As I sit here on my third flight in two days, looking out on the millions of raindrops falling from the heavens on to the tarmac of Portland’s airport, I need to say something. And I want to be completely honest with all my readers:
I don’t listen to the Beta Report.
I mean I do, but I don’t. Perhaps an explanation is in order. The Beta Report is OK. I prefer to listen to JJ Redick’s podcast if I’m being completely honest. Don’t’ get me wrong, I have heard a few episodes and of those few, I have been somewhat amused at times, and annoyed other times. I only really know one of the Beta Reporters – Louie. Well on the podcast he goes by Uno. I guess there are two Louie’s in the group? Why not just do us all a favor and do what we did with the two Eddie’s in our group? Assign a color to their names. I.E. - Eddie Black and Eddie White. That seems easier. But no, Louie goes by Uno. A name that after 27 episodes, still doesn’t stick. And is kind of a reach at trying to use a different name to be cooler. It’s like using the word “fetch”. Stop trying to make Uno happen Gretchen Weiners. I listened to the last episode and he kept getting called Louie. Dude just go by your true nickname – Fat Rapper. It’s super catchy! I also kind of know Javier. I met him through my buddy Robert Pungu. We asked him to play bass for a project we were working on. He didn’t last very long. Probably because he was too busy preparing for his big break in the podcast world!
OK so I only really know Fat Raps and when he told me about his podcast my first thought was “When will I get invited to be part of this epic journey?” but alas, I have yet to be asked to be part of it. Raps one time asked me, “Tell me the truth, what do you think about the podcast? What does it need? What works?”. So I told him, “You guys need a villain. An anti-hero. A Donald Trump, a Gooch, a Newman even.” He said “Nah we are good as far as that.” Then why ask me for my opinion? I do think though that from the few episodes I have listened to that something amazing is missing. A good villain. Every good show, story, plot has a great villain.
Every good show, story, plot has a great villain.
Think of the best television shows and then think of what makes them so great…there is always a villain that completes the story. Breaking Bad had Walter White, the greatest villain of the modern era. Anyone who associated themselves with Mr. White ended up screwed. But without him Breaking Bad would have been boring. Jessie would still be a lowly meth dealer wearing the baggiest of jeans, Hank would still be alive, and Mr. Fry would still be running Los Pollos. Damn you Walter White! Oh and Tuco was an amazing antagonist! He was TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT!
Game of Thrones has (or had) Joffrey. The smallest biggest prick in Westeros. I’d watch and hope that he would die. And when he did, I was like, “Damn, I kinda miss him”. There’s also Cersei. She is a great villain who creates tension every scene she is in. She makes me want to punch her in the face. But I am a gentleman and would never strike a woman.
I Love Lucy had a great villain as well – Lucy. That crazy redhead was always ruining things for Ricky and Fred. Her and her sidekick Ethel. Interesting anecdote about I Love Lucy, Ethel was actually younger than Lucy in real life. But Lucy didn’t want people to know that so they made Ethel look older and of course had her be a little on the thicker side. True story. I think. It might not be true. (Note from the editor, "It's not true) I would google it to make sure. But let’s just say it’s true because it seems like it would be true.
Sometimes the villain of a story is someone you least expect to be the villain. But this person keeps you truly entertained. One of my favorite villains is my dad. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad. He is my hero for crying out loud. With that said however, let me tell you about my dad’s killer Jesus Party.
One of my favorite villains is my dad.
One night my dad had a dream. In this dream God told him that he needed to throw a party. My dad woke up and taking what he had dreamed in complete seriousness, started planning this party. Not just any party though. This was going to be the mother of all parties.
A legendary killer party.
When I was younger my dad was the lead singer of this band called “Resureccion” (Resurrection). He would take my siblings and me all over the greater Los Angeles area to different churches he was invited to sing. He was (still is) a great singer. A great lead singer to be exact. He would draw people in when on stage. These conservative long skirt wearing women would through their veils on stage after he finished singing. True story. I tell you this because prior to the party, my dad returned to all those churches to invite them to his Jesus Party. He had my mom and aunt work on handwritten invitations.
A few years and a few thousands of dollars (from his liquidated 401K) later…the day of the party had arrived. I remember that day quite vividly. The party was being held at the prestigious South Gate Park Auditorium. My dad wanted to rent out a larger venue but I think he ran out of money so he was stuck in South Gate. He didn’t care. His dream/vision was coming to fruition.
I arrived early to assist with any pre-party preparation. That morning, my dad was WILDSTYLE. Like completely out of control. He wasn’t asking people nicely to help with this or that. Instead he was Full Metal Jacket style; angrily barking orders left and right. He set up what looked like a spaceship on the stage. Under the spaceship was an empty wooden throne like chair. It was for the guest of honor – Jesus. Next to the wooden chair, was one of those mannequins with no arms and head with a wedding dress on it. This represented the bride of Christ – the church. There were two rows of Latin American flags and one Israeli flag that lined the aisle that lead up to the stage. To the right of the stage was a smorgasbord of food and on the other side a full band set up. Amps, drums, mics – the works.
There was particular guy who showed up early to help out. He walked up to my dad and said, "I brought the first aid kit". My dad told him he was late, tossed the kit aside, and hurried the guy up a ladder to set up the space ship.
The party finally commenced and PURE MADNESS ensued. My dad had asked my brother to get him a full professional sound system with a professional engineer. He spared no expense. The events leading to the next part of the story are vague because there was a lot of yelling on my dad's part and a lot of people eating. Basically it was somewhat controlled chaos. I mean, my dad would get on the mic and say, “Hermanos alaben al Señor!” (Brothers praise the Lord) then cover the mic and yell at my brother and I and the professional engineer ,”*#$#@!$ no se escucha nada! Jeffrey por favor carajo!” (You cant hear anything! Dammit Jeffrey please)
Here's where it gets good or bad and just plain ugly...
In the middle of the party, the soundtrack playing in the background was ELIM’s Greatest Hits. At one point my dad got on the mic and said: "Todas las mujeres,bailen para el Señor!" (All the women, dance for the Lord) So of course, “todas las mujeres" (all the owmen) got up and danced like they were 15 again and back in their third world homelands. It was crazy. I mean, they just blindly followed the orders. The blind were following blind that day.
My dad gets the mic after the holy slam dancing ended and said: "Ahora, todos los varones, dancen para el Señor!" (Now all the men, dance for the Lord) "Todos los varones" (All the men) got up and rocked the dance floor. I saw a plethora of Central American dance moves! It was like Soul Train if it were filmed in El Salvador. My brother and I were stunned at some of these men’s dancing abilities. When the Spirit moves, it goes ABDC style sometimes.
All of a sudden the men formed a circle. I thought there was a break dancing battle going on. But no one was dancing. All the men were just standing there looking down at the floor. Since Jazz and I were the only real Americans there, we hurried to the circle to see what the commotion was all about. Once we got through the wall of sweaty Central Americans, we see a guy lying on the floor. He was unconscious.
Like I said, Jazz and I were the only Americans there so we did what is normal when someone is lying on the floor unconscious; we called 9-1-1. For some reason one of the Dancing with the "Estrellas" (stars) finalist decides to give the unconscious gentleman what looked like Salvadorian CPR. What I mean by this is the guy was attempting to give the guy CPR but was pushing in the wrong area. Instead of where the rib cage begins he was literally pounding on his chest! WWF, double axe handle style!! He did this while some others fanned the guy with paper plates yelling "Delen aire!". (Give him air) Are you serious! Apparently so.
The ambulance finally showed up and took the guy away. At this point Jazz and I were thinking, "That's it. Party's over" but my dad was thinking otherwise..."Que siga la fiesta!" (Party on!) And sure enough, the party continued to POP! An hour or so later, the news reached the still popping party that the guy had died. That officially killed the mood and the party was over. The party went from epic to somber instantly. The funeral was the following Monday. The Sunday after the funeral, my dad went to his church and spoke of the event he had held at the South Gate Auditorium. He said the party was a complete success. He also said the guy that died, didn't die in vain. That he was a "sacrifice".
The guy who died, was the same guy that brought the first aid kit. I think about the irony now. Did he somehow know he would be needing first aid that day? That ladder he climbed to work on the spaceship turned out to be his very own stairway to heaven. My dad had a dream just like MLK. Looks like those kinds of dreams are deadly. I can now say with full certainty that my dad throws a killer party.
My dad is like my very own Walter White. Ecuadorean Walter Blanco to be exact. He did anything he had to do to make this party happen. For the betterment of his family? Well more like for the wildness in his heart. But he had good intentions. Yeah sure, someone died but he was simply a sacrifice. A true villain knows the difference and my dad knew it.
I want to be the beta report villain.
Now I'm not telling this tale because I want to be the beta report villain. The show's format and topics and frequent use of the words "like" and "dog" are villain enough. I'm just saying if an anti-hero is needed, well that kind of treachery runs in my family. Give a ninja a chance is all.