The ATC Report

"In Control" - Vol. X, No. 6

Sunday, October 22, 2006 - around 8:15 PM CDT

(In Steve's house, his telephone is ringing.)

Steve: Hello.

Dave: Hey Gump, what's up?

S: Nothing much. Just finishing off a bag of Doritos.

D: Nacho cheese? Cool Ranch? Ham Up? (Editor's note: "Ham Up" Doritos available only in Lisbon, Portugal.)

S: Nacho, of course. I finished the Cool Ranch about half an hour ago.

D: Yea, what was I thinking? So, did you see the show?

S: Yea. Pretty boring.

D: Got any ideas for the column? You know Beth's gonna be whining if we wait until Friday at midnight again to send this one in.

S: Man, doesn't she ever let up? Doesn't she realize that we are artistes and that this stuff takes time?

(Raucous laughter from both ends of line.)

S: I dunno - you got anything? That's your area of expertise anyhow. I just write jokes.

D: I thought about writing about how the ‘Marked For Elimination' was such a bust since they followed it up with a Fast Forward.

S: Yea, how could they take such a great idea and then ruin it by letting the marked team off with a Fast Forward?
I'm guessing Peter and Pogo were hours behind. They got the 'Go To The Pit Stop' pity clue.
D: Not that it would have made any difference. I'm guessing Peter and Pogo were hours behind. They got the 'Go To The Pit Stop' pity clue.

S: Ha! "Pogo." That cracks me up.

D: And whom else would I be trying to crack up with it? We certainly could never put it in a column. Imagine the outrage and indignation.

S: True. Then again...just how long HAS it been since our show aired?

D: Not counting the reruns on GSN, over three and a half years.

S: Yeah, nobody watches anything on that network except for Lingo. When did most of the fans start watching the show?

D: The season after ours, of course. TAR5 - The Chip and Kim Love Fest.

S: So except for the whack-jobs at TARflies, no one really knows who the hell we are!

D: Your point being?

S: Screw outrage and indignation! I say we Kathy Griffin their asses.

D: Yeah? YEAH! Just look at the potential for comedy gold. Three guys in total denial about their sexuality, two, not so much, two teams nicknamed by their home state, drug addicts, models...and those drug-addict models. The list is endless!

S: Ummm...Daver, I just thought of something...

D: Hold on, I'm not finished - Indians, Muslims, and Cheerleaders for cryin' out loud!

S: DAVE! We can't do it!

D: Wha...why not?!

S: We usually meet them all at the finale and the premiere parties.

D: Oh.

S: Right. And remember that they know who we are because CBS makes them watch the old shows while they're cooling their heels waiting for the damn first leg to start.

D: When you're right, you're right.

S: So do you really want one of those Muslims sticking a pipe bomb up our asses or the Indians screwing up our computer when we call for help?

D: ...or the Beauty Queens, or the Cheerleaders, or even the four gay guys falling in love with us and breaking up our...well, my marriage?

S: Um, no?

D: Damn skippy it's no, partner. We're going to have to play it cool - you know, give our readers what they've grown accustomed to.

S: Right! A hastily thrown together column, 90% written by you, then sloppily tweaked by me and edited by the TARfly who lost the toss that week.

D: Exactly.

S: I guess that brings us back to where we started. Do you think we can actually do a whole column on how dumb the "MFE" turned out to be? I can't even think of a good joke for it.

D: Maybe not.

S: We don't want to come across as whiney ex-racers, and we spent all of ‘Family Edition' complaining about the show. I think we still need to work on getting back in Bert's good graces - even though we took a shot or two at him last week.

D: Dude, EVERYONE complained about TAR:FE. It was a train wreck. And Elise is STILL smokin' hot.
Still, I still think we should tone down the complaining for a column or two. When All-Stars hits, you know we're going to rip it major league.
S: Still, I still think we should tone down the complaining for a column or two. When All-Stars hits, you know we're going to rip it major league.

D: Oh, no doubt. I guess you're right about the complaining. It doesn't make for good TV, and is probably worse for columns. That's why you're never going to see the whiners back on ASTAR. Can you just imagine someone like Colin or Mirna returning? You know, I actually hold the trademark on ASTAR. I'm just waiting for some moon to use it without my permission so I can sue their sorry ass.

S: Yea, you haven't mentioned THAT too many times. Hey, did I tell you that I went to dinner with Bill and Tammy Gaghan?

D: You might have mentioned it. 70 or 80 times.

S: Just because your wife keeps you on a short leash and wouldn't let you join us, don't take it out on me. They're really nice people. Did you know Bill and Tammy ran the Chicago Marathon? Actually, Tammy ran twice as far as Bill because she has really teeny, short legs. (Snort.) Teeny Tammy.

D: I know. They're still TAR:FE folks, though. We did that show already. Any ideas for this one?

S: How about we do something on the Cho brothers helping to fake the other racers out and then giving the Fast Forward to Mary and Dave?

D: A very gallant gesture. Unneeded as it turned out, but gallant nonetheless.

S: I'm sure I could get some mileage out of it. Here's one. How do you keep two blondes at the top of a tower? Tell ‘em the Chos are going for the Fast Forward!

D: (laughing) That wasn't funny.

S: Cracked you up though.

D: Yea, but I'm easy. And I'll laugh at almost anything as well.

S: OK, how about this one? Did you hear about the two blondes that froze to death at the drive-in movie? They went to see Closed For The Season.

D: (louder laughter) Dude, that's just wrong. Hilarious, but wrong.

S: See? We could fill a column with stuff like that.

D: Oh sure, blonde jokes are funny - especially since most blondes don't get them. But how can we tie in a bunch of blonde jokes to the race? And are we abandoning the Cho brothers idea?
Hey - let's call Bert and ask HIM what he wants us to write about.
S: I guess you have a point. I dunno - without making jokes about the blondes, I don't think we can fill a column on the Chos, either. Hey - let's call Bert and ask HIM what he wants us to write about.

D: Like he really cares. Go ahead - if you think we can get some mileage out of it, I'm game.

S: I'll do the 3-way. Hang on. (Sound of telephone clicking, followed by a number being dialed, followed by another click.) Daver, you still there?

D: Yep, still here. (Sound of phone ringing, then being picked up.)

Bert Van Munster: Hello?

D: Uhhhh, Mr. Van Munster, this is the power your refrigerator running?

BVM: Cottingham? Meitz?? Will you two idiots ever grow up? (Sound of telephone being slammed down.)

S: Oh, way to go, you dork! Why do you always have to do that?

D: (Uproarious laughter.)

S: What a tool. So much for THAT idea. What are we gonna do for an idea now?

D: Ah, don't worry about it. I'll write some junk down, you can throw in a few jokes, I'll add some doctored photos and we'll pass it off as another work of art. Just so long as we have it done by Friday, they won't complain.

S: Yeah, you're right. It's always worked in the past. See ya, dude!

D: Seizure, Gump.

(Sound of telephone connection being broken.)

Voice-over guy (hired at no small expense by the authors): Be sure to join us again next week, when we hear Steve and Dave say...

S: The bastards really recorded the whole thing?

D: Yup.

S: And then put it up as a column?

D: Bingo!

S: My man, we could be very severely boned.

D: No kidding! Imagine what Pogo is going to say when we meet her!