Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sam Does Television

I want a dog to commute with me. I would call him Colonel, and we would solve crime. Fiction below the fold; not much to say except it is the natural conclusion to Sam's skills combined with making television. Here's the table of contents; I'm surprised I'm getting as much out of this as I am, to be honest. I though this would just be a single gag, then transition to the end of the fiasco and hear it described. But, actually watching as Sam and Tanya do the show turns out to be amusing enough for me to write that I'll subject you all to it. Also: Some major errors were missed in the last Sam section; it has been updated to read more smoothly.

* * *

Knives are a weird thing to sell to people. Sort of like guns, I guess. Really, any item that can turn into a weapon at the drop of a hat. At least, if I were selling it in person. There’s always sort of a subtle threat in the air, I feel. Like, ‘Buy this sharp instrument of death from me, or else.’ What I’m trying to say is no one was ever intimidated into buying encyclopedias.

“Welcome back; I’m your host Tanya.”

“And I’m filling in for Jon,” I said. Tanya looked at raised an eyebrow. “Oh, and my name is Sam. I thought that’s why they had the little bars with our names on the screen.”

“Isn’t he adorable folks? Tonight, one of our suppliers has a great deal for you on these steel-forged Keinlin kitchen knives,” Tanya said, as she motioned towards the block filled with knives. The handles were set in a deep black color, which really just made them seem the more menacing. When she pulled the first knife out of the block, it sang like Excalibur.

At least, that’s what I’d say if I were describing the scene to a police homicide reporter.

“What makes these knives so special you ask,” I said. “Well, they’re here and you can buy them.”

You could sort of hear the rest of the studio get tense. The guy from Keinlin was just a bit off to the side, waiting for us to walk over to him, and I think his skin got a shade or two paler.

“That is pretty special, Sam, but I think our audience wants to know what makes these knives the best on the market,” Tanya said, with a nervous tittering in her voice. “And for that, let’s go see Keinlin Knife Specialist, Trevor.”

Trevor had regained his composure by the time we shook hands; Tanya was still holding the knife in her free hand, though there was another block of the knives here with Trevor. These had pearl handles; a kind of nice dichotomy, which was Kenny’s word of the day a few weeks ago.

“I’m glad to be here Tanya,” Trevor said. “You asked what makes these knives so special—”

“To be technical, I posited that other people were asking that,” I said.

Tanya smiled to the camera, I tried to as well. “So, why are these knives so special?”

“These knives are hand-crafted using the finest steel available,” Trevor said, as he drew one of the pearly handed knives for the camera. “They are guaranteed never to dull after 10 years of use—”

“To clarify for our audience: Do you mean normal use after 10 years, or do you mean if I were to take a knife and do nothing but chop with it for 10 years, like, say, sawing through a dinosaur bone?”

Tanya cut in again: “Oh, don’t tease the poor man Sam. That’s an answer that our audience can get by calling in to the number on the screen and asking to speak with our warranty claims specialists.”

I apologized: “Quite right Tanya, now then, Trevor – can I call you Trev? No, OK. Trev… or, there are a lot of knives on the market that stay sharp. What can yours do that others can’t?”

Trevor began explaining the complex process of forging the steel used in the knives, as he drew each one for the camera, laying them out in an intricate pattern. Paring knives, meat cleavers, steak knives — the works.

“Trevor, I don’t mean to pester you, I really don’t,” I said. “But, looking pretty isn’t why people buy knives.”

“Some of the finest chefs in the industry use Keinlin,” Trevor said.

“Why?”

“They’re hard, long-lasting and—”

“And women love them?” I asked.

“Actually, I do like the feel of the knife in my hand. It has an ergonomic grip that keeps it from slipping out,” Tanya said; through the light I could see Lucy trying to hide behind her clipboard. “It helps keep the blade nice and rigid. What’s the grip made out of?”

He stumbled a bit, and then dove into a technical answer that I don’t think anyone cared for as much as Tanya idly tossing the knife between her hands. “Sam, here, tell me what you think of the knife’s grip.”

She tossed me the knife, and I caught it out of the air. “Don’t do that at home kids. And go to bed if you’re awake,” Tanya said as Trevor gasped.

“Yeah, I see what you mean,” I said as I rubbed the knife handle and ran a finger along the flat. “The thing isn’t too rigid but still nice and hard. Trevor, tell me, your wife use these at home?”

“I actually do most of the cooking, and yes, I use Keinlin,” He said. I placed the knife back down on the table, gingerly. “Now, how about that demonstration?”

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