I don't know about you, but I'm glad Nick Drake offed himself before he had to see "Pink Moon" used to shill Volkswagens. And not that I'm anti-it, but the new gold dollar commercial makes me nauseous with the infinite regress of money being branded and marketed. What are we supposed to be thinking -- "Hey, I think I'll go buy me some of that funky fresh cash the kids are talking about"?!
Cue Ferret Flashdance (tm Wendola), with a heavy dose of Midriff Mania. It's a brash suggestion, but I'd argue that the most irksome recurring character ever to darken this show's doorstep is the Ferret's aerobics instructor-cum-Jazzercise mentor. Here's a sample of her dialogue: "And one and two and three -- SHUH, DADA and fo', five, six, seven and eight oh one, HAH, and two and three and fo' -- just a riff -- and BUH, five-six, TATA and HUNH, oh one . . ." You know what I'm getting at. And she has oval wire-frame glasses that, though chosen by the costume designer to scream "Edgy Downtown Artsiness," succeed only in muttering "Bargain Bin at Lenscrafters." The dance routine -- which consists of people creeping forward with their arms up, as if propelled by the centrifugal motion of their swiveling hips -- is interrupted by the bleep of Ferret's cell phone. She scurries to answer it, defusing the consternation of the Callanetics Coach by hissing, "It's my agent!" Ferret flees to the street outside the giant plate glass window of the aptly named "Dance Studio," responding to the call with histrionic glee and much flailing of arms and legs. The class gathers to watch this strange victory dance, the instructor beaming with pride as if the ferret were her own love child from, say, a drunken tryst with a mongoose. Don't even bother -- Madonna's got the film rights. "I got the audition!" Ferret gloats to the assembled unemployed aerobicizers.
"It's a mewvie!" she tells a distracted looking Barto. "Dan says it's Flashdance meets Jerry Maguire." A shout-out to the forums? Stoosh thinks so. "And Spike Jonze is attached to direct!" Ferret adds, causing me to spit up a shot of strychnine laughing. Yes, I'm sure Jonze got right on the horn with his agent after wrapping Being John Malkovich and said, "Darius? I want my next script to be a departure. I'm thinking of a feel-good song and dance flick with a mink -- no, a polecat! Anyway, some member of the weasel family in the lead role. Lots of stretching and chewing -- and torso action! The signature scene will have the weasel's agent shouting, 'Show me your tummy!' over the phone. We'll get Willis for the lead . . ." But I digress. "I don't know how Flashdance meets Jerry Maguire, but I'm proud of you, baby," Barto mumbles, obviously incapable of caring less. "I can't find my Bio-Chem notes," he trails off, shuffling papers. "Dan says they're looking for an unknown, and no one's more unknown than me, right?" Ferret persists, finding the notes and handing them to Barto with a weird, unbecoming grimace. Smitten, he says, "Look at you, you're totally gonna get this part." "Ya think?" Ferret fishes. "I knooow," he schmoozes, "and, even if you don't, I'll still hang out with ya." He smooches her giggling yap, then returns to rifling through his papers and carping about finals. "I should leave you alone," says Ferret and Barto says, "No . . . yeah. No . . . probably." "So one more year of this, huh?" Ferret asks, and he mumbles something about rotations and residency. "So we'll be able to complete a conversation in what -- a decade?" she says. "Eight years tops," Barto says, taking her pointy little chin in his hand and kissing her as he heads out the door. "Great!" Ferret enthuses. Her face darkens until Barto pops back in to say, "Congratulations," restoring the wall of teeth to its featured spot on her face.
Shaker Shack. Elispa walks into the kitchen in a navy-blue bellbottom pantsuit, looking like the product of an unholy union between Shaft and Judith Light. She checks the contents of various empty cereal boxes, tossing each aside and saying, "Mikey." The knuckle-scraper himself stumbles down from the Lecher Loft scratching himself. They have a terse exchange wherein she asks if he's seen her keys and he says he hasn't seen the floor since he moved in. She locates the keys and exits, just as Mikey finds her discarded banana peel and says, "Dude!"