DOUG: Hey, Doug Hurley here with “The Bob Mullen’s Life Halftime Report.” Bob turns forty today, and we’re coming to you, live, from outside his shabby studio apartment, which both looks and smells depressing.
TREY: Sure does, Doug. Trey Morales with you as always, and that stench seems to be from a half-eaten Big Mac that Bob left on the radiator. When approached for comment, he said that the trash can was “too far away.”
DOUG: Sad. Which brings us to Bob’s over-all life. We’re at the midpoint of his earthly existence, and to date his performance has been shaky at best.
TREY: Bob still lags behind his sister in career accomplishments, and trails his brother by three kids to none. He’s struggling to put milestones on the board. Just last week, he started scraping the ice from his freezer—which would have been his first accomplishment of any kind in weeks—but he stopped when he got winded.
DOUG: Ouch! Has Bob’s lacklustre performance been a surprise to you?
TREY: Absolutely. Bob blew a huge early lead: rich parents, good education, no asthma. And he came out strong with an incredible infancy. He mastered rolling over before anyone else in day care, and learned his colors like a champ. We’re talking red, blue . . . even green!
DOUG: So where did things start going wrong for Bob?
TREY: Sixth grade. That’s when his parents, Albert and Marsha, split up, leading to a thirty-three per cent decrease in confidence and a nagging inner voice insisting, “It was all your fault.” For more on that, let’s go to the replay:
DOUG: Yikes! A crushing blow to Bob’s self-esteem!
TREY: Devastating. From there, Bob had a spotty college record: a 2.1 G.P.A., with more than forty classes missed. And not because he was having fun partying. Most nights, he stayed in and watched “Monty Python” by himself. He left his door open, figuring that someone might pop in. No one popped in.
DOUG: Heartbreaking. Now let’s talk romance. How’s Bob doing in the bedroom?
TREY: Not great, Doug. Not great. Things got off on the wrong foot when Bob had his first kiss, at age fifteen. Let’s go to the tape again:
DOUG: You hate to see a guy fumble an opportunity like that. One thing’s for sure—Bob has to get better at opening up emotionally if he wants to find his soul mate in the second half. He should also look at upgrading his wardrobe.
TREY: None of his T-shirts fit.
DOUG: And most are stained. But let’s shift gears and talk about what Bob did right in the first half.
TREY: For one, Bob just got promoted at work.
DOUG: We’re hearing reports of a pay bump.
TREY: Unfortunately, it’s a warehouse job, and he’s not close enough to retirement to avoid being replaced by a robot that’s both more capable and more likable than he is.
DOUG: The robot was invited to his boss’s daughter’s bat mitzvah.
TREY: Still, Bob’s leading his brother by one job to none, and he has a winning record in keeping pets alive.
DOUG: So does he have something to build on, going into the second half?
TREY: Yes, but it won’t be easy. I hate to say it, but Bob looks bored out there, like he’s trying to run out the clock. Just before halftime, he gave up midway through masturbating to watch a rerun of “The Office.”
DOUG: Mind you, this was an episode that he’d seen six times.
TREY: Breaking news out of New England—Bob’s mom just got off the phone with her friend. Let’s watch the replay:
DOUG: An existential cry for help to his mom? Talk about a Hail Mary!
TREY: There’s no question that he’s got to shake things up. Do some travelling. Learn a new language. Figure out how to cook something that isn’t a frozen pizza. But it’s just too soon to call whether he’ll regain his will to live as he heads back into midlife.
DOUG: We’ll find out soon, because the second half is getting under way, as Bob ventures out of his apartment. He’s blinking from the sunlight like a bear waking from hibernation!
TREY: A true oaf. Thanks for joining us—we’ll see you after Bob’s death for a full wrap-up. This has been “The Bob Mullen’s Life Halftime Report,” brought to you by time. Time—it’s coming for you, too.