I’m not much in the habit of picking up random bus garbage. If you’ve ridden for any length of time, you’ve come to accept that there will be the occasional piece of interesting-looking junk at your feet – a newspaper from a distant land (Tualatin! Astoria!), a bank receipt, maybe even a letter dropped by a lovelorn middle schooler. Sure, it’s tempting from time to time, but I tend to leave transit garbage alone. The five-second rule does not apply on the bus, unless it’s “spend at least five seconds disinfecting everything that has touched the floor of the bus.”
With that in mind, I’m not sure why I picked the folder up off the floor of my westbound 57 the other day. Maybe I was bored. Maybe I felt impervious to the ravages of whatever bacterial denizens were lurking within the confines of the glossy covers. I think it was just curiosity – I used to be in TV, and this thing looked a lot like a press kit. Maybe I could kill a little time checking it out.
I grabbed the folder off the floor, and… Well, why don’t I just share it with you?
Page One – cover sheet. NBC peacock logo prominently displayed. “NBC TRIMET TEST PACKET. NOT FOR RELEASE. EMBARGO UNTIL 4/15/12”
Hmmm. This does look kind of interesting. Each page appears to be a different TV show. The first is for a sitcom, with an enthusiastic-looking woman in business wear:
– “Follow the mile-a-minute laugh-and-love life of a TriMet PR chief. She may not communicate much, but when she does, people listen!” Scrawled under this blurb, in hasty red pen: “TRIMET UNWILLING TO RELEASE INFORMATION ABOUT MARY FETSCH. CLASSIFIED ON A NEED TO KNOW BASIS.”
Ironic!, I thought. No PR about the PR lady! I mean, I did recall Ms. Fetsch playing things a little close to the vest from time to time, but.. ah well. Let’s see what’s on the next page!
MARY FETSCH TALK SHOW
– “A five-minute blast of information from TriMet’s sassiest talker!”
This one was crossed out with a thick red pen. No other information was provided;
– “Everyday people are placed on a TriMet bus and given instructions regarding their destination. Tensions mount as a single mom from another country tries to guide her stroller-dependent toddler from Beaverton to Hillsboro.”
Wait, I thought. I think they’ve tried this one already.
– “Starring singing sensation CeeLo Green. Hot on the heels of “The Voice,” “THE BUTT” takes the search for great singers and changes it up to attract transit geeks. Every week, THE BUTT searches for someone, anyone, who can fit into the front row of seats on the Type IV MAX car. Part American Idol, part Cinderalla, THE BUTT will captivate audiences of all ages.”
Written in thick red pen: “CEELO IS LAST YEAR. CAN WE GET THAT GUY FROM NINE INCH NAILS?”
TRIMET REHAB WITH DR DREW
– “Ubiquitous psychology guy Dr. Drew takes his special brand of pop-psych platitudes to the people. Armed with a monthly pass, cool eyebrows, and a heart bigger than a crosstown #12, Dr. Drew saves tweakers, drunks, and street people of unknown origin, week after week. His motto, “What long-term follow-up?” is in full effect on the streets of Portland. Local riders will be thrilled to see that guy that used to drool on himself on the 6 AM Blue Line, now drooling on someone else. Hey, progress is progress.”
In red pen: DREW IS BOOKED. CAN CEELO DO THIS?”
I put the folder down at this point, saddened by what I’d seen and struck with the knowledge that Portlandia is still going to be as close to a documentary as Portland is going to get. I’ll watch Grimm this week and wonder how it would have been if they’d thrown in a bus ride or two.
At least there was no mention of Timothy Hutton.