The Greatest American Hero “The Hit Car” (part 6 of 9)

So now the three of them are in a car, which should still be the rental, but which looks suspiciously like Bill’s maroon fedmobile. They’re all crammed into the front seat, because that’s normal behavior.

Starlet inquires about the book Ralph’s reading by flashlight, which turns out to be the script for The Taming of the Shrew. Starlet shrieks, “I saw that movie! With Liz Taylor and Richard Bourbon! And also, I caaan’ staaan’ ‘em!” Hey, after the bit with Tony early on, that makes the whole wrong movie thing a running gag! And you know how we feel about running gags.

Caption contributed by Mark

”Hey, is that one of them Twilight books? Are you Team Jacob or what?”

Ralph tries to tell her she’s thinking of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but she goes on about how she thinks Virginia Woolf is a great actress, and Bill looks ready to shoot himself, and boy I can’t blame him. Eventually, she gets it through her thick skull that Ralph is reading Shakespeare, which impresses her to no end. Ralph grins bashfully at all the attention he’s getting from this unlettered boob.

Starlet: You know, between you and me, I think intellect is very sexy.
Ralph: I was hoping you’d feel that way.

Bill, desperately trying to avoid having his soul sucked out of his body by the insipidity of this dialogue, suggests stopping for the night at a safe house in Salinas. But Starlet pulls out the old bit about her astral chart, saying they can’t stop for the night until Santa Barbara. Bill insists on Salinas, even though Starlet says she’ll refuse to testify if they don’t do things her way.

Ralph says he has an idea, and berates Bill for not listening to anyone. But Bill, god love him, says, “I can’t stand listening to drivel, it makes my eyes water.” Ralph nonetheless floats his plan, which is to borrow Pam’s boss’s beach house in Santa Barbara. Wow, and I thought this plot was already as stupid as it could be.

First problem: If they’re already at Salinas, they’re two hours into their trip. Santa Barbara is another three hours down the road, and L.A. is only another couple of hours beyond that. They’re going to go through all that trouble to borrow a house from a stranger, in a city that’s most of the way to their destination? If they’re going another three hours before stopping, they might as well keep driving to L.A., right?

Second problem: Without thinking twice about it, Ralph now expects Pam to drop everything, ask a huge favor from one of the partners at her law firm (“Hello sir, would you mind if two unwashed men and a brazen hussy sully your beach house?”), and drive two hours to meet them in the middle of the night so that she can let them into the borrowed digs. Just how much of a doormat is Pam, anyway? Boy, I gotta say, women sure are useful to have around. I may not have fully thought out this whole gay thing.

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Mark "Scooter" Wilson

Mark is a history guy, a graphics guy, a guy for whom wryly cynical assessments of popular culture are the scallion cream cheese on the toasted everything bagel of life. He spends his time teaching modern history at Brooklyn College, pondering the ancient Romans at the CUNY Graduate Center, and conjuring maps and illustrations for ungrateful bankers at various Manhattan monoliths. Readers are welcome to guess at reasons why he's nicknamed Scooter, with the proviso that all such submissions are guaranteed to be rather more interesting than the truth. Mark lives in the Midwood section of Brooklyn with a happy-go-lucky, flop-eared dog named Chiyo who is probably, at this very moment, waiting patiently for her walkies.

Multi-Part Article: The Greatest American Hero "The Hit Car"

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