Push, Nevada
The Amount

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Certified Public Actor

Black liquid pours out from under the car, as Jim (may I call you "Jim"?) leans against the passenger side door, waiting for his certain death. A cut to him reading a map coincides with a truck pulling up next to the car. Jim leaps out of his car as the truck comes to a stop, and a grizzled Road Cliché pulls up with a trucker's accent and an almost uncontrollable desire to pull down that "honk honk" cord at every possible opportunity. Jim climbs in as Road Cliché pulls back onto the highway, Road Cliché informing Jim, "This side of Death Valley doesn't get much traffic." As opposed to the teeming other side of Death Valley, with its well-known sandy destinations the Death-ney World theme park and "Make Your Own Ishtar" Fantasy Camp. Jim thanks him for the pick-up, and expresses further gratitude when Road Cliché lets us know, "That desert'll kill a man in four hours." Further self-congratulatory "Look ma, I'm a writer" patter is exchanged which might as well be, "I liked The Sum of All Fears so much more than The Bourne Identity, didn't you, grizzled stranger?" Introductions are made. Jim Prufrock, meet B.R.B. I'm sad that my internet career makes me think that the trucker's name is nothing more than a chat room directive. It does not make me LOL. More blather between them. Prufrock cops to working for the government, and B.R.B. says that the comedic romp Forces of Nature was so good it resulted in him ROTTFL (that's "rolling on the truck floor laughing," for those of you not in the know). Jim looks around the truck to note dozens of Polaroids of a woman in various stages of dress taped around the perimeter of the truck, across the glove compartment, and one smack in the middle of the steering wheel itself. B.R.B. goes TMI with the info, "She's my wife. We make love like wild animals, every other night at 9:15, just like clockwork." Jim resorts to that conversational safehouse that equals either "I'm confused and disoriented by your words" or "I'm so boring that I lack an opinion even on subjects as potent as dirty, dirty trucker sex," tossing back a strained, "Well, that's something." Silence. Jim inquires, "Where'd you meet her?" We're plot developed to a Push locale called Sloman's, which B.R.B. calls "a good meeting place." Luckily, he also knows "a good car-fixing place." Jim is relieved. He was "afraid this would be like something out of a movie. Where my car overheats and I get held up by some crooked mechanic for a thousand-dollar fan belt." Which movie is that, Jim? Meineke: The Musical, starring George Foreman and the Michelin Man? Oh, great. I think I just accidentally pitched Project Greenlight 2. Chris Moore? Get your damn hands offa my screenplay. Stolen Summer ruined a transatlantic flight for me a few months ago, even after a Valium and two glasses of white wine. I will simply not allow myself to get hurt like that again.

Push, Nevada. Population: 10,623. Elevation: 1,023. B.R.B.'s truck pulls into a dusty mechanic's lot called Job's. Then nothing happens again for a while. Jim's right. This would be just like a movie. If B.R.B.'s name were actually Large Marge and there were no basement in the Alamo. Job -- the hickiest hick in Hicksville, wearing an open vest, two crucifix earnings, covered in tattoos -- walks out of his office at Monster Joe's Truck and Tow and shakes hands with Jim upon Large Marge's introduction. Anyone need a lesson on the historical and Biblical significance of Job? Good. It's not like they've introduced us to a character named "Ezekiel." The hints aren't exactly coming in curveball form, just at the moment. Jim looks over near the front of the office to see a man dressed in numerous thermal coats, gloves, and a hat, shaking violently. Jim asks, "Is he all right?" Job responds, "Sure. He's cold, that's all." Job charges Jim "ten bucks for the tow. Once I get it here, I'll see what I can do." Jim asks if one of them can suggest where he might stay tonight. Move it along! Jeez. If by "written by Ben Affleck," you mean "adapted for the screen from a AAA travel guide to the desert southwest Ben Affleck found in the glove compartment of his rented Bentley on a lost weekend in Vegas." As soon as we have the option to "find Six Flags locations along route," I'll be over here, rocking back and forth, shivering like I've been iced and praying for one night of Just Shoot Me.

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Push, Nevada

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