You know you’ve missed it. Don’t lie to yourself, and don’t lie to me. Cue the cheesy, over the top, heard it once – heard it a million times, family television show theme music. A montage is shown of the Solex family plays, highlighting their over-the-top corny lifestyle in the middle of Anytown, USA. The music begins to fade as the shot stops on the front of the Solex home. On the lower-third of the screen the words “Filmed in front of a live studio audience” are briefly displayed before fading out. The shot quickly transitions into the Solex home. The applauds from the crowd welcome a wide shot of the dining room. Steven Solex is shown sitting at the dining room table. The typical décor of the table is missing however, as a piece of green felt covers the maple top. Steven has a lit cigar gripped tightly between his teeth. Steven peers down at the five cards covertly held in his hands, but then quickly looks back up to the man seated across the table from him. This man is much older than Steven, but he dons a mustache very similar to the #1 Dad’s. In fact, he looks exactly how Steven would look if you added about 30 years to him. That’s right ladies and gentleman. This isn’t some ordinary old man. This is the original number-one dad, the godfather of fathers, the grandad of grandads. This is Steve Solex Senior. Ess-Cubed. The first Stevemeister.
You get the idea.
It’s Steven’s old man.
Senior holds his cards up high over his face, covering a giant grin. From the look in his eyes, and the sweat dripping down Junior’s forehead, it’s pretty apparent what the situation is here.
The crowd can feel the tension as the slight sounds of shuffling feet are heard.
“I’ll raise ya,” Junior trembles his words as he throws a few chips into the center of the table and the crowd lets out a collective “oo”.
The crowd applauds as Steven’s dad chuckles a bit. He keeps his cards held high, not letting anyone get a peak of what he holds in his hands He calls the bet by tossing a few of his own chips into the pot. Junior nervously laughs as he lays his cards onto the table.
“Three fours!” Steven exclaims, thinking he’s got thing one in the bag. The crowd applauds wildly as Steven leans back in his chair.
Again, Senior chuckles. Slowly, he lowers his cards to the table one at a time.
“Flush. Of the royal variety,” Senior calmly states as he snaps the ace of hearts onto the green fuzz. “Sometimes son…you gotta know when to hold ‘em. And sometimes, you gotta know when to fold ‘em!” The crowd laughs wildly as the old man leans back himself.
Stevens jaw drops and his cigar falls to the floor. He can’t believe what he’s just seen, and quite frankly, neither can I. A royal flush? Not bloody likely. The odds of getting a royal flush are slim to none, and you know this old wisenheimer has to have some tricks up his sleeves. I mean, he raised Steven.
The old man laughs as he reaches both arms to the center of the table and pulls the winnings over to his side of the table. The crowd cheers on Senior, but only for a moment.
“What a bunch of crap!” Steven shouts as he stands up and extinguishes his cigar with his foot, melting a whole in the 1950’s linoleum floor. Steven pushes the table toward his old man, who’s still cracking up while he stacks his chips. The silence in the crowd is deafening, they are in disbelief. Steven never acts this way. No grown man does.
Suddenly, Steven’s father stands up and pints a finger at his son. The crowd “oo’s” once again.
“If that’s the kind of attitude you’re going to have, I don’t think we’re going to play this game anymore. Now, sit your behind in that chair and show your old man some respect!” The crowd again, goes silent.
Like you’d see little Jebidiah throwing a small fit, Steven stomps a foot into the ground and crosses his arms across his chest.
“It’s not fair!”
What the heck is he talking about? This is the man that’s going to step into the ring with Brian Hollywood this Saturday? This is the man who’s hoping to one day win a championship in HOW? This is the man that we once saw ranked number-one in HOW only a few months ago? What has gotten into Steven Solex these days? I’m at a total loss.
“Sit your behind in that chair, now!” The old man turns the volume up in his voice as his tone becomes more aggressive. Steven frowns a bit and takes a seat as a few of the audience members chatter amongst themselves.
“Unbelievable,” the old man mutters as he gingerly takes his seat.
Steven laughs, and compliments his old man, “Great hand, pop.”
The old man returns the laugh and shakes his head as the crowd finally realizes the ruse that Steven has been playing the last minute or two. “I had ya’, at least for a second!” Steven says, clearly explaining that he was in no way throwing the fit of a petulant child, but instead pulling a prank on his dad. The crowd applauds in relief.
“I’m too old for this crap.” Steven’s dad says, walking right into a Lethal Weapon joke.
“Whatever you say, Murtaugh.” Unless you’ve forgotten, Steven has no control over these replies, it’s verbal diarrhea. Stevens dad cracks a proud smile, knowing that he’s trained his son well. The crowd laughs hysterically.
“How much did you win their old timer?” Steven asks his dad.
The old man quickly counts up his chips.
“About three bucks.”
Don’t say it. Please don’t.
Steven laughs, “Don’t you spend that all in one place!”
Oh boy. The old man laughs as does the audience.
“Hey,” the old man begins, before being quickly cut off. Sigh.
“Hays for horses.”
Sigh. The crowd laughs again, but I’m struggling to figure out why. We’ve heard these jokes before.
Steven’s dad cracks a smile before continuing. “I’m going to be serious, Junior.”
Come on, old man. The crowd “oo’s” knowing that the joke is on the way.
“Can I still be Steven?” Steven asks, the biggest of cheesy grins on his face.
Again, Stevens dad laughs as does the crowd. But this time Senior seems a bit frustrated.
“Look son, I need you to focus. You haven’t been yourself lately, you’ve been losing. If it wasn’t for that partner of yours and that little blonde number, I don’t know if you’d still have a job.”
Steven doesn’t seem to be amused anymore as the look on his face quickly changes.
“Look, Pop. I’m not going to sugar coat it. My hearts just not in it anymore. I don’t know what’s happened to me.”
“You’ve lost the hunger son. It happens to the best of us.”
“What do I do about it, Pop?”
Solex Senior stands up from the table and adjusts his waist band. He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out…a sweat band. He pulls the sweatband over the top of his head and says, “We’ve got it get it back.”
“Get what back?”
“Yes, son. The Eye of the Tiger!”
Suddenly Jebidiah walks into the dining room with a boom-box held up over his head, blaring that great eighties classic.
The crowd cheers wildly as Senior begins running laps around the dining room table. Steven seems to be getting into it as he begins to clap his hands to the beat of the song.
Steven looks around. Looks at Jebidiah, and looks at his old man. “What are we waitin’ fuh!?” He shouts in the worst fake somewhere accent I’ve ever heard. Solex’s Dad heads out of the dining room and slowly runs out the front door. The crowd cheers wildly as Steven follows, as does Jebidiah – still holding the boom-box over his head. The scene fades to black as they all exit the home and the theme music outro plays.