John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Two

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Mr. Sobell: C | Grade It Now!
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Wait, So Now The Parrot's Jesus?

Butchie and John have left their squalid estate at the Snug Harbor for a road trip to the Imperial Beach pier to…well, Butchie makes noise about copping a fix, but he insists to John that they're not here to score. Also, Butchie remarks -- again -- that he's not feeling the least bit dope-sick but doesn't go on to make any conclusions about whose sudden, unexplained presence might account for this unexpected turn of events. It is at the pier that they run into Vietnam Joe, who is currently helping fish cross the border of the ocean for the freedom of his ice chest -- Butchie expresses pretend shock that this duo of weirdos seems to know each other. Vietnam Joe points out that, for the sake of accuracy, he doesn't actually know John -- he just gave the dude a lift. "I never got high overseas like I needed to get after that ride," Vietnam Joe observes. Yes, fans, that's John From Cincinnati -- where even the characters find one another perplexing and maddening. During this exchange, John has wandered off to the edge of the pier to look through one of those mounted telescope thingies you often find on public piers -- in case you were dying from curiosity, he's staring at what appears to be a naval radio station which the locals refer to as the elephant cage. Fitting that while John is staring at this radio receiving facility, he's apparently able to hear Butchie talking to himself loud and clear: "My old man levitated. I'm not feeling sick. John, what the hell is going on? John, you can be honest with me, man. Tell me what's going on. John, tell me what the fuck is going on." But enough of this mental telepathy -- Butchie finally opens up his mouth to speak and asks John what's he looking at. John displays another annoying trait by answering a question with a question: "What do you want, Butchie?" Butchie tells him that they'll figure it all out, and together they leave this pier of sun and existential wonderings. I think, after that scene, we all need to roll the proverbial fatty of which Vietnam Joe speaks.

Ramon and Dickstein are nervously awaiting the return of Cunningham to the Snug Harbor; you can understand their apprehension given how Day 1 of his ownership turned out -- unwanted reunion with Butchie, allusions to a hazing prank gone awry, a botched suicide attempt, and a surfing teddy bear. On the bright side, Day 2 can only be better by comparison. Dickstein observes that Cunningham seemed in good spirits when he phoned to say he wanted to meet; "Yesterday, too, until he pulled out his Gat," Ramon observes warily. Anyhow, Cunningham's arrived and he's brought breakfast pastries for all -- empanadas and churros, mostly. Remind me to scan my etiquette books later to see if that's an appropriate "Sorry I tried to blow my brains out in front of you yesterday" gesture. But Cunningham brings more than just tasty south-of-the-border treats -- he also tells Ramon and Dickstein that he's had second thoughts about leveling the motel. See, he had this vision -- "That how you got the numbers for the jackpot?" Ramon interrupts. It is, as a matter of fact. "The next drawing is on Tuesday," Ramon points out helpfully. No, no -- no lottery numbers in this particular vision, Ramon. Rather, Cunningham's latest vision -- these occur after one of his stress-induced seizures, by the way -- was about how he needs to learn how to surf. Really? That's No. 1 on the to-do list? Because I can suggest a few more pressing areas for self-improvement.

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John From Cincinnati

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