John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Five

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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Preach On. And On. And On Some More.

Back to the "Pity Poor Palaka" drama. Dr. Smith offers to take him for an x-ray, and to set his cast for him; Palaka pissily declines. Freddy suggests that Palaka reconsider the doctor's generous offer. Palaka demurs. Freddy threatens to jump down into the pool and give Palaka something to really clean up -- as in the contents of his skull. Palaka accedes to everyone's wishes: "Who better than the source of my fracture to force me into giving up enjoying myself?" Now it's Dr. Smith's turn to object to all this. Hey, doc, Freddy seems to be saying, once you've broken one wrist, it's easy to make it two. "Here, drive my car," Freddy says, tossing the keys to his rental to Palaka's one functioning hand. "Unless you want to ride on his handlebars." You mean like the opening credits to Laverne & Shirley? Well now I'm disappointed. Goddamn you, David Milch, for depriving me of that visual.

Inside Butchie's hotel room -- and pity the poor bastard who draws this room as his assignment on Clean-Up Day -- Cissy says that she wants Tina to see Shaun. Butchie looks around like he's just been told he imagined the entire last episode -- sadly, you didn't, my man -- and asks, "Which one of us was high last night, Ma?" This angers Cissy more than you think it might; she protests that she wasn't high. "I'm just saying," Butchie offers defensively, "unless I was loaded, Tina saw him." No, what Cissy has in mind is a formal face-to-face meeting -- no fake sleeping on Shaun's part, no ducking in and ducking out under Cissy's baleful glare by Tina. And the reason for this change of heart. "I fucked up this morning," Cissy says sadly. "I said things. I mean, I said the truth. I was talking to your asshole father on the phone. And Shaunie heard me talk about her." Because he was listening in on the call, Butchie asks. Cissy's not so sad anymore: "Oh, you fucking moron," she exclaims. Butchie pauses before laughing off this latest insulting, concluding that Cissy must have been yelling for Shaun to hear her. Yeah, you can tell pretty easily when Cissy's yelling -- her lips are moving. Only Cissy's not yelling now -- she's genuinely stricken that she hurt Shaun's feelings, that he walked out, and that he's never coming back. Anyhow, the reason for Cissy's appearance at the Snug Harbor -- other than to alternate acting sad and vulnerable with showering her son with verbal abuse -- is to ask Butchie to get in touch with Tina. That could prove to be problematic, Butchie says, since Tina has left Imperial Beach. "I'll never see him again," Cissy says quietly. "You want me to go looking for him?" Butchie offers. "I asked Kai," Cissy says much less quietly. Seriously, you could create a pretty fun drinking game with this scene taking bets on whether Cissy's next line will be delivered quietly or at the top of her lungs. Cissy's quiet and sad? Drink. Cissy' screaming? Keep drinking -- for God's sake, keep drinking. Anyhow, Butchie offers to call Tina on the phone. "Isn't that the fuck what I came to ask?" Cissy screams. (Drink!) And with that, Cissy leaves. Not a lot of direct eye-contact going on in that scene, for those of you playing along at home. We follow Cissy as she storms through the courtyard under the sad gaze of both Cunnigham and Dickstein. "I'm afraid of my fiancée," Dickstein says. Funny how the sight of Cissy reminded him of that fact, huh?

Speaking of Tina -- and we were, for most of that last scene -- she's driving out of the Imperial Beach area and fighting back tears. This is probably the worst time to run into one of her many fans and well-wishers, so naturally that's exactly what happens. A guy pulls up next to her in a pick-up truck. "Hey, Tina," he yells. "How's your ass?" Um...fine? And yours? "Got all your tapes," Loudy McLoudmouth louds. "Came to most of them." Yeah, probably not the compliment you imagine it to be, sir. In my idle moments, I sometimes think about what I'd say if I ever found myself in a conversation with an adult movie actress whose work I'd seen at one point or another -- you know, like at a dinner party. Shut up -- it could happen. Anyhow, what the devil would I say? "I'm a great admirer of your work"? "You seem really enthusiastic about pizza delivery boys"? Whatever tack I should take in such a social situation, I'm pretty sure this cheerful exchange we've just witnessed is not it. Tina's sad face confirms my suspicion.

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John From Cincinnati

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