I feel like Rip Van Winkle.
I got fed up setting the DVR to record every episode of Storage Wars and then having to wade neck-deep through re-runs.
By that I only mean that I grew weary of having to delete episodes from "My Playlist": the plight and plaint of the 21st-Century man.
Nevertheless I tuned in to a recent episode and Dave is gone and there's some plantpot named JEFF in his stead. I saw JEFF and I naturally thought, "What the funk---?"
Then I thought, "Have they made an unpopular transplant from Storage Wars Texas, that show that literally nobody watches? This guy has all the personality of a character off Storage Wars Texas -- or Duck Dynasty."
Dave is -- peculiarly -- reduced to "live tweeting" his infantile comments at the bottom of the screen (gems like "I would of bidded more for that locker. I would of. I would of won it.")
The camera seems to really love "Jeff." It's odd because he can't be accused of exuding charisma. In fact what he seems to exude is the power to make his audience want to die.
I looked online to try to dig up information on this strange situation, but of course if you want information the last place you should go to is that notorious, scurrilous House of Lies THE INTERNET. You should go to the library. Go to your local library and get out some dusty old bibliographies. Blow the dust off the old Dewey Index drawers and get elbow deep in it. Blow the dust in the librarian's face. Do the research damn you. Get out the microfiches for goodness' sake. Get the New York Times Index drat you or Who's Who 2012 and look up "FAT JEFF from Storage Wars."
Is he in there.
No he's not in there.
Jeff's not even in the phone book.
Reason is he lives out of a car.
So maybe some information ("information about such people as JEFF") is post-library, or that should be sub-library.
I looked up the sitch online, anyway, and what I learnt is that the consensus among the Storage Wars fans it seems is that Jeff is a "lying and complaining fool."
"Jeff is ajerk." [sic]
"Jeff is a namy pamby waste of valuable human oxygen."[sic]
Meanwhile Dan Dotson and his wife Laura were really growling unpleasant things at each other in low voices in the drive to the storage facility. It's their new feature in the show, this cockpit-view of the drive to the auction, and it is unsettling. It's quite unusual to see. Quite unseemly. Like witnessing your parents fight -- but only if your father called your mother "a vulgar, brazen high-stepping slattern about town."
Mine never did.
It isn't like that sort of tipsy Housewives of Backwater, Wisconsin Andy Cohen-induced sort of "argufying," where they limply throw champagne flutes at each other -- underarm. It is pretty genuine and heartfelt name-calling and low-blowing and flesh-eating.
Dan Dotson don't say much on that show, when he does he's saying it too fast to be comprehended, and then when he slows down it's to call his wife an unchristian name. It's like he's simmering with rage and the only way he can burn off that rage is by speaking fast.
This season seems to be darker than the last. They've exhausted all their good will in this game and now they're just getting peevish. It's like the last episodes of the Monkees. Or, it's like the last few games of Words With Friends I played when everyone was obviously sick of playing but they were carrying on for reasons unclear to them.
In this episode Barry is reduced to prattle. It's like the light has gone out of his eyes. He turned up on the lot riding this big space-age 1950s bus and he stuck around a while, bid half-heartedly on a couple of lockers, and then he said -- audibly -- Fuck this and went home in his bus. He couldn't give a shit.
When Barry is not buying something asinine like a pair of goggles for chickens or jars for catching flies in then you know the lifeblood has gone out of the dray-horse. Brandi too. She is glazed over. Are they feeding these people horse tranquilizers? Brandon and Darrel seem to be having a father-and-son primal scene in front of the cameras. Darrel berates Brandon mercilessly. It's like an Arthur Miller play with these two. And Dave, as I said, has disappeared after his peculiar confession on the last episode I saw where he said that he had "been in a bad place for a while now and needed to clear his soul of some bad chakras." He retired to a Zen Trappist community in Palo Alto run by Gary Snyder.
Anyway Jeff, it turns out, is not even "ajerk". He is a dreary boor and worse he's a philosopher to boot. You can imagine him droning on in the postgraduate bar about the nature of reality and truth and Derrida and Wittgenstein til the barstaff want to go home. He said: "Some things, you see them from ten feet away, and you see them from three feet away and it changes the entire complexion of 'em."
That is true.
Jeff also said, with a bowling ball in his hand, "Everyone thinks if it's heavy it's better, right?"