dan asks, “does this ever happen to you, happen to you, happen to you?”

When you have a job that requires writing approximately 6,000 words a day and you’ve been doing it with some level of consistency since October of 1999, you (if by you, you mean “me”) start to fall into some familiar patterns to get you (again, “me”) out of trouble just when you start to think you may have thought your last ever original thought. When in doubt, a recapper tends to retreat to a writing safety zone, something of the “fishcakes” or “shut up” or “or, not” variety, that saves him or her (or me) the extra mental strain of actually having to come up with a new end of a sentence. It’s been pointed out to me more than once that I return to a very odd safe space in a lot of my writing.

And now, an annotated bibliography of the skipping record inside of my head. Please find attached excerpts from nineteen — NINETEEN!!! — recaps I have written over the course of my not-at-all-short recapping career, all of which have one thing in common. See if you can figure out what!

Show: Oz
Airdate: 8/30/00
Excerpt: Back in Em City, Supreme “But Go Light on The Mayo, I’m Watching My Waistline” Allah approaches Mondo Brown and Ambiguously Angry Incarcerated Extra Number Four Billion and, somewhere midway through his congressional filibuster of the Oxford English Dictionary’s entry for “fuck” (“Fuckabilly”? “Fucktomotron”? Who even knew these variations existed? This show knew. Okay, no it didn’t. But he says it, like, a lot of times) tells the two in numerous parts of speech (pluperfect infinitive? I didn’t even know that tense existed in the English language) that they’re not moving enough drugs.

Show: Oz
Airdate: 8/16/00
Excerpt: Schillinger Sr. is sitting down to a meeting with Beecher’s lawyer and Keller is being released from the hole as we find ourselves back in Querns’s office. He speeches the two podmates and lovebirds (for a riveting congressional filibuster ripped straight from the pages of the OED on how that word came into being, stick around and all will be explained! Don’t, actually. I’ll probably be skipping right by it for a change) that they are not to touch each other ever again “in love or in war,” and tells Keller he is being transferred to another pod.

Show: Oz
Airdate: 8/2/00
Excerpt: Fade up on Augustus “Congressional Filibuster” Hill, using the cumulative store of words with which he has at one time or another become acquainted throughout a lifetime’s exposure to the English language, and manipulating the order of the entirety of said words to form a speech about the human inclination toward mercy.

Show: Push, Nevada
Airdate: 10/24/02
Excerpt: Pawn and Prufrock lapse into his Sorkin-esque walk-and-talk gait as we wind through the hallways in the catacombs of the Versailles, I’m Not Rapaport kicking it congressional filibuster style: “My organized crime task force tracks dirty money from the five biggest mob families on the east coast. About three years ago, we noticed huge amounts of cash being driven into this little town in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.”

Show: Push, Nevada
Airdate: 9/17/02
Excerpt: I can always return to my endless congressional filibuster about the manifold joys of Winslow, Arizona while you guys call that number and report back with findings.

Show: Roswell
Airdate: 11/20/00
Excerpt: Liz and Max sit on opposite ends of the room, as a teacher congressionally filibusters, “A black hole. That’s what’s left after a star dies. And that’s exactly what happened last week, my friends. The spectacular, stellar implosion of a Red Giant. Unheard of in the history of…” Zzzzzzzzzz.

Show: Roswell
Airdate: 10/2/00
Excerpt: And just like always happens to me after a lifetime of watching one riveting congressional filibuster after another, a large, dorky patron of the Crashdown recognizes Pierce and proclaims him to be “that guy from TV…that crazy FBI guy.”

Show: Roswell
Airdate: 2/16/00
Excerpt: She’s ranting about a totally unrelated non-plot point for the better part of the episode, indicating that it is indeed Congressional Filibuster Hour inside of Liz Parker’s brain once more.

Show: Roswell
Airdate: 12/1/99
Excerpt: Why not just throw in a lengthy congressional filibuster on C-SPAN and an accountant very slowing explaining the process of doing my taxes and make this scene into a compendium of the most boring visceral experiences known to the human imagination?

Show: Skin
Airdate: 11/3/03
Excerpt: She tells him that she’s given the whole “porn lasts forever” congressional filibuster from last week some serious thought, but that she still wants someone to make her oven hot for a living.

Show: The Bachelor
Airdate: 5/18/03
Excerpt: Inside, Kirsten’s congressional filibuster continues with nary a breath, as she prattles, “Probably one of the most important things about making a relationship with Andrew and I work is the fact that I need to be where he is I couldn’t be long-distance I think that’s important like I wanna have my life and where I’m going but also at the same time I think he would make it so much better and so much happier.”

Show: The Bachelor
Airdate: 4/2/03
Excerpt: I’m not sure which is right, but if I’m right, it makes her congressional filibuster on the merits of having somebody there for the “last call of the day” sound kind of invalid.

Show: The Bachelor
Airdate: 1/8/03
Excerpt: Not to mention the fact that it sounds from Chris’s congressional filibuster like people started to send in these aforementioned “applications” back when Trista’s heart was broken by the first bachelor, which was, like, two years ago.

Show: The Real World
Airdate: 10/22/02
Excerpt: Basically, I just strung together all of the disparate bits of Alton’s congressional filibuster until I could create one cohesive thought.

Show: The Real World
Airdate: 1997
Excerpt: For my recapping dollar, they may as well have just aired a still photograph of Strom Thurmond reading out of a cookbook during the middling moments of a C-SPAN congressional filibuster for twenty-two TV minutes.

Show: The Real World
Airdate: 1997
Excerpt: Elka willfully attempts to answer the question, “If love is thinking about someone all the time…” before Jason gives new meaning to the words “rhetorical” and “why did you even bother to show up?” with his continuing congressional filibuster, “Like let them in, to the softest part of you, man? That could…they could hurt you? It’s the scariest damn thing that I’ve ever had in my whole life.”

Show: The Real World
Airdate: 1997
Excerpt: Anyway, back at the firehouse, Montana reads Kameelah’s exhaustive list of “two hundred things a man needs to be to date Kameelah,” congressional filibuster style, to the attending housemates (everyone but Syrus).

Show: The West Wing
Airdate: 2/26/03
Excerpt: Toby paces and paces — he must be looking for his tie — informing the other conversational party that he’s happy to lend Sam whatever help he needs for the last week of his campaign, ending off his rapidly expanding congressional filibuster: “By the way, you know what they don’t tell you? You can post bond with a credit card.”

Show: Mondo Extra
Airdate: 11/15/00
Excerpt: Drowned out momentarily by the deafening roar of Roget spinning in his grave, I rejoined this congressional filibuster in progress to find Jerry Slimefeld smack in the middle of his riff on the Florida recounts: “What? A bunch of crusty old people will decide the next president? But they’re so…old!”

Coming up: similar exercises using other such Blau brain buzzwords and phrases including “Massapequa” and “Dumont Network,” “Dippity-Do,” and, not to mention, its hilarious cousin, “Dippity-Don’t.”