Mark and I are watching a crappy movie.
I grow bored, “Hey, Mark? Where have we seen that actor before?”
“That one. The main guy. Him.”
“Hmmm . . . no clue.”
“Oh come on, try harder than that. I know we’ve seen him in something.”
Mark glances at me, “Why is that annoying? What about that other guy? I’ve seen him in something else.”
Mark points, “That guy. The brother. Him.”
“I’ve never seen him before.”
Mark pauses the movie for a moment to speak sassily, “Watch now. Watch how I just move along with my evening, completely unconcerned that you do not know who that actor is, even though I am positive I have seen him in something else.” He presses PAUSE again and the movie resumes.
I sigh, “Your guy looks like a million other guys. My guy is unique looking, and I promise you we have seen him in something else.”
“I’ve never seen him before.”
“Yes you have.”
“Well, now I am going to have to prove you wrong.”
Mark snorts, “Yeah, like I didn’t see that coming.”
I pull out my laptop and start searching the internet as Mark continues watching the movie. My actor has been in lots of stuff, but nothing we’ve ever seen . . . hmmm . . . keep searching . . . seems to me it was a television show . . . alright, he’s been in a bunch of television shows, but none we watch . . . damn it . . . I need a complete list of his credits . . . Ok, here we go . . . scroll, scroll, scroll . . . wait . . . YES!
I turn to Mark, “Ha! He was on Curb Your Enthusiasm for a few episodes. A tiny part. He played the wife’s annoying nephew . . . the kid who knew only one magic trick and wouldn’t tell Larry how it was done. Remember?”
“Augh. You watched every episode of that show with me. He wouldn’t tell Larry how the trick was done because Larry wasn’t a magician. Remember?”
I sulk, “It’s no fun being right if I am the only one who even knows what I am talking about.”
“And yet that never seems to stop you.”
“Nothing. As long as you have your computer out, look up that other guy.”
“The brother. Him. Right there.”
“OK, but I’ve never seen him before.”
“Whatever. Just look him up.”
A few seconds later, I am staring at a screen that tells me all about Mark’s mystery actor, “Ummm, Mark?”
“He’s fucking Captain America, babe . . . from the Avenger movies.”
“Oh yeah! I knew I had seen him somewhere. See? You said you had never seen him before, but turns out he was Captain America! I get to be right too!”
“OK, but I didn’t go see the Avenger movies with you.”
“Huh. Well, I was still right about having seen him before. It’s the same thing.”
“Seriously, Mark? I recognize an actor who turns out to have played a tiny part in a television show . . . an episode we watched maybe seven years ago. You recognize an actor who turns out to have been one of the fucking stars of a series of movies, all of which you have seen, the most recent of which you saw just a few weeks ago. Not the same thing at all. Not . . . the . . . same. If this was Alzheimer’s Jeopardy, I WOULD BE KICKING YOUR ASS!”
The crappy movie ends.
Mark starts flipping through our options . . . we canceled cable a while back in favor of Roku, so he clicks through screen after screen of both free and pay-to-view offerings, “What about this show? We’ve never seen it, but I’ve heard it’s good.”
“I wouldn’t mind watching that show, but it costs $1.99 for the episode. If we start paying money for every show we watch, we will be undoing the cost-savings of having canceled cable.”
He considers, “OK, but how about this plan? We’ll watch an episode, and then if it’s good . . . we’ll find the DVD of the series at the library.”
“Oooh . . . good idea! Wait, what are you doing? Whoa there, sir . . . why are you clicking the $2.99 option?”
Mark is surprised, “I’m not watching it if I can’t see it in high definition.”
“It costs an extra dollar for high definition?”
“High definition is essential.”
“Fuck it, then. Let’s watch something free.”
Mark thinks for a moment, “How about porn? Porn is free.”
“OK, but I just want to be clear that we are watching porn because we cannot agree on how to spend a dollar.”
Mark clicks, “Porn it is.”
“Did you just click Russian porn?”
“I figure that way there’s no chance you’ve ever seen any of these actors in something else.”
A burly man appears on our television screen, and without so much as a fare-thee-well, he informs a busty and scantily clad woman, “I weel steek my coke een you.”
I giggle, “Coke? He just promised to stick his Coke in her! OK, if he is going to talk like that, he better be packing a can of soda.”
Turns out he was.
Said image will linger.
I’ll take Russian male porn actors and liquid refreshment for $1000, Alex. No wait . . . I’ll take Russian male porn actors and liquid refreshment for $1001, Alex.
The extra dollar is for high definition, Alex.
High definition is essential, Alex.
My answer, which I have not forgotten to phrase in the form of a question is . . .
What is Coke?
I find it weirdly disturbing that I now associate Captain America with the anal rape of a sassy boy magician.
I can’t be the only one who finds this troubling.