Fifty: Karma Calling

bbtv

Episode 2, Part 1

Broadband TV Corporate Headquarters
Vancouver, B.C.

Janice exited the elevator to the top floor of the BBTV building and unlocked the door to her corner office, upon which hung a gilt-edged placard bearing the title Director of Programming.  Before she had a chance to settle down at her desk, Barbara poked her head through the door.

“Good morning, Ms. Patel.”

“Hi, Barbara.  Good weekend?”

“Yeah.  Quiet, but that’s how I like it.”

“Any messages?”

“No, but I left your magazines and a copy of today’s Sun in your inbox.”

“Thanks, Barb.”

Janice booted up her PC and opened the paper to the local section.

Vancouver Man Wins $10 Million Lotto Max Jackpot

January 18, 2022

A Vancouver man won Tuesday’s $10 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot.  Jerry Dalla-Vecchia, assistant manager of The Avalon Bistro, originally told CIVT News that he purchased the winning ticket at the Crown Street Petro-Canada before amending his account to say that he found the ticket along with several others in a bag he discovered on the ground as he walked home from work. 

Mr. Dalla-Vecchia told CIVT reporter Monica Galsky that he plans to buy The Avalon Bistro along with several other high-end storefronts throughoot the city and convert them into art and concert spaces hosting local, national and international acts on their stages.

A sly grin spread across Janice’s face as she folded up the paper and called oot for Barbara.

“Yes, Ms. Patel?”

“I need you to track someone down for me.  Phone number, e-mail, whatever you can get.  His name is Jerry Dalla-Vecchia.  He lives somewhere here in Vancouver, probably aboot 45 years old.  Can you let me know what you find ASAP?”

“Absolutely, Ms. Patel – my sleuthing cap is on.”

“Thank you, Barbara.  If you get me something I can use, you can take the rest of the afternoon off.”

*************************

Sam James Coffee Bar
Toronto, Ontario

“okay, dylan, i have to ask – what brought you to toronto?  when we talked right after christmas, you told me you wanted to reconcile things with your parents and spend some time in a familiar place while you worked on your sobriety.  and I couldn’t help but notice that your itinerary suddenly changed right after I told you I felt trapped in my life with matt.  i didn’t say we were through, you know…”

“Ashley, I know.  And I know how this looks on the surface, but trust me – I just started researching the best places for musicians to—”

The annoyed skepticism in Ashley’s countenance immediately took the wind oot of Dylan’s less than forthright explanation.

“Okay, look – I’m in love with you, Ashley.  I have been ever since high school and not a day has passed when you weren’t the first thing on my mind when I woke up in the morning.  Hell, even the fucking junk couldn’t manage to ease the constant ache I feel for you, Ashley.”

“dylan—”

“Please, just hear me oot.  I’ve been waiting over 25 years to say this to you.  Last night in the hotel room, I sat up rolling this over and over in my head because I’ve only got one shot to make you understand.  I could never picture a life withoot you.  My dreams of making it as a musician – everything – just seemed pointless after I heard you and Matt were married.  So I stopped trying.  I mean, a guy’s gotta eat so sometimes a guy’s gotta do things like put on a minstrel show opening for Carrottop in front of a bunch of geriatrics but it’s not the same as—”

“dylan, stop.  please.”  Ashley’s eyes welled up with tears as she struggled to find her words.  “i love you, too.  i always have.  but this can’t happen.  not now, not like this.  please.  i have to keep trying with matt and i thought you understood that.  he’s sacrificed so much for me.  and I’m sure you remember…he sacrificed a lot for you, too.  i moved here just to be with him and maybe things won’t work oot in the end, but this isn’t right.”

“Right.  I got it.”  Now Dylan fought back tears as he forced a smile.  “Can I ask you one more favor?”

“of course, dylan.”

“Can I get a lift to the airport?”

 *************************

DEQ Terrace & Lounge
Toronto, Ontario

Brooke and Stacy filled each other in on the basics of the last twenty years of their lives as they hurried down Wellington Street desperate to reach their destination for refuge from the heavy sleet that had begun to fall directly after the ceremony.

They found a private booth to the left of the bar and sat down.

“Too bad you have to drive home, Stace.  I was really hoping we could tie one on.”

“Are you kidding?  I got a room at the Wyndham because I was hoping the exact same thing.  You’re well worth driving three hours back to Collingwood with a hangover.”

A waitress came by and took their drink orders as Brooke nervously tapped a finger on the table.

“Elliot’s a hottie – I hope you don’t mind me saying.  So what’s up?  You two having trouble?”

“Not exactly.  Elliot is generous and doting…and dull.  But honestly, Stace, at this point in my life, dull suits me just fine.  Tabitha makes me so proud.  She’ll be starting high school next year and…”

Brooke’s lip began to quiver as she stared silently past Stacy.

“Hey…Brooke, what’s wrong?  I know it’s been a long time but you can talk to me.”

“It’s cancer, Stacy.”

They fell awkwardly silent as the waitress returned with their drinks.  When she finally scurried off behind the bar, Stacy leaned across the table and spoke in a near whisper.

“Oh God, Brooke.  I’m so sorry.  How bad?”

“Stage 3.  They don’t think it’s metastasized yet, but my oncologist isn’t a fan of chemo so she wants to start me on injection treatments next week.”

“Jesus.  How are Elliot and Tabitha taking it?”

“They don’t know.”

What?  How have you been hiding something like this from them?”

“When you live in a 5,000 square foot luxury dungeon, it’s surprisingly easy.”

“Well, when are you gonna tell them?  They’re gonna find oot sooner or later, Brooke.”

“That’s just it, Stacy…I can’t.  I just can’t.  Tabitha, Elliot, my career – after so many years treading water, I finally figured oot how to do things right.  Raising a family, caring for them – it’s been my only shot at something like redemption.  My karma sucks, Stace.  I can’t fuck this up.”

“So what are you gonna do?”

“I don’t know.  But I’ve been thinking aboot maybe spending some more time in Collingwood whenever I get a chance.  I really need a friend to lean on, Stacy.”

“You’ve got one, Brooke.  I promise.”

 *************************

Greenwich Village, New York City

Jake joined Arseman and Leslie at their table and asked a passing waiter to bring them three more drinks, a request he punctuated with a light slap on the server’s ass.

“Sorry, Ladies.  If we’re gonna stay here – and we should because my guests drink for free – then I’ve gotta vamp it up.”

“You go, Girl!  Now what’s this big news you’re dying to tell me?”

“Oh God, I feel like such a gossip queen, but this is gonna blow your mind.  You know Matt and Ashley got married, right?”

“Of course.  We’re still in touch on Facebook.”

“Yeah, until the other day, that was the only way I kept tabs on the old crowd, too.  So Matt calls me up for the first time in at least a decade – he has no idea what I do for a living, by the way — and he starts telling me aboot how he’s been doing a local public access show where he gives advice on home renovation or some shit up there in Toronto.  Apparently, some producer from the W Network saw it and offered Matt a starring gig in his own prime time show in Vancouver.”

“Wow…so they’re moving back?”

“Well, Matt is, anyway.”

“Wait, what do you mean?”

“He’s leaving Ashley.”

“Oh my God, they always look so happy in the photos they post—”

“Arseman, everybody always looks happy on Facebook.  That’s what it’s for, making others feel unjustifiably envious aboot your imaginary happiness.  Anyway, he can’t bring himself to tell her so he was seriously considering a clandestine escape from the throes of suburban bliss—”

“That asshole!”

“Don’t worry, I talked him oot of it.  He’s gonna talk to Ashley as soon as he finds his cojones and I guess he’ll file for divorce.”

“Well, that’s the right thing to do, but poor Ashley!”

“There’s more.  I started asking him for all the deets on his new gig but he didn’t really seem too interested.  Know why?  Because he’d already decided to move back to Vancouver before he heard from the producer.  He wants to be near Courtney.”

Courtney?

“Yeah.  Matt’s still in love with her, Arseman.  Do you believe that shit?”

“Wait, but isn’t Courtney—”

“—a fucking nun, yes.  Told you I had some news that would blow your mind!”

“Jake – sorry, Jacqueline – when was the last time you paid a visit to Vancouver?”

“Christ, I don’t know…maybe 2002.”

“Yeah, same here.  I think it’s been too long, don’t you agree?”

“I’m starting to…what do you have in mind?”

“Take my number and see if you can get a couple weeks off.  Wait, when is Matt starting his new show?”

“He said they start filming next month.”

“Next month it is.  In the meantime, I’ll do a little online recon.  It sounds like some old friends could use a serious reality check.”

“And you think that you and a guy who wears a feather boa to work can provide that?”

“Uh, have you forgotten who you’re talking to, Jake?”

Fifty: YYZ

yyz

Episode 1, Part 3

Toronto Pearson International Airport
January 19, 2022

Ashley sat at the counter of Tim Horton’s Express just ootside the Terminal 1 security gate, nursing a latte with her eyes fixed on the arrivals board.  Air Canada Flight 1899 from Las Vegas was still marked On Time for its scheduled landing at 2:35 pm, just as it had been the last 20 times she checked.

Finally, the moment to which she’d been looking forward and dreading in equal measure arrived.  Ashley rose from the counter and walked over to the reception area.  As the throng of passengers streamed oot of the gate, she kept her eyes peeled for a familiar face until she suddenly jumped at the sensation of two hands grasping her shoulders from behind.

Great to schee ya, Schweetheart!

“dylan!!!”

They wrapped their arms around each other for an extended embrace as Dylan softly stroked the back of her hair.

“You’re still beautiful.”

“thanks, dylan.  you look great, too.”

“Yeah?  Maybe our first stop after the airport should be the optometrist…but thanks for saying so.”

“actually, dylan, i don’t have a lot of free time today.  matt invited some realtors over for dinner tonight and right now, he thinks i’m getting my nails done.  it’s already been a pretty long nail appointment.”

“Ashley, relax.  I’m home now and we’ll have plenty of time to catch up.”

“home?  i still don’t understand why you flew into toronto, dylan.  i mean, it’s great to see you — it is.  but home is pretty far away, unless i’m missing something here.”

“Home is a state of mind, Ashley.  Anyhow, if you can just drop me off downtown, there’s a condo I saw online that I want to check oot.”

“you mean you’re staying?”

“Yeah, I’ve been thinking aboot it.  But don’t worry, I’ll be plenty busy.  Toronto’s a big place and I’ll be too occupied looking for gigs and N.A. meetings to get in your hair…unless, you know…”

Ashley smiled and grasped his hand.

“i’m so glad you’re home, dylan.”

*************************

Greenwich Village, New York City

Arseman and Leslie descended the escalator to the lobby of the Union Square Tech Space after a grueling 10-hour day spent in the futile attempt to locate the bug in their company’s new software.  Ootside, they pulled their coats tightly around themselves to brace against the biting wind and began their usual Saturday evening trek to Christopher Street for their favorite weekly drag revue at Pieces.  Both close friends and co-owners of Harrell Logistics agreed long ago that the only effective antidote to a long day of coding was a long evening of cocktails and queens.

Inside the establishment, they sat down at a table next to the stage and ordered up two Long Island Iced Teas from the world’s most beautiful woman in possession of an Adam’s apple.

“Good Lord, Leslie!  Did you see him? I’d kill for cheekbones like that.”

“Maybe that’s why you’re still single, Babe.  Gender dysphoria’s a bitch, ain’t it?”

“Oh, suck my ass!  I don’t think I’ll ever meet a bigger fag hag than you.”

They burst oot laughing as the voice of the DJ filled the bar:

OOOO-kay, Ladies and Gentlemen and Everything In Between!  Let’s put our hands together for Pieces’ Precious Pearl of the East, Miss Jacqueline!”

Strobe lights danced across the walls and floors as Miss Jacqueline ascended the stage and the opening beats of “Groove Is In The Heart” caused their glasses to rattle on the table.  As Miss Jacqueline danced around the pole situated in the center of the stage waving her feather boa seductively at the patrons, Arseman got a close glimpse of his face and nearly spit oot her drink.  Leslie leaned over the table and shouted above the music:

“What’s wrong, Hun?  You look like you just saw a ghost.”

“Yeah…I think I just did.”

As Dee-Lite faded into a drone of crowd chatter, Arseman got up from the table and ran over to the dressing room door into which the dancers disappeared after their sets.  As Miss Jacqueline approached, Arseman caught his eye and glared hard until he finally noticed and stopped in his tracks.

“Oh my God – Arseman?!”

“Jake!!!  How have—”

Shhh, not here.  It’s Miss Jacqueline until we’re oot of earshot.”

He grabbed Arseman by the sleeve and led her to the dressing room as she motioned to Leslie to hold tight.

“Have a seat, have a seat!  Oh my god, Arseman, how wonderful to see you!”

“You, too, Jacqueline!”

“It’s Jake.  This is just for extra cash, not a new identity.  It’s so weird that you came in here tonight of all nights.”

“How come?”

“I hadn’t thought aboot Hillside and all you guys for the longest time…until yesterday – I got a call from Matt, completely oot of the blue!”

“Oh yeah?  What brought that on?”

“You got a good stiff drink oot there on your table?”

“A Long Island.”

“Good, let’s go sit down and order up three more.  Have I got some news for you!”

*************************

Sunset Las Palmas Studios
Hollywood, CA

“Mr. Simpson, call time’s in 10 minutes if you want to come check oot the kids.”

“Thanks, Rose.  I’m gonna take a rain check on that – go ahead and narrow the field down to five or six kids that look like good mutant candidates and I’ll meet them this afternoon.  Oh, and don’t tell them they look like mutants.  Tell them they’re talented actors, okay?  Their parents eat that shit up.”

Alone in his dressing room, Bill looked at the unexpected message from Courtney again.

I hate it that we don’t talk.  I’ve lost my faith and I don’t know what to do.  Please call me when you can.

With a heavy sigh, Bill clicked oot of his messages and fired up a game of Toon Blast.

*************************

Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Toronto, Ontario

The auditorium was filled nearly to capacity as Brooke nervously fidgeted with the metal clasp of her purse.  Her daughter Tabitha and husband Elliot were sitting on either side of her, but she paid them little mind as she scanned the room over and over, seemingly searching for someone or something of great importance.  As the Master of Ceremonies returned to the stage to announce the nominees for the Accessory Designer of the Year Award, Brooke started to rise from her seat before Elliot grasped her arm.

“Brooke, where are you going?  The Womenswear category is next.”

“I know, I’ll be back in a minute.  I just want to go fix my make-up in the ladies room.”

“But you look fan—”

“I said I’ll just be a minute.”

Brooke eased oot of the aisle and walked to the lobby where she began searching the modest crowd of mostly disinterested spouses and teenagers milling aboot waiting for the ceremony to end.  At last, she spotted her leaning against the bar holding a glass of champagne.

“Well, if it isn’t Stacy Collins!”

“Brooke, there you are!  I got here a little late, so I didn’t want to go inside and miss you.  I was hoping you’d come oot and look for me.  You look great!”

“Thank you.  And you’re still rocking the Nouveau Trash, I see.”

Brooke—

“I’m sorry, Stacy.  Really.  Old habits die hard, I guess.  I really appreciate that you came.”

“Are you kidding?  I was so excited to hear from you and now I find oot that you’re getting an award!”

“We don’t know that yet…but I didn’t invite you here to show off.  Can you grab a drink with me after this is over?”

“Well, sure, but isn’t your husband—”

“He’s a big boy, he can find his own way home.  I’ve wanted to reach oot to you for a while now, but it’s been so long and I couldn’t think of a pretense until I got this nomination.  Things are bad, Stace.”

“What do you mean?  I thought you were on top of the world.”

From the auditorium, the voice of the MC just barely carried to the lobby: “And the winner of the 2021 Womenswear Designer of the Year is…Brooke Morgan-Hoffman!

A tear slowly cut a path down Brooke’s heavily mascaraed cheek.  She wiped it away with the back of her palm and grabbed Stacy by the arm.

“Come on.  I have to go pull off the performance of a lifetime.”

Fifty: Old Ghosts

Image-21-Luxury-House-11-Screenshot

Episode 1, Part 2

York Mills, Ontario

Every window was illuminated in the luxurious home situated in a quiet cul-de-sac of Toronto’s most affluent suburb, creating a beacon in the midst of the otherwise sleepy neighborhood sufficient for guiding ships to harbor in Lake Ontario on a foggy night.

Upstairs in the master bedroom, Brooke was pacing the floor, hissing undiluted venom with careful enunciation to ensure every word was heard loud and clear through the receiver of the iPhone that was lying face-up on an end table in speaker mode.

“…and I can’t even say I’m surprised, Amanda.  After all, you couldn’t be bothered to show up for my wedding or Tabitha’s bat mitzvah or—

“I don’t consider someone’s third marriage something that rises to the level of an occasion.”

What?  It was my second wedding, you little shit, but now that you mention it, I don’t recall you gracing us with your presence at the first one, either.  Just forget I even called.  It’ll be far more gratifying to accept this award withoot having to see your bitchy face sneering up at me from the audience.”

Brooke snatched her phone from the table and hung up, feeling briefly nostalgic for the days when one could punctuate unpleasant telecommunications with a furious slam of the headset into a receiver.  Amanda had been correct, of course.  Elliot Hoffman was Brooke’s third husband, but rather than acknowledge the mortifying emotional abuse she’d endured from Augustin, she chose instead to pretend that memories of her impetuous Parisian nuptials were merely the contents of an oddly recurrent bad dream.

She had fallen for Augustin the moment she heard him vociferously lecturing a group of students in a shady courtyard of École Internationale.  It was two months after she’d enrolled at the institution, so Brooke felt vulnerable and memories of home were fresh.  Regardless, Augustin’s youthful passion and shoulder-length raven-black hair were enough to obscure from her conscious mind the fact that he was just as aggressively misogynistic as her father, another topic which Brooke found prudent to avoid.  It had taken a considerable effort to refrain from spitting in his casket at the funeral last year.

Shaking off these unpleasant psychic intrusions, Brooke turned her thoughts to a week from tonight, when she would be a nominee for the Womenswear Designer of The Year at the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards.  A faint smile crossed her face as she remembered someone from long ago and retrieved the phone from her pocket.

 *************************

Our Lady of Sorrows Convent
Vancouver, British Columbia

“Sister Courtney!”

From the far end of the corridor, Sister Regina skipped to Courtney’s side, her habit swaying precariously from side to side before her sneakers slid to a squeaky halt upon catching up with her comparatively reserved friend.

“Hi, Regina.  What’s up?”

“I saw your brother on Jimmy Fallon last night – he’s sooo funny!”

“Yeah, that seems to be the consensus.”

“He’s dreamy, too.  If he ever decides to pay us a visit, my vow of chastity is toast!”

“You sound pretty confident.  Listen, I have something important that I need to discuss with Mother Judy.  Have you seen her?”

“Sure, she’s down in the church basement helping pick up after last night’s 12 Step meeting.  For a bunch of sober guys, they sure do treat our place like a dive bar.”

“Yeah, I guess…I’ll see you around.”

Sister Regina bit her lip and stared after her friend as she disappeared down the north stairwell.  Something wasn’t right.  She hadn’t seen Courtney laugh or even crack a smile in weeks and her manner had become uncomfortably brooding.  She thought back to morning mass and remembered something else: Sister Courtney neglected to make the sign of the cross at the commencement of the Gospel, and she hadn’t lined up to receive communion with the rest of the nuns, opting instead to remain in her pew and stare straight ahead.

Regina resolved that this afternoon, she would have her own private chat with the Mother Superior.

*************************

Vancouver, B.C.

Jerry finished swabbing the last of the tables in the back room, whipped off his apron and killed the lights.  The quiet three block stroll back to his apartment afforded him his only opportunity to ruminate free from the noise of boisterous teenage idiots.

Last week, Jerry had turned 45 years old withoot a hint of fanfare (or even recognition).  He held the same job that he’d had since the age of fifteen and made nearly the same salary.  Back then, the cafe had been called The Avalon, but aside from the addition of the word Bistro to its moniker and some updated Formica countertops, the establishment was essentially stuck in a time warp.  Jerry couldn’t help but feel like he was, too.

As he rounded the corner onto Crown Street, he noticed a loose flap of paper wedged at the base of a chain link fence.  Bending down to investigate, Jerry picked up a small paper bag emblazoned with the Mac’s logo and peered inside.  It contained roughly a dozen Lotto Max tickets bearing yesterday’s date, all intact aside from some slight water stains around the edges.  With a smirk, Jerry deposited the bag in his coat pocket and continued home through the gloomy night, making a quick pit stop at the corner Petro-Canada for a copy of The Sun.  Pessimism was Jerry’s mainstay defense against feelings of loneliness and failure, but still…it couldn’t hurt to at least check the winning numbers.  With the paper rolled up under his arm and a six pack of Labatt Blue in hand, Jerry arrived at the door of his studio apartment and let himself inside.

Jerry hung up his coat, removed the small paper bag from its pocket, grabbed a beer, twisted the top off and flicked it across the room before settling his voluminous frame on the sofa.  He shook the tickets oot of the bag onto the coffee table and opened the paper to yesterday’s OLG results.  Running his finger across the row of numbers on the first ticket, he checked it against the winning Lotto Max numbers.

24 – 9 – 47 – 15 – 39 – 4 – 33

Jerry choked, took a quick pull from his beer and looked again.

24 – 9 – 47 – 15 – 39 – 4 – 33

Ho-ly shit!”  A demented smile contorted his facial features into a demonic display of  glee.  He chuckled at the recollection he’d almost called oot sick today as he jumped up and down on the precariously buckling sofa cushions.  Tonight, he would celebrate. Tomorrow, he would finally kick this world’s sorry ass.

 

Fifty: Coming Home To Roost

Macs

Episode 1, Part 1

This will be the last of my editorial commentary for a while, just to let you know how I’ll be posting this reunion story, then I’ll get the hell oot of the way and let the tale tell itself.  I’ve settled on an 8-episode Netflix series as the ideal format (many thanks to Tom of TomBeingTom for the idea).  That will give me more than enough time to flesh oot the plots of this large ensemble cast and it also gives me license to swear.  Each episode would probably run aboot an hour (or slightly less), so in order not to overwhelm, I’ll break each episode into at least two posts.  Aside from some pre-existing rough ideas that I want to integrate into the story, I’ll be essentially making this up as I go, which means that suggestions will still be welcome and considered right to the end, so don’t be shy in the comments section.  The format will be something between fictional prose and television script, which is to say that it’s not really in any official format; for now, I just want to get the plots and the dialogue oot there.  I can worry aboot stylistic consistency later, should I happen to be contacted by either Random House or Ryan Reynolds. Below is the start of Episode 1, which will now necessitate 3 posts to complete because of the long-winded blabbermouthery you’re enduring at this very moment.  In other words, this is an atypically short one just to get the ball rolling. Enjoy!

Backstage
Atrium Theater, Luxor Casino
Las Vegas, NV
December 28, 2021

“Do we have a pulse?”

“Yeah.  Blood pressure 180 over 110 and rising.  Prepare the defibrillator and try to find a contact while I stabilize him for transport and wipe this shit off his face.”

“Does he have a phone?”

“Yeah, here.  Call it into General, too.  Dylan Blackwell, 45-year-old male Caucasian, possible narcotic overdose resulting in cardiac arrest.  Judging from the marquee, he probably did the audience a favor.  Who the hell does a Hendrix tribute in blackface, for Christ’s sake?”

Beep…beep…beeeeeeeeeeeppp

 *************************

Durham, Ontario

“Alright, Babe, I’m gonna go show that house in Forest Hill again.  I should be back around 5:00.”

Ashley was sitting at the kitchen table, staring at her phone with a wistful smile.  Curious at her lack of response, Matt approached from behind and peered over her shoulder.  Ashley quickly slid her arm over the iPhone screen and smiled up at Matt.

“sorry, matt, i didn’t see you there.”

“You look dumbfounded.  Anything wrong?”

“no.  no, nothing wrong.  i just got a text from an old friend i haven’t heard from in ages.”

“Anyone I know?”

“i don’t think so.  h—she didn’t graduate from hillside.”

“Well, I hope you enjoy catching up.  Love you.”

With a peck on the lips, Matt took his leave, whereupon Ashley moved her arm from the phone and stared at the message in disbelief.

Almost died last night.  I’m coming home in a few weeks.  I want you to know that I never stopped loving you. – Dylan

 *************************

Vancouver, British Columbia

Unbroken sheets of rain had transformed the parking lot of Mac’s Convenience Store into a colorful tapestry of irrigated oil stains.  Exiting the store, Chris watched a slowly rotating kaleidoscope of viscous fluids in a puddle by his feet as he bit the cellophane tab on his pack of du Mauriers, opened it with his teeth and slid one between his lips.  Fumbling for a lighter, he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled oot the crumpled bills he’d just received as change from the cashier.

“Oh shit.”

Roxane, as always, had made herself crystal clear.  A pint of milk, a copy of the Vancouver Sun and a home pregnancy test from the pharmacy next door.  “And no beer…God help you if you come home with beer.

Chris, as always, had blown the wad of cash he’d been handed on cigarettes and lottery tickets.  Lighting his smoke beneath the store’s sheet metal awning, his panic began to subside at the realization he’d at least refrained from grabbing a 40 ounce from the cooler and thus had followed the most vehemently delivered of Roxane’s dictatorial directions.  Usually, this kind of partial adherence to the rules was enough to ensure the ensuing financial argument ended in a stalemate.

He walked back to the apartment complex and hesitated briefly before going inside.  Roxane hadn’t moved from the sofa, arms crossed tightly in exaggerated impatience.

“Let me guess…you got mugged by street cats and they ran off with the milk?”

“Don’t start…if we don’t come into some serious cash quick, we’re fucked, Roxane.”

“And if you still don’t realize that the odds of winning the Lotto Max are even worse than those of you holding down a job for longer than a month, you’re fucked, Chris.  Did you at least get the paper?  Hand me the classifieds and go walk your damn dog, he’s been whining at the back door for an hour.”

Chris trudged into the kitchen and grabbed Dudley’s leash from a hook on the wall, relieved at the opportunity to escape the apartment again, if only for ten gloriously peaceful minutes.  In the living room, Roxane grabbed her cell phone and shot off a quick text.

It was still teeming as Chris leaned against the far end of the complex’s security fence, waiting for Dudley to do his business.  He pulled his fists into the sleeves of his coat when he spotted two silhouettes approaching from across the street.  Their features were obscured in the inclement night, but Chris could discern that they were larger than average sized men, with a deliberately slow and determined gait.

“Jesus, Dudley, hurry the fuck up.”

Before he knew it, Chris found himself flanked on either side.

“Oh, fuck, Tony?  Ben?  You guys scared the shit oot of m—”

A sucker punch to the nose sent Chris tumbling to the mud.  As he struggled to regain his footing, a boot caught his left side causing him to roll into the fence.  Tony straddled his body, creating a vapor cloud in the frigid winter air that seemed to ring his words with a tangible aura of menace as he bent down to face Chris.

“If you don’t man up and start treating Roxane right, the next time, we’ll kill you.”

Shivering in the mud, Chris watched his attackers disappear into the night while Dudley sniffed at the small paper bag on the ground that had fallen oot of Chris’ jacket pocket during the scuffle.

 

Reunion Teaser!

billy wow

Now that I know the precise location and function of Jesse’s duodenum, I think it’s time to start filling the gaps between online lessons with the first draft of my Fifteen reunion show script.  Alright, it’s a bit of a misnomer for me to call what’s to follow a “script” because I’ve decided to present it in more of a narrative form for easier reading because this is a blog (<– the dumbest non-word I’ve ever had to begrudgingly add to my vocabulary).  However, should the need arise (Why won’t you return my phone calls, Ryan?), I’m prepared to rework it into a script format at a moment’s notice.  Or someone else can do it for me.  I don’t know how these things work and the odds of this story finding a reason to work are slim to none, but I’m approaching it with every bit of optimism available in my paltry and ever-dwindling reserve thereof because I want this to be fun…

…but maybe not too fun?  Here’s where you can have some input, my friends, though my mind is all but made up aboot the uncharacteristically darker vibe this reunion story will take on.  Should I adjust the dialogue to reflect the times or is everything still tragic in the lives of the Hillside High Class of 93?  Less camp, more realism?  Or fuck realism, you can’t get enough of the glorious cheese?  An equal measure of both would be challenging, but I think I’m up to the task if that be the consensus. Feel free to leave any ideas you may have aboot possible scenarios involving your favorite Hillside alumni.  I’ll do my best to work any plots you’d like to see into the larger story.

Also…how would you ideally like to see this if it were an actual production?  Feature film?  Made for TV movie?  Miniseries?  This will give me an idea of whether or not I can pepper the dialogue with F bombs, as you all know I’m wont to do, but if the consensus is for family-friendly, that’s cool.  Believe it or not, I can work with that.

For now, all I can give you is this very short teaser of the opening scene I’ve envisioned.  If suggestions start to fill up the comments section, I’ll consider those before going any further.  Otherwise, I’ll be back in aboot a week or so to serve up the first full installment of Fifty: The Reunion!

luxor-hotel-casino-las-vegas

Backstage
Atrium Theater, Luxor Casino
Las Vegas, NV
December 24, 2021

Beep…beep…

“Do we have a pulse?”

“Yeah.  Blood pressure 180 over 110 and rising.  Prepare the defibrillator and try to find a contact while I stabilize him for transport and wipe this shit off his face.”

“Does he have a phone?”

“Yeah, here.  Call it into General, too.  Dylan Blackwell, 45-year-old male Caucasian, possible narcotic overdose resulting in cardiac arrest.  Judging from the marquee, he probably did the audience a favor.  Who the hell does a Hendrix tribute in blackface, for Christ’s sake?”

Beep…beep…beeeeeeeeeeeeeeppp

 

Happy New Year & T.T.F.N.

15 jess

Did I just miss something here?

If you’ll indulge me, my friends, I’d like to break the fourth wall one more time here at Notes From The Avalon for a quick year end wrap-up.

What a fucking relief it is to relegate 2019 to the rear-view.  As the country in which I live descended further into the quagmire of racism, fascism and xenophobia, I knew that withoot a reliable diversion, I might very well have thrown in the towel and succumbed to despair.  (Fifteen to the rescue!) In retrospect, such a decision would have been downright tragic.

If there is one single lesson that I hope my humble web page imparted, it’s this: no matter how bleak and frightening reality may become, you can always take refuge at The Avalon, where everyone is always welcome.

A few odds & ends to close oot the year:

Coming Soon: Fifty – The Reunion

The only planned future addition to this page that may will appear in the upcoming year is a script I’m fixing to write for the upcoming Fifteen reunion show that (currently) exists purely in my imagination.  There’s no strict timeline for this as I’ll be spending much of the first half of the year getting certified as a veterinary tech, but it will be complete and online before 2020 fades into the long march of history.

Robyn & Randy

You are nothing short of royalty ‘round these parts. As a former online purveyor of philosophical pontification, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to hear that my sudden decision to devote all my writing in 2019 to the analysis of Fifteen was met by considerable confusion from my former readers.  The fact that you both recently acknowledged and complimented this little project is nothing short of a total vindication, but that’s not the real reason for my enormous appreciation of your kind words.  In case this wasn’t apparent through my chosen comedic style (i.e. an incessant barrage of vulgar mockery), the truth is that I was and still am a HUGE fan of the show of which you both were such an integral part.  It means everything to me that you loved my tribute to your show.  I love you back…

One Good Turn Deserves Another

…and that’s not all.  Everybody knows what Ryan Reynolds has been up to for the past quarter of a century, but perhaps you’re unaware of the fact that Robyn Ross is a phenomenal actor.  (If I’m not mistaken, we don’t say “actress” anymore, right?  I wouldn’t want to be politically incorrect, lest people think I’m a fucking retard).  If you met that claim with even a scintilla of skepticism, go watch a 2014 independent film called “Suck It Up, Buttercup”.  It’s not for the squeamish, but this gritty and honest depiction of the insidiousness of addiction left me nearly speechless, and Robyn’s stellar performance was the indisputable heart of the film.  Just brilliant.

buttercup

…The Professor and MaryAnne

Just in case anyone else of direct significance should stumble upon my little Hillside-centric corner of the internet, all my love to the rest of the cast, too, of course — even (especially) you, Sarah (Douglas) and Lisa (Warner).  Sometimes immature little boys don’t know how to express feelings of affection, so we resort to relentless ridicule.  The fact is, Fifteen and by extension, this blog would have been nothing withoot you.

Reading Iz Fundamental

Speaking of exciting creative ventures emanating from the Great White North, loyal Avalon friend Suzanne of MyDangBlog! published her second book this year, entitled The Dome.  Buy it.  Read it.  You’re welcome.

the dome

 

Happy New Year!

Friends of The Avalon, one and all: Jesse and I wish you a motherfucking awesome year to come, because you truly deserve nothing less.

Until the next time…

dvd

Gratitude / Episode Guide

dp-final.jpg

To everyone who played along with Notes From The Avalon, THANK YOU!!  You made it all worthwhile.  I’d also like to thank the cast and crew of Fifteen, as well as the entire nation of Canada for a bottomless supply of inspiration.  Although this officially marks the end of my run as a blogger, I do not intend to remove NFTA from the internet or sully its purity by utilizing it for writing aboot other topics– it is nothing less than my gift to humanity and my online legacy.

For anyone coming late to the party, below is a handy-dandy chronological guide to all of the episode posts.  Long live Fifteen!

Season 1

Intro – Deadpool: The High School Years

S.1 E.1 – The Nightmare Commences

S.1 E.2 – Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies

Intermission (Go For A Soda)

S.1 E.3 – Jag ar en javla nord

S.1 E.4 – Purgatorio

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

S.1 E.5 – No Exit

S.1 E.6 – Hinterlands

Season 1 Promo Trailer

S.1 E.7 – The Grapes

Six Hours On Facebook

S.1 E.8 – Sturm und Drang

S.1 E.9 – Revolving Doors To Hell

Mama Says Be Glad

S.1 E.10 – Party Till The World Obeys

S.1 E.11 – The Sorrow & The Pity

Fuck You (for Jake)

S.1 E.12 – Kiss of Death

S.1 E.13 – Nevermore

Season 2

Intro – Deadpool 2: Sophomore Year

S.2 E.1 – I Don’t Know You People…

S.2 E.2 – The Pariah

Happy Victoria Day!

S.2 E.3 – An Awkward Pause

S.2 E.4 – Return of the Phantom

S.2 E.5 – Hell Is For Children

Dear Jake

S.2 E.6 – Entropy Storm!

Baguette Battle

Janice: A Psychological Profile

S.2 E.7 – Boiling Point

S.2 E.8 – Breaking The Band

S.2 E.9 – Sanitarium

NFTA Wins An Award!

S.2 E.10 – Crime & Punishment

Conform Or Be Cast Oot

S.2 E.11 – That Scar Loo’s Nii

S.2 E.12 – Lollapalooza

S.2 E.13 – Chinese Foods

Season 3

Intro – Deadpool 3: Junior Year

S.3 E.1 – Danse Macabre

We’re Back!

S.3 E.2 – Rage Against The Machine

Friends of The Avalon

Miscellany (Feeding Your A.D.D.)

S.3 E.3 – Hair of the Dog

S.3 E.4 – Some Hospital Place

Ashley & Chris: A Reader Poll

S.3 E.5 – Sister Margaret’s Home For Wayward Girls

S.3 E.6 – Get Cool, Daddy-O

S.3 E.7 – Blue Velvet

An E-Mail From Deadpool

S.3 E.8 – TV Party

S.3 E.9 – JoJo Siwa On Infinite Repeat

Dreamline

S.3 E.10 – Wild Sex In The Working Class

S.3 E.11 – Joe Superstar

S.3 E.12 – Yoko

S.3 E.13 – Red Wedding

Season 4

Season 4: Deadpool Goes To Hell

Pre-Reunion Miscellany

Post Script: Vindication!

Boxing Day Eve: Recognizing Recognition

Happy New Year & T.T.F.N.

Fifty: The Reunion

Reunion Teaser!

Ep. 1, Pt. 1: Coming Home To Roost

Ep. 1, Pt. 2: Old Ghosts

Ep. 1, Pt. 3: YYZ

Ep. 2, Pt. 1: Karma Calling

Corrections, Retractions & Apologies

Ep. 2, Pt. 2: The Gathering Storm

Ep. 2, Pt. 3: Dog Days

Ep. 3, Pt. 1: Manifesting Destiny

Ep. 3, Pt. 2: Taking A Stand

Ep. 3, Pt. 3: Old Friends

Ep. 4, Pt. 1: Deviant Fates

Ep. 4, Pt. 2: Original Sin

Ep. 4, Pt. 3: Collateral Damage

Halftime

Ep. 5, Pt. 1: Bars & Bistros

Ep. 5, Pt. 2: Belated Betrayals

Ep. 6, Pt. 1: Reckonings

Ep. 6, Pt. 2: Morning Headlines

Ep. 7, Pt. 1: Lopun Alku

Ep. 7, Pt. 2: Interventions

Ep. 8, Finale: Requiem

The Credits!

That’s A Wrap

Fifteen Questions With Robyn Ross!

Season 4: Deadpool Goes To Hell

s4 intro

Season 4, Episodes 1 – 26

Even though very few readers of Notes From The Avalon have any recollection whatsoever of Fifteen’s existence, it must have gotten fairly good ratings for the first three seasons.  I can’t think of any other reason why Nickelodeon would have made the decision to shell oot a bunch more cash in order to double the size of the cast and the number of episodes for the show’s final season.  Know what they got for all that cash?  A steaming pile of dog shit.  Now, you may be wondering how I can differentiate between good and bad when we’re talking aboot the most poorly produced and abysmally acted TV show of all time, but there are two distinct types of “bad” when it comes to productions of this nature: the type that lends itself to endless mockery and which we end up finding hopelessly endearing for this very reason, and the type that’s so bad that it doesn’t even deserve to be mocked.  Fifteen’s unfortunate fourth season is of the latter variety.  Even though over 5 years elapsed between the final episode of Fifteen and the premiere of Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place, it still boggles the mind that Ryan Reynolds managed to eke oot such a successful Hollywood career after having had such a ubiquitous presence in the 26-episode mess to which this post is dedicated.

As you know, Brooke is no longer in the show and neither is Courtney.  At least they went to the trouble of writing Brooke oot of the script properly.  For Headband, they use the exact same lazy explanation that was employed for Theresa’s sudden disappearance at the start of Season 2: “she’s off at that school for the arts”.  I don’t have a clue what the fuck happened to Jake and Erin.

Let’s take a quick look at the horrible new Season 4 characters who, taken collectively, form the primary reason that I cannot re-watch these 26 god-awful episodes for individual analysis.  First, there’s Pepper, Dave’s repulsive little sister.  This rubber-faced, ginger-haired parasite serves no discernible purpose, but she gets more screen time than almost anyone else even though the only plot revolving around her is an ultimately successful bid to get on the boys’ soccer team.  I used to wonder how she achieved such an undeserved starring role until I found oot that the actress’ full name is Pepper Binkley.  Coincidence?  Next, there’s Jennifer, an obvious but woefully inadequate Brooke replacement.  Sure, she’s kind of a manipulative bitch, but she manages to be completely unentertaining in the process and the actress playing her possesses none of Robyn Ross’ unearthly emotive qualities.  She has a brainy little brother named Jason who doesn’t piss me off nearly as much as the rest of the incoming cast, but he’s never involved in anything exciting.  Micah is a kid on Pepper’s soccer team.  Liz is… Liz.  Characters don’t come more nondescript than this top-heavy anthropomorphic Valium pill.  Loyal, who is introduced in the last few episodes of the series, is Billy’s new stepbrother.  I’ll put as much effort into my critique of this character as the writers employed in the process of crafting him: he sucks.  Russ is the only new addition to the Hillside student body that doesn’t piss me off.  He was the nameless accordion player in round 2 of last season’s talent contest and even though he usually kicks around with the boring new characters I’ve already mentioned, I can tell that he would have fit in nicely had he been introduced sooner in the series and he also plays a pivotal role in the curious transformation of Chris towards the end of the season.  Finally, there’s Brittany, a new arrival whose alleged sexiness I personally find to be very overstated.  Regardless, all the guys at Hillside go absolutely ga-ga over this vapid, self-absorbed American dick tease, especially Deadpool who makes a first-class ass of himself in the desperate pursuit of her affections.

Now the good stuff.  I’ll dedicate the rest of this post to a character-by-character summary of the Season 4 story arcs for each of Hillside’s veteran students – Dylan, Matt, Ashley, Billy, Arseman, Roxanne, Chris, Dave and Who Farted.

Dylan

For the first few episodes, everyone’s favorite dropoot just sort of treads water in his self-imposed exile.  Occasionally, Arseman drops by the garage to offer moral support and seek comfort after the death of her grandmother, leading to an inevitable and ill-advised romance between Leather Jacket and Sassy Pants.  Eventually, Dylan lands a job at the 3-table café attached to the only clothing store in the mall that these little shits ever patronize.  His uniform consists of an apron over a humbling bright pink shirt, but the worst part of all this is his frequent utterance of the word café, which for some reason, Corky Martin pronounces “c’fé”.  Near the middle of the season, Dylan’s parents kick him oot, rendering him homeless.  After spending a night sleeping in the park, Matt rallies to his aid and lets him move in and sleep on a couch in his basement.  So now Hillside’s former mortal enemies have become roommates, something aboot which they both marvel aloud with such frequency that I honestly believe there is no limit to their oot-sized incredulity.  While living on Matt’s couch and ostensibly dating Arseman, Dylan starts getting so cozy with Ashley – often right in front of Matt’s face – that I often expect them to just undress and start boinking right in his basement.  Understandably (and far later than you’d expect), both Matt and Arseman reach the ends of their respective ropes aboot the shameless public treachery of their significant others.  Arseman is so hurt at the sight of seeing her best friend and her boyfriend feeling each other up that she buggers off to Mexico and sits oot the last 5 episodes of the season.  Matt, however, after briefly venting his justified ootrage at this turn of events, decides to forgive everyone involved and suffer in silent martyrdom, even continuing to let Dylan crash in his basement.  Dylan, of course, starts dating Ashley and with her encouragement, enrolls in an “alternative school” to complete the remaining credits needed for his high school diploma.  At one point, he punches the cool right oot of Chris at the mall café, but I’ll save the details of that plot for Chris’ overview.  Finally, towards the tail end of the series, while still dating Ashley, Billy drops by the café and sees him hanging around with some hot chick he met at the alternative school.  The series ends before we get the full story here, but the clear implication is that Dylan the Scamp is incapable of romantic fidelity.

dylan cafe

Matt

St. Matthew of Hillside High.  The writers take such pains to turn Matt into the quintessential “stand-up guy” that he nearly morphs into Dostoyevsky’s Idiot.  For the first half of the season, he and Ashley are so in love that it seems nothing could possibly come between them.  Then all the betrayal ootlined in the previous paragraph goes down, but our former eternally hassled drunk develops the ability to meet all adversity with Zen-like acceptance.  Towards the end of the season, Matt finds oot that his father is being transferred, so the entire family will be moving clear across the country in the very near future.  In the meantime, he continues to let Dylan crash on his sofa and molest his ex-girlfriend in plain sight.  For his selfless actions throughoot the season, Dylan has a trophy made to memorialize Matt as an ootstanding role model or some shit, to be permanently displayed in Hillside’s trophy case.

Ashley

I guess I kind of already covered Ashley’s story in the process of talking aboot Dylan and Matt, so I’ll simply add that my only regret at the conclusion of the series is the fact that we never get to see her reaction to Dylan’s infidelity.  For some reason, though Ashley is still mentioned often, Laura Harris fails to appear in the last five episodes of the series.

Billy

Jesus, Ryan.  How in the fuck did you manage to fight your way through the painfully ridiculous plots Ian Weir relentlessly threw at you in this season?  To be as succinct as possible, since Billy’s bullying phase has come to an end, he now has plenty of time to dedicate to the development and fine-tuning of the qualities and skills required of a shameless whore.  Deadpool works his way, respectively, through Who Farted (this is mercifully brief, but no less unforgivable for being so), Roxanne and Brittany.  Believe it or not, it’s actually Billy that shit-cans Roxanne when his libido decides that newcomer Brittany is far more worthy of his attention.  Brittany’s effect on Deadpool is to turn him into a blithering idiot of transcontinental proportions.  Since she seems to have a thing for jocks, he joins the football team in an effort to impress her.  Then he scores tickets to a Salt ‘N Pepa concert, neglects to invite Roxanne who he’s still ostensibly dating in the hopes that he can woo Brittany with an invitation, and ultimately has the whole thing blow up in his face, leaving him through a convoluted series of events to end up taking Jennifer’s geeky little brother Jason to the show.  I am 100% convinced that Ryan Reynolds was giving a sly nod to his largely unknown participation in Fifteen when he made “Shoop” by Salt N’ Pepa such a centerpiece of the first Deadpool film.  Oh, and then for a few episodes towards the end of the season, Billy also has to pretend that his stepbrother Loyal is anything but an unnecessary leap on water skis over a caged Great White.

Arseman

Her grandmother dies and the writers spend at least the first half a dozen episodes of the season trying to make us care aboot the demise of an unseen character who’d never even been mentioned before she fucking croaked.  Regardless, her habit of commiserating with Dylan over the loss leads to an unplanned kiss that leads to a relationship marked by betrayal and neglect.  As I already said, Arseman’s reaction to Dylan publicly cavorting with Ashley is to take a trip to Mexico with her family (sans Grandma) and sit oot the last 5 episodes.

Roxanne

Roxanne mellows a bit this season, even treating Who Farted like a friend as opposed to the gnat-like annoyance she is.  Early on, she counsels Who Farted to change her look, prompting her new tagalong to show up at Hillside dressed in black leather and chains, inspiring the justified mockery of her peers.  At the onset, she’s still dating Chris, but when the already precarious couple gets their turn to perform a concert at The Avalon, it’s such an utter disaster that Roxanne breaks up with her perpetually antagonistic boyfriend right on stage in front of the entire student body.  Shortly thereafter, she starts dating Billy until he fucks her over in favor of new arrival Brittany.  Towards the end of the season, a short-lived plot develops wherein Roxanne hesitantly admits that her father hit her – once – and then apologized for it immediately thereafter.  This hardly rises to the level of high drama, but they treat it with all the implied intensity of an After School Special.  Finally, when she sees Chris develop a new compassionate streak in his budding friendship with leukemia-stricken Russ, she agrees to explore the possibilities of romantically reuniting with him, but only after they take some time to get to know each other better.

Chris

After being publicly kicked to the curb by Roxanne, Hillside’s resident dirt bag just sort of drifts along being a pain in everyone’s ass until he decides to show up at the mall café and provoke Dylan into a fight.  Averse to jeopardizing his job, Dylan suggests that they meet up behind The Avalon the following day to duke it oot.  When Chris and a crowd of gawkers arrive at The Avalon to find that Dylan failed to show up, they head to the mall to confront him.  After several attempts to defuse the situation, Dylan finally knocks the swagger right oot of him with a single punch to the gut.  Chris is never the same after this public humiliation.  Shortly thereafter, he scrapes past Russ in The Avalon and is confused to see that such a slight bump causes Russ some pretty severe distress.  After several episodes of Russ going to doctors and getting tested, he finally divulges to Chris that he has leukemia.  From this point on, Chris starts wearing Matt-style polo shirts and showing up at Russ’ house to drop off homework and offer oddly antagonistic-sounding moral support to his new little terminally ill friend.

Dave

Believe it or not, Dave actually manages to adopt several more shades of boring for the fourth and final season.  He essentially spends all 26 episodes getting repeatedly fucked over by Who Farted while simultaneously realizing that there’s not a chance in hell that he’ll ever win the affections of someone better.  Also, since the hideous Pepper is his little sister, her frequent presence at his side transforms David O’Brien from inconsequential to utterly unwatchable.

Who Farted

I saved the worst for last.  As bad as she’s been all along, in Season 4, Who Farted takes intolerable to a whole new level.  She starts pseudo-dating Dave, then accepts Deadpool’s invitation to a party being thrown in Matt’s basement and claims that she had every right to do so since Dave never bothered to “officially” invite her.  Whenever someone, especially Dave, dares to call her oot on her general shittiness and self-absorption, she reacts by confronting the individual with that ever-increasing motorized groan that prefaces her every word and in the snottiest of tones, sneering shit like, “I suppose you’re all mad at me now!” as if this somehow turns the tables and exonerates her for being a hideous douche canoe.  Fuck you, Who Farted.  Just fuck you.

wf leather

Thus ends the greatest television show ever to grace a box of tubular cathode rays.  On behalf of the entire Hillside student body and your humble narrator, thanks for watching.

Red Wedding

good guys

Season 3, Episode 13

Show them how it feels to lose what they love. – Catelyn Stark

This is it.  The final episode of the third season of Fifteen.  It’s been quite a ride, eh?  Although I will post an overview of what happens to the remaining veteran characters in the otherwise unwatchable fourth season, this is the last of the grand episode summaries covering what I consider to be the classic seasons of the show.  Before we get down to business, here are a few thoughts aboot the last episode that I neglected to include in its synopsis:

  • Dave’s performance in Courtney’s play is the first and only time I have ever witnessed an actor put effort into overacting the act of underacting.
  • When Chris asks Tony and Ben how they know Roxanne, Tony answers that they belong to “a kind of club”, causing Ben to react with a sinister laugh and sarcastically remark, “Yeah, that’s what it is”. I can only think of two possible things for which “a club” might be a euphemism in this case: 1) they belong to a gang, perhaps of the white supremacist variety; 2) they cook meth.  I knew Roxanne was a badass, but this kinda takes things to a whole new level.
  • Suzanne, the mind behind MyDangBlog!, has an eye for detail, as she noticed some striking similarities between Roxanne’s extra-curricular acquaintances and another renowned Canadian TV duo. Extrapolating from her observation, let’s do a little predictive time-lapse to get an idea of what Tony and Ben might look like today:
farm
He blowed up reeeal good!

We open in the student lounge on a curiously extended shot of Jake’s brooding face.  It lingers on screen long enough for me to briefly wonder if the DVR froze up until we finally hear Matt continue the somber conversation in progress.

Matt:  Okay, I guess I could feel a little better.  I mean…if things weren’t quite so, well, confusing.

Jake:  “Things” meaning Ashley?

Matt:  Yeah.

Jake:  Yeah, that’s kind of what I was wondering aboot.

Matt:  Courtney says she broke up with me because she couldn’t handle hurting Ashley’s feelings.  As far as I can see, Ashley doesn’t care one way or the other!  So where does that leave me?

Jake:  Confused.

Matt:  Bingo.  Ah, look, I don’t even want to think aboot it.  I’d just wreck a perfectly good day.  I’ll see ya around.

Who Farted walks into The Avalon and spots Roxanne sitting at the counter.  She asks her newest girl-crush if she heard the news aboot Brooke, then elaborates that she found oot Brooke is going to be leaving Hillside to spend a year in Paris, adding something aboot Brooke’s father belonging to a “service club” that facilitates exchange student programs or some such shit that I admittedly just kinda tuned oot.  As Roxanne reacts to the news, Brooke breezes into the café.

Brooke:  Bon jour!

Roxanne:  Give me a break.

Brooke:  Guess what?

Roxanne:  We know.  Paris.

Brooke:  Oh, it’s wonderful!  Tres wonderful!  N’est-ce pas?

Roxanne:  Oh yeah, it’s terrific!

Brooke:  Thanks!

Roxanne:  Because it means we won’t have to see you for 12 whole months!

Brooke:  Exactly.  Which means I won’t have to see you people for a whole year, either, which is the best part of all!

Brooke walks off as Roxanne turns to Who Farted.

Roxanne:  You tell me you’re gonna miss her, I’ll stuff your head in the sink.

WF:  Hey, would I say something like that?

Matt sees Dave at his locker and compliments him on his performance in the play, causing Dave to marvel at his newfound popularity, explaining that even girls are talking to him so there’s a chance he might even be able to convince some of them to dance with him tonight.  Aside from a hand-printed sign just visible through the small window of the door into the locker vestibule in the last episode that read “Dance – Friday – Gym”, this is our first official notice that there will be a dance at the Hillside gym tonight.  Spotting Ashley standing by the bulletin board on the other side of the lounge, Matt stops paying attention to Dave and strolls over for another round of masochistic miscommunication with his old flame.  They both confirm that they’re going to the dance alone, but before Matt gets a chance to ask if she’d like to go with him, she once again vaguely indicates that she has to run and cuts him off before he can deliver the dreaded invite.

matt rejected

Later at The Avalon, Jake is miraculously managing to make Ashley ever-so-hesitantly own up to the fact that she still has feelings for Matt.  He tells her that “it’s pretty obvious” and admonishes that since this is the case, she’s got to talk to him aboot it, sending her into a low budget daydream of reignited love.

ash fantasy

A day late and a dollar short, Courtney approaches Deadpool at the soda machine and reams him oot for his recent spate of bullying.  Dylan may have put an end to Billy’s reign of terror, but he still clearly harbors an assload of justified animosity towards his horrible sister.  Billy splits as Matt comes down the stairs to get himself a soda.  Courtney says hi, he says hi back and then the fucking scene just ends right there.  I re-watched this 5 second clip a few times before moving on just to make sure I didn’t miss any subtle looks or mannerisms that might have served to infuse this exchange with some discernible purpose, but nope, that was it.

Billy sees Dave studying at a booth in The Avalon.  He strikes a contrite tone and nearly apologizes for having been such a douchebag before losing his nerve and saying, “Just forget it,” as he turns and flees the café.

In the student lounge, Courtney and Arseman are flapping their gums aboot the difficulty of getting through to Billy lately before Headband changes the subject and tells Sassy Pants that she finally had a big talk with Matt wherein they both apologized to each other for how everything went down.  Arseman cheerily remarks that now they can go back to being friends again.

Courtney:  Absolutely.  Sure.  That’s just what I wanted.  To get back to being friends again.

Arseman:  Hang on.  If that’s what you wanted, then why aren’t you looking a little more cheerful?  Courtney?

Courtney:  Because it’s NOT what I want!

Arseman:  You don’t want to be friends with Matt? (holy fuck, you’re retarded, Arseman)

Courtney:  I wanna be more than friends with him!  A lot more!  I have wanted that for ages, but every time it almost happens, I find another way to screw it up!

That’s right.  Will this brief moment of self-awareness extend to a realization that it’s now officially too fucking late for you to try again, or are you gonna go for round four to maximize Matt’s alcoholic relapse potential?  The timer on my media player indicates that your remaining time at Hillside High is precisely 14 and a half minutes.  Better make up your mind fast, Headband.  Your entire legacy is at stake.

Dylan’s strumming his guitar in the garage when Billy enters.  He thanks Leather Jacket for setting him straight and for exercising restraint in the process, and just like that, Dylan and Deadpool are friends again.  After filling him in on how things are going at home, Billy tells Dylan that he’s heading over to the dance and asks if he wants to come.

Dylan:  Are you kidding?  I don’t go to Hillside School anymore.  I’m a dropoot.  Dropoots don’t get to go to school dances.  Have a good time.

billy garage

Meanwhile, Chris and Roxanne are venting their mutual animosity at The Avalon counter.

Chris:  Are you gonna finish that?

Roxanne:  I’m working on it.

Chris:  (checking his watch)  God, it’s 25 after 7:00!

Roxanne:  So?

Chris:  The dance starts at 7:30.

Roxanne:  What’s your hurry?  I thought you really didn’t want to go in the first place!

Chris:  I don’t!  School dances are totally boring.  But if we’re gonna go, we might as well do it.

Roxanne:  We’ll go just as soon as Tony and Ben get here.

Chris:  Tony and Ben?

Roxanne:  Yeah.  I invited them to come along.

Chris:  But the school dance is supposed to be for Hillside students only.  Tony and Ben don’t go to Hillside.

Roxanne:  What is your point?

Chris:  Well, how are they supposed to get in?

Roxanne:  By walking through the front door, obviously.  Same as everyone else.

plastic ono band
Walking through the front door, same as everyone else

In the student lounge, bunches of bright red balloons cast a reddish hue across the walls and confetti litters the floor.  Did you notice I said “student lounge”?  This is not the gym.  At this point, I view Hillside’s mythical gymnasium the same way I do the Chupacabra.  We can debate “what ifs” all day long, but it won’t lend any further credence to either of these legendary entities.

dance

Courtney approaches Jake and asks him to dance, but he declines on the basis of his abysmal lack of coordination and offers to get them both a drink instead.  As he departs for the refreshment table, Brooke swoops in with a voluminous “Bon Jour!” and makes sure that Headband is all caught up on her impending yearlong Parisian odyssey.

The Aryan Nation swaggers through the door into the locker vestibule and encounters Dave standing alone on the stairs.

Ben:  What are you starin’ at?!

Dave:  Nothing!  (to Chris and Roxanne) Who are those guys?

Chris:  What’s it to you?

Dave:  Well, they don’t go to Hillside, right?  So they’re not exactly supposed to be here.

Roxanne:  Why don’t you go kick them oot, then?

Dave:  Look, all I’m saying is—

Chris:  Why don’t you mind your own business?  They’re friends of ours.  We invited them.

Matt approaches Ashley near a large ice sculpture in the shape of the word Hillside.  Yeah.  A school that can’t afford workable lockers splurged for a fucking ice sculpture:

ice sculpture

He tells her that she looks really nice, then averts the otherwise inevitable awkward silence to follow his compliment by saying that he has to go find Jake.  Ashley bites her lip and stares after him as he fades into the crowd.

ash infatuated

Deadpool walks in and finds himself face to face with Arseman.

Arseman:  So, how’s it going?

Billy:  Hi!

Arseman:  Planning to have a good time tonight?

Billy:  I guess.

Arseman:  Planning to let everyone else have a good time, too?

Billy:  Don’t worry.  I was just over at Dylan’s place.

Arseman:  You guys had a talk?

Billy:  Sort of.  I asked him if he’s coming tonight.  He said dropoots aren’t invited.

Arseman:  Well, unfortunately, he’s right.

Billy:  You know something?  I’m really worried aboot him.  You know what he’s like.  Dylan hides his feelings pretty well, but it looks to me like he’s really depressed.

Billy goes to mingle as Arseman high-tails it oot the door.  In short order, Deadpool finds himself surrounded by Chris and The Plastic Ono Band.

Tony:  Is this the guy you’re talking aboot?

Chris:  Yeah, this is him – the one that thinks he’s so tough.

Billy:  Come on!

Chris:  Hey, don’t be modest, Bill!  I hear you’ve been acting like you’re real tough, lately.

Billy:  Don’t be stupid!

Tony:  (grabbing Billy by the sleeve)  You callin’ my friend stupid?!

Ben:  That’s the word he used, alright.  You better learn some respect!

Ben shoves Billy, knocking him back a few feet as Matt and Jake approach the melee.

Matt:  What’s going on?

Chris:  Mind your own business!

Jake:  How aboot answering the question?

Chris:  Oh, I’m shaking in my boots!

Matt:  Just knock it off!  No one wants any trouble.

Chris:  Well, too bad, ‘cause you’re just aboot to get some!

Before the brewing rumble has a chance to get off the ground, Roxanne rushes in between the rapidly forming battle lines.

Roxanne:  Don’t be stupid!  Not at a school dance!

Chris:  The guy’s trying to throw his weight around!

Roxanne:  Come on!  We’re leaving – now!

rox peace

Arseman enters Dylan’s garage to find him sitting on a stool by the door, holding his guitar.

Dylan:  …so, what are you doing here?  What, did Billy tell you I was feeling all tragic or something?

Arseman:  Well, he didn’t use those words, exactly…but more or less.

Dylan:  Well, he’s wrong.  I’m fine.

Arseman:  Are you?

Dylan:  No.  Are you kidding?  Go ahead, say it.

Arseman:  Say what?

Dylan:  I’ve blown it, totally.  I made the world’s stupidest mistake and now I’m stuck, right?

Arseman:  Well, I can’t exactly disagree with you, can I?  I’m not exactly gonna tell you to look on the bright side, either.

Dylan:  Because there isn’t one.

Arseman:  Well, not that you’d notice…but just remember, you’ve still got friends!  People care aboot you and that’s something!

Dylan:  You mean it?

Arseman:  Hey, I never say things I don’t mean.

dylan smiles

Back at the dance, Billy sees Dave and this time, he gives him a proper sincere apology for having been such a shithead over the course of the past few weeks.  To Deadpool’s pleasant surprise, Dave accepts his apology, just like that.

Elsewhere at the dance, Brooke is chewing Jake’s ear off aboot her upcoming year in Paris.

brooke jake

Brooke:  Naturally, I won’t be studying all the time, so I’ll be able to see all the sights in Paris!

Jake:  Right.

Brooke:  The Eiffel Tower, St. Peter’s Basilica…

Jake:  Actually, St. Peter’s Basilica’s in Rome.

Brooke:  Right, of course it is.  Well, I should be able to visit Rome on the weekends.

As Brooke continues her last big self-promotional display, her voice becomes noticeably shaky and more than a little choked up.

Brooke:  Living in Paris for a whole year…halfway around the world…thousands of miles from everyone here…I mean…

Brooke’s lip begins to quiver and her eyes well up with tears.

Jake:  Hey, are you okay?

Brooke:  (sobbing) Jake…I don’t want to go.

Jake:  What are you talking aboot?

Brooke:  All my friends are here…everyone I care aboot.  I don’t want to lose all my friends!

jake embrace

Who Farted approaches Dave at the punch bowl and almost asks him to dance.  This is good practice for the upcoming season, wherein they spend all 26 episodes almost dating since neither possess the requisite mental or motor skills to move beyond this awkward and endless mating ritual.

Ashley’s kicking it on the dance floor with some kid that looks like he was ripped from a Hitler Youth propaganda film while Matt looks on.  The music stops and Matt approaches.

Ashley:  so, how’s it going?

Matt:  Oh, not bad.  Kinda different, though.  First time in quite a while I’ve been to a school dance sober!  It’s also the first time I’ve been to a school dance when I wasn’t here with you.  Listen, if I’m way oot of line here, just tell me, but I’ve gotta ask you…Ashley, do you think there’s any chance for you and me to try again?

Ashley:  so many things have changed…even the thought of getting back together.  how could we make it work?

Matt:  I don’t know.

Ashley:  we still care aboot each other, don’t we?  so if you wanna try…i mean, if you really wanna try…then i’d like to try, too.

Matt:  You wanna dance?

Ashley:  yeah.

last dance

That just warms the heart, doesn’t it?  Savor it while you can, because you know goddamn well that Drinky Crow and Whisperina won’t be able to maintain this romantic Kismet for long.  I’ll be back shortly to put a small Season 4 cherry on the otherwise complete Hillside sundae.  Now go blow your nose and fix your makeup before you find yourself at a loss to explain to someone why you’ve been crying.  Come on, now, chin up.  There you go.

Yoko

yoko

Season 3, Episode 12

Christ, you know it ain’t easy.  You know how hard it can be.  The way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me. – The Beatles

At the risk of committing musical blasphemy, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: “Let It Be” is a shitty album.  Sure, it has moments of brilliance, but since the Fab Four were barely on speaking terms at this late stage of their existence, each of The Beatles recorded their parts separately and then cobbled them together in the studio.  To my ears, the end result reflects this schism within the band.  Had they soldiered on as a group for much longer, I’m guessing that their original magic would have continued to diminish with each new album, effectively sullying the glory days of the most popular rock band of all time.  Why do I say this?  One word: Wings.  Sir Paul’s post-Beatles career has been one of consistent mediocrity, and that’s when he’s at the top of his game (when he isn’t, we get shit like “Silly Love Songs”).  So to anyone who still harbors bitterness towards Yoko Ono for her alleged role in the demise of The Beatles, ask yourself: did she perhaps do us a favor?  Similarly, what aboot Chris’s accusation that Roxanne was responsible for the break-up of Teenagers In Love?

John and Yoko are at The Avalon trashing Dylan for his decision to drop oot of school and pursue a career in music.  After thoroughly exhausting this topic at the top of their lungs, Chris reminds Roxanne that they still need to find a guitarist and drummer for their band.

Roxanne:  Don’t worry.  I’ve taken care of it.

Chris:  You found a couple of guys?

Roxanne:  They’re not from Hillside.  They’re sort of…social acquaintances.

Chris:  How do you mean?

Roxanne:  Why don’t you wait and see?

While Chris and Roxanne are eviscerating Dylan from afar, Ashley’s back at the garage doing it up close and personal.  I mean, of fucking course she is.  This whispering hemorrhoid has been trying to nag her way into Dylan’s pants ever since she got back from private school.

Ashley:  dylan, this is crazy!  you can’t drop oot of school!

Dylan:  I already have.

Ashley:  then go talk to the principal!  tell him you changed your mind!

Dylan:  But I haven’t changed my mind and I’m not going to, either.

Ashley:  you just can’t do this – come on!  i mean, what do your parents think?!

Dylan:  They’re not too happy…but then again, they’re not too happy that I’m their kid in the first place.

Ashley:  that’s not true.  maybe you don’t always get along, but they still care aboot you.

Dylan:  Hey, what makes you an expert on my parents all of a sudden?

Ashley:  dylan, your mom and dad care aboot you a lot.

Dylan:  They’ve got a funny way of showing it.

Ashley:  maybe that’s true, but—

Dylan:  Besides, I don’t care what they think!  Dropping oot was my decision.  If they wanna freak oot aboot it, fine!  I’ll just move oot…find my own place.

She continues to badger him aboot the fact that he’s only fifteen years old (for the third year running) and that the odds of him forging a successful music career are slim to none, but Dylan counters that he already found an agent and he’s meeting with her this afternoon.  I can’t confirm the veracity of that last claim, but he’s speaking the truth when he says he’s going to move oot.  Since this is the penultimate episode of Season 3, they’re already starting to set things up for the next one and Dylan’s homeless odyssey is one of the few things of interest in that 26-episode shit smorgasbord.

ashley nag

At The Avalon, Dave and Arseman are rehearsing their lines.  Apparently, the performance is in just four hours, but if anything else of significance is discussed over their pastries and milk, I can’t tell you what it is because hitting fast-forward on these two causes relief to wash over me like someone having a nice cup of tea after enduring an afternoon of non-stop waterboarding.  Oh shit!  Rewind, rewind.  I knew we’d meet these guys in this episode since Roxanne already mentioned them in the opening scene, but I didn’t realize it would happen so soon.  As Dave continues to mangle his lines, two guys approach their booth from the pinball room.  Despite the fact that one of them has hair redder than a baboon’s ass, their attire and the way they carry themselves indicate that they represent the “bad element” in Roxanne’s heretofore unexplored life ootside of Hillside.

guys

Dirt Bag 1:  You guys seen Roxanne?

Dave:  Roxanne?

Dirt Bag 1:  Is there an echo in here?!

Arseman:  No…we haven’t seen her.  She’s probably at school.

Dirt Bag 2:  Well, if you do see her, tell her Tony and Ben are looking for her.  We’ll be back later.

Incidentally, the words “HAVE A BAD DAY” are scrawled in magic marker on the back of Tony’s denim vest.

Matt’s doing homework in the student lounge when Courtney nervously approaches his table wearing the “sexy” Cosby sweater/mini-skirt ootfit that Ashley Frankensteined onto her a few episodes ago.  She sits down and starts to explain herself when Matt cuts her off.

Matt:  Actually, there’s something I’d kinda like to say to you.  Look, I don’t have a clue what happened between you and me.  I don’t really want an explanation, either.  I just want you to know that I’m getting really sick and tired of you jerking me around!!

Courtney:  I know – and I feel really lousy.

Matt:  You feel lousy?  Courtney, this is the second time you’ve done this to me! (actually, it’s the third) You tell me you want us to go oot together, then all of a sudden, you turn around and tell me to get lost!

Courtney:  Look, I did not mean it to sound that way.

Matt:  Then how did you mean it to sound??

Courtney:  If you want to know what really happened, just ask Ashley!

Keep on passing the buck, Headband.  Even though you’ve only got another episode and a half before you start your merciful 30 year retreat into our distant memories, I have faith that you can manage to destroy every last friendship you ever had in that brief time frame with your stubborn refusal to take responsibility for your own abject shittiness.  Now go check up on your brother, Asshole.

matt yells

In a case of unfortunate timing, Brooke and Arseman run into each other at their adjacent lockers and immediately the sparks begin to fly over the Catherine character in Courtney’s play.  In a case of fortunate timing, they’re interrupted by Chris and Roxanne before I have a chance to throw my laptop against the wall.  Roxanne wishes Arseman luck before walking off, and I honestly can’t tell whether she was being sarcastic or sincere, but it does serve as an opening for some possible common ground between Brooke and Sassy Pants.

Brooke:  She really thinks she’s something, doesn’t she?

Arseman:  Roxanne?

Brooke:  Ugh – she’s so proud of herself just because she has Chris tagging along after her.

Arseman:  As far as I’m concerned, she’s welcome to him.

Brooke:  I really think someone should put Roxanne in her place.  Maybe – maybe someone a little more attractive should take Chris off her hands…and then dump him, just to prove a point.

Arseman:  I’m not exactly sure Roxanne’s a person you want to play games with.

Brooke:  Oh, I don’t play games, Arseman.  I never play games.  I just do what I like.

Courtney and Jake are discussing Dylan’s decision to drop oot of school while they finish preparing the student lounge for the play.  Headband changes the subject to her discussion with Matt aboot why she really broke up with him when Dave and Arseman appear.  Courtney greets them with an enthusiastic, “Hey, the costumes look great!” even though they’re pretty much wearing the same shit they always do.

Arseman:  Time to go!  Let’s get the show on the road!

Dave:  Good idea.  Let’s get it on the road…then run over it with a truck.

Jake:  Come on, you’re going to do just fine.  Believe it!

Brooke enters The Avalon and Who Farted hesitantly approaches her.  She tells her former mentor that she’s going back to school to watch the play, but Brooke indicates that she has better things to do with her time as she abandons Who Farted and sidles up to Chris at the counter.

chris sips

Brooke:  Well, hi, Chris!  And how’s every little thing?

Chris:  Uh…fine, I guess.

Brooke:  So where’s Roxanne?

Chris:  I think she’s still at school.

Brooke:  Well, we can’t have you sitting all alone now, can we?  So I guess you’ve heard aboot Dylan?

Chris:  Yeah, the guy thinks he’s gonna be a rock and roll superstar.

Brooke:  I know, that’s what’s so tragic aboot it – I mean, he doesn’t even have a chance!

Chris:  That’s kinda the way I see it, too.

Brooke:  Dylan isn’t a bad musician…still, he doesn’t have your talent.

Chris:  Yeah?

Brooke:  Absolutely!  You were the heart and soul of the band!  I mean, hey, you even look the way a guitarist is supposed to.

Chris:  How’s that?

Brooke:  You know – easy on the eyes.

As Who Farted looks on, the coy smile on Chris’ face seems to indicate that Brooke’s flirtatious display was a resounding success.

Over a shot of the Hillside exterior, we can hear Dave in mid-performance: “When…I…was…a…little…kid…I…used…to…pretend…I…was…invisible.”  I can’t fucking sit through this.  Stare at the picture below and imagine Dave delivering his lines like someone who just ate a fistful of Quaaludes while I go make myself a sandwich.

performance

Okay, I’m back.  How was Courtney’s play?  Was it everything you’d dreamed it would be?  Good.  Glad to hear it.  As the audience disperses, Matt follows Ashley into the hallway.

Matt:  Hey!  So what’d you think?

Ashley:  good play.  courtney’s really got something, doesn’t she?  i mean…as a writer.

Matt:  Yeah.  Ashley, listen, there’s something I wanted to ask you.

Ashley:  actually, i’m kind of in a hurry.

Matt:  It’s aboot…well, it’s aboot Courtney, actually.  This morning I was talking to her and she said something that, well, kinda blew me away.  She said that—

Ashley:  look, i’m sorry.  i’ve really gotta run.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!  Why in the living fuck does anybody even attempt to speak to this melodramatic little tampon, for Christ’s sake??  FUCK!!!

FUUUUUUUUCK!!!

*Phew* Alright, I’m all better now.  I lost my cool there for a second and that was terribly unprofessional of me.  Please accept my apologies.  Who Farted sees Dave still milling aboot in the student lounge and congratulates him on his performance, adding, I shit you not, “I mean…wow!”  Mercifully, Dave takes his leave, greatly reducing the heaping pile of awkward in the room, so Who Farted turns to her friend with the oversized glasses and gushes, “He was really good, wasn’t he?  Absolutely – he was just…you know, I think he’s a really great guy!”

infatuated

Arseman and Dave are chatting at the soda machine when Deadpool descends the stairs.

Arseman:  Hi, Billy!

Billy:  Hey, I saw the play – you weren’t bad at all!

Arseman:  Thanks!

Billy: (addressing Dave) And, uh, you weren’t so bad yourself!

Dave:  Yeah?

Billy:  Yeah, you were really convincing – playing a geek, which only makes sense, since it was typecasting.

Billy walks away as Arseman turns her spigot of sass on full blast, prying the truth oot of her horrible co-star aboot Deadpool’s new habit of picking on geeks.  Sassy Pants makes it clear that she’s going to take the matter into her own hands.

chat

Who Farted sees Roxanne at her locker and says hi.  She asks if “those guys, Tony and Ben or something” ever found her, adding, “They looked…a little heavy duty.”  Unsure how to handle the ensuing silence, Who Farted changes the subject and asks how things are going with Chris, prompting Roxanne to threateningly inquire whether that’s any of her business.

WF:  Well, no, it’s just…I thought you and Chris were supposed to be going oot, and in that case—

Roxanne:  In that case, what?!

WF:  Well, in that case, what’s going on between Chris and Brooke?  I mean, why is Brooke chasing after him all of a sudden?

Roxanne:  Brooke’s chasing after Chris?

WF:  Look, I probably shouldn’t have said anything.  I mean, I don’t really know for sure, and like you said, it’s none—

Roxanne:  Hey, thanks for the information!

rox pissed

Dylan’s playing pinball at The Avalon when Arseman walks in and asks, “How’s the life of the rock and roll star?”  Leather Jacket doesn’t seem in the mood for small talk, or even large talk when she changes the topic to his decision to drop oot of school, so Sassy Pants dispenses with the formalities and gets to the point.

Arseman:  There’s something else…Billy.

Dylan:  What aboot him?

Arseman:  Apparently, he’s turned into this world-class jerk, hassling David and shoving little kids around.

Dylan:  Since when?

Arseman:  Since he’s been having problems at home, I guess, but that’s no excuse for turning into a bully.  So anyway, you guys used to be pretty close and I’d talk to him myself, but I thought he’d listen a little better if it came from you.

Dylan:  Where is he?

Arseman:  The last time I saw him, he was still at school.

Dylan:  Right.

He leaves Arseman at the pinball machine to pay an unexpected visit to Hillside.

Roxanne takes what looks like an enormous bowl full of whipped cream from The Avalon counter to her table just as Brooke enters the café.

Roxanne:  Brooke!  Just the person I wanted to see.  Come here a sec.

Brooke:  So what do you want?

Roxanne:  Well, it’s just like this – I’ve been hearing these stories aboot you chasing after Chris…

Brooke:  I beg your pardon?

Roxanne:  …so I said to myself, “Gee, it just isn’t like Brooke to do something like that!”

Brooke:  Absolutely!  If you want to know the truth, Roxanne, it’s Chris who’s been chasing after me.

Roxanne:  Really.

Brooke:  It’s getting totally boring!  I mean, every time I turn around—

Roxanne:  Well, it really doesn’t matter one way or the other.  I’d just like to make one brief statement.

She grabs Brooke by the hair and smashes her face into the bowl of whipped cream, adding, “Stay oot of my face!”

brooke cream

Good shit, right?  Hell, this is an ootstanding episode all around, because here comes some more.  Dylan stares through the glass door into the locker vestibule and steels himself for the upcoming confrontation with Deadpool who’s getting books from his locker.

Billy:  What are you doing here?  I thought you dropped oot of school.

Dylan:  Yeah, well, I decided to drop back…just for five minutes.

Billy:  Hey, good luck with the rest of your life.  You’ll probably need it.

As Billy turns to leave, Dylan grabs him by the arm and drags him back, pinning him against the lockers.

dyl bill2

Billy:  Get your hands off!!

Dylan:  We need to have a little talk, ‘cause I’ve been hearing these really unfortunate stories, you know, aboot you pushing little kids around.

Billy:  Will you let go?!

Dylan:  You know, I’ve gotta be honest…I can’t stand bullies.  Know why?  Because bullies – they do things like this!

He slams Billy violently against the lockers.

Billy:  Hey!

Dylan:  See what I mean?

Deadpool makes another attempt to flee, but Dylan pulls him right back.

Billy:  CUT IT OOT!!

Dylan:  Bullies are cowards.  They pick on people who are smaller than they are.  See how it feels?

He shoves Billy so hard into the lockers that he falls to the floor.  Dylan looms over him and balls his hand into a fist.

Billy:  DON’T!!!

dyl bill3

Bending down to meet him face to face, Leather Jacket delivers his final warning.

Dylan:  You’re lucky I don’t kick your butt from here to downtown, ‘cause THAT’S what you deserve.  Take my point?

dyl bill 4

Damn.  Wait, what the fuck, there’s still three minutes left?  How the hell do they think they’re gonna top that shit?

Chris walks into The Avalon and sees Roxanne sitting at a booth with Tony and Ben.  After she chides him for being ten minutes late, she introduces him to her friends.  Chris extends his hand and says, “How’s it going?” but neither of Roxanne’s mysterious thugs can be bothered to acknowledge the greeting.  This is the dirt bag food chain, y’all.  Chris takes a seat next to Roxanne.

Chris:  So, how do you guys know each other?  You don’t go to this school or anything.

Tony:  We belong to a kind of…club.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s what it is.

Roxanne:  And they’re also just excellent musicians!  So, hey – this is our new band.

ben tony

Dylan’s playing guitar in the garage when Ashley enters withoot bothering to knock.  She asks him how it went with the agent, causing Leather Jacket to sigh and explain that 15 year old musicians apparently aren’t in high demand.  Clearly relieved, Ashley tells him that he gave it a shot, but since it didn’t work oot, now he can come back to school.  To her shock, Dylan makes it clear that he has no intention of returning to school.

Ashley:  so what are you gonna do?

Dylan:  Wanna know the truth?  I don’t have a clue.

That makes two of us, Dylan.  But at least you got a chance to oot-Deadpool Deadpool, which is more than I can say.