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On the Mark, Episode 18: The Temple of Doomed Episodes

August 6, 2009

Hi Everybody,

When last we met Ohio Mark in the epic saga of Raiders of the Lost Episodes, he was being held captive by a bunch of Tibetans on the Tibet/China border.

(This whole premise was set up as a contrived way for me to use flashbacks from previous episodes in order to be lazy for a couple of weeks. Yeah, I know it's goofy, but what the heck we need more goofiness in this world. Been watching the news lately?)

Anyhow, creepy bad guy dude with his reverse bowl haircut had just taken a hot metal spike thingamajob and was going to poke it into my eye. So just as the metal spike is going to turn me into a one-eyed circus freak, I hear this phizzing sound and all the bad guys slither around in pain.

Why it’s . . . it’s . . . it’s none other than the former TV news anchor we know only as Ted! He’s got a can of Insta-Hair and he’s spraying it all over the place. Incapacitating the bad guys. Luckily, I have an air mask in my back pocket and I slip it on.

I follow Ted out of the building and run into an awaiting airplane. We ride off into the sunset with trumpets blaring, and a little red line starts drawing itself on the ground as we fly across the globe. I wonder how they’re going to get that off.

Meanwhile, I make small talk with Ted, but I can’t help myself. I keep staring at him. Mainly because . . .

(cue first flashback)

On the Mark, Episode 5: The Rise and Fall of News Anchor Ted:

So the next time I watched him on the news, I stared at his hair to see if I could tell if it was real or not. Then I'd compare notes weeks and months later to see if I noticed any differences. I studied video with greater detail than the Warren Commission studied the Zupruder film of the Kennedy assassination. This was something I ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW!

Then with each passing year, when he was on the air, I had a hard time listening to what he was saying. No, I was still studying his hair. Shouldn't it be a bit more gray now? A little thinner maybe? Hmmm. Hard to say. What was that about the end of the world? Oh, I missed that. Too busy trying to figure out if Ted's hair is real or not.

(end flashback)

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

“What IS it with you,” Ted finally asks. Why do you keep staring at me?”

“Oh, it’s nothing,” I respond, trying to look away from him, but I can’t. “I was just wondering where I can find an o-ring for ten cents cheaper somewhere."

“What?" Ted exclaims, wondering where that came from. "Man, you are an idiot."

Yep, so true . . .

(cue next flashback)

On the Mark, Episode 6: The Truth Suddenly Becomes Self Evident (People are idiots):

I guess I can take comfort in this revelation that truly there is a God, because evolution surely doesn't work like this. It's supposed to be that the stronger and smarter survive. But it might just be me, but it seems every year people are getting dumber. I guess it's because there are no more saber tooth tigers running around to make lunch on some idiot walking around the jungle trying to find an o-ring for ten cents cheaper.

(end clip)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So anyhow, I’m trying to keep looking out the window, and not stare at Ted. So I change the subject.

“Hey Ted, what’s been happening back in Cleveland? How are the sports teams doing? I’ve been totally out of the loop over here while on assignment.”

Ted just chuckles and shakes his head. He tells me about the Cavaliers in the NBA finals, up three games to none. They are winning by 37 points with 10 minutes to play in Game Four of the NBA Finals. Yep, just 10 minutes away from a championship, with a commanding lead over the Lakers. The Cleveland sports curse would appear to be over.

But then the unthinkable happens.

LeBron breaks his leg, and the Lakers go on to win the game by one point. Then the Cavs lose the next three games, and lose out on bringing Cleveland home a championship.


I just shake my head in disgust. I told him I had this thing figured out a long time ago:

(cue next flashback)

On the Mark, Episode 7: Cleveland Sports Curse Strikes Back

Last night, a bomb went off in Cleveland. And thousand of people's hopes and dreams just suddenly vanished. It was like Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars sitting there playing with his ball thingy with Luke, and sensing that the Death Star had just blown up Alderaan. This is what he said:

"I feel a great disturbance in the Force . . . . as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced."

Yeah, it's that bad.

So when the Cleveland Cavaliers lost by one point in the final seconds last night, we Cleveland sports fans knew that it's all over. Never mind that they still have to lose three more times before they are eliminated.

We just know. We've been here before. When that ball hit off the rim and we lost, we knew that Yes, another Cleveland team is going to let us down.

The Bible says something about gaining strength through suffering. Now I know why there are so many churches in the Cleveland area. We are a very religious bunch. It's because our sports teams have done a really nice job building up our faith and character for about 45 years or so. It's all part of God's divine plan.

Or, maybe our teams just stink.

(End flashback, with a freeze-frame shot of LeBron on the floor withering around in pain. They are calling this one "The Break.")

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Oh well, I say. There’s always next year.

So meanwhile, I hear a noise in the back of the airplane, it’s that little Japanese kid from the second Indiana Jones movie.

Cute kid, he knows how to snap back with clever and funny dialog. But I instantly feel bad for him, because this nine year old doesn’t realize that his life is going to be all downhill from here. I tell him about my oldest daughter, who is now over the hill at the age of 11:

(cue next clip)

On the Mark, Episode 8: Nine Is The Happiest Number We'll Ever See

I'm already seeing that the times, they are a changin' with my oldest daughter Leah. Not so much with her behavior, but with the behavior of other girls in her school. We're already starting to get the middle school peer problems that we all remember. I'm told that those problems are now starting in the fifth and sixth grades. And we've had some issues already.

The girls are already starting to hunt in packs, and they will not hesitate to eat those they perceive as the weak ones in the jungle.

One day when we were discussing some of these problems Leah was having with other girls at school, I actually blurted out, "Sounds like some of these girls are already in training to be some poor guys' ex-wives someday . . ."

This was not what she was expecting me to say, and after trying to comprehend this for a moment she looked at me with a baffled expression. Finally, the only thing she could come up with was, "Huh?"

I know, I know, I am terrible. Hey, I never claimed to be Mike Brady . . .

(end flashback)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So anyhow, while we’re talking I hadn’t noticed that the pilot and co-pilot just dumped the gasoline and jumped out of the plane with the only parachutes. Ted freaks out and grabs the cute oriental kid’s book bag and slaps it on his back and jumps out of the plane.

I watch him falling down, then smile when I see a little spot of hair come flying off his head in the wind.

"I knew it,” I chuckle.

Meanwhile, the kid and I are about to die. No problem, I figure, we’re over top a bunch of snow and we’ll just jump out of the plane in this raft that is conveniently laying here. But when I look down, instead of snow, I see palm trees and a Hyatt Resort.

“Darned that global warming,” I curse.

(Cue up final flashback)

On the Mark, Episode 9: The World Is Burning Up, And We're All Going To Die

So as I woke up this morning on this June day, it was colder than snot and I contemplated turning the furnace on. But if I did, I'd be killing future babies. Then I walked into the kitchen to make some breakfast and pulled out the bread. I better enjoy this piece, because last night ABC said that we're headed for a dust bowl and say goodbye to wheat.

I saw the orange juice sitting there, but I couldn't stomach drinking it. Florida is going to be under water someday. So I put the toast in the toaster, but shut it off in disgust. That electricity is being made by burning coal, and a polar bear is standing on some ice in the middle of the ocean because of my selfishness. Untoasted, it is.

I went up to the bathroom to take care of my business. I felt guilty for flushing the toilet, that crap is going somewhere. And that's not a good thing. Same goes with washing my hands. And how am I going to take a shower? Is it OK if I use just cold water? Doesn't water just evaporate and go back into the air and then rain back down? No, we're running out of water, it just goes away and doesn't come back.

I go back down for my coffee. Darned those Brazilians, they cut down the rain forests so they could grow those beans.

My kids are watching TV. The horror, just think of all of the mining to get the metal for those components, and let's not even talk about the plastics that were made from oil. And the electricity . . . those aren't hamsters on wheels running to make that electricity, that's prairie dogs out west being forced to relocate because of climate change.

Quick, turn it off, turn it off!!!!

(end flashback)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

No parachute, and the plane is out of gas. I look at the kid, and I’ve got that “We are about to die” look on my face. (Hey, remember, I never said I was Mike Brady.)

So I grab Shorty (that's his name, by the way) and we go ahead and jump out of the airplane.

Uh oh, I forgot to grab the blow-up raft to cushion the fall.

I have a very bad feeling about this.

So we’re falling to the ground, and then . . .

To be continued . . .

Roll End Credits.



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