F I C T I O N Last night at dinner my neighbor the eccentric producer, floundering and slightly off her rocker after the latest divorce, pitched us an idea for a reality television show. The concept, she explained, is a sort of This Old House meets Dr. Oz where Katie, who plans to write, direct and host the program, will visit celebrity homes and help the owners identify household problems, then elaborate on the pros and cons of DIY instead of calling a plumber, painter, or contractor.
She wants General Motors as a sponsor so that she can arrive at the site in a different car for every episode. “Yeah, they get subliminal advertising every time I drive up to the site.” She wants me to write a theme song “that makes everybody sing along, you know the way they did about seeing the U.S.A all over again.”
“My opening monologue will outline the problem and hint at some possible solutions. You know, like, ‘Today we’re on our way to the west side to meet Paula Tilson, an Albuquerque attorney whose ten-year old entertainment center is on the fritz.’ We’ll have some local color shots of the neighborhood and me pulling up into the driveway.
“Paula comes out to the car and we chat about her options. I don’t want to discourage her so we ad lib the pros and cons of the situation. She’s sentimental about the old gear but doesn’t really play her collection of vinyl anymore, so she’s open to the idea of a shopping trip.
“We drive to a few select retail locations and compare the current offerings in home entertainment with their associated price tags. The drama really builds when I reveal my recent discovery of a repair shop in Denver that restores vintage electronics. Here’s my favorite part: in the next segment we insert an interview with a specialist regarding the emotional aspects of change. There are some candid shots of Paula sitting alone in a dark room, looking out the window and weighing her options.
“That’s where the background music shifts to a minor key, Paula stands up and looks into the lens, she gets all teary- something for everybody, you know- and there’s a voice-over asking, ‘Will Paula take the plunge for new gear, or hold on to her memories and busted turntable? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of Fix It or Fuck It. And now this.”
Annonymous is just what it sound like. And we don’t mean the famous hacker.