Jerry Springer. One of television’s most beloved television icons. This classy television program was full of extraordinarily good acting, writing and directing. At least I would say that, if it wasn’t real life. And maybe it is. I’m not sure who was pulling the strings behind the original Jerry Springer pilot episode, but it was drastically different to how the show eventually became.
I was an intern working for Tristar Entertainment, the company originally set up to produce the Jerry Springer program. While I didn’t actually work on this episode, my contract was terminated abruptly for something as ridiculous as…stealing pens. I know, they’re just pens, right? That’s what I thought. But they weren’t pens at all.
I had smuggled the VHS in my backpack that I normally took to work so that I could bring submarine sandwiches to my fellow employees. While the submarine sandwich did not fully accommodate my backpack, I managed to cut it into sections and fold it criss cross into the backpack. But today I left one six inch, salami sub sitting by the window sill, replacing it with a VHS. The VHS was plain with no label, and “Jerry” scrawled in felt tip pen on the cover. One may even suspect it was scrawled with the very same felt tip pens I had been stealing.
I had no choice but to watch the VHS, I mean, there was just something suspicious about it. For one thing, the set is much darker, and the host, affable Jerry Springer, was angrier and somewhat more disconcerned looking. I’d say he was disheveled, but my Miriam Webster dictionary is propping up the chair leg of my ottoman, and I’m not sure what that means.
It was weird, I had a dream about this happening, and so did you. Instead of chanting “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!” the audience was chanting “Hairy! Hairy! Hairy!” I then noticed that the entire studio audience, including the men, women, and children…were bald. I know what you’re thinking already. They allowed bald people to watch the Jerry Springer program? And children, for that matter?
Jerry Springer walked out wearing an expensive, lengthy wig, and took it off, smiling. Now, usually, there would be a caption at the bottom of the screen, describing what the episode was supposed to be. But this one said “I’ve been stealing pens and I know it!” Strange, since I had in fact been stealing pens. Coincidences like this don’t usually happen, and I found it suspicious, but since no laws had been broken or threats made, I continued watching.
Jerry spoke. “My guests today say they’re tired of having skin and they aren’t going to put up with it anymore! Please welcome a hooker with a gimp leg, a three eyed midget, an infant that speaks fluent Spanish, two clowns with siphylis, a sasquatch, a man who actually thinks he’s the incredible hulk, a transvestite with a Jerry curl and three elongated penises, 16 mulattos with rabies, an adolf hitler impersonater who looks suspiciously like actual hitler, a man who claims he’s the real George Jetson, and some asshole who’s been stealing my pens.
The camera zoomed deep into Jerry’s face with that last line. “Oh wait, it looks like the last guest isn’t here…” He started to eat one of the company sandwiches, which was moldy and looked like it had been sitting by a windowsill.
The oddball ragtag team of people walked out, and so did several others, including several disabled strippers, a toothless man in a Harry Potter outfit and a man in a Chuck E. Cheese costume that was on fire. He immediately stopped, dropped and rolled, but that only served to further spread the flames and he presumably died offcam.
“My guests today say they’re tired of skin getting in the way of their spiritual transcendence!” Jerry yelled. He picked up a shard of glass that had been laying on the floor. “The world is a dirty genetic cesspool and we must carve ourselves of it to further the purification of the species!” Well, that was an odd thing to say. A man in a gingerbread outfit started rambling about attacks on the world trade center, and I considered shutting the VHS tape off because it was starting to scare me.
“I’m a well paid hoe!” The sasquatch screamed. “Hairy! Hairy! Hairy!” A football player came out drinking mountain dew and eating a mcflurry. “USA! USA! USA!” They chanted. Someone picked up a chair and broke it on one of the hookers, who fell down and broke apart revealing that was actually three midget hookers in a costume. Something strange was going on, and I was beginning to get the creeps.
Jerry handed shards of glass to the various people onstage. “All of the pain in our lives…isn’t psychological, mental, or material. It is physical. The solution is obvious.” He went up to one of the clowns and dragged the shard of glass against the back of his neck, severing the nerve roots in the spinal cord. The clown immediately smiled, yelled “you a hood rat!” and slowly collapsed on the floor, urinating on himself as pens fell out of his pocket.
Strange. I had seen Jerry get pretty “iffy” with guests, but he had never performed assisted suicide on any of them. “Come, my children, let us collect the broken pieces of our human experience and reach transcendence, rise above the garbage, filth and disease of our naturalistic human expressions. Together, we can become a singular body, one that is not reliant on the host because it is both the host and parasite.” I had no idea what he was talking about. The remaining people on stage, a mish mash of rednecks and people who haven’t gotten their GED began skinning their own bodies and laying in a pile. Once about twenty of them had collected in a pile, someone threw a chair at the skinless corpses. “Rise, my crystal phoenix!” Jerry screamed, but nothing happened. He paused, and immediately invited another guest into the room. It was a man who was in love with a prostitute that turned out to be a man. The man stepped over the blood and corpses and began to talk, but the gore was too highly realistic and the Subway I had eating earlier wasn’t agreeing with me. Just as my gag reflex kicked in, Jerry’s did as well, and we began to gag and puke together.
The film immediately clipped and cut off, and when it came back everything was gone. “And now for my final thought.” Jerry began. “Pens are a useful thing indeed. While a pen costs at best 20 cents, providing a pen is a benefit from the employer to the employee. It is important not to abuse this privilege, as pens are a hot commodity in the corporate world. How else would we write things? But those that steal pens are abusing a very, very polite workplace policy. Until next time, take care of yourselves, and each other.” Demonic horns began to grow out of the top of his head as I shut the tape off. I had no desire to watch the rest.
Honestly, I couldn’t tell what that was about. I’ve always been a nice guy and seeing a haunted tape from my place of employment concerned me. It was then that my doorbell rang. Well, I’m sure you know who it was. My boss, Jerry springer, and he was holding a chair. I ignore It, truthfully I had never met the guy and I didn’t know if we were on good terms. He kept ringing the doorbell. I got out some playdough and put it in my ears so I wouldn’t have to hear the horrible ringing, but it didn’t help much. He started ringing consistently for twenty minutes straight, not taking a second to pause. The doorbell broke, and it started to sound like demonic Mexican jalopy. But this jalopy wasn’t selling ice cream, chalupas or juevos rancheros. This jalopy was selling something else.
I eventually removed the playdough from my ears, being careful not to dislocate my eardrum, and opened the door. Jerry just stood there, angrily. I had never met him, and wasn’t even sure if he knew who I was. Oh, but he knew who I was. He held the chair up. I froze like a deer in the headlights. “Please don’t do this, Jerry.” I said. “That attire isn’t workplace appropriate.” He declared. “I’m not at work.” I said politely. “YOU’RE AT A JOB CALLED EARTH, AND YOUR EMPLOYER IS GOD!” He yelled, and struck me with the chair. The chair slammed violently into my solar plexus, knocking the wind out of me.
I felt blood pouring from my nostrils as Jerry Springer rooted through my pantry, opened the drawers, and confiscated hundreds of pens. The jig was up. I started to cry as I felt blood trickle into my mouth. “And now for my final thought.” He said, and stomped into my head with his Italian leather boots, knocking out my teeth and forcing me to swallow them as I blacked out.
I woke up in the hospital. My head was shaved, my testicles had been removed, and my missing teeth had been replaced with candy corn. They were performing brain surgery on me. I wasn’t sure why, there wasn’t anything wrong with my brain. Oh, but now there was. Do you ever wonder where they get the guests on Jerry Springer? The surgeon twisted a scalpel into my frontal lobe, inserted a pen, and removed about a third of my cerebellum. Cerbellum. Cerbum. Sbarbfum.
Al aph fruth morg foth. I can only write this for a few minutes of disparate sleepwalking. My name is Cletus Redfield, and I am from Minessota. I suspect my girlfriend may be a man or half horse. They powdered my nose and the audience chanted as I walked out. The wig and overalls they gave me were quite comfortable. I think everything is going to be alright from now on.