy liar and suffering from near exsanguination.
Being the extremely careful and borderline anti-social person that I am, it's a near certainty to me that anyone I am not related to by blood or fairly close affiliation may be potentially dangerous and is likely operating undercover for the Taliban, or at the very worst, a Republican.
This being said, it should be plainly obvious to anyone that a movie theater is the very last place on By God earth that I would want to go.
Attending a room full of strangers in the light of day is disconcerting enough; it is absolutely beyond comprehension to consider willingly inserting myself and loved ones into a crowd of two hundred people in a dark, dirty closet of a room. The zombie attack potential alone is astronomical, not to mention the filthy infiltrator factor.
The fact that we not only willingly participated in this, but also paid roughly the amount of the national debt of Paraguay in order to do so is something that is currently being looked into by the authorities as we speak. (Said authorities being Mary Hart of Entertainment Tonight).
It’s been leaked by a reliable source that the League of Starving Starlets have actually discovered a brain cell between them and hired an evil computer nerd to use the only reliable source of information out there, the web, to brainwash all of humanity into paying more for a trip to the movies than we would for a small coastal village.
When contacted, there was no comment available from the L.O.S.S. due to the fact that there was an accidental pizza delivery to their lair and a brawl ensued. It is rumored that the delivery boy sustained grievous injury to his male person, but until video of it shows up on YouTube it is considered wild slander and innuendo.
My greatest concerns are not the financial, but the public health issues involved in this whole sordid affair. The continuous reuse of cloth-covered chairs without extensive delousing between each sitting is an epidemic waiting to happen. I have it on good authority that the entire population of a small town in Arkansas was forced to shave their heads, eyebrows and other assorted hairy areas due to a body vermin infestation that started at the local motion picture venue. Said residents have refused comment, but it has been noted that hat, styptic pencil and thong underwear sales have increased tenfold in their demographic area.
Needless to say, I escaped the horror of the whole thing vermin free and without incident from the various miscreants lurking in the dark confines.
Of course before I was able to extricate myself from the building, I was compelled to buy a fifty-dollar tub of popcorn that had enough artificial melted butter in it for an otter to swim comfortably. The twelve actual kernels of popcorn that clung fiercely to the waxy bucket were soggy and burned, completing a disgusting swill that cost more than a surf and turf dinner. The implications of snack bar abuse are currently being investigated(by none other than Mario the 5th Avenue hot dog vendor from Bangor, Maine), and as soon as I have concrete facts to report, you can bet I will. I know, and you’re welcome.
Wendy Parker is a practicing LPN in rural Ohio who writes in her spare time. Her most recent (and only) printed publication is in the August 2009 issue of Funny Times Magazine (Never Lick Anything at a Crime Scene). She has been published twice on the Flash Fiction Offensive e-zine (Paul Holland's Friend and Sybil's Son).