MONDO EXTRAS

Strange Frequency

Thank god, a commercial break. My eyes were starting to bleed again.

The hippie jumps out of the car with hammer in hand. Doogie holds up the license plate and says that your music, like your time, has come and gone, and asks him if the phrase "I hope I die before I get old" rings any bells. The hippie points the hammer at him and tells him that his generation with their hip-hop beats and insipid boy bands are ruining rock and roll. They square off for a good round of name-calling until the hippie gets sick of it and swings the hammer. He misses, of course, and cracks the hood of his car open instead. Doogie laughs and says that a hammer is a bit old-fashioned. He pulls out a…compass? What the hell is that? What next -- he beats him to a pulp with his scientific calculator? I mean, I know VH1 has a lot of parents in their demographic who probably don't want to see a lot of guns or knives on TV, but come on. This is so insultingly stupid and annoying to the teeth. Besides, are parents watching this crap? I really don't think so. Give someone a knife! Give them a gun! Give them a firm handshake! I don't care, just don't give them a compass as a weapon and expect me to keep watching. It's just too stupid. The hippie snorts, too, and asks if he has a protractor in his pocket. No, Bob, he's just happy to see you. They chase each other around the car, trading insults and trying to land blows. Doogie has a much harder job, because he has to land the tip of the compass directly in the hippie's jugular or it won't kill him. But the hippie is old and can't move so quickly. More running, more jabbing, more stabbing, more taunting. You get the point. Their battle is interrupted when a large RV pulls up and an old, old man gets out. He wants to help them fix their car. He starts mucking around under the hood, and Doogie and the hippie start vying to off him. The hippie says it's his kill because it's his car. Doogie points out that's he's a guest. They play odds, and Doogie wins. The hippie says that if he's going to kill him, he should do it right, and pulls down a secret compartment in the back of his car, which has weapons of every make and model. Including, thank you, both a knife and a gun. They decide that piano wire is the way to go. Which makes me shiver, because I have an irrational fear of being strangled with piano wire. I think I saw it on an old episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents when I was young, naïve, and impressionable. Where was Congress to intervene back then? What, they had better things to do than regulate what's on the airwaves? I don't think so. Anyway, Doogie heads to the front, but the old man gets the car started and heads off with a wave and a no, no, don't thank me, I'm a member of the highway savior's club. Helping people is what we do. Doogie and the hippie wave haplessly. They're sad that they didn't get to off him.

They drive on down the road, sharing their feelings of remorse, chagrin and annoyance. Neither one had ever let someone slip away before. They feel ashamed for not killing him, but their shared feelings unite them and they decide to work as a team. Suddenly, the car starts acting strangely. Doogie rolls his eyes and tells the hippie that he's going to need a new schtick if they are going to be working together. The hippie looks at him, and Doogie realizes that he's not faking it. The car goes through the guard rail and crashes over the embankment. The highway patrol finds it the next morning. Doogie and the hippie are dead, and the cop shouts to his partner that it's not pretty; both the brakeline and the power steering line are cut clean through. Just like the others. At that moment, the old man in the RV pulls up. He asks the officer if there is anything he can do to help. The cop sends him on his way, and the old man mumbles to himself about kids as he adds the hippie's peace-sign air freshener to his collection. Oh, good grief. I realize that VH1 is having a hard time competing with the gigantic presence of Carson Daly's head on MTV, but who greenlighted this project? Find me that man. Find him and kick his ass.

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Strange Frequency The hippie rolls his eyes for about five minutes, but has to stop because his car is breaking down. He pulls over to the side of the road and pops the hood. He asks the girl to go get a screwdriver from the trunk. Back on the road, the girl has fallen asleep and the hippie takes the opportunity to point out that music today is filled with musicians who wake up everyday wishing they were Bob Dylan, John Lennon, or Sly Stone. Those hippies, they're so non-confrontational! If you wait until the girl's asleep to tell her off, how will she learn? He then goes on a rant about how Lenny Kravitz had no right to even be on the same stage as Dylan. Then he calls her a loser. Ooh. Big words. The hippie pulls off the road again. He gets out of the car, mumbling about "Free Bird" or something, and opens the passenger door. The girl falls out. Dead. The hippie drags her off to the side of the road and cleans the blood off the screwdriver. That thing I said about hippies being non-confrontational? Scratch that. The hippie files the girl's "Please Take Me to Rockfest" sign in his trunk with the rest of them. Oh, I see. He's a serial killer. A granola-cereal killer. Oh, that was bad. Am I sinking to their level? As the hippie pulls out we see two things: one, that his license plate says "deadhead"; and two, that he is somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. There's a sign showing that he's a hundred miles from Portland, two hundred miles from Tacoma, and three hundred miles from Seattle. Which is really not possible at all since Tacoma is sixty miles from Seattle and Portland is way closer than three hundred miles from Seattle. It's only a two-and-a-half-hour drive, unless you stop in Olympia for vegetarian Mongolian Beef. Then it takes three hours. I know, I know. No one cares but me. But still, how weird to make a totally fake road sign. But I guess placing them in the Northwest makes sense, since there are so many serial killers there. Really, there are: Ted Bundy, Green River Killer, I-5 Killer, Happy-Faced Killer. So a granola-cereal killer makes some sense. ["And even if it didn't, the hippie is played by Eric Roberts, which indicates a critical lack of sense somewhere along the line here." -- Sars] A young man is glaring into a jukebox. He gives up and heads back to his seat at the diner's counter. The waitress asks him how everything was, and he says that everything was fine, except for the music. Why couldn't they have any Pearl Jam in the jukebox? Oh, oh! I know! Let me answer! Is it because you're in a podunk diner in the middle of lumber country where the patrons would rather listen to George Strait than Eddie Vedder while they chop down evergreens? Is that it? The waitress rolls her eyes and asks where he's headed. She's acting very strangely. Or, perhaps more accurately, badly. The woman can't act and has instead substituted rocking back and forth, staring blankly, and raising her eyebrows. Interesting technique. The young man, who kind of looks like Doogie Howser, says he's headed up to a concert in Seattle. The waitress stares at him blankly for a minute and then remembers her line, which is "maybe you can get a trucker to take you as far as Portland." Doogie thanks her and says that he hasn't had a problem getting rides this far, and he's come up all the way from Missouri. She raises her eyebrow, rocks back and forth, and says that's a long way to go with strangers. Doogie points out that they're only strangers until you get to know them. Which just proves my point that there is no difference between the free-love hippies of the sixties and the modern free-love crusties of today.

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