Pete on Coke

The League S03E09: “The Out of Towner” on Cocaine

Since The League first aired, I’ve always been curious what life was like for the out-of-town league members while Ruxin, Pete, Kevin, Jenny, Taco, and Andre trash-talk and prank each other in Chicago. In “The Out of Towner,” we finally got a chance to peel back the curtain and meet Chuck, one of the nameless league members we’ve never seen before.

Chuck, played by Will Forte, used to be the party guy in college, the one who would whip out his junk and “sit in gum” at the drop of a hat. In Pete’s mind, he’s still the greatest wingman to ever walk the earth, the Goose to Pete’s Maverick.

But much like Goose, the old Chuck is dead. He crashed and burned, riding a wave of alcohol-fueled debauchery that forced him to leave the city to what we can only assume is suburbia hell.

Chuck’s clean and sober now. So when he arrives to meet the league members he left behind at the bar, they have a hard time adjusting to Chuck without the “Two-nut Chuck” soul he used to have.

I think part of growing up is acknowledging that people change. Your friends won’t always be the same guy they were in college. People get white pubes. They have kids. They adapt.

I’m not old enough to have had more than a small handful of these encounters with friends from high school and college, so I can’t speak with much experience. But I am old enough to know that The League isn’t mature enough to just accept one of its brethren as a sober member of society.

Rather than move on with Chuck as the sober bro, the league member host an intervention, during which Kevin demonstrates how happy beer makes him. That was entertaining.

But Chuck resists, leaving Pete disappointed and still without a decent wingman.

Ruxin’s a little out of it throughout the entire episode tonight. Right off the top, he injures his hamstring picking up canned fruit from Taco’s apartment and starts abusing pain killers he illegally obtained with one of Andre’s prescription pads to cope.

So rather than the sarcastic, one-step-ahead Ruxin we’re used to seeing, Ruxin is the childish party dude with no filter. It wasn’t a radical departure, but it made for some great entertainment (and even better one-liners than I’m used to hearing out of Ruxin).

It’s also keeping in line with this season’s exploration of the destruction of Ruxin, even though he did get just a small part of the bad luck this week as the league dragged everyone down with them.Taco is not pretty during Taco Lent

Taco’s and Ruxin’s stories are a little intertwined from the start this week. Taco has his own thing going on celebrating “Taco Lent,” a month of giving up anything natural, but before injuring himself, Ruxin witnesses Taco’s landlord evicting Taco for his late rent and horrible smells. To prevent him from moving into Ruxin’s house with Sofia and Baby Geoffrey, Ruxin snaps into “Shark Ruxin,” a lawyer-fied persona of Ruxin who hums the theme song from Jaws.

Ruxin concocts the perfect countermeasure (windows painted shut as a violation of Taco’s renter rights), but when he arrives to help Taco make his case against his landlord, he blows in corndog in hand and high on pain meds. Thus, he’s unable to string together a coherent thought and much more interested in beatboxing a corndog techno song and dance with the landlord instead.

I guess we’ll see Taco move in with Ruxin in the next episode.

To tie up all the loose ends on Chuck’s visit, the male league members all gather together at Andre’s for a Monday Night Football party embracing his newest urban and chill obsession, mixology.

Chuck arrives, sans fiancée, to apologize for trying to push his sobriety on the group, and they, in turn, reluctantly concede that they won’t be able to get him to drink.

But, fortunately, we don’t give up on “Two-nut Chuck” that easy. Kevin and Jenny provide the perfect happy accident to knock Chuck off the wagon.

Bored with their suburban life, Kevin and Jenny have attempted to buy weed (VHS, in dealer-speak) but they end up with cocaine instead (DVD, in dealer-speak) because they couldn’t understand Taco’s drug dealer’s menu.

As an aside here, isn’t Kevin an assistant district attorney? Would a drug dealer really come to his house and then strong-arm him into buying coke? I guess I might be trying to force reality into a place it doesn’t belong. I do watch a lot of Law & Order.

Kevin stashes the coke in a drawer of Andre’s kitchen until the drug dealer arrives to make an exchange, but Andre mistakes that bag for confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar for the uninitiated) and uses it to rim the glasses on his mixed drinks.

Pete on CokeThe result: The League on crack, er…coke.

Andre’s party turns into insanity. Chuck falls off the wagon in a big way, and everyone realizes just in time to watch Chuck “sit in gum” on Ruxin’s head, leading to one of the more priceless quotes of Ruxin’s night.

All in all, I have to say I enjoyed this visit from an outsider. Being a long-distance member of a hometown league is never fun, but I do understand the realities that force such league relationships to occur.

Hopefully, those of you out there who do play fantasy football can stay close together and always, at the very least, have a live draft because you don’t need cocaine to enjoy one of those.

Memorable quotes from Episode 9:

PETE: “My dry spell is all your fault…[to Taco] This guy is like a street sweeper — he just cleans up any prospects I had and takes them in the bathroom and stuffs them.”
TACO: “Hey, I can lead a horse to the water, but I can’t make the water not want to have sex with me, okay?”

PETE [to Andre]: “You look like a Deadwood character at a Justin Bieber concert.”

TACO: “Until next week, it’s nothing but blow up dolls and tube socks.”

NADIA [Taco's Landlord]: “It’s like the sky, but no clouds. That is what you are like.”

RUXIN: “Just got to do a little Shark Ruxin in here…”

KEVIN: “These sweatpants make my junk feel so good. It feels like two angels are just holding my balls ever so gently while my trunk is just being refreshed by a river of feathers.”

RUXIN: “If we were in Tijuana, Andre, there would be a goddamn monkey in a sombrero blowing a donkey.”

PETE: “I love Painkiller Ruxin.”

CHUCK: “I had to go get a new job because I had pulled my balls out and showed my boss.”

KEVIN: “Ping pong’s for fat kids at summer camp.”

CHUCK: “I got blue gum just thinking about how bad I want to sit in gum for you.”

CHUCK: “Winners drink water.”

PETE: “Honestly, Chuck, I think you have a sobriety problem.”

PETE: “Maybe you’re just addicted to showing your junk.”

RUXIN: “You know Chinese kids will let you play kickball with ‘em!?”

TACO: “Oh, man, none of my friends can handle drugs.”

RUXIN: “Corndog. Corndog. Corndog. Corndog. Corndog.”

RUXIN [on Andre's use of "jigger"]: “Hey, I know it’s the 1920s, but you still need to whisper that word.”

RUXIN [on Andre's outfit]: “Somewhere there’s a riverboat missing a casino dealer.”

CHUCK: “Staying clean never tasted so great. Barkeep, I’ll have another!”

ANDRE: “I’m faster than I’ve ever been before!”

PETE: “Why is my face on fire?”

ANDRE: “I’m like the drummer in Def Leopard, but I have both arms!”

TACO: “No, no, no, no. I’m on aspartame, sucralose, and hairspray.”

TACO [to Kevin on his death bed]: “I’m gonna raise Ellie for you, and when I have sex with Jenny, I promise, I PROMISE YOU…I’m not going to wear a condom.”

CHUCK: “Two-nut Chuck is back, and he wants some coke!”

RUXIN [while Chuck sits in gum on his head]: “It feels like I’m wearing a tiny hat.”