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Crocker! Welcome To Fantasy Island!

By Dan Crocker Jan 29, 2015 - 3:17 PM print

I've been thinking a lot about Fantasy Island lately. Perhaps I just have a lot of fantasies. Maybe I'd like to live in a world where a book like Gods, Guns, Grits and Gravy doesn't assume that everyone from the south or mid-west are a bunch of gun shooting, gravy eating, fat slobs somehow different from everyone else in the United States. “Mr. Rourke,” I might say, I just want people to realize that we aren't all stupid hillbillies nor are we somehow morally upright saints who have just walked out of the set of the The Andy Griffith Show.” Then, I'd ask him for a huge pot of gravy.

You have to admit that gravy is pretty good, but that's not my point. My point is that I might just ask him if I could be the Incredible Hulk. Probably, however, I've just been thinking a lot about Fantasy Island because I've been watching a lot of one of those weird, old-timey television stations we only have in the mid-west because other types of television stations, say Spike or Comedy Central, offend our high moral standards.

In any event, I've noticed a few disturbing facts about Fantasy Island. First, what's with the suits?


Am I to assume that the island is sponsored by Colonel Sanders? People eat a lot of chicken on the show, so it's possible. It's also possible that fried chicken is just part of a lot of people's fantasies. It's pretty good with gravy, for instance.

Secondly, and this is a trend I've noticed in a lot of older television shows, why are there so many beautiful women married to/dating ugly ass old men? I get that this might be part of the man's fantasy, which I assume he's paid dearly for—Fantasy Island can't be cheap. But what about the women? This can't be a fantasy of theirs. Likely, they don't get a say as this was the late '70s. Even if it is part of a male fantasy, this doesn't explain shows like Charlie's Angels where this also happens regularly. Wait. That totally explains it.

Look, I'm not here to rail against ugly, old men. Who am I to judge? I've just got some major worries. Like what the hell is up with Mr. Rourke? The other night, I saw him literally make life, human life, out of thin air. Is he God? At the very least he has to be a god. So then what the hell is Tattoo? And if Rourke is God, or a god, then how come I've never seen any of the very rich folks who visit the island, who I assume are Republicans, freak out about his Latin heritage? I'm not saying that all Republicans would freak out about it, but a big enough number that you'd think it would have been caught on camera a few times.

Finally, what is up with the fantasies people have? A cursory glance at Craigslist is enough to convince me that most people's fantasies have nothing to do with getting a chance to perform with Mr. Bojangles (as happened in the episode “Bojangles and the Dancer” staring the late, great Sammy Davis Jr.). According to Craigslist, they usually have to do with clamps and bodily fluids. I'll leave it at that.

And no one is coming on the island saying, “Hey, Mr. Rourke, I have terminal cancer. How about fixing that up for me?” You'd think that would be on the top of a lot of people's list. This was before Obamacare so people had to do what they had to do, right? It never happens though, and if it did, I'm not sure Mr. Rourke would grant it because he's kind of a son of a bitch. He never just grants a fantasy, everything works out fine and that's the end of the show. There's always some sort of ironic twist that puts the person through a living hell. It's mentally devastating. Sure, at the end they've learned a “lesson.” They come to realize that all of their fantasies were already right there in their real lives if they'd just been able to see them. Mostly, I think they just want to get the hell off the island at that point. Briefly, I entertained the notion that Fantasy Island was sponsored by the Koch brothers as a way to convince poor people that their lives aren't nearly as bad as they think. But, no one on the island looks very poor, so that theory fell through. Plus, no one ever has the fantasy of ending poverty (or for that matter racism, war, sexism, homophobia, etc). No, this is pretty much a Republican only island.

I do have a theory that holds up. Remember Lost? This is the same freakin' island. Think about that for a moment (preferably while smoking some totally legal, medical marijuana). Mind blown, right? It doesn't matter if this happened before or after the events of Lost because time ceases to have meaning on the island (again, this makes much more sense if you're smoking totally LEGAL medical marijuana. I would never advocate breaking the law. Not even for beautiful, beautiful marijuana).

Anyway, Mr. Rourke and Tattoo are the keepers of the island—granted with some of the island's powers. It's like a purgatory where people who need to learn one final lesson go before moving on to the afterlife. Think about it. It totally explains why no one asks for a cure for terminal cancer or are poor. Nobody is poor in the afterlife. I hope. Why is Mr. Rourke the guardian of the island? Well, who the hell has more baggage to work through. I mean, he spent most of his life chasing after revenge.

Shit. After writing this whole damn thing I googled “Lost” and “Fantasy Island” only to find out I'm not the first person to come up with this theory. Likely, the folks who came up with it first were smoking totally legal medical marijuana. Not me, man. I'm high on life. By the way, Mr. Rourke once fought the devil.

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