Monday, September 26, 2011

A Tale of Two Heroes (and One Thief)

1957, a teenager's jalopy, a busted fan belt, a minister, Edie and Irma (two fetching and scheming girls), a bank robber, angora dice, a missing secretary, the meaning of heroism, and a rather radical way of telling the story.

Bud Anderson, carrying his new fan belt, is at a bank teller's line as the man in front of him attempts to rob the bank. Terrified, Bud faints, falling forward into the robber and accidentally trapping the outlaw's legs in the fan belt. Proclaimed across Springfield as a brave and fast-thinking young hero, Bud eventually confesses, when pressed by parents and his Reverend into making a speech on courage before the family congregation.

2011, first-class vs. coach, an obnoxious female Yuppie, too-long shoelaces, a smashed airline passenger, a $300 bottle of wine, a silly prick by the name of Ricky Gervais, an obnoxious gay waiter, a $500 male scarf, a British bitch actress, a $200 theater ticket, Mister Simmington -- a play about life and death and war, an attempted subway mugging.

Larry David, flying to Manhattan for no apparent reason (with no good use made of NYC in later episodes from a flat and disappointing 8th year), fails to interest an attractive female seatmate. After visiting a coach-class restroom (heaven forbid!), he trips over his sneaker shoelaces and falls forward into a large boisterous drunk who was about to assault a stewardess. Knocked to the floor, the drunken man begs befuddled Larry to not hurt him anymore, that he will go away quietly. Acclaimed a hero by stewardess and passengers, Larry returns to his first-class space alongside a now more-than-willing seatmate.

The rest of the episode is a series of sour and aggressive exchanges between David and Ricky Gervais. Larry's exposed as shoelace tripper rather than hero, loses his seatmate -- turned girlfriend -- turned ex-girlfriend (now going out with Gervais). All ends with Larry coming to the subway rescue of Gervais and ex-girlfriend by beating the tar out of a Latino street tough with a loaf of designer bread.

Uh, huh.