Eric’s POV

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Eric's POV

Eric kicks back in a ratty recliner, positioned in a den browner than UPS. He's replaying Lizzie's message ad nauseam while Eugene and Greg listen more politely than they should. "That smells like a booty call," Eugene decides. "It's a Make Love call," Eric agrees. Is that what the homies are calling it these days? Greg still isn't convinced, so Eric argues that Lizzie didn't have to call -- she could've just replied via email, so the added effort proves there's a spot in Lizzie's garage for a refurbished Ericmobile.

Suddenly, Ben Stiller bursts out of the back room, looking like an extra from The Wedding Singer: his hair's in a long, curly brown mullet, and he's wearing what looks like a velour shirt. Ben Stiller looks a lot shorter with a mullet. And he could use some highlights, too. Ben is playing Eric's ex-stepdad. "Dude, you smoking pot in here?" he asks, sniffing the air suspiciously. "I know what it smells like -- Papa's sucked a bit of it down in his time." Eric denies that they're smoking pot, which sparks a warning from Ben to the effect that one whiff of any drug sends him running for his crack pipe. Because he's a suspicious twelve-stepper, and he's always looking for an excuse to tip over the wagon and blame it on a badly built wheel. Ben then tells Eugene to stop scarfing his Steak-Ums, a warning that certainly hasn't been uttered before in any conversation, ever, anywhere. Then Ben closes the door. I have to say, I'm lukewarm on the cameo so far. It wasn't Eric's ex-stepdad, it was Ben Stiller with a fright wig.

Greg turns the conversation away from needless cameos and onto the point: Lizzie probably is just being nice, and doesn't actually want to sail the USS Eric. "It's pity," he suggests. "It's passion!" Eric what-the-fucks. "I could be hitting that in half an hour." They make a bet and shake hands like the street pimps they want to be. Eric jauntily picks up the phone and calls Lizzie.

The dorm phone rings, but Meredith Brooks's "Bitch" is blaring so loudly that the girls don't hear it. They're doing Lizzie's hair and screaming the lyrics. Eric, rattled, hangs up and panics. He dials again and makes Eugene call her cell phone. Eugene sits there blankly and stares at the cell phone like it's an Urdu dictionary. Greg has to help him grasp the basics. Meanwhile, Lizzie still isn't answering either phone because she, Rachel, and Larice are wailing song lyrics and miraculously not getting flogged by their neighbors. "I'm going to message," Eric freaks. "I'm going to message, too," Eugene says. Eric screams for Eugene to hang up the phone, but Eugene runs into the "keyguard" thing and gets completely thrown off. Eric is jumping around and screaming for advice on whether to leave Lizzie a message, and Greg is ignoring him in favor of explaining the "End" key to Eugene, and so Eric explodes in an apoplectic fury and showers the brown living room with red splotchy reminders that Love is Pain. Which is how I always wanted those nauseating "Love Is..." cartoons to end. "Do I leave a message or not?" Eric finally screams. Greg yells at him to hang up the phone, and he does, but you know it went to message already anyway and Lizzie will check it and hear Eric going completely ballistic and he'll be more busted than Aretha Franklin. Gravely, Eric demands their company while he drives to UNEC. They're all, "Aw, man, again?" Eugene is still wearing his Kopy Town apron, which I find oddly endearing. It's like his cape. He's a superhero of the Xerox set, ready to service copiers wherever injustice reigns and low toner cartridge and paper jams threaten our liberties.

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