Slideshow Bob

By Miles Leicher

 If you caught the show last Friday, you probably witnessed this:

Keith Olbermann and Bill Maher unsuccessfully trying to talk some sense into “Bob Sprayman,” a systems analyst from Irvine, California and an ignorant slut. It’s not Bob’s fault that he doesn’t know jack; he’s just trapped inside a bubble that is impenetrable by facts or reason. And he’s not alone. In fact, it’s a condition suffered by millions of Americans nationwide – especially in most Southern and Midwestern states*.

We were lamenting this fact in the writers’ room last week, when a light bulb went on over Bill Maher’s head. “What if,” he asked, “we put an actual person in an actual bubble – and try to reason with them?” The ensuing laughter set the ball rolling, so to speak.

Procuring the sphere itself was no easy task, especially since the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a “Consumer Alert” for said balls earlier this year. Apparently, the CPSC “does not know of any safe way to use this product” and warned of several dangers including “unresponsiveness.” Luckily, that’s exactly what we were looking for! And after searching everywhere from California to China (they had plenty…surprise, surprise), we purchased a ball right here in the US of A from some nice folks who were willing to let us exercise our right to kill ourselves. And by “ourselves,” I mean one of our writers, Adam Felber. Ron Paul would be so proud.



Based on the television broadcast and the previous slideshow, it would appear that everything went according to plan. Not so. Immediately following the credit roll, the unthinkable happened: Adam Felber refused to come out of the bubble. You see, in order to make the balls safer, they started making them with the zipper inside, which is a great idea until you have someone go rogue on you.

Adam insists that it’s “actually kind of nice” inside the bubble, where he “gets along great with everyone around him” and is “really into the Muzak scene.” And when we try to tell him that the levels of carbon dioxide in his miniature atmosphere are rising, which will lessen the ability of the ball to release heat and combine with other, er, gases, to create an unsafe environment, he just accuses us of perpetrating a hoax! Why would we lie to him? He’s a great writer! But if he insists that it’s his God-given right to be all sweaty and twitchy, who are we to stop him? Right, Ron Paul?

And so it goes, on cable television and at our in-laws’ house, with one person sitting there and smiling like an idiot while the other beats on his bubble with a shoe. I swear, we’re – this – close to just flinging poop at each other. And when that happens, I’m getting myself a bubble.

*Okay, full disclosure: we made some of that up. There is no “Bob Sprayman.” But the rest is true.