Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Reruns: Common Idiosyncrasies

(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…. Nothing.”

“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.”


Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

We've been watching Arrested Development because my husband has never seen it. I think they could work bubble wrap into their family too.

Green Monkey said...

I'm going to have bubble wrap on my mind all day today. YES, its fun popping it and I've even fantasized about wearing it.

love your dialogue! it flows so well. I'm taking notes.

Martha Gates-Mawson said...

We received something wrapped in a big piece of bubble wrap. We laid it out on the floor and let my 17-month old granddaughter loose! You should have seen her face as she popped with every step. Pure unadulterated joy.

Lazarus said...

Katie, this post is Seinfeldian: About nothing significant, bubble wrap, but entertaining! Nice job...

Jayne Martin said...

I could totally see that scene in the show!

Sioux Roslawski said...

I remember one episode. Niles had a sweater knit from the chin hair of some yaks. Yes, he would be aghast if he had a fondness that was deemed pedestrian...

Lora said...

hahaha! love it :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant Katie! I can see that scene as clear as day haha! Bubble wrap popping is an inexplicable pleasure to be sure. Nothing quite so sad and useless as a sheet of bubble wrap that has been popped though don't you think?
The verification word I was just given was appropriately 'packeri'

Kristy said...

I don't really care about bubble wrap, but my son LOVES it. I like that he likes it. Keeps him occupied for a while!

Heidi-"Heidi in Real Life" said...

I adore Fraiser and can picture the whole scene. Anyone who can write a whole column about bubble wrap is o.k. with me. New follower! ;-)

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

hahahahahaha I could totally see them acting your dialogue!! you are a genious!! Why don't you write a pilot for a new show? My guilty pleasure dream is a show about Chandler and Monica (from Friends) as a witty-sarcastic-obsesive compulsive couple living a NY Subs life with kids and the eventual visitor from the City... they could DEFINITIVELY use your talent!!

ps- seriously, what is it about bubble wrap? even my 3 year old niece can't resist it!!