Life on Mars

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Mr. Sobell: A- | Grade It Now!
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Tuesdays With Mopey

Through all the drunken debauchery, Sam notices Annie taking a complaint from a rabbi, who finds the noise and lewdness emanating from the precinct house a wee bit unacceptable for his tastes. I'm sure the police will get right on investigating that... just as soon as they're finished making all that racket, of course. After the rabbi departs, presumably to join his friends the priest and the minister at a local bar, Annie sighs about how it was her dumb luck to get desk duty on the night of the Ray Carling Birthday Bacchanal. Why not go to the party then? "Maybe because the only women partying are hookers," Annie says. They are? Well, why am I not at the party then? Annie puts that very question to Sam: "Because all the men partying are tools," he replies. Again, why am I not at this party? Anyhow, Sam would love to stay, but all he needs to do is put his immaculately typed report in a case file, and he can go home. Yes, this report right here -- allow Sam to hold it up in the air so that we can admire its clean, unblemished lines. Oh! A drunken Skelton just staggered by, grabbed the report and used it to wipe the hooker sweat off his hands. Guess you've got a night of typing ahead of you, Sam. Or you could always opt for Plan B: "Just for tonight," a resigned Sam says to Annie, "if you'll be a hooker, I'll be a tool." Engage in role-playing on your own time, Tyler. We've got a party to get to.

Indeed, Sam and Annie have joined the party with a vengeance, dancing on top of a desk while the coterie of cops, hookers and inflatable dolls joins in the backing vocals of Grand Funk Railroad's master work. I will refrain from describing Carling's unbuttoned shirt on the off-chance that some of you might be eating. "I think they like you," the hooker-for-a-night says, as Sam does the robot. "Well, they're going to love me after these futuristic dance moves," the tool-for-a-night retorts. And with that, Sam grabs Carling's pimp hat and executes a Michael Jackson dance maneuver -- you know from the Thriller era and not the People vs. Jackson era. And as the crowd chants "Spaceman," Sam breaks out into a moonwalk -- before moonwalking his way right off the desk. The crowd gasps, the Grand Funk Railroad grinds to a halt... and Sam pops immediately up with a "Who's bad?" You are, friend. Definitely you.

The next morning, the 125th looks decidedly less festive, with detectives in various states of passed-out at their desks and on the floor. The camera doesn't pan up, but I assume one or two are probably dangling from the rafters. Sam is among the casualties trying to sleep it off -- someone has thoughtfully applied masking tape to his forehead and scrawled the word "freak" across it, which will come in very handy should he happen to encounter anyone during the course of the day who wonders to themselves, "Is this man, in fact, some sort of freak?" But Sam has other concerns right now -- namely, answering the telephone so that its infernal ringing will stop. Even more alarming: The ringing phone is not actually connected to any phone line. I have a feeling we're about to hear the sounds of The Machine That Goes Ping on the soundtrack, signifying some sort of message from 2008.

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Life on Mars

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