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Random Acts of Badness: My Story

Random Acts of Badness: My Story - Danny Bonaduce (Brian gets in the GR confessional booth)Brian: Forgive me, Goodreads, for I have sinned…GR: (Irish accent) What is it, Child? Brian: It happened about a week ago. A real wild night. I don’t even remember most of it. My wife and I were cleaning out some old boxes of junk… (pause)I’m sorry, this is hard for me…GR: You can tell me anything, Brian.Brian: Well, there was all this old junk, and old clothes, and old… books. Some of them - I swear it- I’ve never seen them before in my life. I really don’t know where they came from…GR: Go on…Brian: Well, you know how it is… I’ve always been a good reviewer, reading about monetary policy and ancient Rome and civil liberties all the time. (wide eyed, as if channelling Dorothy from "Wizard of Oz")...But these books weren’t like that at all, GoodReads! There was some crazy stuff in there. I think I even saw a book by Paris Hilton, but I can’t be sure. (long silence with Brian staring at the floor) GR: Paris Hilton. (short pause) You’re not the first reader to experience these temptations, my Son.Brian: I guess I was just curious. (voice cracks) I knew it wasn’t right, but I couldn’t help myself..(more silence)GR: What happened next?Brian: Oh, GoodReads! It was a blur! I was leafing through National Geographics from 1965 one minute, perusing some natural history tome the next, then moving on to some compendium of Kazenjammer Kids cartoons… and then I spotted Danny Bonaduce’s biography in an old aquarium, along with some Christmas tree lights, an old cake pan...the kind where the bottom comes out (GR nods, understanding) and some scattered Legos. I thought to myself (distant, reliving the memory) “That’s really funny. Where did that come from?”GR: Danny Bonaduce?Brian: (snaps back to attention) He was a child star from the 70’s. Now he's kind of a cross between Howard Stern and Carrot Top.GR: Jesus Christ, Brian…(long silence, Brian fighting to keep back tears)GR: (softly) There was alcohol down there in that basement too, wasn’t there?Brian: There was, GoodReads. There was… (stares off into space for a few seconds, engrossed in memory)GR: And what else?Brian: I don’t know what else. I swear. (voice cracking)The next thing I remember was waking up on the living room chair (sniff…)at 7 am. (sniff…)...with the Bonaduce book on the floor… (sniff…)...opened to just five pages from the very end! (breaks down sobbing hands covering his face)(more sobbing)GR: There, there…Brian: (hands still over face) It was horrible!… there were all these weird anecdotes about the Partridge Family, driving that crappy bus around some Hollywood lot with David Cassidy. (sobbing now head down into folded arms resting on the table)(lifts head up, and gestures meaningfully with his hand) DAVID CASSIDY!(returns to sobbing) GR: (softly, solemnly) I know.... I know.Brian:(sitting upright now, but still choked up) ...He got kicked out of Sea World for teasing the killer whale...(sniff)(more controlled now)...He had a bad drug problem, of course...GR: (solemnly) Of course.Brian: He got arrested for driving his Rolls Royce 120 mph… (sniff)(pausing, unsure whether he should proceed)He...He snuck into a club and started talking to Mick Jagger as if he knew him...(sob)GR: Yes...(?)Brian: And Mick Jagger...(sniff) ...recognized him from TV... (sniff)(silence… fighting tears)...so he thought they had met before... (voice cracking)(more fighting tears)...but they never had. Bonaduce was just messing with him!(breaks down in all-out sobbing)OH MY GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE?!? (long sob)GR: Let it all out...(long sobbing, eventually winding down)Listen, Brian. I think you’ve learned a valuable lesson here.Brian: I have! I have!GR: You should never clean the basement. (smiling) That’s chick work. Make your wife do it.Brian: (lifts his head, wipes away a tear and smiles) (sniff) Exactly! I knew I could come to you!(comedic pause, they make eye contact, and join in together in soft suppressed laughter for a few seconds)GR: (chuckling softly, shaking his head side-to-side and whispering) She’d kill you, hahah…Brian: (raising his index finger to his pursed lips, then whispering) Shhhhhh! She’s right outside! Hahahaha…(a few more suppressed chuckles)GR: (his tone clearly back-to-business) Well, as penance, I want you to read Shelly’s Men of England.Brian: (straightening out, startled) Shelly? (in a pleading tone) It was just one book! (thinks for a second)(voice now resolute) No. Fuck that. I’m not reading Shelly.GR: (genuinely indignant) WHAT?!? Get out of here, you little punk!(Brian leaves)(ten seconds go by, followed by a very soft knock)(Brian pokes his head in slowly)Brian: (in a soft, apologetic tone) Uh...Goodreads?GR: (annoyed, distracted, reading something, GR doesn't look up) What is it?Brian: What’s the square root of 1729 ?GR: (distracted with reading, still doesn't look up) 41.581245772583. Why?(thinks for a second, then raises head in alarm)Brian: (smiling) Aaaaaaaaah!! (sing-song) Turing's Test failure!! Gotcha! Ha-haaaaaaaaaaaa...GR: (in the exasperated style of Col. Klink, pointing at the door) OUT!(zany piano music, followed by curtain fall)