I can't believe I forgot to do this last week. So here they are now. The props. Raucous, deafening, creamy-nougat-covered, actually tuneful props to BluEyesGrl for the tapes, and to Heathen, for teaching me everything there is to know about the Making the Band recapping process. Except, of course, how to be funnier than her. Er, Heathen? Wouldn't mind the last chapter of the lesson now? Heathen?
We open on a long, slow, overtly meaningful, if-you-build-it-he-won't-care panning shot of Kevin Costner Memorial Wet Dream Metaphor For Waning Youth Stadium, a photographer snapping shot after shot of a stolid-looking Trevor out in the middle of left field. The scene is made all the more hazy and surreal by the necessary blurring of every single advertisement that lines the outfield fence, because small companies can only pay for space in a professional T-Ball park that reaches 124 people and not on an ABC Friday ad-blitzed show in a Daddio-eqsue ratings toilet holding steadily in the range of 127. B/M ad reps to Earth: "Screw you, local chapter of March of Dimes! You want national television exposure? Here's a suggestion: March of Twenties!" Either that or the advertisers themselves saw the approaching cameras emblazoned with the MTB logos and quickly decided that the high caliber of their products -- be it Chinese bomb secrets or child pornography or Rocket Fuel Malt Liquor -- would not benefit their good name by the besmirching associated with appearing within a radius-of-Pearlman-around-the-middle distance of this show. But I digress. As I have no doubt digressed before.
Trevor gets all misty-eyed Golden Girls flashback ("Picture this: California, 1999. Perpetual public humiliation is for me! If only I could skip this silly bout with respectable obscurity and fast-forward two years." Okay, that's not really what he says), reminiscing, "I can just so see myself running around here, acting like a fool like I used to." Yessir. Just like he used to. Before he graduated from Wharton, went to work at that think tank specializing in foreign economic policy, donned a suit and tie and somber dot-gov-ending email address, and...nah, check it. Still the fool. Still pitied by me. And so the inner monologue continues, Trevor lapsing into an elegantly bilingual sentiment (prerequisite for work in the aforementioned think tank, 'haps?), reporting, all by itself, "Rancho Cucamonga." I guess the hope was that offering the TV audience the official Latin medical term for the eczema-like shrubbery plaguing Jacob's face at this most inopportune, televised time in his life might lead us to forgive him for its not being there intentionally. But it's too late. The damage has already been done. And, as it turns out, Rancho Cucamonga is the name of Trevor's hometown, translated to English as the entirely less exotic, well, Cucamonga Ranch. So there you go. And, as the blurry baseball scoreboard shows the Rancho Cucamonga Frivolous Expositions besting the visiting Narrative Subtletys (a team always without a home on this show, it sadly seems) by an ever-increasing margin, Trevor one-lines, "I was Mister Trash." Snerk. File under "easy comma too." More? Oh, okay: "I was part of this thing called the Trash Family they had at the stadium. We'd dress up in tuxedoes and we'd walk around the stadium and just collect trash." As a cruel though knowing visual juxtaposition, the word "trash" signals a cut to the front gates of the stadium, where a passel of screaming teenagers imbue Trevor with that look that screams right back, "Guess I wasn't needing that tuxedo for the picking up of said trash, after all." Trevor thinks, "It's so weird that I'm gonna be performing in my hometown." Also contrived, sad, and smacking of the vaguest whiff of we-can't-get-a- gig-on-this -planet-unless- kindly-ol'- Mister-Willoughby- at-the-general- store-makes-a- call-to-his- friend-the-mayor- of-Rancho-Cucamonga- whose-lase-name- is-also-Penick- but-I-assure- you-it's-just- a-coincidence desperation (you know, that kind). But yes, it's also weird.