A recent poll taken by my family and friends shows that 92.9% (+ or – 4%) of them believe that I have no connection at all to reality. They cite my recent revelations that I regularly go out to dinner with dead historical figures such as Amelia Earhart, who I’ve been dating for quite a while. Also on their reasons for doubting my grip on reality include, traveling through time, and knowing the exact value of Pi.
Now normally I would agree with them 92.9% (+ or – 4%) of the time, but in this case they are dead wrong. You can’t reach the stature that I have in the literary and comedy communities (2 Emmys, and a Pulitzer) and not have a firm grasp of what is real. And so, on the advice of my good friends, Jack Kerouac and Melvin Belli, who urged me at knifepoint to do some outlines for television shows, I have acquiesced to do so, though it lowers my standards to several stories below anywhere I ever thought possible. But what type of show?
My criteria for deciding on the sort of show I’d write about came from the same criterion that drives all my decisions; will my friend Humphrey Bogart approve? And the other is, “How much money will I make from this?”
I’ve been trying to come with new ideas for a reality show, since it seems that there is an insatiable appetite for them. Some of them are fun to watch, like Gold Rush, Pawn Stars, Hogs Gone Wild and American Pickers. But television, never one to miss an opportunity to capitalize on a good thing, seems to be recycling the same ideas. So recently, I took a production meeting with the people in my head and kicked around a few ideas for some reality shows I’d like to see. Tell me what you think.
TALI-BANANAS! Each week, a group of crazed religious extremists have to switch places with a Midwest Iowa family and try to get through one week without setting fire to something, screaming “AY YAIYAIYYAIYAIYAIYAI!” for no apparent reason, shooting a machine gun into the air, or saying “Death to America!”. After one week, they go back to their homeland and try to locate the hideout where the Iowans are being held hostage. The first team to find the Iowans wins 72 virgins. The losing team has to scour the world in search of 72 virgins
sylvania- Rick Santorum, his family and everyone in his hometown in have to live a week in their opposite gender. Watch as Rick tries on his new wardrobe for the first time, deals with the wacky effects of estrogen on his body, and tries to get a job as a transgender female; hilarious! It’s just like the TV show Working it, only funny because it’s played by a real dick! Pennsylvania
The Real Housewives of Newt Gingrich- Newt de-converts from Catholicism and becomes a secret Mormon. He marries a total of 52 women, making him the first human time-share. Each week, a different Gingrich wife comments on the joys of only having to spend one week a year with him, while the other 51 wives campaign behind his back for Barack Obama.
Dr. Ron Paul’s Extremely Harsh Makeover- Dr. Ron takes a good long, look at America, declares martial law and systematically goes hog wild, stripping the Constitution down to two paragraphs and showing us what life in America was really like before 1789. Special guests include: Roe v. Wade, Brown vs The Board of Education, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Weekly features include the National Rifle Association Dancers and The Libertarians, an improvisational theater troupe who will each week “roast” a member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Must watch TV! (No seriously... it will become law that we MUST watch it)
Mitt Romney’s, Not in My Backyard! – A silver Airstream trailer towed by a family of eight from the Ozarks, sets up camp in Mitt’s backyard, after erroneously confusing it with a national park. Mitt, in a nearly human display of emotions, tells the butler to inform the squatters that they must leave or he will release the hounds. The Ozarkians (not to be confused with one of Ron Paul’s interplanetary friends), kidnap Mittens instead, and take him on a romp across country where he is shown American life as it really is. Watch this gripping drama as the Clemens Family, Buddy and Fern, the kids-Trevor, Buddy Jr., Leigh-Ann, Marjorie and baby Cletus, along with their Rottweiler, Hercules, show Mitt how to unclog a toilet, eat pizza with just his hands, live on $30,0000 a year, and be unemployed when all you have is $500 in the bank!
Those are my top five titles. There were others of course that I had to cancel because of some untimely developments such as, Marcus Bachmann’s-Cruisin’ up Denial, Jon Corzine’s 20 Billion Dollar Treasure Hunt, and Fred Phelps-Dancing with the Devils, all had potential but had to be shelved.
I’ve given a lot of thought to reality, and to be honest, I don’t hold out much hope for it because it is such a subjective thing. Mitt Romney seriously believes that making 40 thousand dollars for a speaking engagement isn’t “a lot of money”. That’s his reality because to someone worth a quarter of a billion dollars it really isn’t a great deal. Santorum’s reality is that it is better for children to have a father in prison than to have a gay parent at home. Even I don’t let my thoughts get that crazy.
The down side to anyone’s reality is that it might lead to zealotry. Loosely defined that’s when one person’s reality gets infected and turns into craziness; this in turn, begins to fester, bubble and spill out all over your docile reality, usually resulting in a disease ending with the suffix ism. Communism, Fascism, Racism, Liberalism and Conservatism; they all have ism at the end, which automatically denotes that someone who believes in them will eventually want to kill you, thus upsetting your reality.
Every person on the planet has his or her own reality. Stalkers believe that they are within their rights to follow a person around in secret, because their reality causes them to believe they are in love with their stalkee. Ultra-Religious people feel that they have the pipeline to The Truth, and God help anyone whose reality differs.
All of which brings me back to my version of reality. If I want to believe that I can make a Ball Park Frank sing an operatic aria, so what? If the idea of having my own personal tuba collection makes me happy, that’s my reality. It is also what God calls free will, for those of you who believe the Bible is the go-to book for the answers to everything. So to all of you who believe you are right about EVERYTHING, listen up; leave me the frig alone. I have my reality. It works for me. And that’s all I need. Isn’t that right Amelia?
That’s it. I’m done bitching. Everybody hug, everybody eat! Abbondanza!