True Story™… African American Ninja Warrior


     For all of my discussion of how much I hate talking on the phone, there still remains a precious few people who I will actually call.  Usually it is because I know that person will be in a car and a text conversation will be disjointed as fuck or take longer than the time I have to deal with whatever needs to be discussed.  Or it is more business than can be conveyed via text.
Worry not, though…  I can still only be counted on to make one or two calls a week to people I know.  Otherwise, it will be a text message or one of a constant barrage of memes on Facebook between my bouts with the FB filters.

     So following last week’s kidnapping fiasco, I simply sat on my couch and spun through mid-afternoon on my lunch break instead of wandering outside back into danger.  Needless to say, I found this painfully boring.  When I get bored, I will either do something incredibly creative or something INCREDIBLY stupid.
I grabbed up my phone, turned the TV off and prayed the dogs kept their big mouths shut and I made a phone call to an old friend

“Old Friend”: “Hello?”

Me: “G’day old pal!”

“Old Friend”: “D-do I know you?”

Me: “Look, your phone number is not one of those ones people can just up and call.”

“Old Friend”: “Oh…  OH!  Yet you have managed to be allowed to do so for about a year here.”

Me: “You enjoy my nonsense.”

(now-identified) Exec: “You’re entertaining.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Exec: “So what idea that you came up with in your bathroom did-…”

Me: “… During my workout, actually.”

Exec: “Whatcha got this time?”

Me: “African American Ninja Warrior.”

Exec: “What the hell?”

Me: “Hear me out, here.”

Exec: “Begrudgingly…  GO ahead.”

Me: “Look, it is the EXACT same competition but as the name suggests, only with black folk.”

Exec: “Have you actually watched Ninja Warrior?”

Me: “All the time…  It’s what I am working out for; training if you will.”

Exec: “SERIOUSLY?!!?”

Me: “No, hell no…  Not at all.”

Exec: “Ha.  But in all seriousness.  The number of black contestants is low, like LOW-low--…”

Me: “So anyway…  African American Ninja Warrior.  The game and obstacles are almost all the same.”

Exec: “Then what is the point, or will this be another one of your stereotype menageries?”

Me: “The difference is what I might refer to as…  Um, ‘accoutrement’.”

Exec: “Huh?”

Me: “Police dogs barking
The sound of sirens being filtered into the arena over the crowd noise
‘baby mamas’ standing along the whole thing as a distraction
Parole officers with clipboards”

Exec: “Sir, there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with y--…”

Me: “A bunch of Chads and Karens screaming ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’
More Karens calling the cops because black folk are trying to make something of their lives
People wearing gang colors mad dogging the contestants as they ATTEMPT to complete the course.”

Exec: “So does anyone actually complete the course?”

Me: “Shit, very few people complete the damn thing as it is now.”

Exec: “Then--…”

Me: “The fun is in the backstory!”

Exec: “B-backstory?”

Me: “Yeah…  Like I told you last year, there is a million different stories in the hood.”

Exec: “I don’t think I want to ask.”

Me: “I’m sure you don’t.”

Exec: “So then what?”

Me: “Education?”

Exec: “Huh?”

Me: “Everything I named up there?  That’s shit people see in their daily lives.”

Exec: “And?”

Me: “I’ve reached the point in watching Ninja Warrior after 13 seasons that most people don’t win it all – even the season ‘winner’ has only finished it twice.”

Exec: “So, uhh…”

Me: “We’re selling the overcoming of adversity, at least to the point of ‘how did we get here?’”

Exec: “Well it seems you’ve invested some thought into this.”

Me: “Sure have!”

Exec: “But I got some bad news for you.”

Me: “Yes?”

Exec: “NBC owns American Ninja Warrior.”

Me: “And?”

Exec: “I don’t work for NBC.”

Me: “Shit.”

     Like that, I found myself having wasted half my lunch break on an idea that had zero chance of becoming anything at all in the first place.

I guess in the scheme of “incredibly creative vs. INCREDIBLY stupid,” I did both this time.


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