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Saturday, September 14, 2013

TV I Want: Bum Chef

Maybe it would have to be called "Hobo Chef" or "Drifter's Grill" in order to be less degrading for potential guests, but the concept is simple: Find a stable and industrious homeless person, preferably cooperative and social. Hook him or her up with a little grill or trash barrel, and see what's for dinner. This is your "Julia Child" anchorbum. Each episode would then have a different guest from around the homeless culinary world. Then they share their favorite recipes and techniques.

This appeals to me because most of the existing cooking shows are predictable. Even the Gordon Ramsay ones where people yell and scream end up pretty much the same each time. I want to see some guy roasting a raccoon on a curtain rod, or see what sort of garnishes can be made from chickweed or dandelions. I think they could grate cheese on a perforated Mountain Dew can. I believe the true Bum Chef is out there, making something delicious out of the trash every evening, and America wants to watch him. At least, I do.

I just found a parody version of this concept already on YouTube, but it's not much good. I think this would only be worth watching if drawn from reality, with just the right fringe personalities, and the oddities of circumstance that only reality can provide.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Lost Episode of Star Trek: TNG

A year or two ago, The Next Generation was re-running on a local station. I only caught a few episodes, but was refreshed on a couple of favorites, like the one where Picard goes back to France to fight with his sour-faced brother in the family vineyard, then ends up crying over his Borg trauma. Because it would be too much work to write a real script with serious intent for a long-dead show, I just ended up writing a weird one. My first-ever "fan fiction."

“Cowboy Poetry”
Wesley Crusher writes a Holodeck dog program for Data because mortality is a human lesson best hammered home by having a pet. But the dog program uses a timing subroutine tied to some other system and they have to make the dog age quickly in order to save the warp core or whatever is sizzling down in engineering. Jordie tamps the problem down, then runs up to the Holodeck just in time to see Data cocking his head as the graying dog expires in his arms. “At this accelerated lifespan,” he says, “I believe I could raise a minimum of 188,632 generations of dogs before my positronic brain burns out. Perhaps I could oversee the simulation of many new breeds for future dog lovers." Jordie shakes his head and tells Data he's missing the point of having a dog.

After dumping Counselor Troi over a petty argument, Riker becomes addicted to an exotic mixed drink in 10-Forward. It looks like steaming blood and it’s served by the hottest damn blue-skinned alien wench he’s ever seen. It’s actually Guinan in disguise, trying to teach him a lesson. The drink makes him feel ten feet tall but has the side-effect of making his voice very high. This wrecks his ability to pick up women, so he goes to see Dr. Crusher for a cure. She is too busy dealing with an outbreak of Ferengi ear infections, so she puts him to work. His voice gets so high that only Ferengi can hear him. Then he passes out and the doctor puts him to bed, but sickbay is so crowded he must share a bed with an ill Ferengi wearing a spongy helmet. After sleeping it off, Riker awakens with his usual manly voice, but spooning with a Ferengi embarrases him. He slinks back to his quarters, where Troi has left him a note: "Will, I think you would make a great Ferengi wife."

Picard has too many books and fine wines stockpiled in his captain’s quarters. They’re getting in his way, so he starts stashing them in a shuttle. Starfleet shuttles are not very big, so he has to move some weapons out of a locker. Later, Worf has to take that same shuttle down to pick up a Romulan prisoner who tried to blow up a moonbase and ended up the only survivor in the rapidly decompressing moonbase. At a critical juncture, Worf needs a weapon but finds only books in the weapons locker. The Romulan chokes him to death, dumps his body on the lifeless moon, and steals the shuttle. Picard finally realizes he is a hoarder. He beams down to retrieve Worf’s body, still clutching Picard’s rare volume of cowboy poetry. Wesley suggests that they clone a new Worf from stem cells, because he didn’t have much personality anyway, so it would be easy to make another, and fun to watch it grow. Picard says, “Make it so!”