Movie night at Vic’s Part II
Last episode ended with the suggestion of drinks. This episode picks right up where we left off – at that awkward part of a party when everyone is thinking, “Gosh, I could really use a drink. When will __________ finally offer me something to take the edge off?” Yeah, that’s where we are.
Sonny: Yes please. Give me alcohol.
Vic: Well, you know I have only vodka and whisky. And a few varieties of German beer.
Sonny: Give me a tall glass of vodka, neat. Stat!
Vic: What brand?
Sonny: It doesn’t matter as long as it is a tall glass that is full to the top. I’ve been strategic in my eating today. I’m ready to get my drink on.
Vic: Steak and eggs?
Sonny: No steak and eggs, but I’ve got a great base layer to absorb the alcohol. And I’ve been hydrating too.
Vic: That is key. And what’ll you have, JVL?
JVL: Sonny, for the sake of safety I’d like say that it would not be wise to take two Tylenol tabs before bed. That could kill you.
Sonny: That’s why I specified Motrin.
Vic: Why Motrin brand? Are you trying to be a brand ambassador with Motrin?
Sonny: Fine. Ibuprofen. (sarcastically) What do you think, Dr. Last?
JVL: (un-phased by the mockery and taking his role as “basically a doctor” very seriously) Well, they do the same thing. They’re blood thinners. The mechanism, as we call it, is different, but they achieve the same goal.
Sonny: We who?
JVL: What are you talking about?
Sonny: You just said “we” call it a mechanism. To whom are you referring? We, podcast hosts? We, writers? We, fathers of four? We, elf enthusiasts?
JVL: Oh, we, doctors.
Sonny: (long bleep, like, really long)
Vic: (being the consummate professional) That was 1 minute, 6 seconds. Okay, JVL, what’ll you have to drink?
JVL: Do you have any Schofferhofer?
Vic: What do you think is the answer to that question?
JVL: (slowly, unsure) Yeeeeesss?
Vic shakes his head and pours Sonny a tall glass of vodka, so tall he needs two shakers of ice to chill it. He, of course serves Sonny from the bar in his office (he has a bar in each room of his house).
Vic: Gentlemen, let’s head to the living room. The family is out of town. They’re spending the weekend at Captain Bill Dwyer’s compound. My wife said something about my son learning how to be a real man from Bill. It was hurtful stuff. I’ve raised my son to be a man! He can spot a dangling modifier from a mile away.
Sonny: I’m not sure that’s what she has in mind when she says she wants him to learn to be a real man.
Vic: (pauses to collect himself, which doesn’t take long because if we know anything about Vic it’s that he, as we established, is a consummate professional) Can I offer you any snacks? Popcorn? Jujyfruits? Sour Patch Kids?
Sonny: Jujyfruits? Vic, no wonder why you lost the candy draft? No, I took a page out of JVL’s playbook and brought my own food. And it’s brought to you by science!
Vic: Are those MREs?
Sonny: You bet! You know I have good taste in food and stuff – so good that I am the only one on earth that actually likes banana flavored candy – so I thought, what other frankenfoods have been brought to us by science? And then I wondered about the intersection between frankenfoods and the best foods. And then, with Veteran’s Day and all that I thought: who do we appreciate more than the troops? I want to eat what they eat, because people serving their country must eat really well.
JVL: (dryly) Yeah, just like veterans are served well by the VA.
Sonny: (ignoring JVL) I brought an (looks down at the packets) “Italian style sandwich,” a “cherry turnover,” and a “military ration marble cake.”
JVL: (sarcastically) Wow, sounds like a feast fit for a king. Italian style sandwich? It doesn’t even specify what sort of murder meat is in the sandwich?
Vic: I’ll get you a plate so you can heat it up in the microwave.
Sonny: No need. These things come with portable flameless heaters. I am going to need just a splash of salt water. You throw it in and it reacts with the, you know what? It doesn’t matter. It’s science.
JVL: Explain to me precisely how that chemical reaction works and I’ll agree to watch Sucker Punch.
JVL: (sarcastically) Vic, go grab Sonny some salt water. I’m sure he’s got that just sitting around.
Sonny glares at him.
Sonny: However will we figure out how to make salt water? We need some salt, and….what’s the other ingredient?
Vic: JVL, how about we get you that drink now. Have you figured out what you wanted?
JVL spies the lemonade military ration fruit beverage mix that fell out of Sonny’s packet.
JVL: I’ll take some of lemonade or grapefruit juice mixed in a 1:1 ratio with beer. Just make sure I don’t taste the beer, ok?
Vic: Ah! Yes, in Germany they call that a Radler. Coming right up.
JVL: Vic? Not store-bought sparkling lemonade either? Okay?
Vic: JVL, how long have we known each other? Of course I make my own sparkling lemonade. You haven’t given me the option since you bought me the machine for it.
Vic fixes JVL his ridiculous drink and takes it to JVL
Vic: Popcorn, JVL?
JVL: I brought my own. My wife made a run to Wegmens yesterday and picked me up some Quinn’s popcorn.
Sonny: The plain sea salt kind?
JVL: (chortling) Of course you would like the plain sea salt. No, the butter and sea salt. (guffaws) Plain sea salt. Who would even?
Sonny: Want to try my MRE? It’s actually really, really good. I would say it rivals Chili’s
JVL: (snorts) Well, that’s not hard.
Vic: How about getting a movie started?
Sonny: What? We’re not going to spend two hours arguing about what we’re going to watch and then just give up and watch Office Space again?
JVL: Who said we aren’t going to do that?
Vic: No, I think we can actually make some compromises this time. I’m hopeful.
Vic wheels out a giant whiteboard. It’s clear complex negotiations are part of the standard operating procedure for movie night.
Sonny: Well, I don’t want to watch any movies with someone involved being tied to allegations of sexual harassment or abuse.
Vic: Someone? Anyone? Well, that would leave a pretty small corpus.
JVL: How about we just leave out movies with pervert directors or studio heads.
Sonny: Perverts? That’s pretty broad, and would leave us with like, two movies.
JVL: How about just directors or studio heads with credible allegations against them.
Vic: How about actors?
Sonny: Well, I suppose we do want to watch a good movie. I think we can live with deviant actors.
JVL: I can live with that.
Vic: Sounds like we have our first compromise. (He applauds but no one joins him)
Sonny: No George Clooney movies.
JVL: How about no George Clooney movies directed by the Coen brothers? I hate how he mugs for the camera in their movies.
Vic: I can live with that. (talks as he writes on the board) No Clooney movies directed by the Coen brothers. Too. Much. Mugging. For. The. Camera.
JVL: (remembering something) No Bigfoot erotica.
Sonny: Or big foot erotica.
JVL: That’s a thing?
Vic: (a little too quickly if you’re asking me) Yes, yes it is. Many, many movies – of varied quality, I might add. He slides his body over to obscure his guests’ view of a few DVDs on his shelf.
Sonny: And Vic, don’t even ask to watch Showgirls again. It’s not “art.”
JVL: Layer Cake!
Sonny: Oh, come on. Sucker Punch!
JVL: You couldn’t explain a simple chemical reaction! No way!
Sonny: Then how about Stranger Things?
JVL: No! It’s been a longtime rule. In fact, it’s the first rule! The first rule of movie night is, you watch a (bleeping) movie, not a TV show.
Vic: How about a French film? I like the way they think.
Sonny: No way. France sucks.
Vic: Well, compared to Germany, yes.
Sonny: How about a Scorsese flick?
JVL: No, Scorsese is off the table. Overrated.
Sonny: Come on! You’re still on that?
JVL: Harry Potter
Vic: No! I’m trying to distance myself from the Emma Watson jokes.
Sonny: Not a joke!
Vic: (getting annoyed with Sonny) Lady Ghostbusters.
JVL: How about a movie with antlers. Or elvish. Or…both? (smiles in a creepy but not altogether un-making-love-to-the-camera type way)
Vic: How about that Kristen Bell flick where she plays a lifeguard?
Sonny: Nooooope. And don’t you even dare ask to watch Lolita again.
Vic: I told you, I’m over that joke. And I lent someone my copy anyway.
JVL: How about a Tarantino film?
Sonny: That Weinstein enabler? I need another drink.
Vic looks at him, astonished
Vic: You’ve already finished that?
Vic grabs a bottle of vodka from the living room bar and refills Sonny’s glass. JVL looks around the room.
JVL: (yelps in horror) You haven’t purchased a Dolby 7.1 channel system yet? Are we going to watch a movie (gulps) with just a (takes a deep breath) sound bar? (JVL spits out these words with venomous derision) I feel like I’ve been brought here under false pretenses.
Vic: What do you mean?
JVL: I can’t think of a single human being who would invite someone over for a movie unless they had at least a Dolby 5.1 channel system.
Sonny: I’m sure it’s fine.
JVL sneers, squints his eyes and stares silently at Sonny
Vic: Can we get back to selecting a movie?
Sonny: Sure, sure. I have my list of won’ts.
Vic: I have my list of can’ts.
Two hours later:
The three are hunched forward in their chairs squinting at Sonny’s phone. They couldn’t agree on a movie to watch so they are watching Office Space. Vic doesn’t have it on DVD, and of course he doesn’t have a Roku or an Amazon Fire TV stick, so they’re watching it on Sonny’s phone. In portrait mode (of course).