The Rabbit Hole

It took John Stewart, Paul Giamatti, two Harps and a chocolate chip cookie to even begin to feel human again.

It was really was as a pretty good day — at first. I was beginning to hit my stride at the office. I had a couple of good meetings. I worked out a couple of things. I gave a few good pep talks, yunno, “It’s all about being a fan!” I helped a few interns out. I was startin’ to think maybe I remember how to do my job.

Late in the afternoon, I’m in a conference room thirty stories above the Hudson River discussing an ad deal. I make a suggestion. An ad sales guy says (I swear), “Anyone see a Cheshire cat? I think we just fell down the rabbit hole!”

He meant it as a compliment.

He had no idea how precient he was being.

I worked until about 8:30. Then I went to a screening. I can’t say what, only that it’s a forthcoming film produced by The Company For Which I Work.

Now, let me just say that I love The Company For Which I Work. I grew up on it. I’ve worked at The Company For Which I Work for nearly ten years. I respect and admire my colleagues at The Company For Which I Work.

The narrative of Said Film consisted solely of a series of comedic vignettes. I laughed heartily through the first twenty minutes. And then one of the characters took a bowel movement into a funnel connected to a tube that was connected to a respirator through which another character breathing. And then I heard a voice…

“I got into television because I saw people throwing pies at each other’s faces and that, to me, was such demeaning behavior. And if ther’s anything that bothers me, it’s one person demeaning another. That really makes me mad.'”

In the next scene, one of the characters threatened to splash horse semen into another’s face. And then I heard a voice…

“What we see and hear on the screen is part of who we become.”

I sank further and further into my seat as the rest of the film unspooled, then raced to the elevator banks before any of the executives could grab me and ask, “Sooooo? What did you think?”

As if it were remotely possible, things turned even uglier as I was waiting on a train in the Times Square Station. I noticed a commotion out of the corner of my eye as I saught just the right song to uplift me from my stark moral dilemma. Just as I pushed play on “Here Comes The Sun,” a man and woman began to struggle about six feet from me.

“He’s going to kill me!” she said. “Call the cops!”

I opened my book, a feigned to begin reading. The woman was shouting and pacing just a few feet away from me.

“He’s been beating me all day and all night. Crazy muthafucka. Done stole my sneakers too! Somebody call the cops!”

The man lunged for her. She grabbed the lapels of my searsucker sport coat, scratching my arm with her long, red fingernails, and hid behind me.

My heart was in my throat.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,” was all I could muster. “C’mon you guys. Settle down.”

“Call the cops!” she said.

“Ma’am, phones don’t work down here,” I said, as if rational thinking would prevail. “Perhaps you should go upstairs and speak with the station attendent.”

The two continued to shout at one another. I leaned on an iron pillar, and tried to read. Finally, the train came. Pearl Jam’s “In Hiding” came on my Ipod. I cranked it.

Back home, The Daily Show (another fine Viacom property) finally roused a smile. Still, I’m not quite sure what to do next, other than go to sleep. I can’t imagine a place, a time, or a set of circumstances in greater opposition to Mr. Rogers’ deep and simple ethos. It makes me feel sick inside.

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