There was a time in my past, before my days in Seattle, when I was living in a suburb of Chicago. During that time, I had plenty of jobs but nothing I'd call a career. My real passion was this public access show I put on with my friends. It definitely wasn't anything that was ever going to win an Emmy, but I was proud of it and enjoyed my time doing it. Our life was an endless cycle of making it through the dull weeks just to get to the weekends, when we'd film our show and celebrate together as a team. All in all it was very stupid, but I loved every minute of it.
This one weekend, after our show and our post-show ritual of heading out for coffee and donuts before hitting the town, we went and saw a concert at some small venue, a bunch of no-name bands who you'd promptly forget existed after their set finished. This one band, however, oh my goodness, the lead singer, a lady, was also a bass player, and when I saw her that Gary Wright "Dreamweaver" song played in my head and time slowed down. But they were also just a top notch talent, covering Hendrix and early Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Normally a passive guy, I actually approached her once the set was over. I tried to be cool and break the ice by making a lame joke, that I was hoping was just lame enough to transcend the awfulness of the joke into something resembling charming. It didn't exactly work out how I'd hoped. In a panic, I word-vomited whether I could see her again, and she just gave me a flier to her next show the following weekend. Okay. All right. Pretty lame, but that's how it goes sometimes. However, that was a personal invite, although very informal, and I intended to make good on it.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, some local television producer was pitching my public access show to advertisers, which is funny because he doesn't own the show and therefore can't sell its rights. But we'll get into that later. The rest of the next week was uneventful, but I'd bought some Learn Cantonese by Tape (I had found out that the lead singer of the band was born in China, so I thought it could possibly impress her) and worked very hard to at least say a few phrases passably well.
When the time to film our show came around I was pumped to get it over with and make it to her show later that evening. Part way through our taping some trustfund looking guy walks in, sits down in the back, and watches the rest of the proceedings. It was a little odd, especially when he clapped after we finished filming that night's episode, but he was obviously here for a reason.
He introduced himself as the aforementioned television producer and invited myself and the co-host of the show out to have a few drinks and talk about the show. I informed him that it would have to be relatively brief because we had that concert to go to later. While out with this man, he told us that he'd been pitching our show to investors and was interested in producing it on a network television show, but to top it off, he'd written two checks to impress upon us how serious he was. This was huge. The money, while not an absurd amount, was a goodly sum and much needed, plus there was a promise of more money. In our glee, we signed a small contract, parted company, and went to that concert.
I was flying high. That lady's band was rocking, my endorphins were pumping, and I got a chance to chat with her and impress her with my minimal Cantonese. She agreed to go out with me. Things really started to turn around.
That next week construction began on a studio set for my show. This was followed by rehearsals, meetings with the out-of-touch business owner who'd spent a lot of money on advertising, and a flurry of dates with this incredible woman. In addition to setting up my show for unforeseen success, this television producer also started talking to the band about a potential deal and music videos. He invited myself, my new girlfriend, and my co-star to have dinner with him at his penthouse in downtown Chicago. He ordered Chinese food in perfect Cantonese, which was impressive and humbling, and then corrected me on the differences between champagne and sparkling white wine. Somewhere in the mix of this fascinating conversation, my co-host and friend disappeared while exploring, but not before showing up right as the trustfund producer handed us all-access backstage passes to Alice Cooper the next night in Milwaukee, which isn't that far away.
We went to that concert, which was amazing, and went backstage to meet the band. Along the way we took a wrong turn and ended up in an alleyway. Sitting there was the largest limousine I had ever seen. I asked the security guy guarding the gate if that was Alice's limo, but he informed me that it belonged to the guy who ran the record label; that he didn't like to fly so he drove everywhere; and then this security guy proceeded to outline the rest of this executives travel itinerary, which I found rather odd. After that, we made our way to the green room where the band was hanging out, and it was a little awkward. They were talking about the political and socioeconomic histories surrounding the city of Milwaukee, which was over my head and somewhat puzzling since only moments before I'd seen Mr. Cooper walking through the maw of a giant glowing skull.
The next night, we set about to film the show, live. We'd ran through rehearsals and it was adequate at best, but I felt confident in our abilities to put on another great show despite this new environment and pressure. But when it came time to film I was handed cue cards and told that the first segment would be an interview with the advertiser, which, uh, okay. So I thought I'd spice it up a bit. The lights went up, the studio became quiet, and it was time.
The first thing that went wrong was an announcer who introduced myself, my friend, the advertiser, and the show. Okay. Then there was this really awkward early 90s Family-Matters-esque theme song. Okay. Then this guy comes out for his interview, and I interview him. I'm a little condescending. I write notes on the cards belittling the advertiser. I have fun with it. The people in the control room are laughing, everybody is having fun and is in on the joke except this bigwig, who is also having the time of his life. The interview ends and I'm called up to the control booth during the commercial break.
This television producer is livid. He's yelling at me, saying I humiliated our sponsor and that I was fired. I said that he can't fire me, it's my show. Then he says, and I'll never forget this, "I own this show." I told him what he could do with his new show and I bailed. I went straight over to my girlfriend's house and when I got there she was packing a suitcase. Turns out she had a meeting with this guy while I was out at the Alice Cooper concert and now he's taking her somewhere to "film" their "band". In my anger, I said a few hurtful, jealous things and left in a hurry. Later that night, my co-star ran into me and yelled at me for bailing on the show. He said things in anger I'd never heard him say before.
All at once, I'd lost my friend, I'd lost my show, I'd lost my girl. It was awful! Luckily my best friend and I we made up the next day. Together we concocted this brilliant idea to win my girlfriend back and get her the record deal she deserved from that bigwig record executive in that limo. I hightailed it to Chicago where they were having a "photoshoot" and it turns out they were having a photoshoot. They were filming a music video, and I was overreacting. This guy, this trustfund sleaze, he gave me the smarmiest speech ever, about how a girl like her shouldn't waste her time with a guy like me.
In the end, he was right. But something triggered in her, I don't know what. She looked at me, defeated and broken, then looked at this handsome, smug, television producer, and she bailed on him. Together we drove back to my original basement studio for my public access show. While I was gone, the rest of the crew and my friend hijacked a satellite signal to broadcast our show to the triangulated position of that bigwig's limo. We started filming, we addressed that bigwig by name, we introduced my girlfriend's band, and they proceeded to shred.
By the end of the set they were playing the television producer had shown up, the music executive had shown up, and the final showdown was about to happen. They wrapped up their final song and the executive walked up, but before he could make his announcement I confronted this smug television producer who tried to steal my show, who tried to alienate me and my friend, and who tried to win the affections of my girlfriend. I knew nobody could be this evil. I was convinced he was someone else. So I walked up to him, addressed the camera of my concerns, and went to pull off his mask.
It was Ricardo Salazar! And he would've gotten away with it too if it hadn't have been for us snooping kids.
Good GIF, Shaggy
Matches against Dallas are always tough and even affairs.
A game refereed by Salazar? He's probably going to try to make his presence known early.
Oh, great. A second minute penalty.
Stefan Frei can save it. He can save us from Dallas and from Salazar.
Ugh, I just need to find my comfort spot after giving up such a lame, early goal.
I dunno about that penalty. It was very Dallas-y of that player.
This game is back and forth. It's tense!
We're chasing the game. This isn't good.
The Sounders can pull it off though. They've got the ability.
Oh yay, Mauro Rosales. It's a good thing he's so old and fragile that he can't do anything productive anymore.
Okay. We lost. We're kind of a mess sometimes.
Another road loss. Another week not in playoff position.
I miss the Hydra. Why won't it come out and play?