It is my quest to stretch my fifteen minutes of fame into a week-long miniseries. I started with STUDS and then moved on to...

Jumping Jack Flash is a Trash, Trash, Trash!

Perhaps because of some cruel karmic payback, my friend Deron and I were contestants on the short-lived MTV gameshow, “Trashed.”

When we arrived at the studio, we were escorted by several young interns to the Green Room (That’s TV talk, heh, heh). For the next 5 hours we could only leave the green room to be escorted to the bathroom and back. Security was very tight. Apparently there was an army of spies from foreign networks trying to steal ideas from this show.

After two outfit changes, they decreed that none of the shirts I brought were acceptable. I would have to wear Deron’s extra black T-shirt under my navy blazer.

Now for the color-blind or those who can’t picture this particular color combo, lets suffice to say that black and navy have never been featured in Dress for Success as a winning match.
“On T.V. it’ll look fine. It’ll look like you’re wearing all-black.” the producer said. I don’t know where she’s been, but color T.V. is pretty widespread nowdays.

One of the interns kept telling me to just take off my t-shirt and go bare-chested under the jacket. In our country, we call that, "tacky" . I ended up wearing just the black t-shirt...If only it had a heavy metal band’s logo on it.

The show is a cross between Double Dare (the messy Nickelodean game) and $10,000 Pyramid. Each round you have to watch innane skits about TV shows or popular culture and then answer questions about those topics. If you lose the round, they destroy a personal item of yours in a grandiose manner. The questions on our show were about the show Blossom, The Facts of Life, Julia Roberts, and The Price is Right. Yes, we got crushed.

After round one, they smashed my Simpsons video tapes with a bowling ball. After round two, they ran over my Yoda pillow with a lawnmower. After round three, they attacked Deron’s Birkenstocks with a chainsaw (He wasn’t wearing them).

At the end of round three we were losing 800 to 50.

“No problem,” said the surprisingly cool host, (Chris Hardwick of Singled Out fame) “You’ll take ‘em in the speed round.” I don’t know why he would think that, we hadn’t really established our competence yet. We’d only answered two questions right-- Deron sang the Gilligan’s Island theme to gain control of the game (no points awarded) and I answered one about the MTV show where they film real people’s lives.
“What is ‘The Real World?’” I blurted.
“No need to phrase it in the form of a question, this ain’t Jeopardy. “

That would have been embarassing in the privacy of my living room...I was not looking forward to this being televised nationally.

dear god, don't trash the Simpsons!

In the speed round, they take one member from each team and tie them up to await potential “trashing.” Deron was tied to a chair and our opponent was in a straightjacket. (We refer to this fondly as “The Fetish Round.” Seeing Deron’s supple, pink skin peeking out from those binding cords -- good thing I was behind a podium.) The free person on each team must “save” their partner by winning the game. We were down 750 points. It would take a Channukah-style miracle to save Deron’s butt. If we lost they would do something embarassing or disgusting --but generally stupid-- to the tied-up partner. During the speed round, I had to answer questions distinguishing Shaquille O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal and Alexander O’Neal . Well, the weeks spent studying O’Neals in history paid off. After a furious streak, we pulled ahead.

Unfortunately, the crowd (My brother and his pals) cheered so loud that I thought the game was over. I didn’t hear the last two questions and we lost the game 1000-800.

They wheeled Deron’s tied-up body up to a big box, took off his shoes and socks, and made him place his feet inside. Inside the box was a lame comedian who fondled Deron’s feet and put Cheese-Whiz on his toes (toe-cheese, get it?). Very amuzing...and tasteful, too.

After this anti-climax, we were rushed off stage during a commercial break. We signed some forms and were notified that our parting gift was a Star Trek video. As losers we also had to sign up for 10 hours community service. Because, “... on the show we destroy things needlessly, so you have to do something productive to make up for it.” We did not give them our real phone numbers. The host called me “Fabio” on national television...I paid my dues that day with dignity.

thanks for playing

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