Monday, December 31, 2007

Two and a Half Men

Tonight the episode of Two and a Half Men that Mark and I attended the taping of was on again. It's the episode with Brooke Shields. We still have it memorized because they did every scene 2-3 times to guage the audience response, and sometimes rewrote jokes on the spot if they didn't get a strong enough response. Between takes there was a really obnoxious announcer (like Fred Willard's character in Best in Show, only worse) to pump up the crowd. "Pretend like you're seeing this for the first time, folks, this is really funny!" He even did magic tricks and tossed candy out into the felt a little patronizing, especially when he had people do embarrassing things to compete for a $20 bill, but it was still cool to see.

They warned everybody in the audience not to try anything cute, like yell something out during taping to hear it when the episode is aired. So of course Mark clapped extra loud after a few jokes, and did an extra-loud and distinct laugh to do just that. It was taped in January of 2007, so neither of us could remember which parts he did them in, though. Oh well, it was still fun to see it again.

Those Buick Park Avenues...

...they sure are something else! Mark's parents generously loaned us theirs last month after we sold his car. We took out an ad way ahead of time just in case, but it sold surprisingly fast so our new car wasn't ready yet. I felt bad for Mark - he went from a decently sporty Millennia to this painfully geriatric-looking boat of a car. People intentionally changed lanes at red lights so they wouldn't be stuck behind us, even if the other lane had a longer line. Once, we were on an entrance ramp already going the same speed as traffic on the highway, and we were passed on the dirt shoulder by a big pickup truck. People see the car and assume it's an old person driving, so they take drastic measures to avoid being stuck behind us even though Mark drives at or above the speed limit.

It's discrimination! But I have to admit I do the exact same thing. I always look for the weakest links in traffic, and they're usually Buicks. I just never thought we'd be on the receiving end at such a young age!

So one day we were sitting in the car and Mark started playing around with the buttons. Keep in mind, this is a pretty decked out car; you feel like you're on a plush leather sofa when you get in, and I swear they probably have the 'ejection seat' feature I always say my car has. So he pushed something on the dash and suddenly the radio volume turned up 10 notches and switched to a Spanish station playing a lively polka, the mirrors started buzzing as they readjusted, and the driver seat started gliding forward very quickly. Mark is a tall guy, 6'3, so his knees were rapidly approaching the bottom of the dashboard. Apparently the car has driver preference memory, and it was set for his (much smaller) mom.

Of course I sat there laughing at him while he frantically pushed another button, and the radio switched to another Spanish station even louder than the first, this time talk-radio, and everything started moving in different directions again. The car had a mind of its own!

I thought of that today because I took our new car to the grocery store, and when I got in I felt like a little person. I'm pretty tall for a girl, 5'9 (and a half!) but I still can't reach the pedals after Mark drives the car. It's a CR-V, so it's nowhere near as fancy as the Park Ave, and I started thinking about how nice it would be to have the automatic memory: just get in, push a button, and everything conforms to your specifications in seconds, radio and all.

And speaking of the radio, our car came with 3 months of free XM radio. Their evil plan to get us hooked is working (on me, at least, but we won't be subscribing once the trial period is over). I LOVE the decades stations, especially the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Today I heard KLF, Debbie Gibson, and the Meat Puppets. I need to run more errands.