Loud rumble overhead; the planes are taking off over the house tonight. . That was quite possibly the flight my wife was on. She’s been doing contract work for a firm, and they got hit with a document dump – so she’s off to another town for three days of peering over blurry photocopies in a windowless room. Such is the life of a lawyer. I wonder what people who watched “The Practice” or other such shows in high school will think a few years hence when they find themselves admitted to the bar – hey, where’s the smoldering hunky lawyers, the brilliant glib lawyers with a passionate sense of justice, the slinky stick-thin lawyers who sleep with every partner AND client AND the opposing counsel? What is this? And how come nothing has that dim, sultry, flattering light all the TV law offices have? And why am I at my desk at 10 PM singing a lullaby over to the phone to my child while eating microwaved Chinese? How did this happen?

Went to Target with Gnat today, and got some things for Mommy’s trip. A book. A small container of chocolates for the plane. Also some Lysol pressure-driven toilet bowl cleaners. Ingenious devices: there’s a cylinder of disinfectant. Fits into a plastic sleeve. The pressure makes the brush spin when the button’s depressed. It took a while to put the first one together; the instructions asked me to “remove the cap” on the cylinder. There was no cap. There was a four-pronged plastic hat, but I wouldn’t call it a cap. I put it into the plastic sleeve and gave it a gentle push to see if it fit, and whoa: they’re not kidding about contents under pressure. We’re talking 16-year old boy in the Playboy mansion grotto. Wiped the table, the floor, the chairs, the wall, and contined. Once assembled the device seemed to work fine. Opened the second box. There was a piece of paper taped to the items: “There is no cap. Ignore step #2.” Thanks.

Made supper, which was pathetic. BBQ and fries for all, but just a stupid cup of BBQ with cheese for me. (Peanuts for dessert!) (Again!) Off to the airport, farewell, home. First thing I see on the shelf by the back door: the small container of chocolates for the plane. Did she also forget the Lunchables? Yes! We are 4 for 4! Every time we take a trip I buy Lunchables, because they cost $42.99 at the airport. And every trip I forget them. They never get eaten. I wonder what percentage of Lunchables spend their life that way, carted around the nation in trucks, then cars, then garbage trucks, their clammy composite meats never exposed to air again.

Anyway. Post-bath, it’s reading time. Gnat gets the books from the tottering stack of library loans. She hands me one.

Reedis wun. I look; I groan.

Star Wars Episode 1: Jar Jar’s Mistake.

There’s a logo in the corner: Jedi Readers. Crossed light sabers.

Oh no. Ohhh, no. But she insists. I read: Page one. Picture of Jar Jar in your average scum & villany Tatooine town.

This is Jar Jar Binks.

Jar Jar is hungry.

He goes to the market

To find food.

Eventually he finds frogs for sale, which is good because Gungans love frogs. But of course so do children, which is why the sight of dead frogs hanging from ropes might be unnerving. Anyway, Jar Jar eats one. The frog seller says he has to pay for it; Jar Jar promptly vomits out the frog, which bounces all over and lands in Sebulba’s soup. You all remember Sebulba. (That’s Tatooine for “scrotal cyst,” I think.) Sebulba pushes Jar Jar down, and Jar Jar is scared! Note: Jar Jar hasn’t had a word of dialogue, nor will he. None of this meesa gonna yowza boss nazz is de nizzle shizzle minstrel talk. Jar Jar closes his eyes, because he does not want to see Sebulba punch him.

“Stop!” someone says.

It is Anakin Skywalker!

“Do not hurt Jar Jar,” says Anakin. “Jar Jar is a friend of the Hutts.”

The Hutts are bigger and meaner than Sebulba.

Now Sebulba is afraid.

WTF? What is this? It’s bad enough that Lucas invented Jar Jar in the first place; it’s bad enough that they made childrens’ books with him, but Anakin is DARTH FRICKIN’ VADER. To have him show up and dispatch the bully by suggesting that Jar Jar has mob connections is so totally farged I can’t even begin to untangle the moral idiocy of the story. Boil it down: young Damien from “The Omen” saves Rastus McWebfoot from a beating by claiming that the Corleones have his back.

“Be less afraid,” Anakin says to Jar Jar. “Bullies pick on those who are afraid.”

Yes, we know. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering, suffering leads to agony, agony leads to Episode Three, Episode Three leads to 3 million overgrown fanboys weeping in their parents’ basements as they recall the day they first put their Luke Skywalker doll on top of a Barbie wrapped in Kleenex with purple LifeSavers glued to her temples. All that innocent innocence, ruined!

Gnat was bored: that’s my girl. That’s my girl.

Tomorrow: my triumphant return to national talk radio! For three hours, anyway. See you Friday.

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