Yesterday my esteemed colleague and good friend Matthew Mundy and I were honored with the chance to hear David Simon — creator of The Wire, and thus my social life — speak on campus here at the University of Southern California.
We knew the lecture started at 4 p.m., and so the no-brainer was we would show up at 2:30 p.m. to guarantee our spot in line.
“We may be overestimating the level of fanaticism for The Wire on campus,” Matt said last week when we made the plans. “But… better safe than sorry.”
Needless to say, Matt and I were the only ones sitting in the hall for about, oh, an hour and a half. But we had great seats, so clearly it was worth it. The only thing we overestimated was the competence and character of our schoolmates who didn’t show up in a timely fashion, as per us.
After Mr. Simon finished speaking about the show’s structure and this season’s storyline, the lecture was opened up for questions. Obviously, I took my chanceâ€¦ and because Matt was in a state of perpetual man-crush, I had to speak for both of us. Mind you, all other questions asked were philosophical in nature and far over my tiny capacity for thought and reason. Then it was my turn.
“Mr. Simon,” I said, “my peer and I have a question we’ve discussed endlessly, and if I don’t ask you this now, I’ll never forgive myself. Are Randy Wagstaff and Cheese Wagstaff related?”
“I’ll tell you,” he said. “Randy is actually Cheese’s son.”
What the fuck?!?!
“You just blew my mind,” I said, on the brink of puking, or passing out. “Why did you decide not to include that in the storyline?”
“Well, we talked about it, but there were only ten episodes this season… and we just felt that by not saying it, it fleshed out the skeleton of the story a little more,” he said.
The rest of the discussion was a blur. I had no other questions I could possibly ask. There were no other statements he could possibly make.
Let’s be clear here…
Cheese Wagstaff = a fucking father.
Randy Wagstaff = fucked for life.
“Now Cheese must die,” Matt said after the lecture. “He sold out Prop Joe and he’s responsible for Randy. Plus he hasn’t released a good album since Tical, so…”
“You should really go talk to David Simon,” I said. “I got my piece in with him.”
“And say what?” he asked. “Or should I just give him the 45-minute hug I told all my friends I was going to?”
And I guess that’s just it, isn’t it? Now that we know the answer to the itch that needed scratching, all that’s left is to give the man a 45-minute hug.
So here’s to The Wire. We’ll miss you.