Best Friends Each Secretly Think Of The Other As Sidekick

In This Section

Vol 37 Issue 20

Average Age Of Wacky TV Neighbors Dropping

ATLANTA–According to a Center For Media Studies report released Monday, the average age of wacky TV-sitcom neighbors has steadily declined over the past half-century. "In the '50s, during the days of Ed Norton and Fred and Ethel Mertz, the median age was a mature 53," the report read. "By the late '70s and early '80s, with the likes of Larry on Three's Company, Monroe on Too Close For Comfort, and Lenny and Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley, the average had dropped to 36. Today, the wacky-neighbor landscape is dominated by twentysomethings, typified by Jack on Will & Grace and all the friends on Friends." At the present rate, the report added, wacky TV neighbors will primarily be toddlers by 2015.

Mediocre Painter's True Talent Lies In Acting Like A Painter

LOS ANGELES–According to art critics, mediocre painter James Augustiniak has proven masterful at cultivating the self-centered, womanizing demeanor of an art-world enfant terrible. "Augustiniak's latest exhibition, featuring dozens of paintings of melting eyeballs and hearts, was a staggering achievement in clichéd, pseudo-pretentious banality," said Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight. "But I went anyway, just to see him throw a fit over the lighting in the gallery. He's very good at that sort of thing."

America A Fascist Police State, Stoned Underage Drunk Driver Charges

SMYRNA, GA–Outraged by the brutal suppression of civil liberties that has defined the nation's history, stoned 15-year-old Corey Shifflett denounced America as a "total fascist police state" following his drunk-driving arrest Saturday. "This whole country is, like, totally Hitlered-out," Shifflett told friend Glen Withers, who posted his $500 bail. "These cops, they're just looking for any excuse to pull us over and hassle us, just to feel like fuckin' Superman." Shifflett then knocked over an orange highway cone and vowed to move to Amsterdam.

Longtime Sexual Fantasy Awkwardly Fulfilled

LEXINGTON, KY–The longtime sexual fantasy of Andrew Marcone was awkwardly fulfilled Saturday, when the local record-store clerk participated in a clumsy, embarrassing menage a trois with girlfriend Karen Wagner and her roommate Shelley Peelen. "Well, I finally did it, for what it's worth," said Marcone, 27, following the long-dreamed-of sexual encounter, six minutes into which he ejaculated. "So much for wondering what it would be like, I guess." After achieving orgasm, Marcone spent the next half hour "trying not to get in the way" of his companions.

Hidden Valley Ranch Bombed By Balsamic Extremists

HIDDEN VALLEY, CA–A radical Balsamic fundamentalist group detonated an estimated 800 pounds of TNT at the Hidden Valley Ranch compound Monday, killing 11 and injuring dozens more. "Let no salad again be foully tainted by the corrupt regime of Hidden Valley," said Martin Pulaski, leader of the Nation Of Balsam, in a statement claiming responsibility for the deadly attack. "We shall not rest until every salad's flavor is enhanced by a light and tangy vinaigrette, not buried in a shameful avalanche of buttermilk."

The Jeffords Defection

Last week, U.S. Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont left the GOP to become an independent, handing control of the Senate to the Democrats. What do you think?
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Innovation

Small Business

Best Friends Each Secretly Think Of The Other As Sidekick

OXFORD, OH–Though neither has openly acknowledged it, Marc Morrell and Justin Rotham, longtime best friends and sophomores at Miami University of Ohio, each regard the other as a sidekick.

Mutual sidekicks Morrell and Rotham.

"Me and Marc, we're like Batman and Robin," said Rotham, 19, who met Morrell when both were freshmen at Canton (OH) McKinley High School. "Wherever I lead, I can count on him to follow."

Morrell expressed similar affection for his sidekick.

"Justin and I make a great team," Morrell said. "No matter what crazy plan I come up with, I always know that he's gonna be right there to back me up. If this were Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I'd be Ferris and he'd be Cameron Frye."

Added Morrell: "Chuck D and Flavor Flav, Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon, me and Justin... standing beside every great man is a great sidekick."

Like many best friends, Morrell and Rotham have similar tastes, sharing an affection for the The Simpsons, Kurt Vonnegut, and the BBC series Black Adder.

"I love Rowan Atkinson as Black Adder," Rotham said. "I can't even watch Mr. Bean. It's okay, but it's not like Atkinson's in his prime anymore."

"I'm not surprised he'd say that," Morrell said later. "He'd never even heard of Black Adder before I got him into it. Now, he's the world's greatest expert on it. Like I said, wherever Marc leads, Justin follows."

While Morrell claims superior knowledge of Black Adder, Rotham says he's the authority when it comes to music.

"I'm the one who got him to stop listening to all that Top 40 crap and turned him on to electronica and trance stuff like John Digweed," Rotham said. "Now, he compares everything to Digweed, and I have to set him straight when it's more like Paul Oakenfold. He's still learning."

The duo's mutual sidekicksmanship often manifests itself during road trips.

"Whenever we drive down to Cincinnati to see bands, I take the wheel," Morrell said. "Me being the leader, not to mention the one with the car, I'm always the one who drives."

Rotham, however, sees it differently.

"As the man with the plan, I choose to take the role of navigator on road trips," he said. "Marc couldn't find his ass with a homing device, so that means I've got to man the maps. And, let's face it, even though Sulu pilots the Enterprise, he still takes orders from Kirk. I am captain, and Marc is my first lieutenant."

Though Morrell and Rotham generally enjoy having a sidekick, both acknowledged that it occasionally has its downside.

"Justin's a great guy and all, but sometimes it's tough to make my moves when he's always hanging on my sleeve," Morrell said. "Like, last weekend, we were at this house party, and I was trying to chat up this cute girl Amy from my psych class, and he wouldn't leave my side for a second."

Rotham expressed similar frustration over his friend's reliance on him in social situations. "If not for me, he'd never even talk to girls," Rotham said. "He counts on me to steer the ladies his way. Usually, I'm happy to, but every now and then it'd be nice if he could make things happen on his own."

Neither Morrell nor Rotham are dating, but both expressed confidence that they have some "hot leads." Those who know the pair, however, have their doubts.

"Those guys are sort of cool in their own way, but mostly they're dorks," said Renee Callahan, a friend of the two. "I mean, they go everywhere together, have all these retarded inside jokes, and even dress almost identically. And they definitely share a lack of success with the ladies. I don't know why they don't just admit they're in love with each other."

Morrell and Rotham concede that the affection is mutual, though not equal.

"I love Justin like a brother," Morrell said, "but he definitely needs me a lot more than I need him."

"Without me, Marc would be totally lost," Rotham said. "It's like if this were Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I'd be Ferris and he'd be Cameron."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More