(original post-date: January 27, 2010)
What is it about bubble wrap?
I mean, really. What’s the deal? Why is it that we all want to pop it? What is the weird thrill we get from that routine?
I can’t figure it out.
Sure, it’s kinda gratifying to hear the sound. That POP. And maybe there’s something about de-activating each bubble so it will never pop again. But… seriously: what’s the deal?
Has there been a study? I wonder. And wouldn’t it be cool, by the way, if the National Institutes of Health actually put out grant money to find out why we all like to pop bubble wrap? If that ever happened (if the NIH actually invested in the research), I’d take it as a good sign. I’d take it to mean that the national economy had bounced back and there was finally peace in the Middle East.
… It’s been a long time since I thought about writing for television. It's also been a while since Frasier was part of the prime-time line-up. But I had this great idea once…
What if Niles Crane (Frasier’s brother, in case you lost your cliff notes) discovered bubble wrap… And: what if he had no idea that other people liked it, too.
Think of it: Niles Crane with bubble wrap.
Niles Crane not knowing of the common idiosyncrasy.
Can you imagine?
I envision him with a small square of bubble wrap in the side pocket of his newly dry-cleaned Armani blazer.
I see him entering Café Nervosa and becoming quickly giddy after surreptitiously putting his hand in his pocket and doing a quick POP.
“Ooh!” he says, cutting himself short.
Later that same day…
I see him moving about furtively in the kitchen of Frasier’s condo. Daphne is there, and because it’s the 5th season, Niles’ crush is obvious to everyone but her. So, there they are, “doing the dance,” and for whatever reason, Niles’ jacket pocket hits the center island every so often.
“Niles!” Daphne says, responding to the sound, her tone vaguely flirtatious.
“What am I hearing?” she asks then, her smile charming.
Daphne gets that knowing look on her face.
(She’s psychic, you know.)
“Is that… bubble wrap?” she asks, raising her eyebrows seductively.
“What are you talking about?” Niles replies, his face white.
“What’s in your pocket?”
“Oh!” Daphne says, scolding him in the way he craves. “Don’t say nothing! There’s something there! I think it’s bubble wrap!”
“Bubble wrap?” Niles repeats, his eyes melting (his brain genuinely not comprehending the common popularity of bubble wrap).
“Cough it up now!” she insists.
Daphne then meets Niles’ hand as they extract, together, the small square from his pocket.
“Bubble wrap!” Daphne exclaims. “It’s so much fun to pop it!”
“Yes,” says Niles, looking lovingly at her as they pop some bubbles together.
“Yes,” he says. “It is.”