The Substandard Sitcom Episode Two: Attack of the (Sonny) Clones

Episode two opens in the interior of Sonny’s office at the Arlington Washington Free Beacon.  His churlish demeanor on the podcast is not an act; he’s a genuinely unhappy person, and not just because a bird, a (bleeping) bird, flew into his face as he was walking into the office today.  He dressed hurriedly this morning so he has only layered two buttoned down shirts under his shawl collared cardigan.  He was in a hurry this morning because he’s anxious to call the latest Bunchies meeting to order.  The Bunchies are the Sonny Bunch fan club, the obnoxious group of Twitter fanboys who insist that Sonny is right about everything.  Sonny hates the Bunchies just slightly less than “the rest of the (bleeping) idiots on the interwebs” and often struggles to conceal his loathing of them in their infrequent Google Hangouts.  Rainn Wilson is the president of the club, and his personality is indistinguishable from that of Dwight Schrute.

Rainn: I call this meeting of the Bunchies to order.  Let’s begin with the Bunchie pledge.

All: I pledge allegiance to Sonny Bunch and to Zack Snyder as well.  I will always troll, stay indoors, and Sonny is always right.

Sonny shakes his head miserably

Sonny: Just shut the (bleep) up, everybody.  This is going to be a quick meeting.  We just had a Halloween candy draft on the podcast and there is a poll up on Twitter.  I wouldn’t normally care who wins, but JVL has invested a lot in winning this thing, and I want to crush his soul.  I know each of you has at least three Twitter accounts.  You need to vote for me.  Pronto.  And if I’m behind at any point, each of you needs to open another account and vote for me again.  Got it?  Goodbye.

Rainn: That’s not how we adjourn meetings.  Robert’s Rules of Order clearly states…

Sonny: (interrupts) I don’t (bleeping) care.  Goodbye.

Cut to JVL’s office.  He’s wearing a Lost t-shirt. No, not the TV show, a shirt from the “aspiration surf wear” company.  In one corner of his office is a box of socks he received from a devoted fan.  In a fit of impulsiveness today he’s already blown through half the socks, groaning with pleasure as he puts on each new pair.  He wears each for a few minutes before disposing of them and putting on a new pair.  In the opposite corner is a hulking box with a blanket just barely hiding the distinct markings of a Lego Ultimate Home-Wrecker Edition Millennium Falcon.  He hasn’t found an organic way of bringing up to Shannon that he pulled the trigger and bought it.  As he is wondering to himself if he can keep this a secret forever, he looks up and sees Vic walk by his office.

JVL: Vic!

Vic: JVL!

JVL: (jumping up from his desk) I didn’t know you were stopping by today.

JVL stops and eyes Vic’s hands and keeps his distance.  Vic notices this.

JVL: Did you ride the Metro today?

Vic: Oh, yeah, but I used my sleeve when I grabbed the stability rail.

JVL: Still…

Vic sighs and Purells his hands.  JVL continues to stare expectantly without speaking.  Vic sighs, and cleanses his hands a second, and a third time.  JVL’s whole countenance changes, and he grins and shakes Vic’s hand vigorously.

JVL: How are you, old buddy?

Vic: Oh, good, good.

JVL: Hey, you’ll never believe what happened to me this morning.

Vic: (awkwardly) Um, well, you know, I really don’t have time right now.  I really have somewhere to be.

JVL’s shoulders droop.  He looks exactly as one would look who has recently had a decades-long friendship reduced to ten minutes on Tuesday and an hour on Thursday.

JVL: Let me guess.  Save it for the show?

They stare silently at each other for half a minute.  Vic breaks eye-contact and slowly leaves the room in a way that might be described as “painfully awkward.”

Cut to Vic’s office. He hits the intercom button and summons Sandy, his intern.

Sandy: Mr. Matus!  Are you done working on those transitions to the commercials for the podcast or would you like some more help?

Vic: No, no, those are fine.  I’ve got a question for you.  It’s family movie night at home, and I’m thinking about what we should watch.  I’m looking for a good movie that the kids will like.

Sandy: Have the kids seen The Exorcist?

Vic: Of course!  What kind of parent do you think I am?

Sandy: Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Vic: Yep!

Sandy: The Silence of the Lambs?

Vic: Just last week!

Sandy: Paranormal Activity?

Vic: It was their first movie they saw in a theater.

Sandy: Might I suggest a slight change up?

Vic: What do you mean?

Sandy: Perhaps something a little more age appropriate?

Vic: Like what?

Sandy: Have they seen Inside Out?

Vic: Maybe at a friend’s house.

Sandy: Why don’t you look through the pile of screeners Sonny has “lent” you?  There has to be something good in there.

Vic: I didn’t actually borrow those to watch them.  It was more to cause him anxiety about getting in trouble with the critics association.  When I tell him I still haven’t watched any of them steam almost literally comes out of his ears.  I still have his screener for The Departed.

Sandy: Hmmmm.  Give me a minute to think. How about Event Horizon?

Vic: Bingo!  Sounds great!  I can tell you’re a Georgetown student.  Sharp as a tack!

Cut to JVL waiting for his wife in the foyer of his health club.  As she approaches she notices him grimacing and reaching for his knee. 

Shannon: What’s wrong?

JVL: I think I hurt my MCL.

Shannon: Is it that MCL?

JVL: Yes.  That one.

Shannon: How did you do it this time?

JVL: You don’t believe me, do you?  You never trust my gift of self-diagnosis.

Shannon: (not all that convincingly) No, no, I totally support you.  You’re just like Roger Federer.  (gathers herself) But, would you (takes a deep breath) consider seeing a doctor this time?

Flashback to JVL bathing one of his children.  He’s kneeling next to his tub when he hears a sound “like a firecracker” coming from his knee.  He limps out to the kitchen.

JVL: I just tore my MCL.

Shannon: Ouch?  How?

JVL: I was just kneeling at the tub.  I knew I was like Roger Federer.  I knew it!  I just knew it.  Well, I’m kinda like Andy Roddick too.  I mean, my net game is like Federer, and I volley like Federer.  My game is artful in a Federer-esque way — I mean in terms of sheer grace and beauty on the court I feel a lot like Federer.  But as for sheer power and grit and sticktoitiveness, I’m a lot like Roddick.

Shannon: What?

JVL: (Remembering his knee) Ouch!  What I mean is that Federer hurt his knee this exact way.  He was bathing his kid.

Shannon: Are you sure you tore it?

JVL: (with a disgusted look on his face) Shannon, I was pre-med.  I’m basically a doctor.

Ron Howard as narrator: No, he’s not.

JVL: (nodding and smiling) Yes I am.

Shannon: It’s okay.  I believe you.  Let’s not have this fight again.

Cut to Sonny and his wife Beth.  They’re eating slices of pepperoni pizza at one of his favorite pizza joints, Sbarro.  He’s grimacing.

Beth: What’s wrong?

Sonny: I think I pulled another hammy today while I was tying my shoe.

Beth: I’m so sorry.  I’m just glad we can get away and have a nice date night at one of our favorite restaurants.

Sonny: Sure.  Hey, did I tell you I won the candy draft?

Beth: Congratulations!

Sonny: I won it fair and square.

Narrator: No, he didn’t.

Sonny: (Nodding and smiling) Yes, I did.

To be continued…


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