By A. Jarrell Hayes

Pat and his friend Eric sit in front of the TV, watching one of the syndicated reruns that airs nightly. “Ah, I remember this episode,” says Pat. “Title: ‘A Fish Called Selma;’ first aired March 1996. It has scenes from Planet of the Apes: The Musical.”

Eric looks at Pat, flabbergasted. “They made a musical of Planet of the Apes?”

“Boy are you naïve. It’s only a spoof of what a Planet of the Apes musical — starring Troy McClure — would possibly look like. This is also the episode when Troy marries Selma to resurrect his career and save his image.” Pat glares uninterestedly at the screen and rolls his eyes. “I’ve seen this episode a thousand times.”

“You always say that.”

“It’s true,” he says while crunching on cheese puffs. “Best. Episode. Ever.”

The show goes off and Pat and Eric stare as the local news comes on. The remote rests on the coffee table. Both men wait for the other to reach for the remote and change the channel. Neither one makes the move.

As the attractive weather woman prognosticates, Eric turns to his friend. “I thought you said that was the best episode ever. How come you didn’t laugh? Not even a chuckle.”

“It wasn’t funny anymore. Like I said, I’ve seen the episode a thousand times.”

“You’re an idiot.”

Pat shrugs. “The writers are idiots; they’ve been having the same misadventures for the past twenty years. The show is getting stale. It’s like microwaving fast food fries; it just doesn’t taste good the second time around.”

Eric pops a cheese puff into his mouth. He chews pensively as the news anchors discuss the chances of a local college sports team in the upcoming tournament. “If you feel that strongly about it, why don’t you send the show an e-mail?”

“Meh,” says Patrick as he shrugs apishly. “I don’t have enough time, besides it isn’t that important.” He scratches his groin. “Pass the cheese puffs, will ya.”