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Rant #394
(published August 7, 2008)
What I Really Want to See On Television
(a Poor Mojo's Classic)
by Jim Therkalsen
[As August 2008 marks the close of our seventh year of weekly publication, we shall spend this month enjoying "the blast from the past" with selections from Poor Mojo's Almanac(k): Year One. Please, enjoy! — Your Giant Squid, Editor-in-Chief, PMjA]

[originally published in issue #1]

Why do we always hold the remote control when we are watching tv? How about because most of the stuff on is a bunch of crap. So I was thinking, how hard would it be to put together a show that runs nonstop 24 hours a day containing only things that I want to watch. Not only do I believe it is possible, but I have started planning to do this. To start, I sat down and wrote all of the things I like to see on television, including:

  • Killing and death. I like all kinds, not necessarily graphically violent.
  • Terrible accidents or injuries, better known as shows that can be seen on FOX.
  • "breaking news reports" that show college kids drinking.
  • That Change of Heart show.
  • Not anything on MTV that is not a video, with the exception of MTV Spring Break.
  • Rock Band Documentaries on VH1. Lots of drug use and madness is interesting.
  • The Crocodile Hunter, a quality show with a quality host.
  • Any animal show for that matter. I mostly like insects and reptiles.
  • Any show where a monkey is the main character.
  • A woman eating a glass.
  • A man putting bees in his mouth.
  • Law and Order.
  • Howard Stern. Naked girls, elephant boy, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf.
  • The Two Fat Ladies, a cooking show that I have never actually watched.
  • Miami Vice, my idols growing up.
  • The Simpson's, quite possibly the best show ever made.
  • Fires.

    And by no means is that all. I realize that no individual show can have all of the good aspects of these things at once, but I've put together a general framework for the show. Over time different elements can be used.

    The show is hosted by some type of monkey. His co-host is a crazy mule. The mule has ribbons in her hair and is always playing tricks on the monkey. They host a show that goes like this: there are three men sitting in chairs, tied up. Each man is in a different room on the stage. Two of these men are convicted criminals, the other is an ordinary man picked from the studio audience. The show starts with a story about each man's crimes. The story about the innocent man is purely fictional, but the monkey and the donkey don't know this. They have to decide which men they think are guilty. The donkey chooses her man by touching a picture of said man with her nose. The monkey does the same.

    Now, the man chosen by the donkey is doused in gasoline and set on fire. The man the monkey chooses is put in a big glass case with millions of angry bees and wasps. And, if either the donkey or the monkey accidentally choose the innocent man, the leftover guilty man has to wrestle with some sort of dangerous animal in a cage or tank. If both men chosen were guilty, the innocent man wins a pastel sport jacket and a trip to Miami. Then after that, a tiger fights an alligator and a woman eats a plate full of broken glass and dirty needles we found on the ground.

    Of course the show is not limited to this, but it definitely must always have the monkey, the donkey, the bees, and the burning of one man. Feel free to send me suggestions for other segments of the show.

    [UPDATE 2008: Please remember that this was written in the year 2000. Steve Irwin was still terrifyingly alive, and no one had made an execrable Miami Vice movie yet. We were a young nation back then, full of wild ideas and Internet tubes, and not at all afraid that a man on an airplane might put 6 ounces of fluid in his shoe and single-handedly nullify the Bill of Rights. Oh, to be young again. So young again.]

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