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bad boys
whatever you do, don't do this
by jonas foster
pop culture

I'm in a rut of epic proportions. Jurassic Park III proportions. And when I get into one of these soul-crushing, brain-atrophying ruts, usually sparked by too much work, too many take-away dinners, and distinct lack of girlfriend to keep me zipping along in areas of personal appearance and social butterflying, I tend to pick up a bad habit in the area of entertainment.

Last year, a four-week bout with a walking flu turned me into an instant Futurama fan. I caught it one night waiting for the NyQuil to kick in. Then I happened to do the same thing the next night. Then I started Tivoing it and made it a nightly ritual for about six months. Which I believe is more months than there are Futuramas. Good ones, anyway.

Now, you may be thinking - "Eh, what the hell is that? That's me on a typical evening." If so, I applaud your taste, because Futurama is actually not a bad show. It's just not my show, it's not something I would normally watch, certainly not go to IMDB to find out who the voice actors were or shell out cash for the box set to get to the commentaries.

But that's exactly what I did.

And I haven't thought about Futurama since... until five minutes ago, when I started writing this column.

Other adventures included Garbage Entertainment Magazines (or GEMs), where for like three weeks I would stop at my newsstand on my way home and buy a People or EW or something of that nature and read it during dinner. And movie day, where every day during my lunch break I'd pop into a theatre, any theatre - from arthouse to AMC Empire in Times Square. This made the rut infinitely worse, as my mornings were eventually eroded while hunting down that day's offering, and then afternoons became web-based research into what critics and other fanatics had to say about the feature.

But, gad, that was fun.

My latest foray into the world of Rut-Induced Non-Jonas-Foster-Approved media is actually still going on. And I do believe it's the ruttiest and worst of any of my experiments.


I've always enjoyed the guilty pleasure that is Cops but lately, for whatever reason, you can now find 12 half-hour installments of Cops on your higher-tiered cable in any 24 hour period, weekends included. My own personal record, again thanks to Tivo, is 15 episodes in one night, a little over five hours of viewing with the commercials zapped.

I've learned so much. And I'm dying to share it with you, if just to give this ugly chapter of my life the guise of some deeper meaning.

First of all...

My New York Snobbery Has Increased Ten-Fold

I'm a Manhattanite, through and through, and I've always tried to keep it to myself, you know. I love LA, and think the world of your little city out there in between, but my video travelogue of the seedier sides of Wichita, Indianapolis, Chattanooga, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Houston, Portland (OR), and the like has made me appreciate the Big Apple even more. Granted, we've got our own problems, and they look a lot like Wichita's problems in many cases, but I'm definitely happy I live here and not there. Look, I know this isn't a good thing, I'm just saying it's happened.

Cocaine IS a Powerful Drug

Or more specifically, crack. I can now tell within five seconds of the camera hitting our fair suspect whether or not crack is eventually going to come into the picture. It's not just the bad complexion and lack of teeth, meth will do that to you too, it's the behavior. The idiot who tries to hotwire and steal a semi? Crack. The naked guy who turns up in the video store screaming at the clerks? Crack. The pour soul who decides to put it into park and take a nap in the center lane of a six-lane highway? Crack. The freak who decides to run from the police by taking a twenty foot drop off an overpass?

Crack AND meth. He wins.

Don't Lie To the Po-lice

Every time I've thought to myself, "Wow, that guy's story really checks out, maybe he WAS just in the wrong place at the wrong time," the law takes the extra measure and proves me wrong. Now, most of the time, these lies are horrible.

"That dealership lets me test drive their cars in the middle of the night!"

"I'm just waiting for my friend to show up, he went in that house to watch his show!"

"She's an old friend of mine, I've known her for years!"

Also, an added tip, the more adamant someone is about how perfectly okay it is to let the police search their vehicle or home, the more likely it is that there are indeed drugs in said vehicle or home. Usually crack.

Don't Run From the Po-lice

I still don't get why people do this. Remember back in the late '90s when car chases were all the rage? Did anyone get away then? Isn't it in the social consciousness now that you will get caught? They have a lot of cars and they have radios. They also have helicopters, stop sticks, and clever ways to bump your rear so that you stop in a sometimes violent manner.

And I don't know the science behind this, but you could be a former track star six months out of collegiate competition and the officer could be fifty pounds overweight and carrying another twenty worth of police equipment. He'll still catch you.

Don't Pick A Fight With a Female Officer

I mean this with all the respect in the world, but a male officer, even the slight, skinny ones, will struggle with you and attempt all kinds of passive and defensive maneuvers and holds learned over a lifetime of training.

A female officer will mace AND taze your ass in a heartbeat and not feel a twinge of regret.

Ladies, this advice goes for you too. And might I add that that particular situation makes the for best episodes of Cops ever.

If You're a Fat White Guy About to Commit a Crime, Take a Second to Throw On a Shirt

Whether you're gonna slap around your old lady or do a little drunk driving or pick up a hooker or just shoot for your everyday public intox, if you're fat, white, and shirtless, well, from my own unscientific analysis, the odds are pretty much against you getting away with it.

It's like they have fat, white, shirtless radar.

Now, you might think that after all this field study, I might have garnered enough theoretical knowledge to become a master criminal. But honestly, I went the other way, and it's a good feeling to know that the men and women out there walking the beat are in almost every case smarter, stronger, quicker, and more dedicated than the average thug.

Besides, I'm more of a white collar crime guy. I could maybe go for some embezzlement, or tax evasion, maybe even some corporate shenanigans. And it occurs to me that it's too bad that there isn't a White Collar Cops, not only for my own education, but for the thought of getting to see a fat, white, shirtless executive getting taken down for skimming employee retirement plans.


Having spent most of the eighties in and out of various colleges, Jonas Foster ducked the 9 to 5, wrote a book, and then made a mint selling the right information to the right people. He once dated a supermodel, although he refuses to offer which one, and now habitually combs Manhattan in search of the next.

more about jonas foster


no more talk!
now is the time for action
by jonas foster
topic: pop culture
published: 12.30.99

don't tell me what to do
by jonas foster
topic: pop culture
published: 12.30.99


tracey kelley
1.30.07 @ 10:07a

A female officer will mace AND taze your ass in a heartbeat and not feel a twinge of regret.


I tend to pick up a bad habit in the area of entertainment.

Do they have a rehab program for watching too many eps stupid crap on VH1? I need an intervention, bad.

ken mohnkern
1.30.07 @ 11:32a

I refuse to watch that stuff - Cops an' 'at - and I get all more-cultured-than-thou about it, but you can't get me away from the America's Funniest Videos.

What a friggin' hypocrite.

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