Appetite for the Absurd

Heralded as the Jonestown Network alternative to Stem, the Fruitful Terrier Sitter Extraordinaire, Pango Pango Junction packs quite the wallop when it comes to pure, unadulterated edutainment at a reasonable price. Parked at the intersection of broad leaf swelling and matriarchal patronage, I defy anybody to come away without some kind of interesting new trivia in their noggin by the end of each episode.

Before I agreed to subject myself to the bizarre ritual that is test-viewing a public television program for the determination of proper demographic distribution, I thought “oh jeez, here goes another several hours of my life that I’m never getting back. And right on the heels of finishing up my kite-flying apprenticeship at Old American [for Profit] University, too.”

But, being the good sport that I am, I didn’t even balk at the dubious honor. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that the show’s producer and I had a bit of a fling a few holiday seasons ago, and that we still flirt pretty heartily with each other. I’m a real sucker for shallow intimacy, especially if it’s spread out over the course of several years, where I can put the person/people out of mind for a while and reconnect with that polarizing animal magnetism as though we’re on a sinking ship/divebombing plane/bucking bronco… I guess it would be tough to get two of us on one of those beasts at the same time, but you get my drift.

You know, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this topic. Not to wax depressing, but living alone has afforded me the time to step back and reflect upon the foundation of relationships at their very essence of innate human fragility. I’ve come to develop the inconvenient understanding that I was never meant to settle down with any one person, and the fairy tale love affair might as well go the way of the dinosaurs–at least, as far as I’m concerned. Damn, now I’ve gone and gotten myself all glum again! What the hell?!

But anyway, I promised Gwen I’d do her a favor by giving my unvarnished opinion on the latest project, so I borrowed her official showbiz flash drive and gave the first few episodes a spin. Yes, plural episodes. Just shooting a pilot clearly wouldn’t have been enough doing to properly showcase their dean’s list-caliber aptitude for creative enterprises. One could chalk it up to insurmountable confidence or simply an arrogance that never got flushed out of the system by regular beatings/embarrassments, but I reserve such judgments for the critics of the world.

Well, this review got a bit out of hand. Suffice it to say that I recommend Pango Pango Junction to anyone looking to spend some time on a contemporary spin of the “one-size-fits-all daytime head-scratcher” subgenre. Or simply anyone with a healthy enough appetite for the absurd.

Until we meet again, gentle reader–

Sardonicus Q. Jellyknife, Esq.

Edgar – 17:17GMT

Edgar stood, well enough aware that so many children have no resources to speak of, and playtime doesn’t mean much to them anyway. They have bigger thoughts on their minds, like ending global poverty or shooting the moon. If they’d been born with the opportunity (and indeed the duty) to waste resources, they would squirt ketchup at the problem, hoping that an intelligent solution would just present itself already–haven’t they been patient enough?!

Edgar knows that solutions aren’t a dime a dozen, contrary to the popular belief among his peer group. No good person, in Edgar’s mind, can stomach the ever-placating script that tells them to buy this or subscribe to that. “Isn’t it all just meaningless, anyway? It’s all contributing to the supposed need to consume foreign objects at the cost of individual liberties, here and abroad!”

This Edgar guy is on the right track, I think.
What?! There’s something in my eye! I thought you guys sealed this room off from foreign contaminants! I mean, I just assumed… what kind of rinky-dink operation is this, anyway?

LXXXIV

Eddie Caruso broke a bottle over Leo Bonaduce’s head yesterday morning, after a night of imbibing their homemade liquor–sunshine, they call it. Way brighter than the moon, it’ll make you go blind.

The two of them had just been sampling the latest batch from the still in the abandoned barn three miles from civilization, when Leo got it into his head to start shooting at the east-facing broad side, poking holes in the wall that had done a decent job of shielding the still from the harsh country dawns. Eddie, at first, admitted to himself that boys will be boys, and he wasn’t about to go impinging on Leo’s second amendment right. Chamber finally devoid of bullets, Leo tossed the gun across the barn without flinching–as though he were completely done with it–then flopped onto a nearby pile of hay. It defies common sense that they would keep such dry, flammable material inside a desiccated wooden structure housing a still that could blow at any minute, but they haven’t exploded yet. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

With Leo passed out, Eddie could relax and lower his guard, allowing him to drift off to sleep on his own pile of hay. Before he knew it, seemingly right after he fell asleep, he was rudely awakened by a bullet-facilitated shaft of light piercing through his eyelid. Once he’d put two and two together, he located an empty beer bottle (they enjoy a variety of poisons in that barn) and strolled over to Leo’s resting spot, noticing that the bullet holes didn’t impact his quality of sleep at all. Eddie’s combination of bad mood and still-drunken state, exacerbated by that blissful snoring, culminated in a wave of rage that raised the bottle and brought it crashing down on Leo’s noggin, dragging him away from his vision of chocolate chip pancakes. “You asshole,” Eddie asserted calmly.

“Shit, man! What was that for?!”

“You don’t get to sleep when I can’t on account of your stupidity, Leo. That’s just the way it goes.”

“But a beer bottle? Can’t you just yell at me or shove me, like a normal person?”

“That sunshine’s still got me goin’ from last night, there’s no normal about me right now.” Eddie brushed a couple shards of glass out of Leo’s hair, away from his eyes, in a mockingly tender fashion. “You poor baby, you might want to get that stitched up.”

“God dammit, Eddie.”

LXXII

What is there to gain in this boardwalk town? Mainly stuffed bears for shooting moving wooden ducks, pigeons, turtles and raccoons–the usual representations of animals that are defenseless against ball bearings fired from close range by two young people who rather fancy themselves to be expert marksmen (if given the chance). Though, in their heart of hearts, they have to admit their fear of injuring a living thing, rendering their dreams unachievable (unless they vow to only point their firearms at inanimate objects for the rest of their life, making them the laughingstock of their hunter friends, of whom there are many–you wouldn’t think an antiviolence advocate would associate themselves with folks indulging their primal bloodlust, but you’d be mistaken in this case).