Confessions of Jack Tripper

August 2, 1977 — Slept in a bathtub last night. The coke was from Bolivia, I think. Two girls woke me up, Chrissy and the other – I can’t remember her name. Her face was pointy looking. Anyway, Eleanor is breaking the lease and they can’t make rent so I’m moving in this weekend.

August 9, 1977 — Had a hard time moving my bed up the stairs. Chrissy has some major cognitive issues, kept asking if a bed is a bed without pillows. Janet’s cool though, she helped me up with this guy Larry who lives upstairs. Larry is sweet. He invited me to his pad and showed me his gold chain collection.

August 10, 1977 — Turns out I have to pretend I’m gay for this Roper guy who smells like mothballs. Were it not for the thinning bald spots, you’d think his wife Helen was wearing a wig. She knows I’m straight but promises to keep it a secret. It’s a pretty cool apartment, except its missing an entire wall. I saw a live audience behind it. I totally have to stop dropping acid.

October 23, 1977 — I’m starting to lose it a little. Been trying to keep real busy with cooking school but the audience is still there, laughing and clapping away at everything I do. I admit it feels kind of nice. Lights and cameras all over. The place is rigged with string. The audience goes wild every time I trip. They have all the doors set on motors which swing at my face. I asked Chrissy about it and she says she’s a little confused too.

November 5, 1977 — According to my lawyers, I should ignore the cameras and just enjoy my life.

March 2, 1979 — Did some spring cleaning and found this old journal in the closet. Man, so much has happened since my last entry. I finished culinary school and started at Frank Angelino’s place. Janet and I are together which is tough because Chrissy doesn’t know. The only time Janet and I have some privacy is when Chrissy’s at work, which is hardly ever because the agency dropped her down to part-time. I guess if you ask a severely traumatized typist for one-inch margins, you don’t always get what you’re looking for.

April 10, 1979 — I still have those white bumps from Lana. Janet has been fairly gracious about it. We’re both getting very annoyed at Chrissy, who keeps on putting her anti-fungal ointment right next to the toothpaste. All these years with that weird taste in my mouth, now I know why. Janet wants her out but we obviously can’t evict her. Larry says he’s got some ideas.

April 21, 1979 — Going to the doctor’s next week about these flashes of light in my head. It started with the dizziness, which I told the men with the clipboards about. They keep giving me pills but they don’t seem to work.

June 14, 1979 — Things have mellowed out since the operation, though my scalp is still sore. The producers are calling it a L-O-B-O-T-O-M-Y. They said they removed the ‘Ritter-side’ which I think was the left. Going to begin this electro-shock treatment.

June 18, 1979 — The missing wall with the audience seems much more normal now. Turns out the production team are ‘apartment helpers’ and the cameras are ‘happy eyes’. They should have told me all this before. I get some candy before each shock treatment so it’s all good.

November 22, 1979 — Me like gauze in mouth. Me like candy and shock machine. Me cook quiche. Janet no love me no more. Chrissy make joke that she smarter than me. Larry and guys at Regal Beagle make joke also. They put warm pee in glass and I drink. They laugh so hard they grab their chests and cry.

December 7, 1979 — All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

December 13, 1979 — Me pants get smell bad and people hold noses.

September 17, 1980 — Had an extremely vivid dream about how my brain had been replaced. I remember I was at the hospital; but I don’t know if that was part of the dream. All these immense flashes of light in my head. That’s it – I’m going cold turkey on the blow.

September 20, 1981 — We’re evicting Chrissy and they’re putting in Terri, this totally tight nurse. Janet and I are friends again, though there’s that diamond spark of sadness in her eyes, the one I first fell in love with. The Ropers are leaving for a spin-off show, hope it bombs.

October 11, 1981 — I like the whole nurse uniform thing on Terri. We have this sperm bank role-playing thing we like to do. Janet is still a little sore about everything, so we invite her into a threesome now and then. Sometimes a foursome with Larry, who it should be noted, is very well endowed.

October 14, 1981 — About Larry and me: let’s just say I don’t have to pretend I’m gay anymore.

March 28, 1982 — I can’t keep this up. This is getting so boring. Our ratings have fallen to No. 8. The whole over-acting thing works fine with Furley, but I’m just getting too bruised up here.

January 8, 1984 — The studio says we’re finished. Great, thanks for a big waste of time. It’s our last season. Just watch the show, or better yet, join the audience. Clap your hands three times and scream BRAINDEAD. I’ll know who to look for.

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