Cue the generic television theme music, and roll the freakin’ montage of cheesy smiles and stop action credits, because its time for the Solex family. The montage plays through, the words “Filmed in front of a live studio audience” are quickly displayed on the lower third of the screen just before the music fades and the live studio audience cheers in the first scene of this “episode.” Steven is shown relaxing in the backyard of his Nowhere, America suburban home. The grass is evenly – no seriously, this stuff is totally even – trimmed from end to end. The sun glistens off the water in kidney bean shaped pool, and Steven is shown leaned all the way back in one of those rubber, plastic lawn chairs. You know the kind that you find in the backyard of a 90’s home, with the metal hinges that lock in place and could very well rip the meat right off your fingers if you mishandle them. Steven is shirtless and is wearing a pair of aviator sunglasses that reflect a lens flare into the camera. His hands are rested carefully behind his head, and his legs are crossed down at his ankles.
Let’s not forget about the mustache. It’s present. And it’s glorious.
Little Jebidiah darts into view with a cold beer in his hand. It’s for his old man, you idiots.
“Here ya’ go, Dad!” The miniature Solex says, holding the beer out for his old man.
“Thanks, Jeb. No, go run off and play in the house.”
The boy complies, shockingly, and scampers off into the house through the back door. He nearly knocks his mother down, who is trying to head to the backyard in that same moment. Karen’s hands aren’t empty either. She outfitted in her best 1950’s wife outfit, frilly apron and all. She manages to navigate her way through the yard all the while balancing a large circular tray full of Triscuits and cheese in her right hand. The crowd oo’s and awe’s as she dodges the bar-b-que, Jebidiah’s bicycle, and a couple of garden gnomes before finally making it to her husband.
“Crackers and cheese, babe?”
Karen nearly splits her lipstick as she smiles as big as she possibly can.
Solex, apparently a professional lawn chair operator, leans forward and seamlessly postures himself and his chair into a more upright position. He opens the beer that Jebidiah just gave him – it’s a PBR, do you really have to ask? – and takes a big swig. He belches, like the man that he is and the crowd laughs as he wipes the excess beer from his mustache.
“Thanks, sweety pie!”
There’s a mild applause from the audience as Steven reaches toward the tray. His wife moves it just out of reach, and wags a finger at him as the crowd oo’s.
“But, there’s a catch!” Karen says, her tone full of excitement and wonder.
Yes, I said excitement and wonder.
“Every one of these crackers is different. As is the cheese paired with each individual cracker. I call it…”
Karen turns camera side, and looks into the camera with a huge and unnecessarily bleached white grin.
“The Lethal Lottery!” A wink and a ding sound effect send the crowd into riotous laughter.
Steven applauds her ever-cheeriness as she kneels before him with a curtsey. Steven grabs a cracker and cheese combo and takes a bite without ever even looking.
“Gouda?!” Steven exclaims, shooting bits of dry cracker back onto the tray as the crowd laughs wildly.
“You’re soooooooooo gouda!” Karen confirms sending the crowd into a riotous collective laughter that literally shakes the cameras. It’s ridiculous how bad this is getting.
Karen sets the tray on the small bistro style table to Steven’s left, and seats herself in the lawn chair.
“It’s such a nice day today, honey. I feel like I’m in a movie. I feel like Brie (holy freaking crap) Larson.” The wife is making jokes; this is going to get worse before it gets feta. BETTA! BETTER! CRAP!
“I was thinking the same thing, sweetie pie. I feel like Robert Kraft or even Justin Brie-ber.” Steven lowers his sunglasses and winks, proving his delivery is still second-to-none no matter how hard his wife tries. The crowd erupts with laughter again. Steven just knows how to get this crowd into a frenzy.
“Well, hi-diddly-ho, neighbor-eeno!” Flanders? What show is this? Steven’s neighbor…eeno, shouts from his side of the fence, ridiculously waving his hand wildly, ensuring that the Solex’s see him. The crowd cheers Mark into the scene, but Steven doesn’t look very excited to see his overly joyous neighbor…eeno. Last one I promise.
“Well, hey-there, hi-there, ho-there Mark-diddly-ark!” Steven leans forward in his chair, and gets himself up. “Let’s go legs,” he mutters under his breath before picking up a light jog toward Mark, as the crowd giggles to his moans and groans.
Steven sticks out his hand for Mark to shake, but just as Mark tries to squeeze, Steven pulls his hand away and brushes his hair back.
“Thought you had a friend, Mark!” The crowd laughs wildly, as Mark initially appears annoyed but then laughs it off.
“What can I do ya’ for, Mark?” Steven asks.
“Well, I got to tell ya’ Stever-eeno. I’m a little bit upset,” Mark says, his eyes welling up.
“And why’s that, bud?” Steven’s unfazed by this type of junk.
“Well, I thought you had said. I mean, what I mean to say is. Well, I thought…”
“Come on, Mark. It’s me! It’s Steven. Steve-o. The Steven-meister! Just spit it out!”
“Well, Steven. I thought that you had said that if you were ever going to start yourself a tag team, that I would be your tag team partner,” Behind a few sniffs, and throat clearances, Mark is finally able to spit it out. Parts of the crowd awe, while a few scoffs are also heard.
“Golly jee, Mark. Why didn’t ya’ just say that to begin with?” Solex says, fighting back an outburst of uncontrollable laughter, as he looks over his pot-bellied, neighbor friend. The crowd also displays its amusement has few giggles are heard throughout.
“Well, jee, Steven. I was just nervous, is all. And I figured, if you really wanted me to be your tag team partner…well…heck, you woulda’ asked!” Mark exclaims, showing a bit of false confidence. He’s quick to cower, however, as Steven takes in a little bit of air.
“I don’t know what to tell ya’, Mark. Joe Bergman’s my guy. Did you see what we did to those eGG Bandits last week? That’s just the beginning of PBR’s rise to the top of a somewhat mediocre tag team division. I mean, we still have a way to go, but I’m totally confident in what we’re going to be able to achieve. It’s pretty crazy to think that only a few months ago the tag team division in HOW was pretty much non-existent, and now it’s the premier tag team division in all of professional wrestling. And premier, well that’s just my style there, Mark.”
“I get it, Steven. But this is the Lethal Lottery, my friend. What if you end up in a match against Joe Bergman?”
“Well, Mark. That’s a bridge we’ll cross when the river rises (what does that mean?). Right now, I’m really hoping that we end up in different matches, but ya’ just never know what that ne’er-do-well, Lee Best has up his sleeves. And don’t even get me started on that ragamuffin son of his. He’s about two nickels short of a quarter, if you know what I’m sayin’ (nobody knows what he’s saying). But the ultimate goal here, Marky Mark. Is for Joe and I to end up in a match against the Hollywood Brothers. I mean, that’s where the real fun will be and maybe we can get ourselves a championship with only one win as a team under our belts! I’m just saying, I think we’re the right guys and this is the right time for us. And with Barbie-Q in our corner…you saw what happened with old Robert Dean. Barbie-Q, she’s our x-factor! Our special sauce and she’s ready to rock and roll!”
“Boy, that Barbie-Q is a looker!” What a nerd.
“That’s enough Mark. Your wife is twenty feet away from you inside of the house, probably cooking your dinner! Show her some appreciation and respect.” The crowd oo’s as Solex puts the Dad voice on and waves a winger at Mark.
“The point is, Mark. That no matter what happens at the Lethal Lottery, Joe and I know where we both stand. Whether it’s in a title match against Mike Best, a title match against Max Kael, a tag team title match against the Hollywood Brothers, or a War Games qualifier…Joe Bergman and I will win something, and PBR will continue its meteoric (el oh el) rise to the top of the HOW tag team division, and there’s nothing that any of these HOW rapscallions can do about it. Now, put that in your pipe and smoke it!”
“Yeah, but what does PBR even stand for, Steven?”
“What’s that?!” Steven asks over his right shoulder, away from Mark. “Coming, dear!” Steven shouts, but Karen was calling him at all. She’s still seated on the lawn chair with a glass of wine between her lips.
“I have to go, Mark. The old ball and chain calls me!” Steven lies with a big, fake, cheezy smile.
“But, Steven. Karen’s right over…”
“See ya’, Mark!” Without giving Mark a chance to plead his case, Steven marches off and back toward his wife as the crowd laughs Mark out of the picture. Steven takes his seat back in his lawn chair and leans himself backward. He takes a long sip of his beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon of course, and grabs a cheese-cracker combination from the Lethal Lottery spread Karen has prepared. And without looking, he shoves the cracker and cheese into his mouth.
“Pepper Jack!” He shouts, spitting the mashed crackers and cheese into the grass. “I hate Pepper Jack!” Steven shouts once more, as he springs to his feet and stands directly over his wife. He reaches back as if he’s preparing to strike his wife, who covers up like a battered puppy. But just as Steven goes for it, the camera zooms in, Steven looks into it, shrugs his shoulders and laughs, as does Karen. The crowd laughs and applauds as the scene fades to black.