Sophia stopped by my apartment today to watch "All My Children." In the past, I’ve written about how she turned me on to this soap opera, and how I’ve been watching it every since. Lately, the show has really sucked. Bad stories and bad characters. So, when a show gets stale, what can a TV producer do?
How about a big explosion?
Here’s the recap. Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) throws a big masquerade ball. As everyone enjoys themselves, Janet, the deranged mother of Amanda, decides to blow up the mansion and everyone in it. There’s a big explosion. The mansion collapses. But — what a coincidence! — the structure comes down in such an organized way that the guests are trapped and isolated under the rubble in neat groups of two. And — get this — those stuck together just happen to be characters who have "issues" with each other. It doesn’t matter if they were standing next to each before the explosion. They still end up trapped with each other.
So, there’s Zach and Ethan together — the father and son who hate each other. There’s Kendall and Ryan, the ex-lovers who are having a baby together from sperm stolen from a fertility clinic. There’s David, the brilliant ex-cardiologist and Palmer, his nemesis. And then there Erica Kane with Josh, her young television producer, who she has she found out is really her son. And so on.
Now imagine there’s gas leaking near you. It is getting difficult to breathe. Any false move could cause the walls to collapse around you. What do you do? Call for help?
Of course not.
You waste oxygen talking over your "issues."
Ethan and Zack:
Ethan: "Did you ever really want to be a father to me? Did you ever care?"
Zach: "I love you, Son. I always did."
Kendall and Ryan:
Kendall: "Ryan, this is your baby! But do you want me to be happy? No! Ever since you lost Greenlee, you’ve wanted me to suffer."
Ryan: "That’s not true. I care about you. You and the baby. My baby. My baby that is inside you."
Erica and Josh:
Erica: "Please, Josh. Tell me more about your mother."
Josh: "Why do you care so much about my mother? Why do you ask so many questions? Who are you to grill me? The Great Erica Kane! The woman who only cares about herself! I’m nothing to you."
Erica: "You are something to me, Josh. More than you know. It’s something we need to discuss. Now. Before it’s too late."
Of course, in typical soap opera fashion, this plotline is being stretched out so it takes up all week. Today’s episode was especially ridiculous. Sophia and I laughed up a storm over the show’s bad writing and corny plot gimmicks.
After the show, Sophia had an appointment, so we headed downstairs to the garage. I live on the third floor of my apartment building, so we took the elevator down.
As we were passing the second floor, we heard a rumble and the lights went out.
And then the cable snapped.
The elevator went careening down in a free-fall, at what seemed like 200 miles per hour. Sophia and I held on for dear life, each knowing that these were our final moments together. But before it all ended, there was still one remaining issue between us that needed to be resolved:
"Did you ever install Photoshop on my computer?" Sophia asked.
"Well, when? How many times do I have to ask you?"
"I’ve been busy."
"Blogging is not being busy."
"Look, I’m sorry."
"How many years has it been the same way. You say you’re going to do things and then you don’t."
"Do you really want to bring this up now? Right after Valentine’s Day? We had such a nice time."
"Yeah, you love telling all your readers how wonderful and romantic you are. Awwww, Neilochka… so sweet. But do they know you promised me Photoshop a month ago?!"
"OK, so you’re right. I’m bad. I’m lousy. But c’mon, Sophia, let’s not ruin our final moments we have here on Earth."
"OK, you make a good point. At least we’re communicating here. I’m sorry, too. "
"You don’t have to be sorry."
"I do. I just blew up for no reason. It’s just… PMS."
"Really… or are you just saying that?"
"OK, lets just start this falling to our death over again, so we’re nice to each other. Let’s just talk about something else."
"Fine. Like what?"
"I have a better idea. Why don’t we have sex?"
"But sex like in the old days. Before we got married."
"So, you mean bad sex?"
"Just joking… come here, Neilochka. Our last time together…"
Sophia pulled me over and we kissed. Sophia pressed me against the wall.
"What is it?," Sophia asked.
"I really should say goodbye to all my blogging friends."
"And how are you going to do that?"
"I have my free Sprint Ambassador phone. I can go online with it and write my last blog post."
"Sure. The others will get a real kick out of this post. "Neil and Sophia: The Final Moments." Think of all the links on Technorati. Especially if we post some photos."
"OK, just hurry up. Before I’m not in the mood anymore."
I pulled my phone from my pocket. I started to dial.
"Menu. Click. Type. Go to URL. W.W.W.C – I – T – I – X. Shit, that’s not a Z. These keys are so small! And who can read this without a magnifying glass? Shit, another mistake. How do you do a backspace?"
"Neil, is this REALLY that important? Believe me, the other bloggers are just going to move on to someone new. You’re really not that important to them."
"Maybe you’re right. They’re not like you and me, are they — living through the good and the bad?! Screw those selfish bloggers who cross you off their blogroll just because you wrote one bad post! Let’s make these final moments about you and me!"
I kissed Sophia. Passions rose. Suddenly, the elevator crashed down on the garage level. Actually, it wasn’t really a crash. It was actually a soft landing. Just our luck — the superintendent had stored some leftover rolls of plush carpeting at the bottom of the elevator shaft, cushioning the landing.
What a coincidence! We survived! Maybe those soap operas aren’t so unrealistic after all!
The elevator door opened, revealing Sophia’s car right in front of us. Sophia headed for her car.
"What about our sex?" I asked her.
"Sorry," answered Sophia . "Now I have a headache. Maybe after you install Photoshop."