One day, my old college roommate, Mark Cuban, called me up and asked me if I wanted to come hang out.
“Um, I dunno, I’m kinda busy, Mark Cuban,” I lied. I was sitting in my underwear in the living room, sweating my balls off.
“C’mon dude, I just got this new 8 foot TV! It’s awesome!”
I thought it over. Realizing that anyone who could afford an 8 foot TV could also probably afford an air conditioner, I relented.
He arranged for one of his private jets to pick me up at the Burbank Airport and as I sat in the VIP lounge, I immediately started to regret my decision. This was turning into an all-day event.
Just as I was about to walk out and go home and buy some popsicles to stick down my pants, the pilot informed me that the plane was ready to take off.
I said, “fuck it”, threw back the last gulp of champagne in the bottle I had been drinking and I was off!
Well, you know how it is when you mix tranquilizers and booze; I slept like a baby and didn’t wake up til we were taxiing into the gate of the airport Mark Cuban had in his yard.
One of the stews woke me up and I groggily stumbled into the night. Mark Cuban had sent his man-servant, Doyle, to pick me up in his miniature Hummer golf cart. Doyle grabbed my bag and we drove the quick, two-mile drive to the other side of Mark Cuban’s property.
As I pulled up, I noticed a delivery truck. Doyle commented, “That is for Mr. Mark’s new television! It’s 3 meters across!”
I gave him the stink eye for using the metric system in my presence (one of my well-known pet peeves) and gathered up my stuff. There was a group of his fellow countrymen lolly-gagging about, by the truck and I immediately sensed something was up.
Mark Cuban put down the drawbridge over his alligator-filled moat and came out to greet me.
“You’re just in time!” he said.
He shouted some commands at the workers in their native Irish and they sprang to work, hoisting the behemoth set from the truck.
“Oh, what the fuck? It’s not even set up?” I was incredulous!
He took me aside and explained that he hadn’t actually brought me here to watch the TV, he had something else in store for me.
I knew then that was going to end badly. You see, while most comedians long to be billionaires, Mark Cuban was a billionaire who longed to be a comedian. That’s why he had me hang around him. He would constantly try to impress me with his jokes and pranks, usually at the expense of some hapless Irishman.
While he may have had an eye for business, this did not extend to the realm of comedy and most of his bits were painful to watch.
The workers carefully inched the behemoth set forward. There was about ten of them, each grabbing a side or a corner. Doyle supervised them so that they could all move as one.
It looked heavy as shit. This was back before Plasma screens and all that. This thing had a giant tube in it and probably weighed something like 800 pounds. Even between ten stout Irishmen, that was quite a load.
As they got about halfway up the stairs, Mark Cuban sprang into action. He elbowed Doyle who shouted out the command. “Now!” he said.
Immediately, 8 of the 10 workers dropped the TV and backed off to safety. This left two of the workers to carry the whole load by themselves.
Mark Cuban laughed with glee as they momentarily struggled with the immense weight of the giant television before predictably dropping it down the stairs, where it shattered into several pieces.
As I looked over at him, I could see Mark Cuban was a little disappointed, things hadn’t gone according to plan, but he tried to cover this fact.
“Wasn’t that hilarious?” he let out a fake laugh.
“Not really. What are we supposed to watch TV on now?”
He was stumped. I’m sure he had 20 TVs in his mansion, but none were of the 8 foot variety that I had flown 1200 miles to see.
“But, you know, they dropped it… It was funny…”
“Well, actually, Mark Cuban, you’re probably pretty lucky that nobody got squished,” I’m sure the risk of injury or even death to one of these drunken Micks hadn’t even crossed his mind. Not everyone is a humanitarian, like me.
It turns out that it had crossed his mind. Indeed, that was actually part of his plan. The TV was supposed to fall on the two workers, killing them instantly, but more importantly, softening the fall of the giant television set.
The two workers who weren’t in on the joke weren’t too pleased to hear this, but you’d be surprised what ten thousand dollars in cash can do to smooth things over. They all left and we went back inside, leaving Doyle to clean up the remains of the giant set by himself.
While his personal chef made me a Monte Cristo sandwich, Mark Cuban tried to come up with ideas for fun stuff we could do instead of watching TV, but riding a jet ski in a giant swimming pool isn’t as cool as it sounds. And how many times can you fly around in a hovercraft before it gets boring?
No, I told him I was pretty tired and was just gonna turn in early. He seemed pretty depressed that his trick hadn’t impressed me and now I was pissed off. But again, that ten thousand dollars in cash he gave me will probably insure my return to his house, at some point.