Friday, August 14, 2015

Excellent Nachos

Thank You!
Good Evening!
I’m Rusty Pliers.

If you could please hold your tumultuous ovation until the end…
…I’d appreciate it.
Thank you.

Clear throat.
Big breath. Be Rusty.)

Television Really Pisses My Zen Off!

I hear some of you in the audience asking…
“Rusty, you’re a zen man. 
So tell me.
How much zen is there
In broadcast television?”

That’s a good question!
I’m glad you asked me that,
Because it segues nicely into a poem I wrote,
And by a strange coincidence
Happen to have with me here tonight.

But seriously,
I understand your reason for asking.
Especially with all the crap that’s on TV these days.

Six-Hundred Channels of What?
Electronic babel of the lowest order,
Interrupted every four minutes
With a word from our sponsor,
A soulless multinational corporation
Which would like you to buy its product.
A motorcar.
A pizza.

TV Reality Shows?
I hope not.
For what kind of reality do they offer?
Greed and narcissism!
We’ve got plenty of that already.

TV Sporting Events?
Where money is god!
Rigged or played 
By drugged-up cheaters and wife beaters,
With their under or overinflated balls.

The Six O’Clock News?
Where insincere anchormen
(For they are hardly ever women)
Adopt a crocodile look of mock concern
Over the destruction wrought by a typhoon in China
That is projected on the screen behind him…

…Before they turn to the camera,
Unctuously smile their million-dollar smiles,
And make a little quip about 
Grandma’s cat being rescued from a tree,
By a true American Hero.

Oh, brother!
After just five minutes of this baloney,
I didn’t need an anchorman to tell me
That with TV…
No news is good news.

Nature Documentaries?
Where moralizing filmmakers 
Constantly preach that I am singlehandedly
Endangering the habitat of some poor creature
Or noble primitive tribe. 
(Like I was a Nazi or something
Because I own an automobile!)

Meanwhile these same filmmakers
Crisscross the globe in air-polluting corporate jets,
To land from above and make deals 
With local warlords or corrupt officials,
That they might film a rare bat or an endangered frog
In its pristine natural surroundings.

Thus spreading a different kind of pollution,
Called greed and cash and graft,
Before they fly away home,
And to hell with 
All the bats and shit,
Pristine or otherwise,
They leave behind!

They’ll sleep well on the jet tonight,
Up there in First Class,
As they wing their way back to NYC
And its all-night discotheques,
Knowing they’ve created a beautiful, hi-def slo-mo video
About bats or something it’s not important to them,
Which is sure to garner
Yet more Prestige, Money, and Fame!

…As well as remind me, 
One more time, 
How I’m the one on this planet… 
We could all do without.

Its bright light and tremendous power 
Attracts every kind of pestilent Vampire and Pirate!
And I don’t mean the kind of vampire you see on TV,
With harmless fake fangs and ketchup for blood,
Young and beautiful and yearning for love 
Like Romeo and Juliet…
But REAL Vampires and Pirates,
Without human feeling in their deathless hearts!
Who stride this earth as if they owned it!
And who would sell your child 
If it could be done for a profit.

So To Protect Myself From All This Crap…
I’m going to turn off 
My TV.

But it won’t be easy. It’ll hurt.
It’ll be like putting down my favorite dog.
Like in Old Yeller…
Which ironically I first saw on TV.

So Long, TV!!!
Goodbye old friend!
I cannot begin to count
All the hours we’ve spent together.

Farewell, Faithful Companion!
Adieu, (electronic) light of my life!
With all you have to offer,
I’m sure you’ll find someone 
To replace me very soon.

In the meantime…
I’ll let you know how it’s going,
You who read 
Or hear of this.
Living without television I mean.

I’ll let you know how it’s going
When I come round to your place
From time to time
To raid the refrigerator

… And watch Monday Night Football.

Thank You!
I’m Rusty Pliers.
Good Night!

I read this at Stardust Cafe 
In Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday night.
Just as it’s written here.
These are the actual notes I used.
(Except I printed them larger, 
So I could read them 
As I stood on the stage 
Wearing my eye patch.)

It was one of my best readings, I think.
It really felt like I nailed it!
I reached deep inside myself
To strip my artist’s soul bare!

“You really engaged with your audience, man,”
Said Trooper, my Creative Director.
(He’d come down to video me reading.)
“That was your best yet, Rusty!” he added.

Hmmmm, I thought.
Two weeks to write, 
Three days to tighten and polish,
Another day to memorize, 
Four terrifying minutes to recite…
… And no one even looked up from their nachos.

Ah! The writer’s life!

If you'd care to see Rusty reading this, go here;
Rusty Reading Excellent Nachos

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