Hoverounds on the Normanskill

O’Brien: As I age and get more prosperous, the idea of riding around on an electric vehicle becomes increasingly attractive to me. Not a golf cart or a hybrid Toyota Deathwagon, mind you, but something more nimble. Like a Hoveround. Those really speak to me, and they sure are well-marketed. The ending of the most famous Hoveround commercial shows two elderly women in their Hoverounds at the edge of the Grand Canyon, implying that being wheelchair bound need not limit your enjoyment of life, even of the rugged outdoors. It’s right up there with the Clapper and “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” commercials among the geriatric set. I’d do anything to look as happy as those two old ladies did.

Karellen: I never perceived that commercial that way at all, O’Brien. I saw it as two elderly women in their Hoverounds at the edge of the Grand Canyon, trying to kill themselves, and foiled once again because their Hoverounds can’t climb fences. It sucks getting old and not being able to do stuff.

Stoney Stone Stoner: Whoh, dude, I love that commercial! Except it doesn’t show how the whole story ends, with the two old ladies holding each others’ hands and gunning their Hoverounds right into the Grand Canyon, Thelma and Louise style—except they fly right over the motherfucker, because those things can HOVER! Awesome, yo! Heh! Heh heh! Heh!

Karellen: Nice reaction time, there, Stoney. I’d already delivered a punchline to O’Brien’s opening. Now what the hell are we supposed to do with this piece?

O’Brien: Perhaps we could hold a vote on which one we like better?

Wintermute: Well, I like the frustrated suicidal old ladies trying to drive their Hoverounds through the fence better than the frustrated flying suicidal old ladies. It’s more pathetic, and that makes me laugh, because I find other people’s suffering humorous.

Mustapha Mond: I concur. Trying to commit suicide and being stymied is much better than going into the canyon.

Stoney Stone Stoner: No, dude, you don’t get it . . . they don’t go INTO the canyon, they go OVER the canyon! Because those things can HOVER! That’s gotta be worth something! They’re still stymied, just in a different way! Although I have to say, brah, the imagery of them getting caught up in the fence is pretty fuckin’ funny, yo.

Mustapha Mond (Frying Stoney Stone Stoner’s brainstem like bacon): Zzzzzzzzttttttt!!!

Stoney Stone Smeagol: Sssssss . . . . pass us that remotes, precious. Is times for Mutuals of Omaha’s Wild Kingdomses, sssss. Tricksy Overdouches. Sssss.

Mustapha Mond: Yes, I definitely like the crashing into the fence version better. Although they can’t get tangled up in it, since that implies them being able to generate some speed and power. They just have to drive into it slowly, bounce off, back up just as slowly and then drive into it again, over and over, without ever making a dent. I could watch that for two hours straight, easy. Someone get me Upstate Ether Central Casting! We got a film to make!

Upstate Ether Central Casting: Aw, guys? How about we substitute the Normanskill Ravine for the Grand Canyon, huh? We got some budget issues here, you know?

Wintermute: Yeah, the Normanskill could work. Because then if they did, by chance, break through and plummet over the edge, it still might not kill them. That really ups the impotence factor a lot.

Karellen: Speaking of impotence, what about if we replace the old ladies with O’Brien? He already wants to have a Hoveround, so that eliminates the need to convince him to sit in one. And old ladies can be tough to work with . . .

Wintermute: There’s got to be two of them on the Hoverounds, though. So they can get out of synch, and as one backs up, the other hits the fence, and you would keep thinking “Oh my God, if they could just hit the fence at the same time, then they might actually break through!” Only when they do get their shit lined up that way, it still doesn’t make a difference. So who should drive the other Hoveround, if we put O’Brien in one?

O’Brien: Thanks, guys! That would be great! I always wanted to be in the movies!

Karellen: Oh, Christ, O’Brien, this isn’t supposed to make you happy. So you’re out, you idiot. Now we need two Hoveround pilots . . .

Mustapha Mond: I’ve got it!!! How about our two favorite gibbering junkie hobo types, Louie Shakes and Ol’ Dirty Piece of Strange! We could get them obliterated on the drugs of their choices, and then send ‘em into the fence. You know we’d get some great ravings for dialog out of that, too. Oh, man. I know I would pay Hoyt’s movie ticket and snack prices to watch 90 minutes of footage of Ol’ Dirty and Louie Shakes stoned on Hoverounds trying to drive through a fence into the Normanskill.

Stoney Stone Smeagol: Hehs! Hehs hehs! Ssss hehs!! Thats would be the funniestsests, preciouses. Smeagol would put down remotes and leaves sofa to watch that one with nice, funny, friendly Overdouches. Yes!! Happy Smeagols! See him capers as Hoveroundses crashes into fences! Hehs! Hehs hehs, Smeagol says!

Karellen: See? The stoner crowd would totally eat that up! Brilliant, Mustapha! And that wouldn’t take much, from a budget standpoint: $150 for camera rental, $100 for film, $250 for film processing, $300 for the rental of two Hoverounds, $100 for enough hootch and rock to render Ol’ Dirty and Louie Shakes raving looney tunes. Results? Priceless!!

Upstate Ether Central Casting: Uh, guys? How about we go digital, and borrow the camera, to save a little scratch, huh? Film and processing is expensive, you know? And that hand-held video look is all the rage now among the Pretentious Arthaus Klown set anyway. This could be the next “Blair Witch Project,” and would leave us some margin on the books. Can we go that route, big guys? Thanks for considering it! You’re the best!

Stoney Stone Smeagol: Sssss! Yesss! Digitals!!! That’s leaves more money for preciouses weeeeeeeds!! Yes!! Sees Smeagol caperses with delightssses! Hehs hehs!

Karellen: Well, I guess that would work, what with the skyrocketing price of good weed and whatnot. Remember when we were kids and there were such things as nickel bags? Those were the days, when you could collect your tips from your paper route every week and go buy a little bag to get you warm after hauling all the Sunday papers. Kids just don’t have it the same these days. Although, I guess looking back, a high school diploma might have been worth more than all of those nickel bags.

Wintermute: I can remember a period in my life at college where pot was so plentiful people were turning down anything that was “shake” (broken bud with bits of stem and seeds mixed in). “I only smoke bud” meant you were high class, a real connoisseur.

O’Brien: Say, that reminds me, does anyone know what a “lid” is, in pot terms? An older relative of mine used to refer to buying “lids”, but I never knew what he was talking about.

Guy Who Esplains Thins: A lid is the round, flattish thing you cover a pot with to prevent food or water from splashing out while cooking.

Stoney Stone Smeagol: Ssssss! Noes!! Fat, stupid Guy Who Esplianses Thins is always wrongses! Stupid, fats Guy!! Ssss!! A lidses is amounts of loose weeds that Smeagol can hold in lid of Prince Albertses tobacco canses. Ssss!! What stupid, fat Guy is describeseses is not lidsesesses. What stupid, fat Guy describes is called ELP recordses!!!

O’Brien: Hmmm . . . I’ve heard of EP and LP records, but what’s an ELP record?

Karellen: It means “Extra Long Play” record. Or at least it feels that way when you’re forced to listen to it, and you can’t get your Hoveround through the fence to escape.

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Where Everybody Knows Your Favorite ELP Album

(Piano Music and Singing Over Credits)

Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you’ve got
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you wanna go
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You wanna be where people see
Troubles are all the same
You wanna go where everybody knows your name

Karellen Walks In

Ether Gallery: KARELLEN!

TITS (polishing a glass behind the bar): How’s it going there tonight, Mr. K?

Karellen: Not too bad, TITS. Quite a day at the office. My bunions are killing me again. But it’s good to be here.

Mustapha Mond (dressed in a postman’s suit, stands up, walks over to Karellen, sits on the stool beside him): That’s good, Karellen. We’re all glad to be here. Let’s chat about Emerson, Lake and Palmer to get your mind off your bunions.

TITS (Slings towel over shoulder): I tell you what, y’all keep chatting about ELP all night and this bar’s gonna get shut down real quick.

Ether Gallery: Laughter!

O’Brien (from a table in the corner): Aw come on, TITS, let’ em talk about what they want. I personally don’t care for ELP, but it’s a free Ether right?

Karellen: That’s what I say, O’Brien. (Sips from beer). Ah, nothing like sipping back a cold one and chatting about ELP with pals.

Mustapha Mond: Yep, their third arlbum wars tha one ta have. It’s er, eh undeniable. Hey bahrkeep, how’s about parrin me anather one?

TITS: Just a minute there, Mister M. Hey, Snoink, why so glum tonight?

Snoink (in sports coat with beard): Oh I don’t know, TITS, I suppose it’s just so unreal, isn’t it?

TITS (Leans against bar): Well how d’ya figure that, Mr. S?

Snoink: Well, that’s the whole idea of it I suppose. Here we are, in a public space, similarly to the way it used to be. However, it’s completely different than it used to be. Ten years ago, Guttman was right, we were “bowling alone.” However, now, we’re not even actually bowling (and nor are we, I might add, in virtual reality helmets, literally). We’re just clacking away. The least effort short of watching television, and yet this is the proverbial and current public sphere!

TITS: What are you getting at, Mr. S?

Snoink: Oh nothing I suppose, nothing. It’s just depressing is all.

O’Brien (from a table in the corner): I hear that.

Mustapha Mond (Raises glass): To depression!

Ether Gallery (All raise glasses): DEPRESSION!

Snoink: Don’t understand me too quickly. I’m talking about atomization, the individualistic, privatized tendencies of man gone too far! I’m talking about alienation, and anomie only against one’s self, the cause of that depression! I’m speaking of the current lack of feeling, caused by this lack of real, public interaction, that can’t help but leave one feeling empty and unfulfilled in the end, despite the fact that this is, in some (inferior in my opinion) sense considered “public interaction!”

Ether Gallery: Silence!

Karellen (Turns away from Snoink and towards Mustapha Mond): Yeah, so the third ELP album is definitely the one to have.

(Fade to black over piano music)

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 3:19 am  Comments (1)