Jack Ass

Advertisement jingles. Slogans digested and regurgitated at appropriate times. James Maxon spewing the funniest line from last week’s South Park, Simpsons, or Family Guy episode, and if those were all re-runs, a phrase from Dumb and Dumber or There’s Something About Mary.
Quotes shot rapid fire at parties, when everybody’s drunk. James’s parents out of town, everyone crowded in the garage between the twin Hummers. Labels facing out on cans of Coors like some kind of commercial, James thinks.
End of the party and James is worn out from repeating dialogue from television to his girlfriend, Jen. Jen laughs when James pauses for a reaction but is secretly pining over the cheap beer she is drinking. She doesn’t want to ruin the month long progress of her bitter tasting teeth-whitening treatment.
The next day James, hung over in bed, sees a preview for a new show that will be airing on MTV. The show is called “Jack Ass.” Clips from the pilot show a man being electrocuted with a taser gun, another man being hit by a car and another running away from an alligator’s snapping jaws.
After staying up to watch the show and feeling unimpressed, James is surprised to hear nothing but rave reviews from his friends at school the following day. Instead of the usual circle of people shooting quotes at each other, everyone does impressions with their bodies. They imitate the face of the guy who rode his bike into the side of a porta-potty and the moves of the guy who wore a thong, dancing in a department store.
James asks his parents for a video camera. His Mom agrees and they take one of the Hummers to Circuit City. Whistling the tune of a Coke ad, James picks out a camera that looks shinier than the rest and has features he doesn’t even try to comprehend.
Standing at the top of the tall grass hill behind his house, James has Jen turn on his camera for the first time to film him ride down in a small wagon. Flying headlong into a bush, James tumbles through the branches and looks back to see Jen flashing him a thumbs up.
James’ parents go out of town again. They set up the camera stationary to film a beer chugging contest followed by a group vomit session.
Jen finds the Jack Ass theme song on Napster just like James asked her. They edit a short, six-minute video with the song looped twice over James and his friends imitating stunts they saw on T.V.
Instant respect granted at school. For a while, people stop quoting and repeating lines. They gather around James and do impressions of his own stunts, the vexed facial expressions when he forced himself to vomit on his side-yard, the dazed look after he crashed a shopping cart into some shrubs. James watched their mirrored gestures with his arms crossed in front of him, smiling, but not knowing where to go from there.


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