Oh Not That Guy

Not that Guy, the Other Guy

During my recent visit to my family’s home, I was of course required to align some sort of succor to soothe my nerves at the end of the day. This, lest I would currently be sitting in a cell in an orange jumpsuit awaiting trial, my shoelaces and belt a jumbled mess in a deputy’s drawer some yards away.   

Succor was needed. But what?

Ten years ago that wasn’t even a question. The home away from home away from home was a place called The Langhorne Hotel, a bar that sat as a merciful oasis about 50 yards from my parents’ porch. When they began dangling on my nerves like chunky Tarzans, I’d plod across the street with a book and come back when I was rereading the same paragraph.

But as I get older, drinking isn’t as much an enjoyable escape from reality as much as an escape into a skull throbbing four-day hangover. Thus, I’d need something a little milder. There’s medication for that, you say? True. But in general I have found that pooping every day is a good way to go through life and pills such as those have a way of, oh, collecting the troops and keeping them pinned inside in a vat of concrete. Mix that tendency with the pasta, pizza, sandwich diet I take on during each August visit, and you have a bout of constipation that could last through November. Just in time for the Christmas rush. Or, as it were, not rush.

I elected for TV. Specifically British TV. More specifically British crime TV. Really specifically Endeavor.   

Endeavor is the prequel to Morse. Morse was my first British detective love. He is a cranky old sod who loves his crosswords and who calls beer “brain food.” I watched all of Morse back in the early 2000s. Lewis was Morse’s sergeant and after Morse died, Lewis had his own show (that’s how it is with these British detectives). I watched Lewis with glee and then when they ran out of people to kill for Lewis to investigate, they decided to go back to the source.

Endeavor is a series about the grumpy Morse as a young man in Oxford in the 60s and 70s. It details his climb up the rungs as a misanthrope and a drinker and as one who has the ability to put off even British people. It’s impressive.

And so each night, after a day of family fun at top volumes and after wiping away my tears of rage and unchoking my throat of contempt, I would settle into my air mattress, shut off the lights, and put on the show. Soon, I’d be in Oxford, family far away, and nothing but a series of grisly murders to contend with.

While relaxing to a crime show, I like to choose a character to be. Because I am a nonconfrontational wimp I always choose to be a character that doesn’t have anything to do with the crime. They answer the questions then go off on their day. I choose one of those. Usually, however, the murderer in Endeavor turns out to be one of those very people. The cab driver who found a shirt, the schoolteacher who was roommates with the beslaughtered, the manager of the chocolate store who sold a girl her last lollipop. And if one of those guys aren’t the murderer, then they have so many skeletons in their closet that it’s like a pool in a pool in a Spielberg film.

Once I chose a sideline character, I’d sit back, relax, and bombard my throat with carbohydrates. Then I’d watch in horror as my sideline character, my cabbie, doctor, tax collector, ice cream man, turned out to be psychopathic murderer the whole time. In week two I began dreaming of being grilled by Morse and Fred Thursday, and not in the fun it-wasn’t-me-so-ask-away way that I’d always fantasized about. It was scary. Well, I guess it’s better than drinking.  

  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)